> >Rules and customs of Turkish harems
The air filled with lust, voluptuous rulers, debauchery and luxury - this was the Europeans' harem of eastern masters. Contributed to the very meaning of the Arabic word haram - forbidden, secret, inaccessible (and therefore sinful). But in this place, hidden from the eyes of others, there was ordinary life with its clear hierarchy, a set of strict rules, ups and downs along the “career ladder”.
About decency in the sultan's bedroom, the harem hierarchy, crown princes, eunuchs and freedom.
Fuck is divine
In medieval Europe, it was believed: beside the love bed there is always a beside demon. It is he who inflames, deprives the mind, pushes for sinful madness. Similarly in Russia: before entering into an affair, they took off the cross - God and lust are incompatible. But in the East, before they knew a woman, they would certainly say: “Bismillah Rahmani Rahim”. This phrase, meaning "in the name of Allah, the Merciful," served as a guarantee of sincerity of intentions of accomplishments for the sake of the grace of Allah, and thus speaking it was enlisted by the blessing of the Most High and did not indulge in debauchery,but he did a good deed, which on Judgment Day, among others, would help to avoid hell. And if the result of rapprochement is the birth of a child, then the list of good deeds will be substantially replenished as long as the last of the descendants of this child is alive.
Posture restriction - child care
Nonetheless, there were limits to committing a “godly deed”. The woman became “untouchable” during her period, she could not be approached during Ramadan, and also in the three nights of the month according to the lunar calendar: the first, the 15th, and the last - in order to avoid the birth of a mentally retarded child. Caring for the health of the unborn child dictated lovers and poses - conceived in an unnatural position risked being born oblique or hunchbacked. It was not allowed to look at the partner's genitals during the act of love, and therefore the sultans carefully covered the dignity with the brocade veil. Otherwise, it was believed, the child could be born blind. There was a ban on group sex, even to lie down on the bed at once with two concubines was sinful.
From slaves to wife
It is believed that the classic harem originated in the Ottoman Empire, created by the Turks in 1299, although legends about the forbidden place relate to much earlier times.According to them, the Arab Caliph Harun al-Rashid (Harun al-Rashid, 786-809) contained over 2,000 women in his palace, 24 of whom bore the honorary title of concubine.
At that time, women usually fell into the holy of holies in two ways: either they were bought in slave markets, or they were military spoils. So the national composition of the slaves was quite variegated. For the passion of nature was highly valued by the inhabitants of North Africa of the Berber tribe. In the 9th – 10th centuries Byzantine Greek women made up the harem aristocracy.
Often in the walls seralya Slav women turned out. The most famous of them - Alexandra Anastasia Lisowska, known stories under name Roksolana. From birth she was called Anastasia and was the daughter of the Orthodox priest Gavrila Lisowski. Stolen by the Tatars and sold in Istanbul at the slave market in the harem, the girl achieved what others could not even dream of: she was not only Sultan Suleiman I’s beloved concubine, but his legitimate wife who had given him three sons.
"Lucky" and Frenchwoman Aime de River, the cousin of Bonaparte's wife Josephine, in 1784 captured by Algerian pirates and also sold on the slave market. She became the mother of Sultan Mahmud II.In any case, in spite of some discrepancies in the dates, the legend tells.
Be healthy don't snore
The chance to get a prize pool in the harem lottery was small, but it still existed. And caring parents from, for example, the Caucasian princes, wanting the daughters of a brilliant share, sold the girls to the sultan's palace, giving up all rights to them in writing. Further topics, like colleagues from the slave market, were coming up with a course of study. Its duration depended on the girl's age, and the end fell on adolescence. But first - the examination of the doctor and the midwife. Enrolled in a harem was supposed to be a virgin and have excellent health. On the first night, it was also checked whether the candidate was not snoring or speaking in a dream.
Further, the girl could begin to study the Koran (the adoption of Islam was mandatory), learning to dance, playing musical instruments, the art of conversation, calligraphy, needlework, court etiquette. They taught, of course, how to give pleasure to a man. The average age of young slaves was 12–14 years. At the end of the training, there was an exam, which was taken by the Walde-Sultan herself - the mother of the ruler, the first person in the harem. Those who did not pass the examination became servants without the right to be promoted.
