For sales information, please contact our distributors:
Bloomsbury Academic
For North American and all e-book sales:
ISD Distribution

  Eunuchs in Antiquity and Beyond
edited by Shaun Tougher

IISBN-13: 978-0-7156-3129-4 ISBN-10: 0-7156-3129-2, hardback, xiii+269 pp., 2002, .0


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.


Introduction Shaun Tougher
1. Eunuchs in history and society - Vern L. Bullough
2. Eunuchs and the royal harem in Achaemenid Persia (559-331 BC) - Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones
3. Eunuchizing Agamemnon: Clytemnestra, Agamemnon and maschalismos - Ruth Bardel
4. Sacred eunuchism in the cult of the Syrian goddess - J.L. Lightfoot
5. Looking for eunuchs: the galli and Attis in Roman art - Shelley Hales
6. Eunuchs and gender transformation: Philo's exegesis of the Joseph narrative - Ra'anan Abusch
7. Eunuchs and early Christianity - Walter Stevenson
8. In or out? Origins of court eunuchs - Shaun Tougher
9. 'Eunuchs of light'. Power, imperial ceremonial and positive representations of eunuchs in Byzantium (4th-12th centuries) - Georges Sidéris
10. Theophylact of Ochrid's In Defence of Eunuchs - Margaret Mullet
11. Eunuchs in the late Byzantine empire, c. 1250-1400 - Niels Gaul
12. Eunuch power in imperial China - Shih-shan Henry Tsai
13. The other castrati - Richard Witt