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Identify this
Ottoman Age personalities -- Bloody Mary, Queen of England (r.1553-1558)
Ottoman Age monarch...
In Turkey - Türkiye'de
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Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire
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In Turkey - Türkiye'de

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Sultans and Concubines and Eunuchs, oh my...!

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Ottoman Empire Index
or the
Encyclopedia Sources Page.

Term Meaning Comments
(Stefano di Firenze)
1509 -- 1605

"When I was very young, everyone except my father called me by my European Christian name, Stefano -- Stefano di Firenze. And even my father would wait until we were quite alone before using my Ottoman Muslim name, Habibullah -- Habi for short. He said it was safer that way."

Rare bas-relief of Habibullah at 75...
when he began documenting
his lifetime of mystery and adventure

Flawed hero of "Habibullah at the Ottoman Court" (The Stefano di Firenze Memoirs), an adventure/mystery series set in the court of Süleyman I (The Magnificent), the mid-16th Century Ottoman Turkish Sultan. Habibullah is a foreign-language interpreter for the Sultan's Imperial Council -- who solves mysteries in his spare time. In both these endeavors, he calls on his talent for languages (Latin and eight of the European dialects [including English which he learned from his coveted copy of The Canterbury Tales] -- plus Osmanlıca, pure Turkish, Persian, and Arabic) and, also, on his interests in poisons, mathematics, ciphers and code-breaking. But Habi isn't perfect (being a direct-line descendent of Nasreddin Hoca, the venerable Turkish folk-hero), so he tries to hide his dependence on what he calls "comforters" [rahatlatmalar] behind a pious Orthodox Muslim poker-face at court -- while he practices an oddball mixture of heterodox beliefs everywhere else.
In one of his earliest pre-Topkapı Palace 'cases', the pubescent 11-year-old Habi meets a beautiful English 'older woman' -- the juicy 13-year-old Anne Bullen (Anne Boleyn) -- in 1520 at the summit between Henry VIII and Francis I at The Field of the Cloth of Gold. Habi, Anne, and a 17-year-old Michel de Nostredame (Nostradamus) together try to ameliorate the tensions that arise between the two monarchs during their historic meeting (in the same year as Süleyman, The Magnificent's ascension). But, the crafty Cardinal Wolsey thwarts the young team's efforts...
In the fraternal battle for the Ottoman throne which ensued after Sultan Mehmed II, The Conqueror's death, Haydar (who would later father, Habibullah) supported Prince Cem. When Cem lost in his bid for the sultanate against his brother Bayezid II, Haydar fled with Cem in 1482 to Rhodes/France/Rome. Subsequently, Cem became the glorified guest (actually a prisoner and a pawn) of the Europeans -- and Haydar along with him. In 1494, the French King Charles VIII took possession of Cem (and his entourage) in Rome from Pope Innocent VIII. On an expedition against Naples with the King, Cem was taken ill and died of apparently natural causes in that city on February 25th, 1495. Or was he poisoned there by an agent of the Pope or of Bayezid? (See "Habibullah and the Death in Naples" in which our hero determines the truth -- 40 years after the fact.) After Prince Cem's demise, Haydar was seized by the Neapolitans, renamed Lorenzo, and forced to accept Christianity (it was that or an infidel's death in Italy -- or a traitor's death at Bayezid's command in Constantinople). But despite his religious 'conversion', Haydar remained a secret Muslim. After some years in his new life (as a Court Interpreter for the 'Other Side', whereby he was able to refine his Latin and to add several European dialects to his language repertoire), Haydar became lonely and homesick and began to make his way slowly back by land to Turkey. But he only got as far a Florence. There he was smitten by a pretty young Christian girl barely in her teens. Haydar married Maria Angelica in 1508 (he was 58 and she was 13!) -- and their only child Stefano (Habibullah) was born in 1509 in Florence. Stefano was raised a public Christian -- and a private Muslim, as the backstair Habibullah. This was all in accordance with Islamic law which permits a Muslim in distress to hide his true religious affiliation. From a very early age, Stefano's precocious intelligence was apparent and his father sought the brightest intellects of the Florence for his young prodigy. The attractive 'boy genius' soon became fast friends with Benvenuto Cellini (see also, Cellini and Diego). And through the Medici Family, he came to know Michelangelo (1475-1564), Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), and, even, the notorious (and not well-liked by the Medici family) Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) -- often travelling with them on foreign missions. During these trips he improved and added further to his 'stock' of languages (which soon included German, Spanish, Hungarian, and some Serbo-Croat too!). When Haydar (Lorenzo), once more missed his homeland (at age 76 in 1526), he took his family in tow (without mentioning the intended destination) and set off for Turkey again. The little family got as far as Mohacs field in Hungary on August 29th. There they were swept up in the periphery of the battle that the Turks (led by Sultan Süleyman, the Magnificent) won handily in just two hours, and Haydar and family were captured. Haydar escaped the ax when he loudly proclaimed his Muslim religion to his captors -- first in Turkish, then in Arabic and Persian (just to be sure that someone understood him). And when Sultan Süleyman learned of young Stefano's language and learning skills -- and of his Muslim roots -- then wheels began to turn...
hacThe Haj (Hadj).
Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, the theoretical 'duty' of every good Muslim (who can afford it and who is not disabled) -- once in a lifetime.
Hacivat See Karagöz...  
hadım a eunuch 
(Also seen as Hadis-i)

