Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Servants of the DynastyPalace Women in World History$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Anne Walthall

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520254435

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520254435.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 02 July 2022

Beyond Harem Walls: Ottoman Royal Women and the Exercise of Power

Beyond Harem Walls: Ottoman Royal Women and the Exercise of Power

(p.81) 4 Beyond Harem Walls: Ottoman Royal Women and the Exercise of Power
Servants of the Dynasty

Leslie P. Peirce

University of California Press

For roughly 100 years, from the mid-sixteenth to the mid-seventeenth centuries, women of the Ottoman royal family exercised so much influence on the political life of the empire that this period is often referred to, in both scholarly and popular writing, as “the sultanate of women.” This period is notable for the important role acquired by dynastic women, the queen mother in particular, in the symbolics of sovereignty: the ceremonial demonstrations of imperial legitimacy and the patronage of artistic production. The standard historical treatment of this salience of the imperial harem in Ottoman politics views it, in the framework of the Islamic polity and Islamic society, as an illegitimate exercise of power. This chapter corrects certain misconceptions regarding harems in the Ottoman Empire and explores the networks through which royal women in this gender-segregated society exercised power in the world beyond the walls of the harem.

Keywords:   Ottoman Empire, royal women, power, harems, politics, networks, queen mother

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.