Toledo is a city and municipality located in central Spain. Toledo was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 for its extensive monumental and cultural heritage. Toledo is known as the "Imperial City" for having been the main venue of the court of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, as the "City of the Three Cultures" for the cultural influences of Christians and Jews reflected in its history, it was the capital from 542 to 725 AD of the ancient Visigothic kingdom, which followed the fall of the Roman Empire, the location of historic events such as the Visigothic Councils of Toledo. Toledo has a long history in the production of bladed weapons, which are now common souvenirs from the city. People who were born or have lived in Toledo include Brunhilda of Austrasia, Al-Zarqali, Garcilaso de la Vega, Eleanor of Toledo, Alfonso X, Israeli ben Joseph, El Greco; as of 2015, the city had a population of 83,226 and an area of 232.1 km2. The town was granted arms in the 16th century, which by special royal privilege was based on the royal of arms of Spain.
Toledo is mentioned by the Roman historian Livy as sed loco munita. Roman general Marcus Fulvius Nobilior fought a battle near the city in 193 BC against a confederation of Celtic tribes including the Vaccaei and Celtiberi, defeating them and capturing a king called Hilermus. At that time, Toletum was a city of the Carpetani tribe, part of the region of Carpetania, it was incorporated into the Roman Empire as a civitas stipendiaria, that is, a tributary city of non-citizens, by Flavian times it had achieved the status of municipium. With this status, city officials of Carpetani origin, obtained Roman citizenship for public service, the forms of Roman law and politics were adopted. At this time, a Roman circus, city walls, public baths, a municipal water supply and storage system were constructed in Toletum The Roman circus in Toledo was one of the largest in Hispania, at 423 metres long and 100 metres wide, with a track dimension of 408 metres long and 86 metres wide. Chariot races were held on special holidays and were commissioned by private citizens to celebrate career achievements.
A fragmentary stone inscription records circus games paid for by a citizen of unknown name to celebrate his achieving the sevirate, a kind of priesthood conferring high status. Archaeologists have identified portions of a special seat of the sort used by the city elites to attend circus games, called a sella curulis; the circus could hold up to 15000 spectators. During Roman times, Toledo was never a provincial capital nor a conventus iuridicus, but it started to gain importance in late antiquity. There are indications that large private houses within the city walls were enlarged, while several large villas were built north of the city through the third and fourth centuries. Games were held in the circus into the late fourth and early fifth centuries C. E. an indication of active city life and ongoing patronage by wealthy elites. A church council was held in Toledo in the year 400 to discuss the conflict with Priscillianism. A second council of Toledo was held in 527; the Visigothic king Theudis was in Toledo in 546.
This is strong though not certain evidence. King Athanagild died in Toledo in 568. Although Theudis and Athangild based themselves in Toledo, Toledo was not yet the capital city of the Iberian peninsula, as Theudis and Athangild's power was limited in extent, the Suevi ruling Galicia and local elites dominating Lusitania and Cantabria; this changed with Liuvigild. The Visigoths ruled from Toledo until the Moors conquered the Iberian peninsula in the early years of 8th century. Today in the historic center basements, wells and ancient water pipes are preserved that since Roman times have been used in the city. A series of church councils was held in Toledo under the Visigoths. A synod of Arian bishops was held in 580 to discuss theological reconciliation with Nicene Christianity. Liuvigild's successor, hosted the third council of Toledo, at which the Visigothic kings abandoned Arianism and reconciled with the existing Hispano-Roman episcopate. A synod held in 610 transferred the metropolitanate of the old province of Carthaginensis from Cartagena to Toledo.
At that time, Cartagena was ruled by the Byzantines, this move ensured a closer relation between the bishops of Spain and the Visigothic kings. King Sisebut forced Jews in the Visigothic kingdom to convert to Christianity; the Fifth and Sixth Councils of Toledo placed church sanctions on anyone who would challenge the Visigothic kings. The Seventh Council of Toledo instituted a requirement that all bishops in the area of a royal city, that is, of Toledo, must reside for one month per year in Toledo; this was a stage in "the elevation of Toledo as the primatial see of the whole church of the Visgothic kingdom". In addition, the seventh council declared that any clergy fleeing the kingdom, assisting conspirators against the king, or aiding conspirators, would be excommunicated and no one should remove this sentence; the ban on lifing these sentences of excommunication was lifted at the Eighth Council of Toledo in 653, at which, for the first time, decisions were signed by palace officials as well as bishops.