A saying attributed to
the Prophet Muhammad (Mohammed). 9
A saying believed to have been spoken by the Prophet Mohammed. All good Muslims believe in the Koran (Kuran) as the primary source of spiritual guidance. It's quite a bit more difficult to get them to agree on the Hadith. These sayings attributed to the Prophet Mohammed were compiled at different times -- long after his death -- and by different scholars. Still, the one at left is interesting...
"Verily they will conquer Constantinople. Truly their commander will be an excellent one!"
Doesn't that sound a lot like Mehmed II, The Conqueror? Well, he sure thought so...
Someone who knows the Holy Koran by heart.  
Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya),
'Devine Wisdom'
(Church of St. Sofia or Santa Sofia)

Hagia Sophia in the 19th Century12
Construction was begun by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine I and finished by his son Constantius, between 325-360 A.D. Upon capturing Constantinople in 1453, Mehmed II, The Conqueror went there first to give thanks to God. He turned the Church into a Mosque (see cami) and it remained so until 1934.

Right click to 'View' or 'Zoom' image enlargement...

Example of a 17th Century Turkish rug.80

A [Turkish] rug.
See also halıcı.
halıcı A [Turkish] rug merchant. See also halı. Enter the world of a modern Turkish rug merchant...
halife Caliph, chief Muslim civil and religious ruler;
the representative of Muhammad.
The concept of the Caliph/Caliphate was abolished in 1923 by Ataturk (when he formed the modern Turkish Republic from the ruins of the Islamic Ottoman Empire) -- and it knows no current day equivalent. The 'post' of Muslim Caliph was equivalent to the past and present Christian Catholic Pope.
Halıç The Golden Horn One of the bodies of water that Topkapı Palace overlooks. The other two are The Bosphorus (Bogğazici) and the Sea of Marmara (Marmara Deniz).
halvet (from Arabic) A state (or place) of solitude in a place of ease. This sounded 'Retreat'. A warning call that the Sultan wished to walk about with his ladies.

Harem women amuse themselves by the pool
by J. Leon Gerome (19th Century)
A figment of the artist's imagination...
Ottoman Public/Private bathes. A room (often with a dome) for having a steam and hot-water bath. Usually vaulted and paved with marble.
Hamam Yolu A corridor leading to the hamam in the palace.  
hançer A small sharp dagger.  
hanım sultan The Sultan's mother, literally means 'Lady Sultana'. Also see 'Valide'.
hapishaneA prison.
Also see cezaevi.
Abdurrahman Nüreddin Paşa was an early 20th Century Ottoman prison reformer.

Right click the map to 'View Image' enlargement...7

The section of the Palace reserved for the female population. The word itself is Arabic -- meaning 'thing that is forbidden'. Once while touring the Palace, our Harem guide explained that his father's friend had maintained a 'harem' in his home, well into the 1950's. An American woman displayed 'a wild surmise' at the news. We wondered if she'd ever been to Salt Lake City..?
harem ağası (or haremağası) a black eunuch in the sultan's palace
A black eunuch
with some 'members'
of the sultan's harem
circa 192296
black eunuch - 1922
Click directly on the image
for image enlargement...

