Beshir Agha

Pages: 160
Subject: Religion: Islam
Series: Makers of the Muslim World
Imprint: Oneworld Academic
Illustrations: Illustrations, maps

Beshir Agha

Chief Eunuch of the Ottoman Imperial Harem

Jane Hathaway

Explores the life of the most powerful Chief Harem Eunich in the History of the Ottoman empire.
9781851683901 (22 Feb 2006)
RRP £25.00 / US$30.00

The Book

This book explores the life of el-Hajj Beshir Agha (ca. 1657-1746), 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, el-Hajj Beshir became one of hundreds of East African eunuchs who inhabited the imperial palace's enormous harem. Rising through the ranks to become harem treasurer by 1707, he eventually oversaw the educations of crown princes and harem women whilst choosing and deposing a long series of grand viziers. Wielding unparallelled power and influence over the empire, the libraries that he founded throughout the region helped to shape the religious and intellectual profile of the Ottoman state.

Additional Information

Subject Religion: Islam
Series Makers of the Muslim World
Pages 160
Imprint Oneworld Academic
Illustrations Illustrations, maps


About the Author

Jane Hathaway is Associate Professor of Islamic and world history, Ohio State University.