Beshir Agha : chief eunuch of the Ottoman imperial harem /
Jane Hathaway.
Oxford : Oneworld, c2005.
xv,131 p. : ill., map ; 22 cm.
geographic term
personal subject
More Details
Oxford : Oneworld, c2005.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 123-124) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Jane Hathaway is Associate Professor of Islamic and World History, Ohio State University
Long Description
An exploration of the legacy of El-Hajj Beshir, Chief Eunuch of the Ottoman Imperial Harem in the early 18th century, and a highly influential proponent of the Hanafi legal rite.
Main Description
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.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. x
Note on transliterationp. xi
Introductionp. xii
Preliminaries: Elite Slavery and Household Membershipp. 1
Elite slavery in Islamic societiesp. 1
Household politics and patron-client tiesp. 4
Eunuchs in Historical Perspectivep. 7
Eunuchs in antiquityp. 7
Eunuchs in medieval Islamic empiresp. 8
Eunuchs under the Mamluk sultanatep. 9
Eunuchs under the Ottomansp. 11
Beshir Agha's Originsp. 17
Ottoman Abyssiniap. 17
Enslavement and castrationp. 18
Post-castration conditionsp. 21
Sale in Cairop. 23
The political culture of Ottoman Egyptp. 23
Ismail Beyp. 25
Early Years in the Palacep. 29
Sultan's companionp. 30
The sultan's motherp. 31
The "Edirne Incident" (1703)p. 34
Harem treasurerp. 35
Exile in Cyprus and Egyptp. 39
Cyprusp. 39
Egyptp. 40
Chief of the Tomb Eunuchs in Medinap. 45
Shi'ismp. 45
Medinap. 47
The mosque of the Prophetp. 48
The tomb of the Prophetp. 49
The tomb eunuchsp. 51
Relations with Medina's and Egypt's notablesp. 57
Chief Eunuch of the Topkapi Palace Haremp. 59
Return to Istanbulp. 59
Return to the haremp. 60
Vizier makerp. 63
Nevshehirli Ibrahim Pashap. 63
The Tulip Erap. 64
The Book of Festivalsp. 65
Beshir Agha During the Reign of Mahmud Ip. 69
The Patrona Halil rebellion, 1730p. 69
Mahmud I (r, 1730-54)p. 71
Beshir Agha and the Arab Provincesp. 75
The pilgrimage caravan and the governorship of Damascusp. 75
Beshir Agha and Egypt's grandeesp. 78
Beshir Agha's Libraries and Pious Foundationsp. 85
Librariesp. 85
Holdings of Beshir Agha's library outside the palacep. 88
Other librariesp. 94
Foundationsp. 95
Conclusionp. 102
Beshir Agha's Death and Burialp. 103
Funeral and burialp. 103
Beshir Agha's tombp. 105
Beshir Agha's Legacy Through the Lens of Ottoman "Decline"p. 107
Morah Beshir Aghap. 107
Chief harem eunuchs and grand viziers in the post-Beshir erap. 108
Beshir Agha and the question of Ottoman "decline"p. 109
Conclusionp. 113
Sources on Beshir Aghap. 115
Primary sourcesp. 115
Secondary sourcesp. 118
Works citedp. 123
Indexp. 125
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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