Harem Çamaşirlik A room used as the Harem laundry.  
Harema Ağalar Dairesi Apartments of the black eunuchs.  
Harem-i-Hümayun The Imperial Harem  
Haramgah An archaic term for harem.  
haremlik An area of the Harem; the place reserved exclusively for the women, the sultan, eunuchs, and family members.  
harim An archaic term for harem.  
Has Fırın Camii (c.1615) The Palace Baker's Privy Mosque (see cami). Used to be in the First Courtyard on the right in Topkapı Palace.
has oda başı A special ward of the sultan's court and chief of the sultan's privy chamber; this title was the first of its kind and the sultan used it as one of his most important ways to bestow favor on someone -- in gratitude for a 'job well done'. The title was first established during the reign of Mehmed The Conqueror and lasted until the end of the 17th century.52
As soon as Süleyman The Magnificent ascended to the throne he made his boyhood chum, Ibrahim, the 'has oda başı' with authority over other court wards (no more than about 40 at a time) whose officers were called 'silahdar', 'çuhadar', 'rikadar', 'tülbent gulamı' (garment slave) and 'miftah gulamı' (key slave)...
At the palace, the 'has oda başı' was charged with dressing and undressing the padishah for ceremonies, and whereever the sultan went, he followed. In the 16th century, the 'job' paid 60 to 70 akçes per year. Also every year, the ward received five suits of clothes and at Ramazan he received two bonuses (not exceeding 400 akçe in total) -- and prayers were said in his honor. Besides this, a 'has oda başı' received additional 'comfort' payments each year -- at the expense of 300 European vassal dukes...52
Haseki "Favorite" the principal concubine of the Sultan.
Haseki sultan an official wife of the Sultan.  
Hastalar Kapısı Gate of the Sick  
Hastalar usta chief nurse  
hat handwriting; calligraphy
See below for further information, including examples of different varieties of hat.
Ottoman hat was usually (if not always) religious in nature.
The hat arts were 'officially' forbidden to women during the Ottoman Age, and the prohibition seems to have carried over into 'modern' times.
hattatAn [Islamic] calligrapher. 

A famous Ottoman 'hattat'
Abdülmecid I -- Calligraphying Sultan

Right click to 'View' or 'Zoom' image enlargement...

Abdülmecid I --
an 1840 portrait of the sensitive Sultan...
Sultan Abdülmecid I was born at Topkapı Palace in 1823, and was the son of Mahmud II and Valide Sultan Bezmialem (Bezm-i Alem). He was a sensitive and artistic lad of just sixteen years when he ascended the throne in 1839. But his sensitivities eventually got the better of him and he died 'in his prime' at the age of thirty-eight (after 22 years of enlightened though ineffective rule) -- of suicidal self-indulgence. In addition to calligraphy, he was also interested in music. He patronized and learned to play Western (as well as Turkish) music and the piano. His calligraphic style reflected the teachings of Mahmud Celaleddin -- he learned sülüs and celi calligraphy from Tahir Efendi, Mahmud Celaleddin's best pupil, but it is not known from whom he learned the rık'a style. Examples of his work may be seen below and at the entries for celi, sülüs, and nesih.78
Right click to 'View' or 'Zoom' image enlargement...

"God is the best protector and the most merciful of the merciful."
A work from the mid-1800s by Sultan Abdülmecid I
in the sülüs calligraphic style.78
hattatlıkThe [Islamic] profession of calligrapher, calligraphy.The styles of Islamic calligraphy bear such names as: celi, nesih, sülüs, and talik.
hatun lady In early Ottoman times, wives of the sultan were addressed with this 'title'.
  • an Ottoman official who collected arrears of state revenue
  • an Ottoman official who collected rentals that were due, on Imperial properties
  • a legitimate money order; bill of exchange; letter of credit; money transfer system -- used to transfer money from one party to another party through a third party (or parties). For example, an Ottoman trader in Cairo (the first party) could send his partner in Istanbul (the second party) the proceeds from the sale of a consignment of Turkish rugs -- via havale through local merchant-banks in both cities (third-parties), for a small fee/commission. And, neither the trader nor his partner needed to have accounts at either of the banks. The trader and his partner just presented simple identification-papers at the sending/receiving banks, to enable the money transfer. Note: this system is still 'alive and well' within the borders of the modern Turkish Republic.
  • a virtually untraceable underground money (or 'goods') transfer system, often linked to modern-day money-laundering activities. Known as the hawala system, it was originated in the orient during Ottoman centuries -- but its use gradually spread throughout the rest of the world, where it continues to thrive in modern times. An hawala agent needs no particular financial credentials, just a reputation for 'customer satisfaction' (judged in terms of transaction secrecy, speed, and convenience). And, his underground 'bank' may be nothing more than a stall in an obscure covered-bazaar somewhere on the outskirts of Casablanca.
As to the underground hawala system, Larry B. Lambert [a California-based 'Asian affairs' consultant] states that it "predates western banking by several centuries and was made popular by Arabic traders who used it as a means of avoiding robbery."

