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 ?
2009b) has recently confirmed that the eunuch phenomenon typically entails initial sclerite damaging during copulation, followed by voluntary post-copulation palpal removal, corroborating only two previous observations on Nephilengys (Robinson & Robinson 1980).
That Thais wants first an African, then a eunuch, and that Phaedria buys her both suggests she is fickle and he generous, but her lapses of attention and his gift of Dorus prove that.
Chapter 4 examines the presentation of eunuchs in particular narratives, especially Symeon Metaphrastes' tenth-century version of the story of the Old Testament prophet Daniel, which happily accepts him as a eunuch.
But "The Eunuch of Constantinople" is also a historical novel.
Devisse attributes the popularity of the Eunuch as a visual theme primarily to the rich theological implications he held for Christians as the first non-Jew to be brought into the Christian economy of salvation.
She became a contributor for the London-based Oz magazine, and in 1970 published her first book, The Female Eunuch.
One could smooch in the bushes, as long as one tipped off the eunuchs who ' administrated' the park.
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.
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.
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.
Properly catechized or not, the eunuch stops at the first oasis and asks Philip to baptize him.
32] And one of the distinguishing features of the eunuch was his beardlessness.