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Istanbul's Topkapı Palace housed several hundred eunuchs in the late-sixteenth century.The head eunuch who guarded the entrance of the harem was known as kızlar ağası.Greek historians report that Persian notables of the Achaemenid empire as well as the king himself had several wives and a larger number of concubines.The Old Persian word for the harem is not attested, but it can be reconstructed as xšapā.stāna (lit.
Three other groups of women lives in separate quarters: the other legal wives, royal princesses, and concubines.night station or place where one spends the night).The chief consort, who was usually the mother of the heir to the throne, was in charge of the household.He searched his realm to find the most beautiful girls, and it was rumored that about 3,000 of them were kept in his harem.This practice was widely condemned and it was counted as one of the crimes for which he was later tried and executed.
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A peculiar characteristic of the Sasanian royalty and aristocracy, which was attested in later times under the Safavid and Qajar empires, was that the highest female rank was not necessarily given to the chief wife, but could be held by a daughter or a sister.