Why Osama bin Ladin and his Al Qaida terrorist organization don't need the traditional banking system...
It's because they can use the hawala system.
Let's say that you're an illegal drugs supplier working for Al Qaida (the first party) in Afghanistan and I represent a Los Angeles crime-syndicate (the second party) that wants to purchase 500 kilos of your raw opium (at $5,000 a kilo), for cut-processing and then resale on LA's 'mean streets'. For obvious reasons, I don't want to send you $2,500,000 through the traditional banking system, so I contact an LA hawala agent (the third party) and tell him to get his 'cousin' in Afghanistan to arrange the deal. When the deal is set, I give a $2.5M cash payment (plus a 10% agent's commission) to the LA hawala agent -- who simply books it to Al Qaida's credit account, which the agent keeps in his head (or in his encrypted account-book as '2.5 meters of fine raw silk'). No money crosses international borders -- but 500 kilos of opium moves from Afghanistan to Los Angeles without leaving a trace in the traditional banking system. And, Al Qaida now has $2.5M dollars in LA -- where the money can be used for 'mischievious' purposes.

Note: The hawala system is also known as the hundi system in India and Pakistan...

havuz (swimming) pool  
Havva See Adem ile Havva  
Hazine Inner Treasury Responsible for the Sultan's personal bills at the Palace.
Haydar Paşa, Koca
1512 -- 1595
Ottoman commander and statesman. Born in Isparta, Turkey (north of Antalya) in the township of Gelendost. Received his early education at a medrese there before going to İstanbul in 1530. He rose to the position of Master Craftsman at the Ottoman shipyard on the Golden Horn (Halıç) -- and under his leadership, the shipyard was transformed into a full-fledged Naval Base. Afterwards, he commanded a Military Regiment in the Hungarian campaign of that time. In 1566, he led the siege of Szigetvár (aka Turkish: Zigetvar, Croatian: Siget, Serbian: Sigetvar), a town in Baranya county of southern Hungary -- and was promoted to 2nd level Vizier. In the same year his forces captured Constanta (aka Turkish: Köstence, Greek: Constantia) in Bulgaria. Subsequently, after ruling over a number of beylerbeyliks in Anatolia, he returned to İstanbul as a first-level Vizier to the Ottoman throne. Koca Haydar Paşa died in battle during a war campaign at Bucherest in 1595 -- at the age of 83.
  • Modern-meanings...
    [a] hooligan, [a] ne'er-do-well, [a] good-for-nothing
  • Ottoman historical meanings...
    [an] armed and mounted guard who escorted a caravan or [an] armed and mounted brigand
Originally, 'hayta' was the name given to Ottoman border soldiers who were famous for their bravery. When the sultan ordered attacks on enemy lands, he wanted his 'hayta' troops in the front lines to spearhead the action. But in cold winter months, the 'hayta' set aside their military duties and became bandits -- which is why the word 'hayta' came to mean ne'er-do-well, good-for-nothing. And that's the meaning that survives today (10Nov02).91
Hazinedar Ağa treasurer of the harem  
Hazinedar Dairesi apartment of the harem's chief treasurer  
hazinedar usta Chief treasurer of the harem.  
hegiraSee hicret. 
Hekimbaşı The Chief Imperial Physician at the Ottoman Palace. Was responsible to ensure high standards of all physicians in the city of Istanbul.
Hekimbaşı Odası apartment of the chief physician  
henna powder used to dye/decorate the hair, nails, hands and feet  
Henry VIII (1491-1547)

the younger...

