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concubine

Chinese empress. Credit: wichansumalee / Adobe Stock

The Reign of Wu Zetian: From Concubine to Empress to… Emperor!

There are rarely any parts of our history more intriguing and interesting than the chronicles of ancient China . Full of unique cultural traits, obscure and colorful mythologies, and above all...
Woman of the Harem

Imperial Harem of the Ottoman Empire Served the Sultan in More Ways Than One

The imperial harem of the Ottoman era was the collection of wives, servants and concubines of the Sultan, who sometimes numbered in the hundreds. Some were mere playthings or used for the production...
Concubine

The Secret Life of an Ancient Concubine

In many ancient cultures and religious traditions, rulers and elite members of society not only had wives, they also had concubines. Concubines normally served a dual purpose – to increase a man’s...
Chinese concubines

The Ming Dynasty Concubines: A Life of Abuse, Torture and Murder for Thousands of Women

The Chinese Ming Dynasty lasted for 276 years (1368 – 1644 AD), and has been described as “one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history.” This dynasty became a...
A ceramic female polo player, from northern China, Tang Dynasty, first half of the 8th century, made with white slip and polychrome. From the Musée Guimet (Guimet Museum), Paris. (Public Domain) Background: ‘Xuanzong's Journey to Shu’, in the manner of the mid-8th century Tang artist Li Zhaodao, an 11th-century Song dynasty remake.

The Tang Dynasty: The Arts Flourished, Family Ties Broke, and a Concubine Became Empress

While Europe was masked in the Dark Ages, China was flourishing in the Tang Dynasty. Woodblock printing gave them books, testing made government jobs available to common citizens, paper spread...
Top image: A woman in traditional Chinese dress. Source: CC0

When Concubines Fought Back: The Plot to Eliminate a Mad and Sadistic Emperor

The Renyin Plot was an assassination attempt carried out on the sadistically violent Jiajing Emperor, who was the ruler of China’s Ming Dynasty during the 16th century. The assassins almost succeeded...
‘The Harem’ by Gustave Boulanger

In a Forbidden Place: Hidden Lives in a Harem

The term harem comes from the Arabic haram meaning forbidden place . This defines the sphere of women in a polygynous household and makes reference to their enclosed quarters being forbidden to men...
The gleaming riches no-one was meant to see belonging to an ancient nomad potentate, and his queen...or was she his concubine?

Examining the Stunning Treasures - and Macabre Slaughter - in the Siberian Valley of the Kings

By Olga Gertcyk, The Siberian Times The royal tomb known as Arzhan 2 in the modern-day Republic of Tuva - to many, the most mysterious region in all Russia - is some 2,600 years old but its valuables...
Lady Mei’s brick tomb found in Nanjing, China.

Stone Tablets found in Gold-Filled Chinese Tomb tell Remarkable Rags to Riches Tale

Two stone epitaphs found within a 500-year-old gold-filled tomb discovered in Nanjing, China, tell a remarkable story about the tomb owner, a woman named Lady Mei. According to the tablets, Lady Mei...