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 ?
In this country, it tends be the taxpayers who end up as eunuchs.
As a result one of eunuchs identified as Sana and drumbeater Ibrahim were killed on the spot while Mukhtiar, Rafiq and Qamar were injured.
Kamla, a eunuch candidate from Varanasi, claimed that no politician has done much for their community and they shall continue to fight their own battle.
And "to exclude genetic factors that could have affected the lifespan, we compared the lifespan of eunuchs with multiple Yan-ban families.
Among 81 eunuchs studied, three lived to 100 or more.
On average, eunuchs lived to about 70 years of age, which is between 14 and 19 years longer than the lifespan of noncastrated men of the same social standing.
She said the District Coordination Officers (DCOs), of all districts in Sindh are directed to collect data about the families of eunuchs in their respective districts so as to grant right of inheritance to the eunuchs.
She said that on May 24, Iqbal and other eunuchs were celebrating Rani's birthday when police raided the hall and falsely implicated Iqbal and Rani in an alleged gay marriage case.
Known by the term "hijra" in conservative Muslim Pakistan, transvestites, eunuchs and hermaphrodites are generally shunned by society.
In order to assess the prevalence of eunuchs and external plugs in nature, we examined a representative sample of newly collected N.
Brookes had entered his first guilty pleas on the basis that his interest was in eunuchs but that he had looked at images of children when he came across them.
We've replaced Allen Ginsberg with entertaining eunuchs, bathhouses with community centers.