the older...
Compare Henry VIII with Süleyman I
Compare Henry VIII with Francis I
Compare Henry VIII with Charles V
King of England (1509-1547), House of Tudor, best known for his scandalous married life, Henry was also the self-serving founder of the Church of England. But on a more positive note, he was also the innovative originator of the modern Royal Navy. Nicknamed "Bluff King Hal" by his supporters, 'New Bluebeard' by his detractors. The son of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Father of Edward VI.
In land actions, Henry joined the Holy League (with Pope Julius II, Ferdinand of Spain, and the Doge of Venice 25) against France in 1511, and in 1513 Henry personally and successfully led English forces in northern France, against Louis XII. While Henry was on campaign, an angry King James IV of Scotland, a staunch French ally, declared war and attacked England, but his force was defeated by Henry's forces at Flodden and James was killed (1513). Deserted by his allies, Henry arranged a marriage in 1514 between his sister Mary and Louis XII of France, with whom he formed an alliance. He appointed Cardinal Wolsey to Lord Chancellor (1515) who staged the extravagant encounter between Francis I (French King Louis XII's successor) and Henry at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520 (the year of Sultan Süleyman I's ascension to the Ottoman Throne). Festivities lasted 17 days, but it was only pageantry and England remained neutral for the time being. In 1525 riots broke out in England in protest against Henry's attempt to levy taxes for military purposes, and he withdrew from major military activity in Europe. From 1527 until 1542, he was involved in a bizarre series of marriages, divorces, and executions that coincided with his split with the Papacy. In the process, he formed, and cynically used, the [Protestant] Church of England -- for his own unscrupulous purposes! See next entry for [The Wives of] Henry VIII. Involved with him in the ugly process were Cardinal Wolsey, Sir Thomas More, and Archbishop of Canterbury Cranmer.
As to who gets credit for establishing the Royal Navy? Well, Henry VII may have cleared the way, but Henry VIII designed and constructed of the working battle-fleet prototypes -- and gave the world no less than modern naval warfare. Starting with a hodge-podge of dual-purpose ships, 'Bluff King Hal' molded a dedicated fleet of 90 'ships of the line' -- whose purpose was no less than the "Defense of England" -- from money he confiscated from Church of England coffers. And it was Henry's idea (a first in Naval History) to put 'Great Guns' on the English "round ships". For his highly innovative designs, Henry selected the cannon of a certain Hans Poppenruyter of Meclin who declared that his inventions -- heavy, heavy-shotted muzzle-loaders of gunmetal cast in a mould -- could demolish whole towns. And in a test, Henry proved they could! At first his engineers objected and said 'Great Guns' weren't practical at sea -- because of weight and recoil problems. But when Henry persisted, they found the way around the problem (by redesigning the cargo deck to be a gun deck), and it ushered in the age of the British cannon broadside battle-winner that was to rule the waves for 300 years. For the first time in Naval history, war ships were seen to attack in single file (to easily deliver their broadside blasts) at a far distance from the hopelessly out-dated enemy 'galley ships' of war. And sea battles could be and were won, for the first time too, without 'ramming' or 'boarding' -- although such tactics continued for a century more.37.
Chronology of Events during his lifetime:Upon ascending to English throne at age 18, married Catherine of Aragon (June 11, 1509), widow of his brother Arthur who was aunt of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Engaged in war on continent, joining Holy League against France (1511); personally commanded English troops in victory of battle of the Spurs (Aug. 16, 1513); in England, his troops defeated and killed the French ally James IV of Scotland at Flodden (Sept. 9, 1513). Appointed Cardinal Wolsey lord chancellor (1515). Wolsey staged extraordinary interview between Henry and Francis I of France at the Field of Cloth of Gold (1520). Henry wrote treatise Assertio Septem Sacramentorum (Seven Sacraments against Martin Luther), and received from Pope Leo X (1521) title Fidel Defensor ("Defender of the Faith"). Soon afterwards, Henry involved in conflict with papal power, originating in his wish to divorce Catherine (mother of Queen Mary) ; dismissed Wolsey for failure to procure from pope a decree of divorce, appointing Sir Thomas More chancellor in his stead (1529); on 'advice' of Archbishop of Canterbury Cranmer, secured opinions declaring marriage with Catherine invalid (because she was his deceased brother's wife); thereupon secretly married Anne Boleyn (Jan. 25, 1533), by whom he became father of Queen to-be Elizabeth. Because of continued conflict with papal power, obtained from Parliament the Act of Supremacy, creating a national church separate from Roman Catholic Church and appointing the king protector and sole supreme head of church and clergy of England; executed Sir Thomas More (1535) for refusal to acknowledge royal supremacy; suppressed monasteries in England and confiscated their properties. Beheaded Anne Boleyn on charge of adultery (May 19, 1536); m. Jane Seymour (May 20, 1536; mother of Edward VI; died Oct. 24, 1537); m. Anne of Cleves (Jan. 6, 1540; divorced, 1540); m. Catherine Howard (1540; beheaded on charge of adultery, 1542) ; m. Catherine Parr (July 12, 1543; survived him). During his reign, he unified and centralized administrative power, increased scope of parliamentary powers, and established English Royal Navy. He died in London on January 28, 1547, succeeded by his son, Edward VI.34
[The Wives of] Henry VIII

