Court Eunuchs I: Third Gender of Byzantium – Byzantine Roman History

Did you know that Byzantine culture recognized three genders? This begins our new series on Byzantine court eunuchs, and today it’s all about different constructions of gender. That, and cutting off your junk to get ahead! Follow the spectacular rise and fall of the court eunuchs of Byzantium.

Be sure to support the show at www.patreon.com/deadideaspod to get your portrait drawn!

Music and graphic design by Rachel Westhoff. Maps, pics, references and more at www.deadideas.net.

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Time/place: Byzantine Empire, 324-1453 BCE

Dead Idea: Court Eunuchs

Co-hosts: Nick and Anna

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Main Sources

Agathias. “The Histories.” Translated by Walter de Grutyer, 1975.
Google Books, https://books.google.com/books?id=Wp92bUzuMoQC&q

Berger, A., Ed. & Trans. (2013). Accounts of medieval Constantinople: The Patria. Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, 24. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Blöndel, S. (1978). The Varangians of Byzantium. Benedikz, B. S., Trans. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Browning, Robert. Justinian and Theodora. Praeger Publishers, 1971.

Evagrius Scholasticus. “Ecclesiastical History, Book Four”. Translated
by E. Walford, 1846.
http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/evagrius_4_book4.htm

Kaldellis, A. (2017). A Cabinet of Byzantine Curiosities. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Norwich, John Julius. A Short History of Byzantium. Vintage Books, 1999.

Procopius. The Secret History. Translated by G.A. Williamson and Peter
Sarris. Penguin Classics, 2007.

Procopius. History of the Wars, Books I-II and VII-VIII. Translated
into English by H.B. Dewing. Harvard University Press, 1996.

Ringrose, K. (2003). The Perfect Servant: Eunuchs and the Social Construction of Gender in Byzantium. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Rosen, William. Justinian’s Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of
Europe. Viking, 2007.

Rowland, M. R. (2014). “Eunuchs and Sex: Beyond Sexual Dichotomy in the Roman World.” Dissertation. University of Missouri-Colombia.

Tougher, S. (2008). The Eunuch in Byzantine History and Society. New York: Routledge.

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