Padishah, sometimes rendered as Padeshah or Padshah (Persian: پادشاه‎, Turkish: padişah) is a superlative sovereign title of Persian origin, composed of the Persian pād "master" (or pati from Old Persian) and the widespread shāh "king".[1]

It was adopted by several monarchs claiming the highest rank, roughly equivalent to the ancient Persian notion of "The Great" or "Great King", and later adopted by post-Achaemenid and Christian Emperors.

Historical usage

The rulers on the following thrones – the first two effectively commanding major West Asian empires – were styled Padishah:

Suleiman the Magnificent, Padishah of the Ottoman Empire. Portrait attributed to Titian c.1530

The paramount prestige of this title, in Islam and even beyond, is clearly apparent from the Ottoman Empire's dealings with the (predominantly Christian) European powers. For example, one of the terms of the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca in 1774 was that the defeated Ottoman Empire refer to Catherine the Great, and all other Russian monarchs after her, as a "Padishah" in all official correspondences (including the treaty itself). This was a symbolic acknowledgement that their Christian emperors were in all diplomatic and corollary capacities the equal of the Turkish ruler, who by his religious paramount office in Islam (Caliph) had a theoretical claim of universal sovereignty (at least among Sunnites).

The compound Pādshah-i-Ghazi ("Victorious Emperor") is only recorded for two individual rulers:

  • H.H. Rustam-i-Dauran, Aristu-i-Zaman, Asaf Jah IV, Muzaffar ul-Mamaluk, Nizam ul-Mulk, Nizam ud-Daula, Nawab Mir Farkhunda 'Ali Khan Bahadur [Gufran Manzil], Sipah Salar, Fath Jang, Ayn waffadar Fidvi-i-Senliena, Iqtidar-i-Kishwarsitan Muhammad Akbar Shah Padshah-i-Ghazi, Nizam of Hyderabad 1829–1857

Note that as many titles, the word was also often used as a name, either by nobles with other (in this case always lower) styles, or even by commoners.

Modern usage

There is a large family of Turkish origin using the surname Badi in modern-day Libya. They were originally called "Padishah" due to their Military rank in the Ottoman Army, but the part "shah" was dropped after the Ottoman landing in the North East Libyan town of Misrata, and the pronunciation of "Padi" became "Badi" from the Arabic pronunciation, as there is no p in Arabic.

In 2008, a professional cricket team, the Lahore Badshahs, was founded.

In India, Padishah is often a Muslim surname, from the above-mentioned trend of adopting titles as names by both royalty and commoners.

In popular culture

In Frank Herbert's 1965 novel Dune, the titular head of human space is styled "Padishah Emperor of the Known Universe". In the Pathfinder role-playing game, the ruler of the Empire of Kelesh is styled "Padishah Emperor".

See also


  1. ^, s.v. "pasha" Archived 2013-10-06 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "Countries Ab-Am".

External links

A Deal in Ostriches

"A Deal in Ostriches" is a short story by the British writer H. G. Wells. It is a cautionary tale about simple human greed. The taxidermist of Wells’ story "Triumphs of a Taxidermist" (1894) makes a return appearance as the narrator of the story. The story was originally published anonymously in the December 20th, 1894 issue of the Pall Mall Gazette and later published in the 1895 short story collection The Stolen Bacillus and Other Incidents. The story is the tale of a carefully crafted and skillfully executed con that exploited the natural greed the protagonist's fellow passengers.

Ahmed Karamanli

Ahmed or Ahmad Karamanli or Qaramanli or al-Qaramanli, (most commonly Ahmed Karamanli) (1686–1745) was of Turkish origin and a Member from the Karamanids. He founded the Karamanli dynasty (1711–1835) of Tripolitania or Tripoli (in present-day Libya). He reigned (1711–1745), as the first Karamanli Pasha of Tripolitania.

In the early 18th century, the Ottoman Empire was losing its grip on its North African holdings, including Tripoli. A period of civil war ensued, with no ruler able to hold office for more than a year. Ahmed Karamanli, a Janissary and popular cavalry officer, murdered the Ottoman governor and seized the throne in the 1711 Karamanli coup. After persuading the Ottomans to recognize him as governor, Ahmed established himself as pasha and made his post hereditary. Though Tripoli continued to pay nominal tribute to the Ottoman padishah, it acted otherwise as an independent kingdom.

An intelligent and able man, Ahmed greatly expanded his city's economy, particularly through the employment of corsairs on crucial Mediterranean shipping routes. Nations that wished to protect their ships from the corsairs were forced to pay tribute to the pasha. On land, Ahmed expanded Tripoli's control as far as Fezzan and Cyrenaica before his death in 1745.