To make a career
The harem could be controlled without having a title of Valida, but being the wife of the Sultan and becoming Haseki (“Haseki-Sultan” is the title of the wives and concubines of the Ottoman sultans, the second most important title in the harem after the Valida mother). An example of this is still the same Roksolana, who managed the harem for 24 years. It was for her that Suleiman established a similar title. But she started like everyone else, jariye - a simple slave.
Harem career ladder consisted of many steps. Successfully complete the course of study called mouth. The concubines, who had not yet had a relationship with the ruler, but had already achieved the position, were called pake. Gözde was the name of those who have already received the highest attention. Even if the case was limited to one night, they already relied on a roomier room, increased pay and several black maidservants. Iqbal - the title of a perennial favorite, who received even greater opportunities. If a woman or a woman gave birth, they became a kadyn (kadin - a woman, a lady). The most fortunate of them received the status of kadyn-efendi — the wives of the sultan. It was prescribed for the ruler to have no more than four, but it happened up to eight.
From rank to rank varied the amount of money paid to concubines, apartments, the number of maidservants and other benefits.With pregnancy and successful resolution of the burden of the amount of gifts and monthly money paid sharply increased.
To freedom with a clear conscience
Each slave dreamed that the day would come when the master noticed her, but there was no automatic transition “from class to class”. The contenders were thousands, and the sultan is only one. Even the most beautiful and intelligent could be left behind by the highest attention, becoming a victim of intrigue, which, of course, and seething in the women's team, or just not catch your moment of luck.
After nine years of selfless service to the harem case, the woman had the right, upon receiving the permission of the lord, to resign - the status of a free person was certified in writing. In this case, as a rule, she was looked for by a good husband, bought a house, gave a considerable dowry, and provided regular payments from the treasury.
Ottoman grandees such a marriage was considered a great success. The harem contained beauties from all over the world who had an excellent upbringing, trained in etiquette and respectful attitude towards her husband.
Top eunuchs - Ethiopians
Nine years, too, had to somehow pass through,and girls eager for love often found solace in the eunuchs guarding them (not all of them were completely indifferent to sexual pleasures as a result of the operation).
As a rule, people from Africa became eunuchs. Such a sample was explained purely practically: white boys were difficult to endure castration and often died from it. Abyssinians (Ethiopians) were much stronger, therefore more valued in the slave market, and therefore more often abducted.
The survivors, like the captive slaves, had a chance to make a good career, the top of which was the position of the chief eunuch (Kyzlar-aha). He chose the market for women in the harem, told the ruler about their behavior. Could forever ruin the girl's reputation or, conversely, contribute to its promotion.
The sphere of influence of the Kyzlar-aga was not limited to the harem - in terms of its importance it was on a par with the great vizier and was the only one who could turn to the sultan at any time of the day or night. The chief eunuch also had the position of chief of the corps of halberdiers, guarding the harem.
Who first got to the throne, he and the Sultan
From the 16th century, the main harem of the Ottoman Empire was located in the historical center of Istanbul, in the Topkapi Palace.He was transferred there from the Tiled Pavilion, where it existed earlier, at the request of the omnipresent Roksolana, who wanted to “be closer to her husband.” In the back half of the palace there was always a choir of children's voices. Their mothers could be happy - they stood out, succeeded. But now their dreams could have gone further: what if it became possible to become a Valide Sultan? And I must say, these hopes were not entirely groundless. Although formally the eldest of the sons became the heir to the throne, in fact, any of them had the right to claim the throne. So the struggle between the mothers was serious.
Until 1607, the empire did not have a clear law of succession. Quickness solved the matter: the ruler was the one who, after the death of his father, was the first to reach the palace, change the guard and take possession of the treasury. Here the sports ended and the murder began: the relatives were not going to give up so easily. Rodney had a lot of each (Murad III, for example, had more than a hundred children), and the bloodshed could go on forever. Mehmed II (1451–1481) decided to transfer the matter to a legal course. His decree not only allowed, but also ordered the new sultan to exterminate all male relatives.What did not fail, for example, to take advantage of his grandson Selim I, who deprived the life of two brothers, three sons and four nephews. Since the blood of the Ottomans was considered sacred, the princes preferred to choke.
In 1617, the law became more humane: the potential heirs to the throne were not killed, but locked up in special premises of the Topkapi Palace - kafes (cells). The conclusion has often been lifelong.