Despite monogamy being the norm of sexual relationships in mainstream society today, the practice is far less common either in nature or in history. In fact the patriarchal foundations of most ancient cultures further facilitated polygamy according to which men were allowed to take as many wives and concubines as their resources or social status permitted. Cultural privileges and political compulsions were other common reasons for men keeping large harems and households with multiple wives.

Procreation has been one of the most important impulses of man since the evolution of the human race. While at the earliest time, it was motivated by the need for survival of the species, eventually it became about enlarging one’s own group and lineage. The dynamics of widespread procreation too have undergone a change from being earlier facilitated by social institutions like polygamy to modern science of sperm donation. Here are some men who have been known to father the maximum number of children.

Ismail ibn Sharif

While extensive armies and massive monuments have always served as traditional proof of the might of an emperor, yet another common way of underlining the ruler’s power and influence was keeping a large harem. Interestingly though the original meaning of harem did not imply a large collection of wives, concubines and female attendants fiercely guarded by male eunuchs. Originally a harem could indicate any specific area in the house or complex for the exclusive use of women and children.