Roustam served Napoleon for fifteen years. Also known as Roustan or Rustam and was Napoleon Bonaparte’s famous Mamluk bodyguard.
born in Tbilisi, Georgia to Armenian parents. At thirteen Roustam was kidnapped and sold as a slave in Cairo.
The Turks gave him the name Idzhahia. The sheikh of Cairo presented him to General Napoleon Bonaparte in 1798 where he became
the great emperor’s famous bodyguard, and soon accompanied Napoleon in peace and wars.
Every morning Roustam, together with Louis Constant Wairy, the Emperor’s personal valet, helped Napoleon bathe and get dressed. During the day, Roustam was constantly at Napoleon’s side, regardless of whether the emperor was on the battlefield.
At night, he slept in an entrance to the emperor’s bedroom, where a small bed was laid for him. If there existed a suspicion of a conspiracy against Napoleon, then he slept right in front of the door, blocking it.
Roustam can be seen in many paintings close to Napoleon at all times.
He accompanied the emperor in the first/second wars of Austria, Prussia, Poland, Spain, Moscow, Dresden, Italy, Venice, France, Dutch and was wounded several times. He is said to have had an influence and played a role on some of the most sensitive decisions made by Napoleon.
Roustan served as a bodyguard of Napoleon until 1814.
In 1814, the end of the French Campaign also put an end to the Emperor and Mamluk’s long relationship. When Napoleon tried to commit suicide at the Château de Fontainebleau and asked Roustam for his pistols, He knew he would be inevitably accused of his masters murder. If he disobeyed the emperor’s order he would be branded a traitor so took fright and ran off to Paris to join his wife,
Napoleon wad exiled to island Elba. In March of 1815, Napoleon returned from his exile and got his title of the Emperor back, but refused to accept Roustan back or even read his letters asking for forgiveness.
Roustan settled in Durdan, where he wrote the book titled as “Life of Roustam Raza till 1814.” Roustam Raza died on December 7, 1845, and was buried in Durdan.