King Tamba of Banaras (6th century BC)—16,000
According to the Jataka, a collection of Vedic legends dating from the arrival of Buddhism, his royal seraglio had a population of 16,000 inmates, an almost certainly exaggerated figure. Guarding over this bevy of women was his chief queen, Sussondi, "a woman of surpassing beauty" whom legend has Tamba met while playing dice.
Sultan Ghiyas-ud-Din Khilji (15th century)—15,000
The Turkish Harem,
as imagined by British artist
Having frittered away the first 48 years of his existence as a commander in his father's army, upon assuming the throne Ghiyas was determined to spend the remainder of his life pursuing his two main interests: hunting and acquiring new women. Whenever he heard of a girl possessing beauty, he never rested till he had obtained her. The multitude of women he procured was so vast they overflowed the spacious capacity of the opulent Jahaz Mahal, so he built an entirely separate city to house his Amazons. He must have been triumphant in his hedonistic pursuits, for on his deathbed he proclaimed "I have passed in ease and prosperity and in a state of pleasure such has been the lot of no monarch."
King Mongkut of Siam (1804-1868)—9,000
His harem was so immense it encompassed an entire city, called the Nang Harm ("Veiled Women"). Surrounded by a high wall to keep out the local goyim, the city housed the royal princesses, wives, and concubines of the king. It was a self-contained world: complete with judges, police, prisons, and executioners; recreational facilities such as a gymnasium and a theater; and the lavish royal palace, described as "brilliant as sapphire in the sunlight." Here the women carried out their connubial duty to produce an heir. They served admirably in the role, for when Mongkut died he left behind 66 offspring.
Kublai Khan of the Mongols (1215-1294)—7,000
Supreme ruler of one of the largest empires ever created, Khan was attended to by an enormous assemblage of servants and slaves in his gloriously bedecked palace. Each of his four empresses is said to have no less than 10,000 attendants, including 300 picked virgins and swarms of "ladies of the bedchamber", including eunuchs and pages. The sovereign himself disposed of between 4 to 500 subsidiary wives and concubines, replaced every two years to keep a fresh supply for his amorous attention.
Emperor Jahangir of India (1569-1627)—6,300
Emperor Akbar the Great of India (1542-1605)—5,000
The fourth Mogul emperor, he inherited and enlarged his father's already considerable estate (see #6). His harem included 300 royal wives and 5,000 additional damsels, all considered the emperor's concubines. Also included were 1,000 young men, in case he grew tired of the parade of female flesh and wanted to try alternative pleasures.
The third Mogul emperor, Akbar acquired an almost incalculable number of mistresses and
marital partners through a steady stream of marriage alliances with neighboring royalty, all contracted to expand his empire. The population of his harem soon grew immense: around 5,000 maidens, many of them older women, but there were also young servant girls and Amazons from Russia or Abyssinia to serve as armed guards, all relegated to the status of slaves. Though the Koran limits the number of wives a man can have to four, Akbar possessed over 300 wives. Ironically, he later decreed that "it was best for ordinary men to have only one wife!"
Emperor Achyuta Deva Raya of the Vijayanagar Empire (reigned 1529-1542)—4,000
Achyuta is believed to have around 12,000 women serving him, though only 4,000 lived within the palace and were reserved for reproductive purposes. The remaining carried on the everyday tasks. Some served as armed guards, some wrestled and danced, and others played trumpets, pipes, and other instruments. And then there were the bois (bearers) who ceremoniously carried the emperor's wives about palanquins and were gloriously bedecked in jeweled uniforms. The sheer magnitude of femininity around him awed visitors to his realm, who left amazed a man could possess such an assemble of enchantresses.
Emperor Mulai Ismail of Morocco (1646-1727)—4,000
"His Majesty", wrote the historian Ockley, "is said to lie with a Virgin every Night." As the supreme ruler of Morocco , the merciless Mulai could well afford to fulfill his habit, the consequences of which resulting in an admirable feat of reproduction (see Most Offspring). His collection was as varied and cosmopolitan as a Miss Universe roster, including women of Spanish, Italian, Georgian, Arabic, English and lesser known nationalities, who, under torture, had renounced Christianity. In spite of the shabby treatment, Ismail's cruelty was actually a source of masochistic pleasure among his women, who is said to preserve in tiny boxes anything that came from him.
Emperor Yang Ti of the Sui Dynasty (569-618)—3,083
As emperor he enjoyed 1 empress, 2 deputy queens, 6 royal consorts, 72 royal madams, 3,000 palace maidens, plus 2 of his late father’s concubines—a total of 3,083 beautiful women, most of them teenagers, to satisfy his carnal appetite. Among his more novel methods of lovemaking was his "virgin wheelchair." As soon as the unsuspecting young woman was seated, "clamps would automatically spring up to hold her arms and spread her legs apart, while the mechanized cushion would place her body in the proper position to receive the royal favor." When he traveled, he took with him a caravan of ten special chariots, each carrying a naked beauty awaiting his attention.