Ahmed's successors proved less capable rulers, however, and the kingdom was soon wracked by internal strife. The Karamanli dynasty would end a century later as the Ottomans retook control.


Lady Anirul Sadow-Tonkin Corrino is a fictional character and member of House Corrino in the Dune universe created by Frank Herbert.

A Bene Gesserit of Hidden Rank and wife of the 81st Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV, Anirul is the mother of Shaddam's five daughters, the Princesses Irulan, Chalice, Wensicia, Josifa, and Rugi, and is the grandmother of Farad'n. Anirul is referred to only three times in Herbert's 1965 novel Dune (and only once by name), but is a major character in the Prelude to Dune prequel trilogy (1999–2001) by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.

The Dune Encyclopedia (1984) by Willis E. McNelly provides an extensive, alternate biography for Anirul. The Encyclopedia notes that Anirul had been compelled to comply with the Sisterhood's breeding program by way of a residual poison administered by Gaius Helen Mohiam, and refers to Anirul's distant, icy relationship with daughter Irulan and revulsion for the "malicious" Wensicia.

Gaius Helen Mohiam

Gaius Helen Mohiam is a fictional character in the Dune universe created by Frank Herbert. She is a Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother, and initially appears in the 1965 novel Dune and its 1969 sequel, Dune Messiah. Mohiam also has a major role in the Prelude to Dune prequel trilogy (1999–2001) by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.

In Dune, Mohiam is the Imperial Truthsayer, and the mentor of Lady Jessica, the Bene Gesserit concubine of Duke Leto Atreides. Mohiam is interested in Jessica's young son Paul Atreides, who is a key figure in the Bene Gesserit breeding program but has also displayed unusual potential. She ultimately loses any influence she may have had over Jessica or Paul, who ally themselves with the native Fremen of Arrakis and depose Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV. In Dune Messiah, Mohiam joins a conspiracy to remove Paul from power, which fails.

Mohiam is portrayed by Siân Phillips in David Lynch's 1984 film Dune, and by Zuzana Geislerová in the 2000 miniseries Frank Herbert's Dune and its 2003 sequel Frank Herbert's Children of Dune. The character will be played by Charlotte Rampling in the upcoming Denis Villeneuve film Dune.

House Ordos

House Ordos is a mercantile House in the Dune universe as presented in the Westwood Studios Dune video games produced from 1992 to 2001. The Ordos have no army of their own, relying on their wealth to recruit mercenaries. The Ordos excel at interfering in the conflict between House Atreides and House Harkonnen. They are known as "the rebellion of Dune". The House is listed in the non-canon Dune Encyclopedia (1984) by Willis E. McNelly but has never been mentioned in any of the novels.

Kaitain (Dune)

Kaitain is a fictional planet in the Dune universe created by Frank Herbert.

In Herbert's 1965 novel Dune, it is mentioned briefly as the seat of power of Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV, the Imperial court being previously located on the planet Salusa Secundus.The Prelude to Dune prequel trilogy (1999-2001) by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson further explores Kaitain and its origins.

On October 8, 2014, a real-world labyrinthus (complex of intersecting valleys) on Saturn's moon Titan was named Kaitain Labyrinthus after Herbert's fictional planet.

Kutlugh Turkan

Kutlugh Turkan (d. 1283), was a sovereign ruler of Kirman from 1257 until 1282.

She was the daughter of Buraq Hajib of Kirman and married her father's cousin Qutb al-Din (d. 1257). When her father died in 1234, he was first succeeded by her brother Rukn al-Din (d. 1252), and then by her spouse. When she was widowed in 1257, when their son Hajjaj was a minor, the Kirman notables asked the Mongol overlords to recognize his mother, Buraq Hajib's daughter and Qutb al-Din's mother, as the sovereign of Kirman, which they did. She established an alliance with Mongolia by sending her son to the army of Hulagu, and marrying her daughter Padishah Khatun to Abaka Khan, Hulagu's son.

She was officially confirmed in her title by Hulagu 1264, named 'Ismat al-dunya wa al-din, and had the khutba proclaimed in her name.

Her former stepson Suyurghatamish contested her right to rule and eventually forced her to name him her co-ruler. However, she: "complained to her daughter Padishah Khatun and received a yarligh forbidding her stepson to meddle in the affairs of Kirman".The last years of her reign was described as a golden age of Kirman. In 1282, however, the Ilkhan Ahmad Teguder placed Suyurghatamish on the throne of Kirman. She traveled to the Mongol court at Tabriz to protest, but without success. In 1291, Suyurghatamish was deposed by her daughter Padishah Khatun.

