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harem


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  • Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)

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The separate part of a Muslim household reserved for wives, concubines, and female servants; the women living there. In extended usage, the word also denotes the wives (or concubines) of a polygamous man, and thus a group of female animals sharing a single mate.

The word comes (in the mid 17th century) from Arabic ḥaram, ḥarīm, literally ‘prohibited, prohibited place’, and from this ‘sanctuary, women's quarters, women’.

Subjects: Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE).


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