chapter  7
22 Pages

MARRIAGES AND WEDDINGS OF THE SULTANS

Original marriages 0/ interest-Marriage of one with a right to the throne with a slave-Marriage feasts-Expensive offices of honor-The wedding year 1612-The wedding palms, symbols (Jf manly power-Dowries-Bridal Ilresents-A ninefold marriage-The festival-Decrease of the rich dowryDealings with daughters of a Sultan-Age of the bride-Difference between virgins and widows-The bridal night of a princess-Disadvantages 0/

The mariages .of Osman rulers were .originally, just as .am.ong the Eur.opean princes, very .often tied up with imp.ortant P.olitical questi.ons. I have already menti.oned as an example an Osman Byzantian marriage. The Sultan Murad als.o married his first b.orn s.on, Bajesid Jildirim, the ray .of weather, f.or p.olitical reas.ons, t.o the daughter .of the master .of Crimea wh.o br.ought the greatest part .of the f.ortune .of her father t.o her bridegr.o.om as d.owry. As s.oldiers .of the bride there went t.o Crimea the Judge .of Brussa, Ch.odscha Efendi, and the standard bearer, Aksank.or, with the Tchauschbaschi Timurchan, and as compani.ons t.o the bride, the wives .of the judge and standard bearer and the nurse .of Bajesid with a f.oll.owing .of three th.ousand men and w.omen. The prince received the messengers with h.on.or, gave his daughter .over t.o the three w.omen and determined who was t.o acc.ompany the bride and lead her h.orse. The wedding was brilliantly celebrated at Brussa. There appeared n.ot .only the messengers .of the neighb.oring princes .of Eidin, Mentesche, Kastamuni, and Karaman, but even ambassad.ors .of the Sultans .of Syria and Egypt, hearing rich presents. They br.ought Arabian h.orses and Alexandrian g.o.ods, and Greek slaves, male and female. Ewren.osbeg, al.one, a Greek renegade, br.ought a hundred .of the m.ost beautiful b.oys and girls, the s.ons and daughters .of his pe.ople, as slaves. Each .of

the fir8t ten 81ave8 carried aloft a plate of gold pieces, each oE the following ten a silver bowl of 8ilverpieces, the other eighteen: gold and silver pot8 and basins with enameled cups and 8aucer8, goblet8 and glasse8 8et with jewels, "80 that," a8 Idris 8aY8, "the Koran de8cription of paradise was fulfilled: And there went about them-the holy--everla8tingly young children with ba8in8 and pots and goblet8." These present8 were called in Turki8h Satschu, 8trawwork, because the customary wedding presents, gold and silver coin8, were 8trewn over the head· of the bride.