List of Dune Houses

The following are the family Houses featured in the fictional Dune universe created by Frank Herbert. The assembly of all the nobles in the Imperium, called the Landsraad, consists of many additional Houses Great or Minor which are never mentioned in the novels.

Melange (fictional drug)

Melange (), often referred to as simply "the spice", is the name of the fictional drug central to the Dune series of science fiction novels by Frank Herbert, and derivative works.

In the series, the most essential and valuable commodity in the universe is melange, a drug that gives the user a longer life span, greater vitality, and heightened awareness; it can also unlock prescience in some humans, depending upon the dosage and the consumer's physiology. This prescience-enhancing property makes safe and accurate interstellar travel possible. Melange comes with a steep price, however: it is addictive, and withdrawal is fatal. Harvesting melange is also hazardous in the extreme, as its only known source is the harsh desert planet Arrakis, and melange deposits are guarded by giant sandworms.

Organizations of the Dune universe

Multiple organizations of the Dune universe dominate the political, religious, and social arena of the fictional setting of Frank Herbert's Dune series of science fiction novels, and derivative works. Set tens of thousands of years in the future, the saga chronicles a civilization which has banned computers but has also developed advanced technology and mental and physical abilities through physical training, eugenics and the use of the drug melange. Specialized groups of individuals have aligned themselves in organizations focusing on specific abilities, technology and goals. Herbert's concepts of human evolution and technology have been analyzed and deconstructed in at least one book, The Science of Dune (2008). His originating 1965 novel Dune is popularly considered one of the greatest science fiction novels of all time, and is frequently cited as the best-selling science fiction novel in history. Dune and its five sequels by Herbert explore the complex and multilayered interactions of politics, religion, ecology and technology, among other themes.

We've a three-point civilization: the Imperial Household balanced against the Federated Great Houses of the Landsraad, and between them, the Guild with its damnable monopoly on interstellar transport.

As Frank Herbert's Dune (1965) begins, the known universe is ruled by Shaddam IV, the 81st Padishah Emperor of House Corrino, whose power is secured by his control of the brutally efficient military force known as the Imperial Sardaukar. One balance to Imperial power is the assembly of noble houses called the Landsraad, which enforces the Great Convention's ban on the use of atomics against human targets. Though the power of the Corrinos is unrivaled by any individual House, they are in constant competition with each other for political power and stakes in the omnipresent CHOAM company, a directorship which controls the wealth of the entire Old Empire. The third primary power in the universe is the Spacing Guild, which monopolizes interstellar travel and banking through its proprietary use of melange-mutated Guild Navigators to "fold space."The matriarchal Bene Gesserit possess almost superhuman physical, sensory, and deductive powers developed through years of physical and mental conditioning. While positioning themselves to "serve" mankind, the Bene Gesserit pursue their goal to better the human race by subtly and secretly guiding and manipulating human bloodlines and the affairs of others to serve their own purposes. "Human computers" known as Mentats have been developed and perfected to replace the capacity for logical analysis lost through the prohibition of computers. The patriarchal Bene Tleilax, or Tleilaxu, are amoral merchants who traffic in biological and genetically engineered products such as artificial eyes, "twisted" Mentats and a type of clone called a ghola. Finally, the Ixians produce cutting-edge technology that seemingly complies with (but sometimes pushes the boundaries of) the prohibitions against computers, thinking machines and conscious robots put in place 10,000 years before as a result of the Butlerian Jihad. The doctors of the Suk School are the universe's most competent and trusted; those who have received the "Suk Imperial Conditioning" are incapable of inflicting harm. The Swordmasters of Ginaz are an elite group of master swordsmen whose fighting skills are prized and unmatched. Equally fierce in battle are the native Fremen of the desert planet Arrakis, known as Dune. Naturally honed to excellence in harsh conditions rivaling the planet on which the Imperial Sardaukar are trained, the Fremen are misunderstood and underestimated by the other powers in the universe.Arrakis is the only natural source of the all-important spice melange, and by leading the Fremen to seize control of the planet in Dune, Paul Atreides is able to depose Shaddam and become ruler of the known universe. With a bloody jihad subsequently unleashed across the universe in Paul's name but out of his control, the Bene Gesserit, Tleilaxu, Spacing Guild and House Corrino plot to dethrone him in Dune Messiah (1969). Seeing the eventual extinction of mankind through prescient vision, in Children of Dune (1976) Paul's son Leto II devises a plan to save humanity but becomes a symbiote with the sandworm of Arrakis to gain the extended lifespan needed to see this plan to its end. Thirty-five hundred years later in God Emperor of Dune (1981), Leto still rules the universe as a benevolent tyrant, with the help of his all-female army, the Fish Speakers. He denies any spiritual outlets other than his own compulsory religion, and maintains a tight monopoly on melange and space travel. Through his own selective breeding program among the descendants of his twin sister Ghanima, Leto finally achieves Siona, whose actions are hidden from prescient vision. He engineers his own assassination, knowing it will result in rebellion and revolt but also in an explosion in travel and colonization. The resultant chaos and severe famine on many worlds cause trillions of humans to set off into the freedom of unknown space and spread out across the universe in a diaspora later called the Scattering. Fifteen hundred years later, as Heretics of Dune (1984) begins, the balance of power in the Empire rests among the Ixians, the Bene Gesserit and the Tleilaxu. The Spacing Guild has been forever weakened by the development of Ixian machines capable of navigation in foldspace, practically replacing Guild Navigators. Ixians are at their apex with their alliance with the Fish Speakers; but Bene Gesserit analysts see them as a failing power, because Ixian society has become a bureaucracy and no great inventions have come out of the workshops of Ix for centuries. The Bene Gesserit control the sandworms and their planet, now called Rakis, through their influence over the Rakian Priesthood that worships the sandworms as the Divided God, Leto II, and now actively participate on interstellar politics and even have their own standing armies. But the Tleilaxu have also discovered how to synthetically produce melange, and they are preparing to subjugate the rest of humanity. As a large influx of people begin to return from the Scattering, the Bene Gesserit find their match in a violent and corrupt matriarchal society known as the Honored Matres. A bitter and bloody war erupts between the orders, but in Chapterhouse: Dune (1985) it ultimately becomes clear that joining the two organizations into a single New Sisterhood with shared abilities is their best chance at survival against the approaching enemy who had driven the Honored Matres into the Old Empire.

