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Eunuchs in Antiquity and Beyond

Shaun Tougher (ed.) (The Classical Press of Wales)

Eunuchs in Antiquity and Beyond front cover

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.