Court Eunuchs IV: The Varangian Guard – An Interview with Robin Pierson – Byzantine Roman History, Viking History

Today, we’re talking Vikings in Byzantium with special guest Robin Pierson of the History of Byzantium podcast. What were these big-bearded warriors doing standing next to beardless eunuchs? And why were both Vikings and eunuchs entrusted with such important positions?

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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

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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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