Talk:Eunuch/Archive 1

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old talk

I made an unconventional edit, which I would like to explain here. It is not like me to ever remove info from any article, but in this case I thought it clouded the issue. I removed the text:

"Some people would regard a man that has undergone sexual reassignment surgery to be a eunuch, whilst others would regard them as being a transgender woman."

I replaced it with a "See also:" which links SRS. The reason being that if the article defines a eunuch as a "castrated human male," then this does not apply to a post-op transsexual woman...because, simply, she is not a male. In most areas there is now a legal method for reassignment of legal sex listing, and there is abundant medical evidence for citing a trans woman as female rather than male, especially since the effects of HRT cause these women to have very similar health concerns to genetically XX women. Simply, when one is speaking of eunuchs, it is hard to conceive of a circumstance where one has in mind a post-op trans woman who has been on years of female hormones, adopts a female gender role, and looks entirely female without an in-depth medical examination. It does not seem to add clarity to the article, but rather removes it.

I think that there is enough info on the history of eunuchs and the modern sub-culture of eunuchs within the body mod scene that this article is not really the best place to define what a male is and to debate the sex of intersexuals and transsexuals. Since I know that some might say my POV is not entirely neutral here, I thought I would make the edit, explain my reasoning and if some one disagrees, they may re-edit it as they wish. - Paige 19:19, 4 Aug 2003 (UTC)



Did the eunuchs in China and in the Arabian harems have their penises removed too? AxelBoldt 01:32, 15 Jan 2004 (UTC)

In China, yes. IIRC.

Does anyone have more information on this topic? I think it misses some things.

  • Like, if a boy was made into an Eunuch before puberty, did they still develop sexual desires? The article states that eunuchs castrated after puberty could perform intercourse. Well how about castration before puberty.
  • Maybe something of the cultural status of Eunuchs in the Middle Eastern harems.
  • And about their different status in China?
  • Were there Eunuchs in Western societies? Everybody knows about the stereotypical eunuch protecting the Harem of the Sultan and most people also know about the Eunuchs serving the Son of Heaven, the glorious Emperor of China.
  • The effects of castration? The traditional view of them being overweight and having round contours.
  • And everything I missed.

I am sure someone has a good book on this, or maybe has learned something in a history class. Maybe a doctor in the community with medical knowledge on the subject? Oh well, I would just like to learn a bit more about this subject. - magraggae 17:47, 14 Jul 2004 (GMT+1)

In Western Europe weren't boys castrated to keep their singing voice? But of course they were not eunuchs in any sense.
Oops, already in the article!

Preparation techniques?

IIRC, in China the severed parts were placed in a special jar (a kind of "Canopic jar" but for an external organ) to be preserved and, upon the eunuch's death, buried along with the rest of the body. IIRC.

Chinese eunuchs

It's interesting to see how the list of "famous Chinese eunuchs" describes them as "despotic", "infamous", power-grubbing, etc. I think some modern historians believe the official historians of the court (and intelligentsia in general) often maligned the eunuch class, with whom they struggled for power. So we perhaps get an exaggerated POV today. 4.250.48.238 22:41, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

For sure. Eunuch had acess to the emperor not just in the outer palace where the court sessions were held -- but they also could contact the emperor in the inner palace where all other men were forbidden to enter. That's a definite advantage that make the intelligentsia envious. In addition, there were seem as an abnormality that is neither yin or yang. Definitely some unpleasant anatgonism. But they did exerted immense power, sometimes abusing that great control as well. And not all eunuchs were vilified. Zheng He, for example, left much good reputation. --Menchi 00:00, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Eunuchs = Homosexual?

I remember seeing a site that claimed that most references to 'Eunuchs', especially in western classical culture, actually refer to homosexuals who were viewed as 'pre-castrated' because of their sexual preference. Is this a widespread viewpoint, or just a fringe theory?

Fringe.

I'm going to add the argument to the main page anway. It may be fringe, but it is compelling.

I've read the entire argument and to be frank, it is a top notch bit of research. I will, however, try to confirm the as many of the references as possible. (http://www.well.com/user/aquarius/contents.htm)

Ejaculation?

"According to Burnham, many women preferred eunuchs as lovers since they never ejaculated and could, therefore, maintain erections longer."

Is this correct? I read in the article on castration that those castrated after puberty can still ejaculate, though no pregnancy would be possible. Is that why it's in the myths section? I think it needs some clarification.


It's my understanding that males castrated after puberty can ejaculate. The ejaculate is from the prostate, which normally mixes a liquid with the sperm coming from the testes. Since there are no testes, there would be no mixing. Somebody probably needs to consult with a urologist to get the straight story. Gene McManus, 15 May 2005

What is a Eunuch?

According to our article, anyone who has been castrated or even mutilated is a eunuch. Is that accurate? My understanding is the term has significance in terms of social roles. For example calling a 21st century rapist who has been castrated by court order a "eunuch" seems incorrect. Eunuch is a historical term with historical meaning. Comments? Stbalbach 03:12, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

    • I think the term eunuch can be applied to any man or boy whose testicles have been removed.-12.108.252.34 16:13, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
    • There is a contemporary voluntary eunuch community in the Western world, and they do use the term "eunuch" to refer to themselves. The tens of thousands of men who are castrated as part of their treatment for prostate cancer tend not to use the term. In fact, most try to hide the fact that they have been castrated, though there are over a half million of them in North America alone.