The eighth council
Ghālib ibn ʿAbd al-Raḥmān
Ghālib ibn ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Nāṣirī, called al-Ṣiḳlabī, was a military commander in the ʿUmayyad caliphate of Córdoba, serving the caliphs ʿAbd al-Raḥmān III al-Nāṣir, al-Ḥakam II and Hishām II on both land and sea. For his military prowess, he was granted the honorific Dhu ʾl-Sayfayn. Ghālib's rise coincides with the retirement of ʿAbd al-Raḥmān III from active military command following his defeat at the Battle of Simancas in 939. In the 940s, Ghālib consolidated ʿUmayyad control over Medinaceli. In the 950s, he led a series of razzias into Christian territory to the north, bringing back booty and prisoners. In 955, he led a punitive naval expedition against the Fāṭimid Caliphate. Under al-Ḥakam II, who withdrew into the palace, Ghālib became the public face of the caliphate, his departure on campaign and his return to Córdoba were celebrated with pomp and he was regarded by contemporaries as a hero. He continued to lead campaigns north into Christian territory throughout the 970s, he led the defence against the Vikings in 971–72.
His most important feat, was to bring the Idrīsid dynasty in North Africa back under ʿUmayyad control in 973. In his final year, Ghālib became embroiled in a civil war with Ibn Abī ʿĀmir. Forced to ally with his former Christian enemies, Ghālib was defeated and killed in a pitched battle, his death marks the culmination of the rise of Ibn Abī ʿĀmir to a position of supremacy within the caliphate. Ghālib was a Ṣiḳlabī, a slave of eastern European Slavic, origin from a Christian family, he was owned, freed, by ʿAbd al-Raḥmān III, becoming a mawlā and, as per custom, taking his former owner's name as his patronymic surname, becoming ibn ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Nāṣirī. Although many slaves destined for the palace or for provincial administration were castrated, Ghālib was not. In 946, Ghālib was placed in charge of the Middle March. In this capacity, according to al-Maḳḳarī, a late source, he rebuilt the castle of Medinaceli and used it as a base to harass the Christian kingdom of León. In 953, he attacked the Leonese county of Castile, bringing back many prisoners and much booty, but the border remained unchanged.
In 954, a Sicilian fleet under the orders of the Fāṭimid caliph al-Muʿizz sacked the ʿUmayyad city of Almería. The next year, Ghālib led a punitive naval raid on the coast of Fāṭimid Ifrīḳiya; this expedition failed, but in 956 a second expedition with seventy ships captured and razed Marsā al-Kharaz and plundered Ṭabarḳa and Sūsa. In 960, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān III restored the deposed Sancho I to the Leonese throne in exchange for ten border fortresses; this condition had not been fulfilled when the caliph died in October 961. Sancho's rival, Ordoño IV, had fled to the Count Fernán González of Castile, who, in obedience to the treaty between his sovereign, now Sancho, the caliphate, sent him as a prisoner to Ghālib at Medinaceli, who passed him along to Córdoba. There he was interviewed by the new caliph, al-Ḥakam II, in April 962 and agreed to uphold Sancho's deal if the caliph would restore him to the throne. Before this new agreement could be put into effect, Sancho I renewed his promise to hand over the ten fortresses.
Following the death of Ordoño IV shortly after, Sancho reneged. He allied with the Kingdom of Navarre and the County of Barcelona to attack the caliphate. Al-Ḥakam II personally led an army to the border in the summer of 963, seizing the fortresses of Gormaz and Atienza while Ghālib and Yaḥyā ibn Muḥammad al-Tujībī, the governor of Zaragoza, led a two-pronged attack on Navarre. Ghālib captured Calahorra from the Navarrese and al-Tujībī defeated their king, García Sánchez I, in battle. By 971, Ghālib held the rank of vizier. On 3 July that year, he was summoned by the Caliph al-Ḥakam and put in charge of mounting a campaign by land and sea against a Viking fleet that had appeared off the Atlantic coast. After making preparations, Ghālib departed on 12 July through the Madīnat al-Zahrā in an elaborate ceremony, he was too late. An Leonese embassy arrived from Astorga with news that the Vikings had gone up the river Duero as far as Santaver, although they had left empty-handed. Ghālib's fleet did not sail from Almería until the end around 25 July.