Padishah (disambiguation)

Padishah, Padshah, Badshah or Padişah is a title of nobility roughly meaning 'emperor' in Persian languages, primarily used for the Shahanshah of imperial Iran.

Pad(I)shah may also refer to :

Imperial/royal ruler stylesSultan of the Ottoman Empire, prominent is whose long titulature in Turkish was Padişah

Padshah-i Hind, the main title of the 'Great Mughal', as paramount ruler of Hindustan (India)

Padishah Bahadur (meaning 'a rank above Padshah'), assumed by the usurper Tipu Sultan having overthrown the Maharaja of Mysore and bidding to overtake the Mugjal empire, until his defeat by the British

Padshah-e Awadh, assumed by the former Nawabs of Awadh (alias Oudh) when they declared it a kingdom independent of the Mughal empireFictional rulersPadishah Emperor of the Known Universe, a title within the fictional universe of Frank Herbert`s Dune novels, the titular head of human space

In the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, the ruler of the Empire of Kelesh is also styled "Padishah Emperor".OtherPadishah (Zabul), an Afghan appointed to Afghanistan's First Constitutional Loya Jirga, see Constitutional Loya Jirga

Padishah (Kandahar), a tribal elder; see Yar Mohammed (Karzai)

Padishah Khatun, Mongol poet and empress

Badshah (rapper), Indian rapper

Padishah Khatun

Safwat al-Din Khatun (died 1295), otherwise known as Padishah Khatun, was the ruler of Kirman in Persia from 1291 until 1295 as a member of the Mongol vassal Qutlugh-Khanid dynasty in Persia.

Paul of Dune

Paul of Dune is a 2008 science fiction novel written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, set in the Dune universe created by Frank Herbert. Released on September 16, 2008, it is the first book in the Heroes of Dune series and chronicles events between Frank Herbert's Dune (1965) and Dune Messiah (1969), as well as between Dune and its 2001 Brian Herbert/Kevin J. Anderson prequel, Dune: House Corrino.Following the events of Dune, Paul Atreides is in control of the all-important planet Arrakis and therefore the entire universe. Former Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV has been deposed and exiled, but plots to return to power. The Fremen jihad in Paul's name rages as he himself sees to the accuracy of his consort Princess Irulan's chronicle of his life story. Paul flashes back to his memories of the War of Assassins which played out in his youth, before his family relocated to Arrakis in Dune.

