Beshir Agha: chief eunuch of the Ottoman imperial harem

Front Cover
Oneworld Publications, 2005 - Religion - 131 pages
0 Reviews
Beshir Agha (c. 1657-1746) was the most powerful Chief Harem Eunuch in the history of the Ottoman Empire. Enslaved in his native Ethiopia as a boy, then castrated in Egypt, Beshir Agha became one of hundreds of East African eunuchs who inhabited the imperial palace's enormous harem. Rising through the ranks of the harem hierarchy, he eventually oversaw the education of crown princes and harem women while choosing and deposing a long series of grand viziers. The founder of many mosques, Qur'an schools, sufi lodges and libraries, he was fundamental in shaping the religious and intellectual profile of the Ottoman state.
This study explores the role of Chief Eunuch, examining Beshir Agha's astonishing ascent to the position and the vast authority he wielded once in office. Containing an exhaustive guide to sources available on the influential eunuch and replete with fascinating detail, it will prove an indispensable resource for readers of all backgrounds.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

ELITE SLAVERY
1
EUNUCHS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
7
BESHIR AGHAS ORIGINS
17
Copyright

10 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2005)

Jane Hathaway is Associate Professor of Islamic and World History, Ohio State University.

Bibliographic information