The fleet returned to port a month later. A triumph was staged for Ghālib nonetheless, he was escorted into Córdoba with banners all the way to the Alcázar, a panegyric was composed in his honour. He did not, command the response to the Vikings the following year. In 972, Ghālib was promoted to the new rank of al-qāʾid al-aʿlā. In 974, diplomas of authority were issued to the lords of the Middle March upon Ghālib's request. In them, Ghālib is described as the zaʿīm of the marcher lords, he was thus at the peak of his power and influence when in 973 he was sent to Africa to bring the Idrīsids back under ʿUmayyad control. They had defected under pressure to the Fāṭimids in 958, he returned to Córdoba in triumph with the deposed Idrīsid leader, al-Ḥasan ibn Gannūn, as his captive in September 974. The Idrīsid ruler was forced to swear allegiance to the Mālikī madhab. In 975, Ghālib led an expedition against the alliance of Navarre, he won two major victories, defeating the allied force under Ramiro III of León, besieging Gormaz on 28 June and defeating Count García Fernández of Castile south of the Duero, near Langa, on 8 July.
After these victories he was given two gilded swords and the honorific Dhu ʾl-Sayfayn, a title, granted by the ʿA
Al-Andalus known as Muslim Spain, Muslim Iberia, or Islamic Iberia, was a medieval Muslim territory and cultural domain that in its early period occupied most of Iberia, today's Portugal and Spain. At its greatest geographical extent, it occupied the northwest of the Iberian peninsula and a part of present day southern France Septimania and for nearly a century extended its control from Fraxinet over the Alpine passes which connect Italy with the remainder of Western Europe; the name more describes the parts of the peninsula governed by Muslims at various times between 711 and 1492, though the boundaries changed as the Christian Reconquista progressed shrinking to the south around modern-day Andalusia and to the Emirate of Granada. Following the Umayyad conquest of Hispania, al-Andalus at its greatest extent, was divided into five administrative units, corresponding to modern Andalusia and Galicia, Castile and León, Aragon, the County of Barcelona, Septimania; as a political domain, it successively constituted a province of the Umayyad Caliphate, initiated by the Caliph Al-Walid I.
Rule under these kingdoms led to a rise in cultural exchange and cooperation between Muslims and Christians. Christians and Jews were subject to a special tax called Jizya, to the state, which in return provided internal autonomy in practicing their religion and offered the same level of protections by the Muslim rulers. Under the Caliphate of Córdoba, al-Andalus was a beacon of learning, the city of Córdoba, the largest in Europe, became one of the leading cultural and economic centres throughout the Mediterranean Basin and the Islamic world. Achievements that advanced Islamic and Western science came from al-Andalus, including major advances in trigonometry, surgery, pharmacology and other fields. Al-Andalus became a major educational center for Europe and the lands around the Mediterranean Sea as well as a conduit for cultural and scientific exchange between the Islamic and Christian worlds. For much of its history, al-Andalus existed in conflict with Christian kingdoms to the north. After the fall of the Umayyad caliphate, al-Andalus was fragmented into minor states and principalities.
Attacks from the Christians intensified, led by the Castilians under Alfonso VI. The Almoravid empire intervened and repelled the Christian attacks on the region, deposing the weak Andalusi Muslim princes and included al-Andalus under direct Berber rule. In the next century and a half, al-Andalus became a province of the Berber Muslim empires of the Almoravids and Almohads, both based in Marrakesh; the Christian kingdoms in the north of the Iberian Peninsula overpowered the Muslim states to the south. In 1085, Alfonso VI captured Toledo. With the fall of Córdoba in 1236, most of the south fell under Christian rule and the Emirate of Granada became a tributary state of the Kingdom of Castile two years later. In 1249, the Portuguese Reconquista culminated with the conquest of the Algarve by Afonso III, leaving Granada as the last Muslim state on the Iberian Peninsula. On January 2, 1492, Emir Muhammad XII surrendered the Emirate of Granada to Queen Isabella I of Castile, completing the Christian Reconquista of the peninsula.
