@ottomanladies
the sultanate of women

history blog all about ottoman (imperial) ladies | this is not an MY/MY:K blog | askbox is closed for the time being

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2021-07-27 21:36:23

    (OTTOMAN) WOMENS HISTORY MEME | 5 royal mothers: Ayşe Gülbahar, mother of Selim I

    From her lowly status as a slave, Gülbahar had risen to the top of the imperial structure with her successful governance of Trabzon. In her late thirties and early forties during her years there, she was a powerful figure of provincial rule. She held audiences almost weekly, where all bowed to her. With her high-arching eyebrows like angular hats over her dark, deep-set eyes, she shot daggers at those who prostrated in deference to her. Yet she knew that her administrative authority would soon wane, since the older Selim grew, the less important she would become. If he became sultan, her role as adviser would be diminished by the retinue of imperial functionaries. If he did not, either he would be killed or he would be given some other position in the bureaucracy, a position in which his mother would likely have little or no influence. So, in many ways, she ran Trabzon as her capital city. –  Alan Mikhail, God’s Shadow: Sultan Selim, His Ottoman Empire, and the Making of the Modern World

    (OTTOMAN) WOMEN'S HISTORY MEME | 5 royal mothers: Gülruh, mother of Şehzade Alemah

    Mothers of princes were responsible for the proper behavior of their sons in their provincial posts. The potential difficulties of this task are vividly illustrated in a letter to Bayezid II from Gülruh Khatun, one of his concubines and mother of the prince Alemșah. In the letter she responds to the sultan’s instruction that she look to the conduct—obviously unsatisfactory—of her son. The letter begins, “My fortune-favored sultan, you instructed me to discipline my son. Since then... I have done everything I can to preserve order...” She goes on to present her case against seven members of her son’s suite—including his tutor (lala), his doctor, and his preceptor—to whom she attributes responsibility for the problems. Leslie P. Peirce,The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire

    (OTTOMAN) WOMENS HISTORY MEME | 5 royal mothers: Mahidevran, mother of Şehzade Mustafa

    Wherever he was, Mustafa was accompanied by his mother Mahidevran. Like Roxelana and countless others, Mahidevran had begun her career in enslavement and conversion to Islam. Her Ottoman name meant “moon of good fortune.” But unlike Roxelana, whose Ruthenian origins were a matter of consensus, Mahidevran’s roots were less certain. She was variously said to be from Albania, Montenegro, Circassia, or the Crimea. Perhaps opportunistically, Venetian ambassadors in the 1520s asserted her Albanian and Montenegrin identities, with the implication that she had been abducted from Venetian-controlled territory on the eastern Adriatic coast (it could be useful if an ex-national rose to the top ranks of power). But in the 1550s, consensus on Mahidevran’s origins would shift to the Black Sea region. The Hapsburg ambassador Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq reported that she was Crimean and the Venetian Bernardo Navagero that she was Circassian.
    Mustafa must have been Mahidevran’s first (and only) child, for she appears to have had no daughters. “Her whole pleasure is this [child],” commented Bragadin in his brief mention of her. When Mustafa, having come of age, took up his apprenticeship in the provinces in 1533, Mahidevran would continue to win praise, now as a wise counselor to her son. — Peirce, Empress of the East: How a European Slave Girl Became Queen of the O
    ttoman Empire

    (OTTOMAN) WOMENS HISTORY MEME | 5 royal mothers: Tîr-i Müjgân, mother of Abdülhamid II

    My grandmother, the lady Tîrimüjgân Kadınefendi, gave birth to two princes and one princess. Her first child was Princess Naime, who died of smallpox at the age of two and a half in March 1843. Papa was her second child, while her third was Prince Mehmed Âbid, who died in May 1848 around the age of one month. Papa named my sister Princess Naime and my brother Prince Mehmed Âbid after these siblings of his.  The Imperial Consort Tîrimüjgân was known among the long-serving kalfas at the palace for her refinement, her politeness, and her beauty. Those who knew her said she had hazel green eyes, quite long, light brown hair, white, translucent skin, and a slender figure, thin waist, and lovely hands and feet. The old Circassian kalfas at the palace—who came from the same region as she—said she belonged to the Shapsug clan, and Papa used to say about the Shapsug girls, “My mother’s people. — Ayşe Osmanoğlu, My father, Sultan Abdülhamid

    (OTTOMAN) WOMEN'S HISTORY MEME | 5 royal mothers: Tîr-i Müjgân, mother of Abdülhamid II

    My grandmother, the lady Tîrimüjgân Kadınefendi, gave birth to two princes and one princess. Her first child was Princess Naime, who died of smallpox at the age of two and a half in March 1843. Papa was her second child, while her third was Prince Mehmed Âbid, who died in May 1848 around the age of one month. Papa named my sister Princess Naime and my brother Prince Mehmed Âbid after these siblings of his.  The Imperial Consort Tîrimüjgân was known among the long-serving kalfas at the palace for her refinement, her politeness, and her beauty. Those who knew her said she had hazel green eyes, quite long, light brown hair, white, translucent skin, and a slender figure, thin waist, and lovely hands and feet. The old Circassian kalfas at the palace—who came from the same region as she—said she belonged to the Shapsug clan, and Papa used to say about the Shapsug girls, “My mother’s people. — Ayşe Osmanoğlu, My father, Sultan Abdülhamid