Firuz Shah of the Tughluq Sultanate (reigned 1351-1388)—3,000
Ismali Quli Khan, Mogul Noble (16th century)—1,200
Not withstanding the onerous duties of his high office, he was entirely devoted to the pleasures of his harem and eagerly sought out new recruits. Firuz employed an army of merchants to scour the world, purchasing women of all nationalities, from which he made selections to fill vacancies left empty by death. His harem became comprised of Arab, Circassian, Georgian, Turkish, Russian, European, and Afghanis women, along with 2000 men he imported from Asia minor and China . Afraid of infringing on Islamic Law, he consulted some mullahs (scholars), who informed him he could marry 300 wives. Delighted, he achieved the total in a single day. In spite of his extraordinary excesses, he lived more than 80 years and left behind "a great number of children."
A noble during Emperor Akbar's reign, Ismali had a penchant for riotous living and debauchery. He was so suspicious of his harem that, whenever he went to court, he sealed the strings attached to their night-drawers. His jealous ways ultimately did him in: the harem women poisoned him
out of frustration.
Sultan Murad III of the Ottoman Empire (1546-1595)—1,200
A renowned womanizer exceptional even among sultans, Murad preferred to remain comfortably ensconced in his harem while his reign deteriorated. His harem, guarded over by some 400 eunuchs, was among the largest and prestigious in the world, filled with the most beautiful girls available at slave markets. Among his favorite pastimes were watching naked girls frolic as they bathed, sometimes inventing new games for them to play. The voyeurism must have had a stimulating effect, for he sired over 103 children.
Harem of Sultam MuradIII (1.200)
Ottoman Empire (1546-1595)
The seraglio of sultan Murad was in the list of the largest and privileged harems all over the world. There were about 400 eunuchs and 1.200 most beautiful slaves bought in the markets.
Murad enjoyed watching the bathing of naked girls, their games, sometimes he proposed new games for them to play. We can say that this interest stimulated him to have as many women in his harem as possible, as a result he had 103 children.
Harem of Ismali Quli Khan (1.200)
Mogul Noble (16 th century)
Ismali Quli Khan was a little strange person. He liked riotous living and debauch. His jealosy overstepped the limits. Ismali suspected everyone of faithlessness. Nobody could bear such treatment. And finally the harem women poisoned him.
Harem of Firuz Shah (3,000)
Tughluq Sultanate (reigned 1351-1388)
Firuz Shah didn’t enjoy his work in his high office, that is why he prefered to abandon himself to his passions in his own harem. To set free the world from human’s trade he gathered a group of merchants who made his harem very famous. The population in 3.000 women was so different: there were Circassian, Arab, Turkish, Afghanis, Georgian, Russian and European women, along with 2000 men he imported from China and Asia minor . But as for the marriage he asked some scholars (mullahs). They explained him that he could merry only 300 women. In spite of such big quantity of wives he lived a very long life, till 80 years and had a big posterity.
Harem of Emperor Yang Ti (3,083)
Sui Dynasty (569-618)
The Harem of Emperor Yang Ti counted 3.083 beautiful women: 3,000 palace maidens, 72 royal madams, 6 royal consorts, 2 deputy queens, 1 empress, and 2 his father’s concubines. The most part of women was very young. They satisfied his wishes. One of them was "virgin wheelchair." The girl sat down into this chair and automatical mechanism tied her arms and put her legs apart. Then this mechanism put her in such position which was chosen by her lover. She was ready to give pleasure to him. While travelling Emperor Yang Ti took with him a caravan of ten special chariots, each carrying a naked beauty. They were always at his disposal.
Harem of Emperor Mulai Ismail (4,000)
Every night Emperor Mulai Ismail lied with a Virgin. There were 4.000 women in his harem and he was the supreme regent in Marocco. But he was a very pitiless Emperor. His harem was full of women of various nationalities: Spanish, Italian, Georgian, Arabic, English and others. It was like reproduction of work of art. But Mulai ordered them to renounce Christianity under torture. These sheer hells were terrible. Everything he did was like a source of masochistic pleasure among his women, who is said to preserve in tiny boxes anything that came from him.
Harem of Emperor Achyuta Deva Raya (4,000)
Vijayanagar Empire (reigned 1529-1542)
It is known that there were 12.000 women serving him. But only 4.000 of them lived in his palace and were always ready to connive at his whims. The other girls had their own different charges: some of them were like armed guards, others wrestled and danced, also, there were musicians who played different instruments, for instance, trumpets, pipes. In that palace also were the servants who carried the emperor's wives on palanquins and were dressed in uniforms with many jewels. Everybody looked at such richness with awe.
Harem of Emperor Akbar the Great (5,000)
In spite of Akbar‘s thought and later published edict that man should have only one wife he had around 300. But among his mistresses and marital artners a lot of whom he had because of the reason of expanding his empire there were also 5.000 women living in his palace. Everyone has her own work: some girls served as armed guards; others were slaves, especially Amazons from Russia or Abyssinia .
Harem of Emperor Jahangir (6,300)
Jahangir was the fourth Mogul emperor and son of Akbar the Great. He enlarged his father’s harem, added there 300 women. But it seemed not enough for him. He wanted to try something new, for instance, some interesting unknown feelings. As a result he included 1.000 young men to his harem.
King Tamba of Banaras (6th century BC)—16,000
The largest harem was at King Tamba of Banaras . He had around 16.000 women. But the main and first wife was Sussondi, the most beautiful and loving woman in this seraglio. Some legend tells that the first time when King met this amazing girl was when she played dice.