Bible facts

In regards to this recent addition:

In actual fact, the term "eunuch" sometimes came to be used to refer to a person performing particular social functions, regardless of whether they had been surgically mutilated. It has been suggested that the Ethiopian referred to as a eunuch in the Bible in Acts chapter 8, had not actually been physically castrated. Arguments for this include the assertion that he was probably a Jewish prosylite, and that the Torah (Books of Moses) forbid a man to included in the "assembly of the LORD", if he has had severe mutilation to his reproductive system (Deuteronomy Chapter 23 v1).

Couple problems

  1. The only example given is an interpretation of a passage from the Bible. That's not really appropriate to Wikipedia for a number of reasons. 1) We are not supposed to interpret Bible passages since its original research. 2) Many people don't consider the Bible to be a factual source.
  2. "It has been suggested" is known in parlance as a weasel term. Who suggested it? But also see #1.
  3. It says "in actual fact" then says "Arguments for this" as if it's a contested issue.

Saying Eunuchs are not always castrated is appropriate if there is evidence for it that can be cited.

--Stbalbach 01:27, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Experience of a Modern Eunuch

This was recently added by an anon user:


Truths
As a modern eunuch, I hope to be able to provide people insight to what life is like, and definitive answers to these mythical questions some wonder.
Emotional changes will often be experienced. A castrated male will likely experience more intense emotions, generally be more tearful and will statistically increase risk of possible depression (similar to women), and risk premature osteoperosis. Many will often report something termed the "Eunuch Calm"; a deep sense of peace and inner tranquility. Which will cause a much calmer, gentler personality.
Initially, a male may experience hot flashes (particularly at night) as body adjusts to change, but in some cases these will dissapear with time. A gradual re-distribution of body-fat will occur. Hips will become more rounded, and a slight gynecomastia may occur. Often head-hair will gain volume and become more woman-like and skin may become softer. Body hair may also thin slightly, and beard growth will slow and thin. Male pattern balding will almost certainly be avoided in later life.
The sex life of a eunuch is not all that different from a male. Eunuchs can indeed ejaculate, but no sperm are present. The act becomes far less physical and visual and becomes a much more romantic and emotional affair. Sex is a choice for most eunuchs, rather than an urge forced upon as a biological impulse. Orgasm will often take longer to reach, and will be softer for most. Some eunuchs feel comfortable not engaging in sex, and this will cause no distress, as any sexual thoughts can be comfortably overlooked.

It really violates a lot of Wikipedia rules. It's POV, written in the first person, un-verifiable, perhaps even originalresearch -- how can we verify this is true? It sounds true, but still, this is not really in the spirit of how Wikipedia operates. I'm moving it here and removing it from the main article for further discussion. Stbalbach 03:07, 22 August 2005 (UTC)


I'm terribly sorry you feel that way Stbalbach. And I totally understand when you say it is not in the spirit of Wikipedia. After all, I did write the beginning as 'first person'. I can only beg and say that there is important information here that you will not find anywhere else. I am not a transsexual, and have never taken estrogen.

You can easily verify my claims by talking to the good people (there are hundreds I'm sure would be happy to vouch for my condition) at http://www.eunuch.org/vbulletin/

I can never have children. My family line ends here. And it would mean a lot, if my contributions to society could be to explain a condition that otherwise you would have nothing but out-dated history books to learn anything from.

How can you include "Myths" which clearly has some glaring innaccuracies (but some of which were on the mark), and claim that as fact, when it is written by someone who has done research, or once knew someone who thought they might be a Eunuch.

I beg you here, that I am here and I am quite genuine. I would love to talk, and it would really make me happy if you can find it to contact me at thefraj2002@yahoo.co.uk.

I'm just making a heart-felt plea not to throw away first-hand experience in a subject that would otherwise remain shrouded in mystery.

But obviously, I will respect you're opinion.

Responded via email. Stbalbach 13:52, 24 August 2005 (UTC)


I understand the concerns about including first-person knowledge not being in the spirit of Wikipedia. On the other hand, the experience of and other information about modern-day eunuchs seems to be disappointly missing from this article. I do think information similar to what was in the removed first-person account could be found in existing literature. (A couple of months ago, I saw an article about the "plight" of modern-day eunuchs in the Philadelphia CityPaper (not totally sure about the name of the paper).) As such, it'd be nice if it were included. (Okay, maybe I'm being a bit lazy here in not doing it myself...maybe I will eventually.) Mas2265 01:27, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Distinctions of Eunuch

The article makes no distinction between how a person came to be a Eunuch. Historically speaking eunuchs were created to serve a specific social function, to the point the word Eunuch was associated with that position. This is unlike someone who was simply castrated as a form of torture or physical mutilation. It is therefore difficult to speak about Chinese eunuchs vs. modern rapists who have been castrated as punishment in the same sentence and be of any value. I think the article needs to seperate and define Eunuchs that were castrated to serve a social function, versus everyone else. One is simply a matter of physical, the other is social and historical. Stbalbach 02:58, 6 September 2005 (UTC)


I hear what you're saying Stephen. I suppose there is a spectrum of people castrated for a variety of reasons; medical conditions, punishment by the state or gender dysphoria. But the eunuchs of today are rarely made so [specifically] for social roles, more for reasons directly relating to the physical result.

