eunuch


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eunuch

(yo͞o`nĭk) [Gr.,=keeper of the couch], castrated human male, particularly a chamberlain of a harem in Asia. The custom of employing eunuchs as servants in wealthy or royal households is very ancient; it reached its epitome at the court of Constantinople under the Byzantine emperors, from whom the Ottoman sultans adopted it. Eunuchs often rose to high position, the Byzantine general NarsesNarses
, c.478–c.573, Byzantine official and general, one of the eunuchs of the palace. He assisted in the suppression of the Nika riot (532) by bribing the Blues of the Circus (see Blues and Greens) to return their allegiance to Justinian I.
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 being the most celebrated example. In the Muslim world the use of eunuchs was far less common than is generally believed; however, the sale of young males to be eunuchs was formerly an important element in African trade. The castrating operation, which retards the development of normal male characteristics, including the deepening of the voice, was performed with varying thoroughness and with varying success. From Constantinople spread the custom of using eunuchs in choirs. In the opera seria (see operaopera,
drama set to music. Characteristics

The libretto may be serious or comic, although neither form necessarily excludes elements of the other. Opera differs from operetta in its musical complexity and usually in its subject matter.
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) of the 18th cent. the male heroes' roles were sung by castrati, and the papal choir used castrati until the beginning of the 19th cent. A famous castratocastrato
[Ital.,=castrated], a male singer with an artificially created soprano or alto voice, the result of castration in boyhood. The combination of the larynx of a youth and the chest and lungs of a man produced a powerful voice of great range and unique sound.
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 was Carlo Broschi FarinelliFarinelli, Carlo Broschi
, 1705–82, Italian male soprano, greatest of the castrati (see castrato), pupil of Niccolò Porpora, in whose operas he sang (1734–37) in London. Farinelli's real name was Carlo Broschi.
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.

Eunuch

 

a castrated man appointed to oversee a harem. Eunuchs were known among the ancient Assyrians and Persians, in Byzantium, and later among the Turks. Because they were on intimate terms with their masters, eunuchs at the courts of Eastern potentates often attained high standing and became privy councillors in state affairs.

eunuch

[′yü·nik]
(medicine)
An individual who has undergone complete loss of testicular function.

eunuch

castrated guardian of Eastern harems. [Arab. Culture: Jobes, I, 530–531]
References in periodicals archive ?
Keywords: Self-esteem, Eunuchs, Hazara division, Pakistan, Snowball.
Key words: Eunuchs, Gurus, Supreme Court Decision, Basic human rights, Pakistan
My late friend, Latif Kapadia, had soft corner for eunuchs.
A web contained the host female and two males, of which the larger one was a full eunuch (individual that had severed both palps) and the smaller one was intact with both palps (Fig.
What is historically true is that the actual abolition of the eunuch system took place on November 5, 1924, when a Chinese warlord led a coup d'etat that drove the last emperor of the Manchu Dynasty out of the palace where he had been allowed to live after the 1912 revolution.
The eunuch is a gift sent to her by her young Athenian lover Phaedria.
Reputed to be bisexual, the conquering hero is shown in a same-sex embrace with a Persian eunuch.
Studies have ranged from general overviews of the eunuch in history (P.
31) One might say that to start a study of "personhood" with a passage about the eunuch is to start "off center", but I think that starting at the margins will reveal what ideas one holds of "normal" and "normative" masculinity.
Like book-ends, the bodies of the eunuch and the hermaphrodite display the visible signs of sexual deformity yet, in Venette's view, these deformities, based largely on external and arbitrary signs, can be deceptive and should not prevent those who wish to marry or to take holy orders to do so.
The Penzer book had a second life in the popular 1960 book, The Eunuch and the Virgin, by Peter Tompkins, who lifted his account of eunuchs lock, stock, and barrel from The Harem.