These facts become more impressive when one considers that he had once to ransom himself from slavery (Eʾtemād-al-Salṭana, , p. Some of them used their wealth to defend political causes. This was the case of Ḥājj Jawāher Khan Ṣadīq-al-Ḥaram, who served under Moẓaffar-al-Dīn Shah (r. The preponderance of black eunuchs over white in Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah’s harem is evident through the numerous photographs of the members of the shah’s seraglio in which eunuchs are often present.The photographs of the royal collection also show the eunuch’s uniform, which was a high fur-skin hat and a long, loose robe worn over the trousers.Naturally, the most common role of eunuchs was as guardians of the harems, and their most coveted position was that of s could reach in the crowded harems of Fatḥ ʿAlī Shah (q.v.; r.1211-50/1797-1834) and of Nāṣer-al-Dīn (q.v.; 1264-1313/1848-96). During Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah’s reign every first rank lady had three or four eunuchs at her service, second rank ladies had two or three eunuchs, while the shah had seven eunuchs at his disposal, both white and black (Moʿayyer-al-Mamālek, p. The origins of these eunuchs can be traced to two main periods.
There eunuchs would play a similar role to that of their courtly counterparts. THE QAJAR PERIOD The establishment of the Qajars as the ruling dynasty in Iran was due to a eunuch, Āḡā Moḥammad Khan Qājār (q.v.; r.
When Artaxerxes’s three sons contested the throne, eunuchs plotted on their behalf. Apparently, he was the Artaḫshar referred to in Babylonian documents as chief of the treasury during the reign of Darius II (Dandamayev, pp. Though all the eunuchs known to us except Hermotimus had Iranian names, we cannot be sure of their ethnic background since their names could have been changed. 9-17), in the trilingual inscription of Šābuhr I on the Kaʿba-ye Zardošt (ŠKZ, Mid. He claims that very few were Africans; “black” referred to eunuchs who came from India, mostly from Malabar and the Gulf of Bengal.
Ctesias mentions the Paphlagonian eunuch Artoxares who helped Darius II rise to the throne and who later perished due to the intrigues of the queen Parysatis (König, pp. Schmidt believes that the beardless Persians and Medes depicted on the Persepolis stairway reliefs were eunuchs (p. A number of Apadāna (q.v.) and Treasury reliefs in Persepolis depict the king sitting with a man behind him in a bashlyk head-dress and holding a large towel. Each female member of the harem had at least two eunuchs in her service.
At the beginning of the Qajar era many eunuchs who populated the royal harems and the rich households were of Georgian origin, taken as prisoners during the wars against Russia.
After the Treaty of Torkmānčāy (1828), it became more and more common to have black eunuchs from East Africa, especially Abyssinia, which constituted the largest slave market for Iran, at least until the end of the 19th century.