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Letter written by Hürrem Sultan

suleyman-hurrem1.jpg (19144 bytes)This undated letter was written by Hürrem Sultan to Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent. Yellow paper is polished and flecked with gold on both sides. After the letter was completed, fresh gold flecking has been applied. Hürrem uses the form of address My Lord Sultan, and commences with the words, Having touched this unworthy face of mine to the sacred dust under the foot of my beloved Lord Sultan, thanks be to God on High, my dear soul, my fortune, my happiness, my sultan, that your sublime letter arrived to lend radiance to the eye and delight to the heart. After protestations of her love, she says that neither tongue nor pen can describe her condition, and recites a twelve line poem.

She then expresses her happiness at a decree sent by Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent concerning the construction of a hamam, and her wish that the hamam should be finely built in accordance with her wishes. She has spent fifty thousand akçe (a small coin weighing 1.15 gr) on kitchen expenses, leaving nothing for her personal expenditure, and hints that she is in need of money. She says that her sons as well, that a cautery has been applied to Cihangir’s shoulder, bringing the infection to the surface, and that it has been incised and cleaned. She reports that the health of Imam Hoca is declining, and says that she has received good news from the Paşa (presumably a reference to Barbarossa Hayrettin Paşa, then on campaign in Tunisia), and concludes with the hope of receiving good news and that the sultan’s sword should prevail. In the margin she conveys greetings to the Paşa (this must be İbrahim Paşa) and says that Süleyman’s nurse is in good health. Evidently, this letter was sent to Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent during his campaign to Iraq. The reference. The reference to a ferman concerning the construction of a hamam in the palace is the clue to the letter’s date. This ferman is in the palace archives, and was drawn up at the beginning of Ramazan 941 (mid March 1535), so Hürrem Sultan’s letter must have been written within the next two months.