Although al-Andalus ended as a political entity, the nearly eight centuries of Islamic rule which preceded and accompanied the early formation of the Spanish nation-state and identity has left a profound effect on the country's culture and language in Andalusia. The toponym al-Andalus is first attested by inscriptions on coins minted in 716 by the new Muslim government of Iberia; these coins, called dinars, were inscribed in both Arabic. The etymology of the name "al-Andalus" has traditionally been derived from the name of the Vandals. In 1986, Joaquín Vallvé proposed that "al-Andalus" was a corruption of the name Atlantis, Halm in 1989 derived the name from a Gothic term, *landahlauts, in 2002, Georg Bossong suggested its derivation from a pre-Roman substrate. During the caliphate of the Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I, the commander Tariq ibn-Ziyad led a small force that landed at Gibraltar on April 30, 711, ostensibly to intervene in a Visigothic civil war. After a decisive victory over King Roderic at the Battle of Guadalete on July 19, 711, Tariq ibn-Ziyad, joined by Arab governor Musa ibn Nusayr of Ifriqiya, brought most of the Visigothic Kingdom under Muslim occupation in a seven-year campaign.
They occupied Visigothic Septimania in southern France. Most of the Iberian peninsula became part of the expanding Umayyad Empire, under the name of al-Andalus, it was organized as a province subordinate to Ifriqiya, so, for the first few decades, the governors of al-Andalus were appointed by the emir of Kairouan, rather than the Caliph in Damascus. The regional capital was set at Córdoba, the first influx of Muslim settlers was distributed; the small army Tariq led in the initial conquest consisted of Berbers, while Musa's Arab force of over 12,000 soldiers was accompanied by a group of mawālī, that is, non-Arab Muslims, who were clients of the
Abu ʿĀmir Muḥammad ibn ʿAbdullāh ibn Abi ʿĀmir, al-Ḥājib al-Manṣūr, better known as Almanzor, was for 24 years the de facto ruler of al Andalus under the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba. His rule marked the peak of power for al-Andalus; some say that he claimed the title of a King, was known as Al Malik Al Mansur. Almanzor was born Muhammad ibn ʿAbdullāh ibn Abi ʿĀmir, into a noble family of Qahtanite origin in Algeciras, he arrived at the Court of Córdoba as a student studying literature. He subsequently became manager of the estates of Prince Hisham II. In a few years Almanzor had worked his way from this humble position to considerable heights of influence, eliminating his political rivals in the process. Caliph al-Hakam II died in 976 and Ibn Abi Amir was instrumental in securing the succession of Hisham II, now aged twelve, to the throne. Almanzor exercised strong influence over Subh, the mother and regent of the young Hisham II. Two years he became hajib. During the following three years Almanzor consolidated his power with the expansion of Medina Azahara on the outskirts of Córdoba, while at the same time isolating the young Caliph, who became a virtual prisoner in Medina Azahara.
Following al-Hakam's death, Almanzor had al-Hakam's library of "ancient science" books destroyed. In 981, upon his return to Córdoba from the Battle of Torrevicente, in which he crushed his last remaining rival, Ghalib al-Nasiri, he assumed the title of al-Mansur bi-llah, Victorious by God. In Christian Spain he was referred to as Almanzor. Almanzor's hold on power within al-Andalus was now absolute. Purportedly in order to conceal his usurpation of the Caliph's authority, Almanzor dedicated himself to annual military invasions of the Christian states of the peninsula, he organized and took part in 57 campaigns, was victorious in all of them. To wage warfare on this scale against the Christian states, he brought in many Berber mercenaries, which upset the political order over time. Although Almanzor fought against León and Castile, he sacked Barcelona in 985, he sacked Leon in 988 and Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in 997, taking the cathedral bells to be melted down into lanterns for the Great Mosque of Cordoba.
Almanzor waged several campaigns against the Kingdom of Navarre, including his longest, in which he defeated a Castilian army at the Battle of Cervera. In 983, Sancho II of Navarre was forced to turn over his daughter, Urraca Sánchez. Taken from a convent, she would become the most powerful women in his harem, she was known as'Abda "la Vascona". She bore Almanzor a son, Abd al-Rahman, whose Arabic diminutive Sanchuelo, indicated his relationship to his maternal grandfather. In 992 as a pledge of peace between the two states following Sancho's visit to Córdoba, Almanzor allowed Urraca/'Abda to visit her father; the North African historian Ibn Khaldun reported that in 993, Almanzor married a daughter of king Bermudo II of León, she is identified as his daughter Teresa, whom Bishop Pelagius of Oviedo reported was married by her brother to a pagan king of Toledo. However, Bermudo only married in 991, so it has been suggested that Ibn Khaldun's 993 mariage is a confused reference to Urraca/'Abda of Navarre, that if Teresa married a Muslim prince at all, this must have occurred involving one of Almanzor's sons.