    (OTTOMAN) WOMENS HISTORY MEME | 5 royal mothers: Mahidevran, mother of Şehzade Mustafa

    Wherever he was, Mustafa was accompanied by his mother Mahidevran. Like Roxelana and countless others, Mahidevran had begun her career in enslavement and conversion to Islam. Her Ottoman name meant “moon of good fortune.” But unlike Roxelana, whose Ruthenian origins were a matter of consensus, Mahidevran’s roots were less certain. She was variously said to be from Albania, Montenegro, Circassia, or the Crimea. Perhaps opportunistically, Venetian ambassadors in the 1520s asserted her Albanian and Montenegrin identities, with the implication that she had been abducted from Venetian-controlled territory on the eastern Adriatic coast (it could be useful if an ex-national rose to the top ranks of power). But in the 1550s, consensus on Mahidevran’s origins would shift to the Black Sea region. The Hapsburg ambassador Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq reported that she was Crimean and the Venetian Bernardo Navagero that she was Circassian.
    Mustafa must have been Mahidevran’s first (and only) child, for she appears to have had no daughters. “Her whole pleasure is this [child],” commented Bragadin in his brief mention of her. When Mustafa, having come of age, took up his apprenticeship in the provinces in 1533, Mahidevran would continue to win praise, now as a wise counselor to her son. — Peirce, Empress of the East: How a European Slave Girl Became Queen of the O
    ttoman Empire

    (OTTOMAN) WOMEN'S HISTORY MEME | 5 royal mothers: Ayşe Gülbahar, mother of Selim I

    From her lowly status as a slave, Gülbahar had risen to the top of the imperial structure with her successful governance of Trabzon. In her late thirties and early forties during her years there, she was a powerful figure of provincial rule. She held audiences almost weekly, where all bowed to her. With her high-arching eyebrows like angular hats over her dark, deep-set eyes, she shot daggers at those who prostrated in deference to her. Yet she knew that her administrative authority would soon wane, since the older Selim grew, the less important she would become. If he became sultan, her role as adviser would be diminished by the retinue of imperial functionaries. If he did not, either he would be killed or he would be given some other position in the bureaucracy, a position in which his mother would likely have little or no influence. So, in many ways, she ran Trabzon as her capital city. --  Alan Mikhail, God's Shadow: Sultan Selim, His Ottoman Empire, and the Making of the Modern World

    𝐇𝐀𝐒𝐊𝐈 𝐒𝐋𝐓𝐀𝐍𝐒: Hatice Muazzez

    "Haseki-i sani" (Second haseki) of Sultan İbrahim, mother of Ahmed II. Hatice Muazzez was also called Hatice Sultan. Her nationality, place, and date of birth are unknown. The oldest document, dated 9 August 1642, containing her name, is a order of Sultan İbrahim to bring goods from the Tersane Mansion to furnish her room in the Harem. It can be estimated that "Haseki-i Sani Hatice Muazzez" was 18-20 years old when she gave birth to İbrahim's third prince, Ahmed. In the History of Naima it is stated that she is the second haseki of Sultan İbrahim, and on 6 Zilhijce 1052 (February 25, 1643), "Haseki-i sani Mu'azzez Hanım was delivered of a prince named Sultan Ahmed to His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim". -- Necdet Sakaoğlu, Bu Mülkün Kadın Sultanları 

    𝙤𝙩𝙩𝙤𝙢𝙖 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙨𝙤𝙧𝙩𝙨: Murad IV

    As with Osman, very little is known about the concubines of his brother Murad IV, principally because neither sultan left sons who survived their father's death to reach the throne, thereby bringing their mothers to public attention as valide sultan. Privy purse registers record the presence of a single haseki, Ayşe, until the very end of Murad's seventeen-year reign. when a second haseki appears. It is possible that Murad had only a single concubine until the advent of the second, or that he had a number of concubines but singled out only one as haseki. — Peirce, The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire

    𝐇𝐀𝐒𝐊𝐈 𝐒𝐔𝐋𝐓𝐀𝐍𝐒: Turhan Hatice

    The last of the great valide sultans of this period, Turhan Sultan, had in some ways been a weak candidate: spurned by her spouse Ibrahim and dominated by her mother-in-law Kosem, she had been haseki in name only. Moreover, when she became valide sultan, she was a very young woman rather than a female elder. — Leslie P. Peirce, The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire

    𝙤𝙩𝙩𝙤𝙢𝙖 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙨𝙤𝙧𝙩𝙨: Osman II

    "Osman became sultan at the age of 14 and was killed at the age of 18. Since he was almost a child and ruled for a short time, there is not much information about his Hasekis" — M. Çağatay Uluçay, Padişahların Kadınları ve Kızları

    Alliances within the Ottoman Imperial harem -- requested by anon

    anonymous

    Can you tell me about Rabia Sultan (ahmed II’s consort)? Did she had a rank of haseki? Did ahmed II only had one consort (rabia sultan) or had another? Who’s ahmed II’s children?