So I suppose the obvious question is, what distinction would be drawn, and why? Maybe it's fair to call one group "Historical" and one "Modern". But even this can be misleading. Consider the Indian Hijra - have existed through a long period of history (and still do today!). Some are kidnapped at young ages, to perform the function of being a Hijra and joining the community. But - as the characteristcs of modern eunuchs, plenty come willingly, because they don't identify with being male (similar to transsexuals in the West). So how would one catagorise that?

I don't know but I'll have a careful think. But I can understand why - in essence - we are talking of two very distinct classes here arn't we? Separable by the purpose that castration is to serve thefraj 19:12, 27 September 2005 (GMT)


Mortality rate

The article contains the paragraph

[...]. The methods used varied across time and space. There have been some exaggerated reports of high mortality from the surgery, but the best documented rates are no higher than for other surgery at the time, e.g., about 3 to 5% for removal of both testes and penis in Qing Dynasty China. The highest well-documented mortality rate was when 329 of 1,565 boys from the Miao tribe in southern China died when they were castrated after defeat in battle during the early Ming Dynasty - a death rate of 20%.

With reference to the highest mortality rate being recorded as being 20%, in the last sentence of the above, please see the paragraph below, which is taken from the article on castration, which suggests a mortality rate of 90% for people treated in this particular way (I think it was added in the last month or so):

African slave traders also frequently castrated their charges in order to increase their commercial value. After denying the victim fluids for a day or two, they would sever the penis and testicles, and use a hot iron to cauterise the wound closed. They would then force the prospective slave to drink so that hopefully the pressure of the bladder would be able to force an opening in the wound for urine. It is estimated that 90% of the slaves so treated died in the attempt, however, castrated slaves were greatly valued and sought both in Europe and in the East, where Muslims and Jews formally discouraged the practice but informally were happy to purchase already-castrated slaves from Christian traders.

Polsequ95 21:21, 21 September 2005 (UTC) ____ If the mortality rate really were 90%, the newly created eunuchs would need to be worth at least 10 times as much as an uncastrated slave, just to break even. That eunuchs sold for only two to three times as much as uncastrated boys makes the 90% mortality rate seem highly unlikely. Slave traders were successful businessmen, after all. The extremely high death rates were publicised by anti-slavery activists and are very doubtful.


I have to agree, it wouldn't seem economically viable for this mortality rate to be too accurate - although I'm not disputing the menthods.

What I would be quick to point out: the mortality rates quoted here clearly state China. It's fair to assume that the rates would vary from one nation to the next, so what you're saying isn't strictly incompatible with the entry. But I would question a figure so high as to undermine your other point - since it simply wouldn't be econimically viable to make a profit. thefraj 20:05, 27 September 2005 (GMT)

While the exact mortality rate might be questionable, it was certainly very high historically, and that should be noted. However citations are needed, and if you're going to challenge a cited source it should be done with a superior cited source. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 204.52.215.67 (talk) 18:52, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Posting Nonsense?!

I recently tried to add to the Eunuch page; however, my comments were immediately censored and deemed as 'posting nonsense'. I am disgusted that this has taken place, but it is highly expected due to the elusive, and all too often controversial, subject of Eunuchs. It never ceases to amaze me that homosexuals are not identified under the term "born eunuchs". Contrary to what some have been led to believe, men are not born castrated! This is a solid fact that should no longer be ignored or blatantly over-looked. This topic should not be discussed without covering the fact that homosexuals indeed fall into the category of "born eunuch". Anyone who censors such common sense is obviously trying to omit more than just words... they are trying to 'cut-off' [Isaiah 56:5] the history of a violently oppressed people with a rightful heritage that is found in every race, culture, and nation spanning the entire globe! Those men who are 'unique' by nature, and not by choice, deserve much better than outdated dictionary terminology, and bigoted, narrow-minded views to describe a vibrant and colorful past that should never be forgotten. Of course, as Jesus Himself once said to His male companions, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb… He, who is able to accept this, let him accept it.” [Matthew 19:10-12] Now why do you suppose men would have trouble accepting this teaching?

Regarding Jesus as a defacto eunuch ‘for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven’, let us not forget that at His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus’ disciples all fled and left Him. All accept one certain young dedicated servant, who faithfully stayed at Jesus’ side to the very end. “And they all left Him and fled. Accept a certain young man was following Him, wearing nothing but a linen sheet over his naked body; and they seized him. But he left the linen sheet behind, and escaped naked.” It certainly seems as though the Holy Bible has not escaped the censorship of unprincipled men. Anyone who questions the validity of Jesus and his relationship with his beloved, I would refer you to ‘The Secret Gospel of Mark’ by the late Professor Morton Smith. Moreover, a new book finally proves the controversial legitimacy of ‘Secret Mark’ by studying a matrix of chiastic codes that are meticulously embedded throughout the gospel of Mark called ‘Decoding Mark’ by author John Dart. The real DaVinci Code: The young man to the right of Jesus at the Last Supper, painted for centuries as effeminate, is NOT John. Quite contrary to popular belief, The beloved disciple was not John the evangelist, nor, as some ridiculously maintain, Mary Magdalene; The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved, was none other than LAZARUS. The disciple Jesus emotionally rose from the dead, the first disciple and the last disciple.

“Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” John 11:3

“Jesus wept. And so the Jews were saying, ‘Behold how He loved Him’” John 11:35, 36

“But the young man, looking upon Him, loved Him and began to beseech Him that he might be with Him. And going out of the tomb, they came into the house of the young man, for he was rich. And after six days, Jesus told him what to do, and in the evening, the young man comes to Him, wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with Him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God. “~Secret Mark

“There was reclining on Jesus’ chest one of His disciples whom Jesus loved” John 13:23

“His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a rich man in His death, because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth.” Isaiah 53:9

Jesus said, “I tell you on that night there will be two men in one bed; one will be taken, and the other will be left” Luke 17:34

[“Two men will be in the field [garden]; one will be taken and the other will be left.”] Matt. 24:40, Luke 17:36

Jesus said, "Two will rest on a bed; one will die, one will live." Gospel of Thomas (61)

When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby [the cross], He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the [beloved] disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour, the disciple took her into his own household. John 19:26, 27

“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books which were written.” John 21:25

“These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.” Revelation 14:4

“To them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial, and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name which will never again be cut off.” Isaiah 56:5


[1]

No wonder your edits were reverted as nonsense. User:Zoe|(talk) 04:10, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Some confusion over Ganymedes?

When clicking on the link to Ganymedes (Ganymedes (1st century BC) Highly capable adviser & general of Cleopatra VII's sister & rival, Princess Arsinoe. Defeated & almost killed Julius Caesar in battle at Alexandria, capturing his cloak in the process. Could have changed the history of Rome and of the eastern Mediterranean if he had not been displaced through Egyptian court intrigue.), I did not get directed to that subject, but was re-directed to Ganymede, of Greek mythology. It seems there is some confusion over the two names but I do not have enough knowledge to correct it. I assume that the direction from Ganymede to Ganymedes is inorrect. Can anyone advise/correct this? Diliff | (Talk) (Contribs) 16:46, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

  • I've put your description of the general in a new Homophones section in Ganymedes; a shortening in English of classical names is common whenever they are (or once were) fairly well-known. However googling for more hõmonyms, I found a general of Arsinoe to be historical FICTION, so please check where you read about him if there is a historical general meant. For actual historical figures, the best reference is generally Pauly-Wissowa (in German), but don't have it at hand (fills two library book cases in any really good scientific library's historical section) Fastifex 08:52, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Eunuchs in Fiction

I made the section in reference to Pirates of the Caribbean in which the fictional character Will Turner is jokingly referred to as a eunuch. Feel free to remove it if you feel that is is unnecessary or, rather, expand on it if you prefer. I came across this article while researching Castratos.--Lwieise -=- Talk to Me 18:29, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Hijra

It seems to me that paragraph about Hijras does not capture the essence of the Hijra article.

The article fails to mention that to many people in Indian society the Hijra are actually not reagarded as "lucky" or having "charm". In fact Indian officials have recently started using Hijra to scare people into paying taxes, as reported by Reuters News Service in an article titled "Dancing eunuchs taxing red-faced shopkeepers" and dated Friday, November 10th 2006. Most modern people in India consider Hijra somewhat unwelcome and are usually paying the Hijra to leave them alone. To see more click on the link to the Reuters article, which even quotes a top Indian tax official who says that the Hidras are meant to scare and embarrass people into paying back-taxes. He also calls using the Eunuchs "shock therapy".

The paragraph about Hijdra in this Wikipedia article presents what appears to be misinformed and/or biased information.

Reuters Article

See also the section titled "Social status and making a living" in the Wikipedia article Hijra.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by 155.98.81.153 (talkcontribs)

You have a point, the idyll depicted in the section was quite absurd. I have tried to amend that. Next time, be bold and do it yourself! (Of course, no anti-hijra/anti-queer bias is admissible either.) --194.145.161.227 14:11, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Regarding "Eunuchs in Fiction": See also, Goodwin, Jason. The Janissary Tree. Picador, New York: 2006. From the book jacket (ipso facto): "Investigator Yashim. A man both brilliant and near-invisible in this world, an investigator who can walk wihin the great halls of the empire, in its streets, and even within its seraglios-because, of course, Yashim is a eunuch(The Times, London)." 75.61.141.74 (talk) 01:04, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

born eunuchs

when I saw this article, I expected a discussion of eunuchs not as castrated men, but as biological males who were impotent with women, to be a large part of it. 'born eunuchs' are barely mentioned in the 'figurative use' section. the origional greek application of the word eunuch has nothing to do with weither or not a male's testicles were removed, and neither do most of the ancient words which can be translated eunuch. the majority of them describe a function, not a physiological state.

due to this glaring inadequecy, I've asked the author of http://www.well.com/user/aquarius/ to contribute to the article. I dearly hope he responds and will be willing to do so, as he's a credible expert if ever there was one. as it is mentioned above, his scholarship is impecable, and his website is literred with citations and quotes in their origional languages (the author is fluent in 5 languages, and familiar with several more). the ethical implications of the historical use of the word aside, it is important to note that it is only (relatively) recently that the usage has come to mean a castrated man, and not a biological male who has a certain social role.