The consequence of his victories in the north was to prompt the Christian rulers of the Peninsula into an alliance against him. He was succeeded by his son Abd al-Malik al-Muzaffar, who continued to rule al-Andalus as hajib until his death in 1008. After Abd al-Malik's death, Abd al-Malik's ambitious half brother Abd al-Rahman Sanchuelo took over, he however tried to take the Caliphate for himself from Hisham, as al-Mansur had made the caliph a figurehead ruler. This plunged the country into a civil war, the Caliphate disintegrated into rival Taifa kingdoms. Almanzor peak in central Spain is named after him. Jacob ibn Jau
Alfonso V of León
Alfonso V, called the Noble, was King of León from 999 to 1028. Enough is known of him to justify the belief that he had some of the qualities of a soldier and a statesman. Like other kings of León, he used the title emperor to assert his standing among the Christian rulers of Spain, he succeeded his father, Bermudo II, in 999. His mother Elvira García and count Menendo González, who raised him in Galicia, acted as his co-regents. Upon the count's death in 1008, Alfonso ruled on his own. Alfonso began the work of reorganizing the Christian kingdom of the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula after a most disastrous period of civil war and Arab inroads, his name and that of his wife are associated with the grant of the first franchises of León. On Wednesday, 7 August 1028, Alfonso V was killed by an arrow while besieging the Muslim town of Viseu. King Alfonso was buried next to his first wife Elvira, according to his wishes, at the Church of Saint John the Baptist and San Pelayo which changed its name to the Basilica of San Isidoro when the latter saint's remains were transferred from Seville.
The following epitaph was carved on his tomb: H. IACET ADEFONSUS QUI POPVLATIT LEGIONEM... ET DEDIT BONOS FOROS ET FECIT / ECCLESIAM HANC LVTO ET LATERE. HABVIT PRAELIA CUM / SARRACENIS, ET INTERFECTUS, EST SAGITTA APUD VISEUM / PORTUGAL FUIT FILIUS VEREMUNDI ORDONII / OBIIT ERA M SEXAGESIMA QUINTA III NAS M. Alfonso first married Elvira Menéndez in 1013, daughter of his tutor Menendo González at whose house he was raised as a child, with whom he had two children. Sancha of León, married Ferdinand I of León and Castile Bermudo III of León After Elvira's death on 2 December 1022, Alfonso married Urraca Garcés, sister of King Sancho III of Pamplona. Before this marriage took place, the king of Pamplona had sent Ponce, abbot at the Monastery of San Pedro de Tavèrnoles bishop of Oviedo, a nobleman named Garcia, to intercede before Abbot Oliba, bishop of Vic, in favor of the marriage of his sister Urraca to the king of León, despite the impediments of consanguinity. Although Bishop Oliba did not authorize the marriage, describing it as incesti connubii in a letter dated 11 May 1023, the royal wedding was celebrated between the date of the bishop's letter and 13 November 1023 when Alfonso V and his new wife, who confirms as Urraka regina, appear together for the first time in a charter in the Cathedral of León.
Urraca and her mother Jimena Fernández made a donation on 26 September 1028 to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela confirming as Scemena regina simulque et filia mea Urraca Regina genitoris nostri Fredenandus Ueremudiz et domna Geloria, a few years King Bermudo III on 6 August 1031 referred to his step-mother as Urraca regina Garseani regis filia. Alfonso and Urraca had one daughter, named Jimena as attested in a charter dated 22 December 1036 in a donation made by Muniadona and her son Fernando Gundemáriz, son of Gundemaro Pinióliz, when she confirms as Jimena, daughter of King Alfonso. Fernández Conde, Francisco Javier. "Los orígenes del monasterio de San Pelayo: aristocracia, poder y monacato)". Territorio, Sociedad y Poder, work de estudios medievales. Oviedo: Universidad de Oviedo: 181–202. ISSN 1886-1121. Fernández del Pozo, José María. Alfonso V y Vermudo III. Burgos: La Olmeda. ISBN 84-89915-07-5. Martínez Díez, Gonzalo. Sancho III el Rex Ibericus. Madrid: Marcial Pons Historia. ISBN 978-84-96467-47-7.
