Writing was invented by the Sumerians around 3500 BC. Many of their
clay tablets have survived, including one with history's first love
poem. Archaeologists bestowed upon it the rather mundane title "Istanbul
#2461," but you can't expect these guys to understand poetry. The
author is unknown, but it's believed to have been recited by the chosen
bride for Sumerian King Shu-Sin. Here's a sample:
let me caress you,
My precious caress is more savory than honey,
In the bedchamber, honey filled,
Let us enjoy your goodly beauty,
Lion, let me caress you,
My precious caress is more savory than honey.
read the poem in its entirety, click here.
The author signs off with: "Your loving wife who has had a child."
Male A man using the name
Giovanni Vigliotto contracted 104 marriages from 1949 to 1981 in 27
states and 14 countries. On March 28, 1983 in Phoenix, AZ, Vigliotto
received a sentence of 28 years for fraud and six for bigamy and was
It has been recorded that Mrs. Theresa Vaughan (or Vaughn), aged
24, while on trial in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, on December 19,
1922 admitted under oath that in the past 5 years she had acquired 61
husbands in 50 cities throughout England, Germany, and South Africa,
averaging a marriage a month.
Shah of Persia (1771-1834)—1000 wives
Taking the Scriptural assurance "Instead
of thy fathers thou shalt have children, whom thou mayest make princes
in all lands" to heart, the Shah wedded an extraordinary amount
of women to birth his princelings. The Nasikhu't Tavarikh, a great
modern Persian historical work, fixes the number of his wives at
over 1,000. He distributed his colossal male progeny in every government
post throughout the kingdom, much to the mortification and sorrow
of its citizens. Hence the Persian proverb "Camels, fleas,
and princes exist everywhere."
Solomon of Israel (c. 973-c. 933 BC)—700 wives
The third king of Israel he reigned
some 40 years, during which time he enjoyed 700 wives and from 60
to 300 mistresses. His women were both Israeli and foreign, taken
to further political alliances and were among the most beautiful
in all antiquity. Although polygamy was the matrimonial standard
of the time, later rabbis claimed that Solomon's single son was
proof of punishment by God for Solomon's violation of monogamy.
Kahina of the Berbers (c. 650?-702)—400 husbands
Chief of the Berbers in Northern
Africa, Kahina relied on her cunning and indomitable will to withstand
the Arab invasions of her homeland. Not much can be definitively
said about this enigmatic figure. She was not especially attractive—later
Arab historians unflatteringly describe her as "fleshy"—but
was such a intriguing figure that centuries after her passing she
was still romanticized in French literature. In one account it is
said she ruled over a mighty harem of men, servile and willing to
accommodate her every wish.
Ibn Saud (1880-1953)—400 wives
The supreme ruler of the Arabian
peninsula, at any one point he had four wives, four concubines and
four slaves to satisfy his desire. Whenever they ceased to amuse
him he divorced them and remarried, which occurred quite frequently.
He married into over 30 tribes and used these links to gain their
political support. To him women were nothing more than a combination
of a source of pleasure and a breeding machine, an exchangeable
commodity that he kept in a windowless basement because "windows
let lovers in."
Bhupendra Singh of Patiala (1670-1733)—365 wives
Once said, "wine, fish, meat,
alcohol and plenty of sex was good for the soul." A toweringly
handsome Sikh with a colorful personality, he was famed for his
sexual prowess and appetite and forever on the lookout for pretty
women, even going so far as to kidnap them when they refused his
overtures. Every evening he would light 365 lanterns around his
palace, each with the name of one of his wives inscribed on it.
The wife whose lamp went out first would be his for the night. For
leap years, he'd take the night off.
Fatma Sultan, daughter of Sultan Ibrahim (r. 1640-1646), became
the wife of the second vizier Yusuf Pasa when she was three years old
(child marriages were not uncommon in the Ottoman empire during this
period). A year later, the vizier was killed on the Sultan's orders,
making Fatma a widow at the age of four. That very same year, she married
again, this time to Admiral Fazil Pasa. After the lavish wedding but
before their union was consummated, her husband was sent to a mission
abroad, never to return. Twelve years later Fazil Pasa died, making
her a second-time widow at the age of sixteen. Fatma wisely decided
never to marry again.