Henry's Harem...36
Henry married 6 times during his life, but Anne Boleyn was his favorite (for a while, at least). Once, in a "Fervence of Love," he wrote...
Myne awne Sweetheart, this shall be to advertise you of the great ellingness (loneliness) that I find here since your departing, for I ensure you, me thinketh the Tyme longer ... than ... a ... Fortnight; I think your Kindness and my Fervence of Love causeth it, for otherwise I wolde not thought it possible, that for so little a while it should have grieved me, but now that I am comeing toward you, me thinketh my Pains by half released, and also I am right well comforted, insomuch that my Book maketh substantially for my Matter, in writing whereof I have spent above IIII Hours this Day, which caused me now write the shorter Letter to you at this Tyme, because of some Payne in my Head, wishing my self (specially an Evening) in my Sweethearts Armes whose pritty Duckys (breasts) I trust shortly to kysse. Writne with the Hand of him that was, is, and shall be yours by his will, H. R.
Three years later, tired of this love, Henry VIII trumped up charges against Anne B. and had her imprisoned in the Tower, where shortly after her thirtieth year, he had her decapitated.38
Catherine of Aragon (1484-1536) -- First Queen of Henry VIII. Daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. Married to Arthur, Prince of Wales (Henry VIII's brother) in 1501, Arthur died 1502 without consummating the marriage. Through a papal dispensation secured in 1503 she was betrothed to then-Prince Henry. Not married until 1509 giving Henry' father (Henry VII) time to extort new demands from her father. Catherine gave birth to but lost four children (1510-14), successfully delivered Queen-to-be Mary I [aka 'Bloody Mary'] in 1516. In 1526 Henry announced his desire to divorce on the grounds that the original papal dispensation making the marriage possible was invalid. The chief reason for the divorce, however, was that Catherine had failed to produce a male heir. She appeared (1529) before official papal court of Cardinals Campeggio (representing the Pope Clement VII) and Wolsey (representing Henry), after which the Pope denied the divorce. [Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, Catherine's nephew, had strongly opposed the divorce, and that's why Pope Clement, whom Charles had made a prisoner, refused to sanction the divorce.] Abandoned by Henry and separated from her daughter Mary in 1531, she refused to yield title of queen after Archbishop Cranmer's nullification of her marriage (1533). Passed rest of her life in religious devotion, a prisoner, fearing poison. Refused to swear to new act of succession (1534) and dictated last letter of forgiveness to Henry before dying (1536).
Anne Boleyn [also, Anne Bullen] (1507-1536) -- Second Queen of Henry VIII. Her father Sir Thomas Boleyn [Bullen] (1477-1539), Earl of Wiltshire was an English statesman. Attached to service of Queen Claude of France (c1519-1522) became Henry's mistress (1527), married secretly to Henry (1533) whereupon Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon was annulled by Archbishop Cranmer, gave birth to daughter, future Queen Elizabeth I (Sept 1533). Charged with criminal intercourse with several paramours and condemned to death by unanimous vote of an assembly of 26 'peers', beheaded. A feminist (?) historian, Katherine Anthony, says Anne Boleyn "was a spoiled girl...like Marie Antoinette the victim of impotent men. During the 6 years she was holding Henry off, she was abetted by his secret infirmity."
Jane Seymour (1509?-1537?) -- Third Queen of Henry VIII. Lady in waiting to Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, married Henry just days after Anne's death in 1536, died in 1537 after bearing Henry's only legitimate son, Edward, later Edward VI.)
Anne of Cleves (1515-1557) -- Fourth Queen of Henry VIII. Daughter of John, Duke of Cleves, leader of Protestants in Western Germany. Selected by Thomas Cromwell on death of Jane Seymour as wife for Henry, to ally himself with German Protestants against Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (a former ally), married Henry 1540 at Greenwich; marriage annulled by Parliament at Henry's 'request' a few months later. Pensioned and lived happily in England rest of her life, buried in Westminster Abbey.
Catherine Howard (1520?-1542) -- Fifth Queen of Henry VIII. Niece of Thomas Howard, third Duke of Norfolk; a dependent in her grandfather's house; entertained lovers, including her music master Henry Mannock, her cousin, Thomas Culpepper, and Francis Dereham, a retainer of the duchess of Norfolk. Married Henry in the same year as divorce from Anne of Cleves, 1540. Continued to meet Dereham and Culpepper, who were executed upon Catherine's confession of pre-nuptial unchastity; attainted by Parliament and beheaded on conviction of adultery.
Catherine Parr (1512-1548) -- Sixth Queen of Henry VIII. Was first married to Lord Burgh, second to Lord Latimer, and third to Henry (1543). Tried to lessen religious persecution, acted kindly towards Prince Edward and Princesses Elizabeth and Mary. After Henry's death (1547) she remarried Sir Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour of Sudley.
hicretThe Hegira.
The name given to Muhammad's flight to Medina in 622 AD (M.S.) -- the year from which the Islamic calendar is dated. Dates according to the Islamic calendar are displayed in English as AH, e.g., 1044 AH equates to 1634-35 AD.
hijraSee hicret. 
hilyeA description in writing of the personal virtues and qualities of the Prophet Muhammad.
Such descriptions appear frequently in examples of Islamic calligraphy.
Hirkai Şerif Odası a special pavilion in the Palace containing the 'most holy things', sacred relics of Islam.  
hoca teacher, tutor could also be a Muslim clerical man.
hoşaf A drink made from steeped raisins, rose-water and mead  
HotinSee Khotin. 

