The editor: Shaun Tougher has published widely on the history
of the later Roman and Byzantine empires. He has made particular
studies of Byzantium's Macedonian dynasty, especially the Emperor
Leo VI (886-912). His interests involve literary and social, as
well as political, history.
Eunuchism was a subject which both intrigued and embarrassed the
ancient world. The special virtue attributed to the castrated male
at court, of undistracted loyalty to his ruler, aided the promotion
of numerous eunuchs to positions of great power. A literary discourse
developed, reviling and sometimes defending the eminence of these
'half-men'. Here, thirteen new studies from an international cast
explore how eunuchs were perceived, and also reconstruct the realities
of eunuchs' lives in Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Eastern culture.