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Episode 721             Episode 723
Episode 722

Teresa Sampsonia
Sat, 2019-Apr-27 01:07 UTC
Length - 2:33

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Saturday, 27 April 2019 is Teresa Sampsonia.

Teresa Sampsonia (born Sampsonia; after marriage Lady Teresa Sampsonia Shirley, 1589–1668) was a noblewoman of the Safavid Empire of Iran. She was the wife of Elizabethan English adventurer Robert Shirley, whom she accompanied on his travels and embassies across Europe in the name of the Safavid King (Shah) Abbas the Great (r. 1588–1629).

Teresa was received by many of the royal houses of Europe, such as English prince Henry Frederick and Queen Anne (her child's godparents) and contemporary writers and artists such as Thomas Herbert and Anthony van Dyck. Herbert considered Robert Shirley "the greatest Traveller of his time", but admired the "undaunted Lady Teresa" even more. Following the death of her husband from dysentery in 1628, and due to impediments from grandees at the court, and the authorities, during the reign of Abbas's successor and grandson Safi (r. 1629–1642), Teresa decided to leave Iran. She lived in a convent in Rome for the rest of her life, devoting her time to charity and religion. As a pious Christian, and because of her love for her husband, Teresa had Shirley's remains transported to Rome from Isfahan and reburied; on the headstone of their mutual grave she mentions their travels and refers to her noble Circassian origins.

Thanks to her exploits, Teresa has been described as someone who subverted patriarchal gender roles common to the Muslim and Christian cultures of her time. Due to their hybrid identities and adventures, Teresa and her husband became the subject of several contemporary literary and visual works. Nevertheless, the story of Teresa as an important woman of the 17th century has been largely overshadowed and obscured by the tale of her husband Robert and his brothers.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 01:07 UTC on Saturday, 27 April 2019.

For the full current version of the article, see Teresa Sampsonia on Wikipedia.

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