An English 'Beauty' -- Hubanname4
The illustrated Book about Beauties -- written (18th Century) by Enderunlu Fazıl Bey. It describes, in broad sexual terms, 'gay' men of different nations in Fazıl Bey's day.
Hunyadi, Janos
[also seen as Hünyadi Yanos (Turkified) and
John Hunyadi (Anglicised)]

born c. 1387 d. 1456

Right click to 'View' enlargement...

Engraving by Andre Thevet
By courtesy of the trustees of the British Museum;
photograph, J.R. Freeman & Co., Ltd.
Right click to 'View' enlargement...

Hunyadi's Tomb at the Cathedral of Alba Iulia
(Gyulafehérvár [Hungarian] or Apulum [Latin] or Karlsberg [German]) in present-day Romania --
tomb walls depict battle scenes...
From the 'Fine Arts in Hungary' website.
Hunyadi, the Count of Bestercze, was an heroic Hungarian general -- one of the leading and most successful European commanders (along with Skanderbeg) against Ottoman forces in the 15th Century. From 1444 to 1452, as regent for the young King Lazlo V, he was the virtual ruler of the Kingdom of Hungary. He was one of the handful of outstanding soldier-statesmen Europe produced under the stimulus of Turkish pressure, and as a general he was years ahead of his time in recognising the superiority of paid regular troops, whom he used in preference to feudal levies whenever possible.
On 17 October 1448 at the Battle of Kossovo, his army of 25,000 was badly beaten by a Turkish army four times the size in a defeat partly brought about by the treachery of Brankovic. The Turks lose over 30,000 men, and the Hungarians about 12,500; a feature of the action was a prolonged exchange of fire at quite short ranges between Turkish janissary bowmen and Hunyadi's German and Bohemian mercenary hand-gunners, both sides sheltering behind breastworks. This battle of Kossovo was most significant, in that it hastened the introduction of hand-guns in the Ottoman armies. 67
Chronology of Events
1387 Born the son of a Magyarised Vlach named Vojk and of Elizabeth Morsina. In his youth he served Sigismund of Luxemburg, who was both the Holy Roman Emperor and the King of Bohemia and Hungary. The young Hunyadi saw action in some of Sigismund's numerous campaigns, including wars in Germany and Bohemia. 1437 Against the Turks in Serbia, Hunyadi expelled the Turks from the province of Smederovo (Semendria) -- receiving honours and lands at the hand of the new king, Albert I. 1438 Hunyadi named as the Ban of Szoreny in western Wallachia, an appointment which carried with it the burden of constant frontier warfare against the Turks. 1439 Albert I died, and in the ensuing civil war over the succession Hunyadi was an important supporter of Wladislaw III of Poland against the partisans of the young Laszlo V of Bohemia. 1440 Wladislaw established himself on the throne; Hunyadi was made captain of the great fortress of Belgrade, then in an exposed position, and Voivode of Transylvania. Hunyadi was the moving spirit behind Hungarian resistance to the Ottoman Turks, and in the four years of Wladislaw's brief reign he won a series of astounding victories against them. 1441 Hunyadi won the Battle of Semendria 1442 He wins the Battles of Hermannstadt and the Iron Gates. 1443 He advanced across Ottoman Balkan provinces, capturing Nish and Sofia, and then linking up with another army under King Wladislaw to defeat the forces of Sultan Murad II at Snaim (Kustinitza). 1444 Hunyadi smashed Turkish power in Bosnia, Hercegovina, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Albania. Hungarian preparations were under way for a further offensive to drive the Turks from Europe forever, in conjunction with George Brankovic of Serbia and Skanderbeg (q.v.) of Albania, when Turkish envoys arrived to discuss a truce. A ten-year cessation of hostilities was agreed upon. 1444 Wladislaw deliberately breaks the truce by invading Bulgaria. A Venetian fleet is sent to prevent the Sultan from leading an army back into Europe from Asia Minor, and the Hungarians march towards a projected rendezvous on the Black Sea coast. At this critical juncture Brankovic, for his own reasons, betrayed the Christian plan to the Turks and prevented Skanderbeg of Albania from marching to join the Hungarians. The Venetian fleet was defeated, and the Turks poured westwards once again. 10 November 1444 At Varna the Hungarians are over-whelmed; Wladislaw falls, and Hunyadi only escapes with a remnant of the army to safety with great difficulty. Thus ended the last true Crusade (although it is not counted as such by modern historians) -- for this offensive had been planned and named as such. Between 1444 and 1452 Hunyadi virtually rules Hungary, as Regent for the young Laszlo V. The German Emperor Frederick III was the guardian of Laszlo, who was also King of Bohemia; Frederick prevented the young King from taking up his throne in Hungary, and Hunyadi went to war over the issue. He ravaged Frederick's border provinces of Styria and Carinthia, and even threatened Vienna before Frederick came to terms. 1448 Hunyadi receives the title of Prince from Pope Nicholas V, and resumes his campaigns against the Turks. 17 October 1448 He is defeated badly by the Ottomans at the Battle of Kossovo, partly due to faithlessness of Brankovic. 1449 Hunyadi leads a successful expedition into Serbia to punish Brankovic, and the following year ends a two-year truce with Frederick III by negotiating successfully for Laszlo's release. (There is no evidence that the young man was gratified, as he spent many subsequent years hampering Hunyadi's efforts against the Turks.) At sixty-three Hunyadi still extremely vigorous, is made Count of Bestercze and Captain-General of the Hungarian Kingdom. 1453 Constantinople, defended by Constantine XI falls to the new sultan Mehmed II and a new wave of Turkish pressure is exerted against Hungarian resistance. At his own expense, Hunyadi provisioned and garrisoned the strategic fortress of Belgrade, which was invested in 1456, while he assembled an army and a river fleet of some 200 vessels in Hungary. His forces were swelled by peasants inspired to volunteer by the eloquence of the Franciscan friar St. John of Capistrano. 14 July 1456 Hunyadi smashes the Turkish fleet on the Danube. 21-22 July 1456 He routes the army besieging Belgrade, forcing the Sultan to return to Constantinople and preserving Hungarian independence for another seventy years. 11 August 1456 The old general (who is planning to carry the war into Turkey itself) dies of plague in his camp.67
Hünkar Hamami royal baths  
Hünkar Sofası sitting room/hall of the Sultan in the Harem where 'entertainments' were held. On the second-story of this courtly hall that backs onto an outside window section, there is a large balcony (accessible by a 'hidden' stairway) where the musicians sat
Hürrem Sultan (Roxelana)

