"In search for Roxolana (aka Roxelana, Hürrem)" Istanbul Off The Beaten Path Tip by om_212

Istanbul Off The Beaten Path: 515 reviews and 1,133 photos

  Roxolana, the beloved wife of the Süleyman I
by om_212
 
 

Roksolana (aka Roxelana, Haseki Hürrem, Hürrem Sultan (d. 1558), the beloved wife of Süleyman I and mother of Selim II. For us Ukrainians, she is known as Nastya Lisovska, a daughter of Ruthenian priest from Rohatyn (city not far from Lviv). Her story is tragic and magnificent. kidnapped from her own wedding and sold into slavery in Kaffa by Tatars, this fragile (and many historian believe not that pretty) girl was sold to Süleyman's Harem.

First she was Süleyman's favorite concubine. her influence on him was immense. not only he granted her freedom, but he also married her in the official ceremony (a completely unusual step, which broke 300 years of Ottoman tradition!)

Some historians say she was manipulative and power-hungry - she did everything possible to get rid off Süleyman’s first-born son, Mustafa (not her son). Do I blame her? I don’t. I wonder what would you do, knowing that your sons would be strangled (the ottoman tradition, to prevent power struggle) the day your husband passed away? I most likely would do the same :)

Some historians also believe that during her reign, she did all possible to control Crimean Tatar slave-raiding in her native land, including buying freedom to enslaved Slavs.

Whatever historians say, she is the cultural and historical icon. and for me personally, she is an inspiration in any difficult situation, as well as an example of female strength and wisdom.

(picture from wikipedia)

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  • Updated Aug 13, 2007
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