discussions of weither or not jesus was a eunuch (as many early christians believed) are entirely secondary and have nothing to do with the undeniable fact that eunuchs in the ancient world were not exclusively, or even mostly, castrated men. this is not nonsense, weither or not attributing this status to christ is. even if that were true, and I'm not qualified to speak to that either way, saying anything about it would just lead to conflict...you can't say anything about a figure like christ without intellectual defense mechanisms going off. irrefutable evidence for that would just produce hostility, so poorly supported supposition on the subject is not just going to get the facts it was loosely based on ignored. PROVE jesus was a eunuch and you'll be ignored and your sources unfairly disregaurded. speculate on it, and you just hurt your source's credability. the verses cited there, by the way, do not ammount to academic support of anything. modern, heterosexual semetic men kiss eachother and lean on shoulders and such - it's not an indication of sexual or romantic attatchment at all. I've seen butch, hardened criminals in russia sitting in a row with their legs crossed like only women would do in america. indicators of things like homosexuality change from culture to culture. even if they didn't, there'd be no solid support for assuming those verses make christ gay. also, if you were attempting to make that point, you would want to include matthew 19:11, where christ actually mentions born eunuchs as a class distinct from castrated men. in verse 12 he goes on to say 'some have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven', which is sometimes translated 'renounced marriage' - it's pretty obvious that eunuch in his time was also distinction of social function, not just one of physiology. the scholarship at the website I mentioned above makes it abundantly clear that it was primarily the former. anyway, I'll stop and hope that the writer, Faris Malik, will provide us with his input.--Feralnostalgia 10:20, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

I have in fact added a few lines to the section called "Figurative Use," stating that, under ancient Roman law, some eunuchs were distinguished from castrati, and were said to be capable of procreation and "not diseased or defective." The original citations in the Roman Digest are given. I also changed the section heading to "Non-castrated eunuchs." The former heading "Figurative Use" is prejudicial: it implies that only castrated men are real eunuchs. -- Faris Malik 20:08, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

I see no sources or evidence for most of your claims, notably that there were non-castrated eunuchs (or rather that a term traditionally translated into English as "eunuch" denoted non-castrated persons) in other societies than late Rome-Byzantium and modern India, figurative use aside. The definition of the word "eunuch" shouldn't be changed, at any rate not without more sources - and then I mean academic secondary sources, and not primary sources interpreted by Mr Malik - about more societies. And excuse me, but implying that the ancients (especially in classical Antiquity) dared have no unambiguous designation for homosexuals as such and needed to replace it with "eunuch" would be ridiculous even if it didn't violate WP:NOR. --194.145.161.227 23:38, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

true? or error? a comment

'*..in effect acting as a shield between the emperor and his administrators from physical contact. Eunuchs were believed loyal and dispensable.'

  i did read where the eunuch, having no family(?) to carry on property rights etc...the eunuch therefore could easily disappear,so to speak....

but later, in a *different paragraph, the above...in the context of the sentence, i wonder if the eunuchs were believed loyal and IN-dispensable? i can see how it may work either way...and the author DID use the word 'dispensible'...it helps me understand the emperor and the condition the eunuch is living through.I want to be sure. sorry to be a bother. Mahu-ike

++ I'm sorry, don't want to hijack your category but I've got another factual concern: "# Sima Qian - old romanization: Ssu-ma Chi'en (2nd/1st century BC) Was the first person to have practiced modern historiography - gathering and analyzing both primary and secondary sources in order to write his monumental history of the Chinese empire."

++ Isn't Herodotus (From centuries earlier) generally considered the father of historiographical analysis of history? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.175.25.127 (talk) 14:12, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Some edits I'm making

The quotes from Digesta etc. refer to spadones, and they all make sense when you read the [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0059%3Aentry%3D%2344853 dictionary entry] for spado: "A. one who has no generative power, an impotent person (whether by nature or by castration; hence more general than castratus), Digesta 50, 16, 128 ; 23, 3, 39; 28, 2, 6; 1, 7, 2; 40, 2, 14; opp. castratus, Just. Inst. 1, 11, 9 . B. B. In partic., a castrated person, a eunuch, Liv. 9, 17, 16; Quint. 11, 3, 19; Plin. 13, 4, 9, § 41; Hor. Epod. 9, 13; Juv. 14, 91 al.".

The text says that "Kathryn M. Ringrose demonstrates how eunuch societies included not only castrated men but also homosexuals, transgenders" etc. I'd like to see a word-by-word quotation of her saying that. This link of The Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association exctracts what it considers to be significant portions of the essay, specifically in the context of the "third gender". I would expect them, if anybody, to quote the part about eunuchs being homosexual; yet all it contains is "The term “eunuch” as used in Late Antique and Byzantine sources was broader and more nuanced than the simple phrase “castrated male” seems to imply... In its broadest sense the word “eunuch” refers not only to an individual who is physiologically incapable of rendering offspring but also to one who has chosen to withdraw from worldly activities and thus refuses to procreate." Nor is there a single word about gayness in this huge review of an entire book by Ringrose. There, it becomes clear that while the pagan ancient Greeks did base their definition of "eunuch" on physiology and genitalia, the Christian Byzantines emphasized behaviour (procreation), hence often including "for example, celibate monks and even nuns." Which means also that the claim that "in ancient terms, a eunuch means any man who is impotent with women" inaccurate, to say the least (the ancient Greeks being more "ancient" than the Late Romans and th Byzantines).

