The Harem: Inside the Grand Seraglio of the Turkish Sultans

Overview


For nearly four centuries, the Ottoman sultans dwelt amid the secret splendors of Topkapi Palace. Access to the Grand Seraglio--which served as the empire's administrative, legislative, and judicial center and an academy of fine arts, as well as the ruler's home--was jealously guarded, even after the sultans ceased to reside there in the mid-nineteenth century. In 1936, a distinguished scholar of Orientalism, Norman Mosley Penzer (1892-1960), was afforded a rare opportunity to step inside the Grand Seraglio; in ...
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The The Harem: Inside the Grand Seraglio of the Turkish Sultans Harem

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Overview


For nearly four centuries, the Ottoman sultans dwelt amid the secret splendors of Topkapi Palace. Access to the Grand Seraglio--which served as the empire's administrative, legislative, and judicial center and an academy of fine arts, as well as the ruler's home--was jealously guarded, even after the sultans ceased to reside there in the mid-nineteenth century. In 1936, a distinguished scholar of Orientalism, Norman Mosley Penzer (1892-1960), was afforded a rare opportunity to step inside the Grand Seraglio; in this eagerly embraced and much-consulted volume, he reveals what he found.
Constructed between 1459 and 1465 at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Topkapi Palace stands in present-day Istanbul, near the confluence of the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn, and the Marmara Sea. Penzer surveyed the entire palace from end to end during numerous visits over the course of two years, and he presents photographs and floor plans that provide a comprehensive view of Topkapi's structure. Penzer's illustrations of the opulent gardens, chambers, and pavilions come to imaginative life with his explorations of day-to-day palace life--particularly among the women of the harem and their eunuch guards. His evocative accounts of the manners, dress, and politics of Turkish court life continue to influence the scholarly work of the twenty-first century, and this classic history remains indispensable to studies of harem life.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486440040
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 5/13/2005
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 501,721
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Introductory
Previous Accounts of the Seraglio
The History of Seraglio Hill, its Walls and Kiosks
The First Court
The Second Court, or Court of the Divan
The Black Eunuchs
The Harem--I
The Harem--II
The Selamlik
The Baths
The Third Court
The Fourth Court
Index
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