Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Malchi (Malkhi) Esperanza
(272 words)

Esperanza Malchi (Malkhi) was the third Jewish kira (kiera, kyra), a Greek honorific title meaning lady, given to the women who attended to matters outside the palace for the queen mother (valide sultan) and other influential women in the Ottoman royal harem. As a personal agent for Safiye, the consort of Murad III (r. 1574–1595) and the mother of Mehmed III (r. 1595–1603), Malchi played a part in the correspondence between Safiye and Queen Elizabeth I of England. At least once, in 1599, she addressed a letter in Italian to Elizabeth, dealing with the exchange of g…

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Leah Bornstein-Makovetsky, “Malchi (Malkhi) Esperanza”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 26 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_SIM_0014470>
First published online: 2010

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