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Shah Abbas Expands His Harem

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September, 2, 1602 A.D.:
Shah Abbas Expands His Harem

By: Mir M.Hosseini

On Sep, 2, 1602 Shah Abbas married a 13 years old girl, daughter of Ahmad Khan Gilani. The girl was initially engaged at childhood with Prince Safi Mirza, according to traditions. This marriage took place less than two months after a beautiful Georgian princess entered Shah's Harem. It's been narrated that there were 400-500 women in Shah's Harem, most of them gorgeous concubines sent as gifts from different parts of the Safavid realm. Among these women only 3-4 were married as his official wives, the rest served as maids, dancers, entertainers, etc.
In Nov, 1588 as Prince Abbas at the age of 18, he married two Safavid Princesses on the same night! His other notable marriage was with a Georgian lady named Katayoon on Aug, 21, 1604.
As a result of these marriages, Shah Abbas had 5 sons:
- Prince Mohammad Bagher Mirza AKA Safi Mirza was killed by his father's order.
- Prince Hassan Mirza passed away while he was a child.
- Prince Mohammad Mirza was blinded by his father.
- Prince Ismail Mirza passed away while he was a child.
- Prince Imam Gholi Mirza was blinded by his father.
Due to intrigues instigated from the inside of his Harem filled with spies, Shah Abbas did not leave a direct heir to the throne when he died on January, 19, 1629.

KEY TERMS:Georgia , Gholi , Gilan , Harem , Imam , Katayoon , Khan , Mir , Mirza , Mohammad Bagher Mirza , Safavi , Safavid , Safi , Shah , Shah Abbas

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