Nurbanu (1525–1583)

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Nurbanu (1525–1583)

Ottoman valide sultana. Name variations: Nurbanu Sultan; Nurubanu Sultana; Cecelia Venier Baffo. Born Cecelia Venier-Baffo in Venice, 1525; died in Constantinople, 1583; illeg. dau. of 2 Venetian noble families; m. Selim II the Drunkard (also known as Selim the Sot), sultan of the Ottoman Empire (r. 1566–1574); children: 3 daughters (names unknown), and Murad III (1546–1595), Ottoman sultan (r. 1574–1595).

Captured as a slave (1537), entered the imperial harem and eventually married Selim II, son of Suleiman the Magnificent and Roxelana; became valide sultan (mother of the sultan), the most powerful woman in the empire, when her son Murad III ascended the throne (1574); was the empire's true ruler until her death.