Finally, the hijra are mentioned so many times that, as in many other Wiki articles, it seems no editor actually tried to read the rest of the article and avoid repetitions. While the hijra are a case that supports Mr Malik's idea, this is not a reason to change the English definition of "eunuch" in the intro as it is given e.g. in Encyclopaedia Britannica and in any dictionary, but rather to avoid the word "eunuch" when referring to the hijra - as, indeed, the article about hijra suggests. If that has caused "many historians to wonder if a similar reality existed in other "eunuch" cultures around the world", as the text says, then that "widespread wondering" should be sourced. The "modern eunuchs" section is all about the hijra and should go to that article.

The bit about homosexual behaviour etc. is partly true, and yet it doesn't belong in the intro, since it really wasn't one of their primary functions. It should be sourced, too.

On another note, I am moving the "Myths" section to the talk page - it's too weird, so I think it needs a more reliable source to justify its inclusion. The author is not a serious scholar of any kind. --194.145.161.227 23:26, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Kathryn Ringrose writes in her article "Living in the Shadows: Eunuchs and Gender in Byzantium" (pp. 85-109 in G. Herdt, ed. _Third Sex, Third Gender_, New York, 1993) that the term eunuch "until the ninth century ... encompassed anyone who did not as well as could not produce children, including men who were born sterile, men who became sterile through illness, accident or birth defect, men who were lacking in sexual desire and men and women who embraced the celibate life for religious reasons" (p. 86). That is as close as Ringrose comes to stating that the term eunuch could include many of those who we call homosexuals today, and it's not very close. But she cannot get any closer than that, because, adhering to Michel Foucault's argument that "the homosexual" is an invention of 19th century science, Ringrose does not believe there were ANY homosexuals in ancient times - she has said so many times, both in her books and personally to me. Ringrose's chronology of the change in the meaning of the word eunuch is very confusing, as pointed out by Shaun Tougher in his review of her book _The Perfect Servant_ which is linked on this page. She says that the meaning of the term changed "within Byzantine society between the third and the twelfth century," but she does not say what its starting point was in the 3rd century and in what direction it went, what happened to it in the 9th century (see previous quote), or where it ended up in the 12th century, or how it got from there to the present day. She offers no proof that the Classical Greeks or Romans saw gender primarily as a matter of the genitals and she merely asserts that, if gender was seen as a function of procreative ability by the Byzantine Christians, it was due to developments in Christianity. That is demonstrably false. Even Aristotle recognized that an animal is male or female based on its function [logos] and, almost secondarily, the physical part that goes with that function. Throughout classical literature, doubts are expressed about this or that person's masculine gender based on nothing but their alleged lack of procreative ability, and even sometimes based on their desire to play the passive role in sex sith other men. Ringrose's argument leads to the misleading characterization (in this Wikipedia article) of the use of the word eunuch in the Roman Digest as a product of these Byzantine Christian attitudes, which it is not. The Digest is a compendium created in the 6th century, to be sure, but it is a compendium of legal pronouncements mainly from the pagan period around 200 AD. The relevant passages about eunuchs are quoted mainly from Ulpian, who was a pagan Roman jurist living in the early third century under pagan Roman emperors, and from Paulus, another pagan also from the same era. It is simply false to imply that the characterizations of eunuchs in the Roman Digest are the product of Byzantine Christian influence. The idea that eunuchs did not have to be castrated, indeed often were not castrated, but rather could be born eunuchs, and could still procreate, goes back well into the time when Christians were still being barbecued on the steps of pagan temples, and even before that. -- Faris Malik 01:08, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Moved to talk

Section title: Myths According to Tom Burnam's Dictionary of Misinformation, a common misconception about eunuchs is that, since they were castrated, they were either unable or unwanting to defile or perform sexual intercourse with the women in the harem they were employed to watch over. This was not always true, however. Though they would be expected to have a lower sex drive, eunuchs could often achieve an erection and engage in coitus, though no pregnancy could result. According to Burnham, some women preferred eunuchs as lovers since they never ejaculated and could, therefore, maintain erections longer. However, this does not hold true against present medical knowledge.[citation needed] --194.145.161.227 23:19, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Moved to talk 2

"In her essay "Living in the Shadows: Eunuchs and Gender in Byzantium," Kathryn M. Ringrose demonstrates how eunuch societies included not only castrated men but also homosexuals, transgenders, ascetics, celibates and a wide range of men who were technically impotent or uninterested in women for a wide range of reasons."

For the reasons stated in the above section "Some eidts I'm making", I'd like to have a direct quote for the "homosexual and transgender" part. --194.145.161.227 10:27, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Definition of "Eunuch"

As a modern eunuch who never identified as male - surgically castrated by choice - who has contributed in the past, I am very pleased with how the moderators are looking after and caring for this article. (Particularly, protecting it from religious maniacs!) Eunuchs and gay people have existed across all cultures, all religions and all races since time immemorial. Long before The Holy Bible, or al-Quar`an was written! We have just had periods in our history where the tides of socio-political and religious ideologies have made homosexuality, eunuchism, and transgenderism a subject that one cannot talk about!

In that spirit, I am greatful for the existance of Wikipedia, and the gentle people who care for our article here. And would like to say that there are just a few very minor issues with this article:

Today, someone can be chemically castrated, using medications. If you speak to many in the community, you will find many that will try this prior to surgical castration as a means to experience the feelings, emotions and changes of being without testosterone before any irriversible surgery takes place.

