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Seraglio
From the Robert E. Howard Lexicon


"He stared at the beauties of his seraglio, who, according to Tatar custom, tremblingly served their new masters: black-haired Jewesses, with slumberous, heavy-lidded eyes, lithe tawny Circassians and golden-haired Russians, dark-eyed Greek girls and Turkish women with figures like Juno—all naked as the day they were born, under the burning eyes of the Tatar lords."

-Lord of Samarcand

There is no accident that the Ottoman Turkish name for their harem came from the Italian, for the bulk of Ottoman sex slaves [including castrated English men and boys] were trafficked to Istanbul by Venetian slavers.

The seraglio is perhaps the Asian convention that Howard most often employs in both his fantasy and historic adventures.

se·ragl·io.

[səˈrälyō]

NOUN

1.

historical

the women's apartments (harem) in an Ottoman palace.

•the women inhabiting a seraglio or harem.

2.a Turkish or Ottoman palace, especially the Sultan's court and government offices at Constantinople.

ORIGIN

late 16th cent.: from Italian serraglio, via Turkish from Persian sarāy ‘palace’; compare with serai.

RELATED FORMS

seraglio (noun)

seraglios (plural noun)

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