Pecteneremus padishah

Pecteneremus padishah is a moth in the family Autostichidae. It was described by László Anthony Gozmány in 1963. It is found in Saudi Arabia.

Salusa Secundus

Salusa Secundus is a fictional planet appearing in Frank Herbert's Dune universe. With harsh conditions rivaling those of the desert planet Arrakis, Salusa is used as the Imperial Prison Planet, and is one of two planets on which shigawire is grown (the other being III Delta Kaising).

Shaddam IV

Shaddam IV of House Corrino is a fictional character in the Dune universe created by Frank Herbert. He is Padishah Emperor of the Known Universe in Herbert's 1965 novel Dune. Shaddam's accession to the throne is chronicled in the Prelude to Dune prequel trilogy (1999-2001) by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, and he later appears in the prequel series Heroes of Dune (2008–2009).

Born in year 10,134 A.G. (After Guild), Shaddam is the son of Elrood IX and the 81st member of House Corrino to occupy the Golden Lion Throne. Shaddam's closest friend is the assassin Count Hasimir Fenring, a cousin and childhood companion. Shaddam has five daughters—the Princesses Irulan, Chalice, Wensicia, Josifa, and Rugi—and no legal sons. His wife Anirul, a Bene Gesserit of Hidden Rank, died in 10,176 A.G.Shaddam is described as "red-haired" by his daughter Irulan via epigraph in Dune, and noted to be 72 years old yet looking no older than 35. He is portrayed by José Ferrer in the 1984 David Lynch film adaptation Dune, and by Giancarlo Giannini in the 2000 Dune miniseries. In the 1984 film, Shaddam is said to be over 200 years old, as the Guild representatives remind him of the importance of the spice melange, which extends life.


Shah (; Persian: شاه‎, translit. Šāh, pronounced [ʃɒːh], "king") is a title given to the emperors, kings, princes and lords of Iran (historically known as Persia in the West). It was also adopted by the kings of Shirvan (a historical Iranian region in Transcaucasia) namely the Shirvanshahs. It was also used by Persianate socities such as the rulers and offspring of the Ottoman Empire (spelled as Şah and Şeh in the modern Turkish language), Mughal emperors of the Indian Subcontinent, the Bengal Sultanate, as well as in Afghanistan. In Iran (and the Greater Iran region) the title was continuously used; rather than King in the European sense, each Persian ruler regarded himself as the Shahanshah (Persian: شاهنشاه‎, translit. Šāhanšāh, "King of Kings") or Padishah (Persian: پادشاه‎, translit. Pādešāh, "Master King") of the Persian Empire.

Other words for King in other Iranian languages, like Sogdian xšyδ, Kurdish, Parthian and Gilaki šāh, Bactrian šao, Luri and Mazandrani ša and Pashto pača are also from the same root.

Spacing Guild

The Spacing Guild is an organization in Frank Herbert's science fiction Dune universe. With its monopoly on interstellar travel and banking, the power of the Guild is balanced against that of the Padishah Emperor as well as of the assembled noble Houses of the Landsraad. Mutated Guild Navigators use the spice drug melange to successfully navigate "folded space" and safely guide enormous heighliner starships from planet to planet instantaneously. Essentially apolitical, the Guild is primarily concerned with the flow of commerce and preservation of the economy that supports them; although their ability to dictate the terms of and fees for all transport gives them influence in the political arena, they do not pursue political goals beyond their economic ones. It is noted in Dune (1965) that Houses of the Imperium may contract with the Guild to be removed "to a place of safety outside the System"; in the past, some Houses in danger of ruin or defeat have "become renegade Houses, taking family atomics and shields and fleeing beyond the Imperium". The Guild controls a "sanctuary planet" (or planets) known as Tupile intended for such "defeated Houses of the Imperium ... Location(s) known only to the Guild and maintained inviolate under the Guild Peace".


Princess Wensicia is a fictional character and member of House Corrino from the Dune universe created by Frank Herbert. She was introduced in Herbert's 1976 novel Children of Dune and appeared decades later in the 2008 novel Paul of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.

As established in the appendix of Dune (1965), Wensicia is the third daughter of the 81st Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV and Anirul, a Bene Gesserit of Hidden Rank. Her oldest sister is the Princess Irulan; her three other siblings are sisters Chalice, Josifa and Rugi. Wensicia accompanies her father into exile on Salusa Secundus after he is deposed by Paul Atreides in Dune.Wensicia is portrayed by Susan Sarandon in the 2003 miniseries Frank Herbert's Children of Dune.

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