If someone is chemically castrated, are they not also a eunuch?

So I politely suggest that "castrated male" is simply not good enough as a definition. I would like to suggest a definition based around one offered a while ago by someone else from our community: "A person born genetically male, who's testicles are removed (castration) or are non-functional". Because for many modern eunuchs, (as with a few cross-sections of historical ones!) there is also a gender identity issue that needs to be taken into account. And also some people 'born eunuchs' with genitals that are non-existant or inneffectual, Turners Syndrome, or with intersex conditions, Klinefelter Syndrome, etc.

EDIT: After reading the "Skoptic" section more carefully, I am happy that it is not being used to demonize the community, though I still question the purpose of including out-dated research from the 70's.

--thefraj∇∆∇∆14:34 16th November 2006 (UCT)

Nick Evesham

The Nick Evesham entry in the famous eunuchs section looks bogus. I find nothing on the web about this person except obvious copies of the entire wiki entry. Anniepoo 06:37, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Pictures

Why aren't there any images of modern-day eunuchs? mrholybrain's talk 01:14, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

You can add them denizTC 05:11, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, except I don't have any. mrholybrain's talk 10:21, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Eunuchs in fiction

Would anyone have an objection to removing "Eunuchs in fiction" and "other eunuchs" sections. It is indiscriminate trivia per WP:NOT. Encyclopedia articles are supposed to be about notable things, not a banal list of every Eunuch ever mentioned. If there is anything in those lists that is notable they should be 1) sourced and 2) say why they are notable. -- Stbalbach 21:26, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

I object. This is not "indiscriminate trivia." This has been debated before on Wikipedia talk:Avoid trivia sections in articles, and the opinion of many users is that lists like these do NOT constitute "trivia." Most of the items are notable enough that the fictional works in question have their own articles in Wikipedia. —Lowellian (reply) 11:36, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Physical differences

There should be a section on physical differences of eunuchs compared to most men: voice differences, height differences (if any), etc. —Lowellian (reply) 11:40, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Eunuchs

How can I get my hands on a eunuch to use as a slave in this day and age? I think they would probably make good slaves. --124.197.54.130 06:45, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Pax Athenica?

The first entry under "Eunuchs in Fiction" seems pretty tangential; what's more, I notice that it cites a self-published novel. So--has anyone heard of Pax Athenica? If it's genuinely notable, I don't want to delete the reference, nominate the book on AfD, blah blah blah, but I'm wondering. Iralith 18:08, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Er, an additional note: Pax Athenica gets fifteen (expanded) Google hits. Five of those are Wikipedia itself; one's Amazon; four are an online bookseller; four are the author's MySpace page; and one's the author's friend's LiveJournal. I'm really doubting that this book is notable, and I'm definitely doubting that it ought to be mentioned on this page. Iralith 18:15, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
Enh, I'm taking it out. Iralith 22:26, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Modern Eunuchs

I think that a section about eunuchs in contemporary society should be added. I'm not entirely sure as to what precisely the content should be; but as of now the article seems to portray eunuchs as a thing of the past, merely a historical artifact. There are individuals today that would identify as "eunuch" (aside from hijras) and the article is incomplete without at least some mention of this fact. Rootneg2 04:41, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Ottoman Empire Eunuchs

When many people think of 'eunuch' their mind immediately goes back to the harem of many fictional accounts, which pretty much refer to the seraglio of the Ottoman Emperor. How come there's no mention whatever of the Ottoman eunuchs, surely among the most well-known variant?194.109.254.26 (talk) 17:58, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Category

Can we set this article to Category:LGBT? Newone (talk) 04:42, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Section: In the Bible

Removed this section, as its content is addressed in other sections. Drkeithphd (talk) 15:27, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

"Castrated by shrapnel in World War One"

I think a good rule of thumb would be to not call somebody a eunuch in the article if you couldn't address them as "a eunuch" in real life. Point being, if somebody were to cut off my balls, I don't think others would call me a eunuch unless they wanted to offend me [horribly]. As the article points out, the word eunuch connotes a rank or social standing, as well as deliberate castration. I'm taking the liberty of removing this.

Born Eunuchs

i think this should be incorporated into the article http://www.well.com/user/aquarius/contents.htm ~kp —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.26.124.0 (talk) 01:58, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Incidental and non-notable

Comes along User:Spasemunki and decides on his own which references to Eunuchs in fiction are "incidental" and "non-notable" and without any discussion removes them from the article. So I returned them.

Both the criteria of "incidental" or "non-notable" mentions, as well as the desirability of deletion of such mentions, should be properly discussed before undertaking such steps. Debresser (talk) 13:02, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

There was a tag for cleaning the section, so I decided to be bold. Anyhow, I would say that first off, anything where it's just a mention- Johnny Dep's character calling Orlando Bloom a eunuch, for instance- is incidental. I'd prefer to limit it to works where the focus of the work is a eunuch character, or when the issue of someone being or not being a eunuch is central to the plot. I'd kill anything where a eunuch is a supporting character that has little impact on the story (lots of the 'eunuch guards' mentioned have, I believe, only a very passing part in the story where they occur). In other words, since these 'popular culture' sections tend to become very bloated and hat-rackish, I'd say limit it to examples where a eunuch or the concept is central to the work. Are there specific examples that were removed that you think ought to be restored? --Clay Collier (talk) 00:28, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Your criteria sound good to me. Debresser (talk) 12:00, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Thoroughly Modern Eunuchs

On both the article for Mister and this one, the following text appears:

As a matter of interest, some modern day Eunuchs use the title or prefix "Eu." rather than "Mr.". ie: "Eu. John Smith".

