A social history of the role of eunuchs in the households and courts of Greece, Rome, China, Byzantine, medieval Europe and the East, which aims to challenge traditional preconceptions about their duties. Scholz demonstrates that many eunuchs were not slaves but were instead important household and government officials who exerted great influence, notably in the Near East. He also argues that androgeny was idealised as a liberated and pure condition in medieval Christian Europe.
Piotr O. Scholz
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was most insightful. I it easy to read and understand. A subject that is not well known and very professionally treated.
I had really hoped that this would have more stuff in there about how these people actually felt about their status, what they experienced, but so far I haven't found anything like that. Most of it seems to be pretty dry, cataloguing where and when these practices occurred. Perhaps I have missed something.
Historian and academician Piotr Scholz's Eunuchs And Castrati: A Cultural History is a fascinating, informative, insightful study of eunuchs and castrated men throughout human history. Thoroughly researched and wide-ranging, Eunuchs And Castrati covers the role of eunuchs in such diverse lands and eras as Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Byzantine Empire, China, Islam, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Reformation, and 17th and 18th-century Italian opera. Especially recommended to students of gender studies and cultural history, Eunuchs And Castrati is an impressive book written to dispel commonly held myths and draw readers into a fascinating, if somewhat disturbing human phenomena. The excellent English translation also includes a new epilogue by Shelley L. Frisch about eunuchs in the twentieth century.
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