Sultan, one of the most interesting women to have lived. Rising ranks from slave to Chief Consort, many still debate if she truly loved the Sultan, or if she was a “master manipulator.” In any case, she was certainly the centre of attention when she changed centuries of tradition.
Starting from a young slave, believed to be taken from Russia or Poland, she was educated in Turkish ways on her arrival, and given a new name. She recieved many nicknames throughout her life - alluding to her Russian origins (such as
Roxelane - the Russian), her “smiling and endearing” nature, or her red hair (La Rosa - the red one). She quickly caught the attention of the Sultan, Süleyman, and he took her as his favourite. This wasn’t uncommon, of course, but what was uncommon was that Hurrem Sultan was never cast down from favourite, but instead continued to be elevated through the ranks.
Süleyman married Hürrem in a magnificent formal ceremony. This was shocking to many as Sultans were not to marry their concubines, and this violated a 200-year-old custom of the Ottoman imperial house. She bore him six sons, and they remained married for many, many years. When Hürrem Sultan died in 1558,
Süleyman was distraught. Her body was placed in a mausoleum, which is adjacent to Süleyman’s.
John Sigismund of Hungary with Suleiman the Magnificient in 1556, above.
Süleyman made many poems for his love. Here’s an example below:
“Throne of my lonely niche, my wealth, my love, my moonlight. My most sincere friend, my confidant, my very existence, my Sultan, my one and only love. The most beautiful among the beautiful… My springtime, my merry faced love, my daytime, my sweetheart, laughing leaf… My plants, my sweet, my rose, the one only who does not distress me in this room… My Istanbul, my karaman, the earth of my Anatolia My Badakhshan, my Baghdad and Khorasan My woman of the beautiful hair, my love of the slanted brow, my love of eyes full of misery… I’ll sing your praises always I, lover of the tormented heart, Muhibbi of the eyes full of tears, I am happy.”
Roxelana and Suleiman the Magnificent, 1780, by Anton Hickel (1745-1798)
okay so like I’m pretty positive about my body and stuff but sometimes even I get upset and judgey at myself for not being the supposed “”“ideal”“” or whatever but then a few days ago I was neck deep into wikipedia when I saw a painting of venus by titian and I swear on my life I almost screamed because there on my screen was my exact body type as the goddess of beauty and love painted by a highly respected renaissance artist and I just about lost my shit like home girl was lounging naked and she had an honest to god tummy and thighs and she didn’t give one fuck about it like it was such a moment for me I feel like a changed person since I saw that painting