    You can read about Ahmed II's children here, and here there's a gifset about Rabia under which I wrote everything we know about her.

    Unfortunately, there is not much information about her.

    By the way, this is her tag on the blog: here

    Rabia was the last haseki sultan of the Ottoman empire.

    anonymous

    Whats your review on Yilmaz Oztuna"s "Uc haseki sultan"? Is it OK to quote it in argument ?

    Mmh I read parts of it because when I read that he considers Mehmed Safiye's eldest child I was like: ugh.

    It's not academia but I still found some interesting bits like Turhan's tenure as Haseki, about which we don't know much.

    This is not what you asked but I was very disappointed when I found out that there were no genealogies at the end of the book, like in his others about men. It would have been interesting to see which children he would attribute to each of the three hasekis.

    anonymous

    actually where did mustafa stayed? According to borehkci, he stayed in eski saray after the killing of his own brother. Is he returned to kafe during his brothers(ahmed) saltanate? And if so how often Halime could see his son?

    Well yes because Halime was banished from Topkapi for her involvement so Mustafa went with her because he was too little (he may have been born as late as 1602, according to Karaçelebizade-- I think he may have been born around 1600, 1602 seems a little late tbh).

    That Handan took him on carriage rides, though, makes me think that he was transferred to Topkapi on Ahmed I's accession to keep him away from his mother— after all, Handan knew Halime very well.

    I have no idea how often Halime could visit him.

    anonymous

    Were there contexts where Hurrem and Ibrahim would’ve socialized in-person? Or would they only ever know each other through proxies and letters? I guess this relates to Q I sent way back about how much male-interaction a harem woman would have in practice. Did these gender segregation customs shift at all with the Sultante of Women?

    I thought I had already answered a similar question but I can't find it.

    Anyways, about Hürrem and Pargalı İbrâhîm Paşa in particular: İbrâhîm was surprisingly elevated to Grand Vizier in 1523. Before that, he had been Süleyman's chamberlain and the man physically closest to him so he may have probably met her when she resided in Topkapi before getting pregnant. Also, there's the claim that it was him who presented Hürrem to Süleyman; if this was the case, they certainly met each other.

    There's also the letter Hürrem sent to Süleyman when he was at war in 1526:

    “An explanation has been requested for why I am angry at the pasha, God-willing, if it becomes possible to speak in person, it will be heard. At present, we still send greetings to the pasha, may he accept them.” — Peirce, Empress of the East

    The way she talked about İbrâhîm... it makes me think that they were quite "intimate" with each other— that they met periodically, at least.

    (I wonder what she told Süleyman when he came home lol)

    Of course, when Rüstem was Grand Vizier, Hürrem would meet him when she visited Mihrimah in her palace (or in Topkapi as well when he was there)

    I don't know if the interactions changed over time, but I think that Handan meeting the Grand Vizier in the harem at night may have not been an innovation. I think other consorts — the "great" ones like Hürrem, Nurbanu and Safiye — may have met pashas like that (most certainly not in the Imperial harem but somewhere else, like in one of the other palaces in Istanbul). There were certainly more interactions between consorts/mothers and viziers from Hürrem's time onwards.

    anonymous

    gevherhan sultan, daughter of ahmed i, was married to okuz kara mehmed pasha and after his death, to topal recep pasha. is this true? and if it is, why does murad iv's wiki page tell that gevherhan sultan was married to kara mustafa pasha when he was married to ayse sultan, daughter of ahmed i and her older [or younger?] sister? also, i've seen some claims that gevherhan sultan was wedded to kemankes kara mustafa pasha by valide kosem sultan to form a political alliance in the reign of ibrahim i as the pasha was a grand vizier? who did gevherhan sultan's daughter, safiye sultan, marry? and why is her title that of a sultan when her title should be hanimsultan? it can't be the same case as mihrimah sultan and her daughter ayse humasah sultan because their power is incomparable. also, how and where did gevherhan sultan die? wikipedia says she was strangled by turhan sultan? this is all too confusing lol sorry if i asked too many questions.

    Gevherhan's husbands were — as far as we know it — Sadrazam Dâmâd Silâhdar Kara Öküz Mehmed Paşa and, later, Sadrazam Dâmâd Topal Hâin Receb Paşa.

    I don't know why Murad IV's wikipedia page says that Dâmâd Kara Mustafa Paşa was Gevherhan's husband, I'm not the one curating it.

    Kemankeş Kara Mustafa Paşa is never mentioned as damad in any source; on the contrary, the Venetian ambassador says he has a very small harem (which he couldn't have had if he was married to a princess) and that he had only a son alive at the moment.

    Safiyye Hanım-Sultân married Sadrazam Siyâvuş Paşa in 1644.

    Mmh but she is not called Safiye Sultan? Naima calls her "the daughter of Gevherhan Sultan and Receb Paşa, Safiye Hanım"

    Gevherhan disappears from any record after 1632, when her second husband was executed. We don't know if she was alive when her daughter got married, when she died or how she died.