Sánchez Candeira, Alfonso. "Sobre la fecha de la muerte de Alfonso V de León". Hispania. Instituto de Historia, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. 8: 132–35. ISSN 1988-8368. Sánchez Candeira, Alfonso. El "regnum-imperium" leonés hasta 1037. Madrid: CSIC. Escuela de Estudios Medievales. OCLC 3565604
Harem known as zenana in the Indian subcontinent, properly refers to domestic spaces that are reserved for the women of the house in a Muslim family. This private space has been traditionally understood as serving the purposes of maintaining the modesty and protection of women. A harem may house a man's wife — or wives and concubines, as in royal harems of the past — their pre-pubescent male children, unmarried daughters, female domestic workers, other unmarried female relatives. In former times some harems were guarded by eunuchs; the structure of the harem and the extent of monogamy or polygamy has varied depending on the family's personalities, socio-economic status, local customs. Similar institutions have been common in other Mediterranean and Middle Eastern civilizations among royal and upper-class families, the term is sometimes used in other contexts. Although the institution has experienced a sharp decline in the modern era due to a rise in education and economic opportunities for women, as well as Western influences, seclusion of women is still practiced in some parts of the world, such as rural Afghanistan and conservative states of the Gulf region.
In the West, Orientalist imaginary conceptions of the harem as a hidden world of sexual subjugation where numerous women lounged in suggestive poses have influenced many paintings, stage productions and literary works. Some earlier European Renaissance paintings dating to the 16th century portray the women of the Ottoman harem as individuals of status and political significance. In many periods of Islamic history, women in the harem exercised various degrees of political power, such as the Sultanate of Women in the Ottoman Empire; the word has been recorded in the English language since early 17th century. It comes from the Arabic ḥarīm, which can mean "a sacred inviolable place", "harem" or "female members of the family". In English the term harem can mean "the wives of a polygamous man." The triliteral Ḥ-R-M appears in other terms related the notion of interdiction such as haram, ihram and al-Ḥaram al-Šarīf. In Turkish of the Ottoman era, the harem, i.e. the part of the house reserved for women was called haremlık, while the space open for men was known as selamlık.
The practice of female seclusion is not exclusive to Islam, but the English word harem denotes the domestic space reserved for women in Muslim households. Some scholars have used the term to refer to polygynous royal households throughout history. Leila Ahmed describes the ideal of seclusion as a "a man's right to keep his women concealed—invisible to other men." Ahmed identifies the practice of seclusion as a social ideal and one of the major factors that shaped the lives of women in the Mediterranean Middle East. For example, contemporary sources from the Byzantine Empire describe the social mores that governed women's lives. Women were not supposed to be seen in public, they were guarded by eunuchs and could only leave the home "veiled and suitably chaperoned." Some of these customs were borrowed from the Persians, but Greek society influenced the development of patriarchal tradition. The ideal of seclusion was not realized as social reality; this was in part because working class women held jobs that required interaction with men.
In the Byzantine empire, the ideal of gender segregation created economic opportunities for women as midwives, bath attendants and artisans, since it was considered inappropriate for men to attend to women's needs. At times women engaged in other commercial activities. Historical records shows that the women of 14th-century Mamluk Cairo visited public events alongside men, despite objections of religious scholars; the practice of gender segregation in Islam was influenced by an interplay of religion and politics. Female seclusion has signaled social and economic prestige; the norms of female seclusion spread beyond the elites, but the practice remained characteristic of upper and middle classes, for whom the financial ability to allow one's wife to remain at home was a mark of high status. In some regions, such as the Arabian peninsula, seclusion of women was practiced by poor families at the cost of great hardship, but it was economically unrealistic for the lower classes. Where historical evidence is available, it indicates that the harem was much more to be monogamous.
For example, in late Ottoman Istanbul, only 2.29 percent of married men were polygynous, with the average number of wives being 2.08. In some regions, like Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, prevalence of women in agricultural work leads to wider practice of polygyny, but makes seclusion impractical. In contrast, in Eurasian and North African rural communities that rely on male-dominated plough farming, seclusion is economically possible but polygyny is undesirable; this indicates that the fundamental characteristic of the harem is seclusion of women rather than polygyny. The idea of the harem or seclusion of women did not originate with Islam; the practice of secluding women was common to many Ancient Near East communities where polygamy was permitted. In pre-Islamic Assyria and Egypt, most royal courts had a harem, where the ruler’s wives and concubines lived with female attendants, eunuchs. Encyclopædia Iranica uses the term harem to describe the practices of the ancient Near East. In Assyria, rules of harem etiquette were stipulated by