Iron Lady of the 16th Century...13
To make sure one of her own sons ascended the throne, Hürrem (Roxelana) plotted the downfall of the Grand Vizier, Ibrahim Damat -- and the murder of Süleyman The Magnificent's oldest son, the heir apparent Mustafa [by Mahidevran]. One of the letters she wrote to Sultan Süleyman demonstrates a cunning mind and manner: "My Lord, your absence has kindled in me a fire that does not abate. Take pity on this suffering soul and speed your letter, so that I may find in it at least a little consolation. My Lord, when you read my words, you will wish that you had written more to express your longing. When I read your letter, your son Mehmed and your daughter Mihrimah were by my side, and tears streamed from their eyes. Their tears drove me from my mind. . . You ask why I am angry with Ibrahim Pasha. When -- God willing -- we are together again, I shall explain, and you will learn the cause."1
Wife of Süleyman, The Magnificent -- d.1558
Hürrem may have been Alexandra Lisowski, the daughter of an Orthodox Ukrainian priest, living near Lvov, Poland. She may have been part of the 'war booty' taken in a slave raid from the neighboring Tartar khanate of the Crimea.
"Soon after Süleyman had begun to notice Hürrem, Mahidevran, the Caucasian/Circassian mother of the Sultan's eldest son Mustafa, picked a quarrel, and scratched her face, calling her 'traitor' and 'soiled meat'. The next time Süleyman summoned Hürrem, she refused to come, repeating that she was 'soiled meat', unworthy of the Sultan's favour. Finally the Sultan asked Mahidevran if the story of their quarrel was true. According to a Venetian report, 'she replied that it was and that she had done less to Hürrem than she deserved. She believed that all the women should yield to her and recognize her as mistress since she had been in the service of his majesty first.' Mahidevran was dismissed, and died forgotten in Bursa in 1581."19
One of the most outstanding examples of powerful women in the Ottoman Empire, Hürrem initiated the era of the "Reign of Women". Like other members of the Harem from which she rose to power, Hürrem was originally a slave girl (of Ukrainian origin) -- abducted during one of Süleyman's expeditions. Soon after she entered the Harem, she routed her competition for the Sultan's affections, and persuaded him to marriage -- after which her influence grew increasingly. Her son Selim (The Sot), became the next Sultan -- one of the Ottoman Empire's worst. Some have even speculated the Selim sprang not from the Sultan's loins, but from a passionate indiscretion on the part of the Sultana. Besides Selim, she mothered three children who survived to adulthood -- Bayezid (son), Mihrimah (daughter), and another son, Cihangir (who was physically handicapped which prohibited his ascension to the throne -- by law).

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