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.Beshir Agha (c. 1657-1746) was the most powerful Chief Harem Eunuch in the history of the Ottoman Empire.
|Publisher||:||Oneworld Publications Limited - 2005|