Can this claim be sourced? As is, it just sounds like trivia or even one individual's opinion. I can only find information on the supposed "title" Eu. on two sites using a Google search, and they seem to use one individual's direct claim. Otherwise, I can't verify this and don't have the scholarly access to. It just sounds like P.C.-ness gone amok, to try to not just be inclusive, but to allow anyone's opinion as fact. FeygeleGoy/פֿײגעלע גױ‎ 02:15, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
Just added more details on the page for Mister. I'm more polite there, though I'm still puzzled about this claim of a seperate formal title given to castrated males; it still sounds like someone taking their personsal life and pretending it's normal practice. FeygeleGoy/פֿײגעלע גױ‎ 03:11, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Utter rubbish. Removed from both articles. SNALWIBMA ( talk - contribs ) 06:56, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

As a medical anthropologist studying the modern eunuch community, I've found about a half dozen who actively use "Eu." There are probably 8,000 to 10,000 voluntary eunuchs in North America, just very well hidden. My current sample size of voluntary eunuchs and eunuch "wannabes" is over 3,000. JAzevado (talk) 03:13, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Interesting. Do you have a WP:RS for it?

I've got 4 articles in referred journals so far and 2 more accepted. None references the "Eu" controversy, though. I am working on a short (200+/- word addition on the contemporary eunuch community that will have about 8 or 9 footnotes to referred sources. I hope to add it to this article soon. JAzevado (talk) 19:58, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

'Eu.' needs a reliable source - otherwise it is WP:OR, which however knowledgeable you may be, is not the purpose of an encyclopedia. Mish (talk) 20:53, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

I was reacting to the comment above by FeygeleGoy. I would not recommend adding it for the sake of a half-dozen or so individuals out of the thousands of voluntary eunuchs. It will be briefly noted in the ethnography I'm writing, but even then I would not suggesting wasting the space to note it in the Wikipedia article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by JAzevado (talkcontribs) 21:20, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

By the way...

In the video game Art of Fighting 2...

the character "King" uses the word Eunich in a sentence depending if Robert or Ryo is selected... JasonHockeyGuy (talk) 07:26, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Melito of Sardis

The list section should consider adding Melito of Sardis, an early Church Father who was described as a eunuch when he died. ADM (talk) 06:50, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Improving the Eunuch article with modern day relativity

Could we better the eunuch article with information pertaining to modern day Eunuch's? In my opinion, this page should also incorporate information regarding modern day eunuch's. Also if we could note Elective Castration. I feel that it is apparent to anyone who searches the term eunuch online today finds a plethora of topics discussing current relation to the term. Zya (talk) 09:41, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm working on a brief section to add to this main article covering the contemporary eunuch community. I've sent it out to a professor of medicine, a psychologist, and members of the community for review. It will be well documented with references to referred sources.JAzevado (talk) 20:03, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
I have been through what is there at the moment, and tidied it a bit and noted missing citations. I am not sure all of it is appropriate/relevant. Why there is a para on Hijra when they are already mentioned above (apart from to suggest they are not really eunuchs, which is problematic - especially without a source). Of course, they are contemporary. The next para starts out about there being more men with prostrate cancer - but of course, Hijra are not men, they are third-gender. A paragraph later starts off about CIS-TC, but points out that these people have testosterone replacement, which poses the question - why are they in the section? Prostrate cancer tends to be treated with oestrogens and/or surgery, but I am not clear this necessarily involves orchidectomy - so I'm left unclear that this claim (that men with prostrate cancer are eunuchs) can be substantiated. Is there a reliable source for this?
When you finish your revision for this section, could you make it available for discussion before posting it, please - to avoid possible conflicts. Mish (talk) 21:35, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Zheng He

The Chinese name Zheng He appears twice in the list of renounded eunuchs throughout history. From what I know there was only one... Bepp (talk) 06:13, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Pop culture

There are several pop culture references for Eunuchs, where should these be included. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 'Iw 'Ip ghomey (talkcontribs) 00:52, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

There doesn't seem to be such a place. Mish (talk) 01:49, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
There was a 'in pop culture' section at one point, I believe, but most of the items in it didn't really fit per WP:IPC; they were mostly mentions of the word eunuch, or a book where a random character is a eunuch or is eunuch-like... There was a discussion above (under the heading 'Incidental and non-notable') where I cleaned out some of them- either I or another editor removed the rest at some point later. --Clay Collier (talk) 10:25, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I support you in that approach. Mish (talk) 11:16, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Splitting

At the moment the article discusses three groups of people

  • specific court officials who were castrated (or had other inability to procreate)
  • specific court officials who were NOT castrated (nor had other inability to procreate)
  • people who were castrated (or had other inability to procreate), but were NOT court officials
Rubus fructicosus - an excellent way to get e-mails

The last group really don't belong in discussion of the first two groups. Its like having an article about rubus fruticosus, and then talking about how good it for getting e-mails when you are on the move.

Therefore, I'm going to split some of the material into a new article - Spadones - to avoid confusion. The difference is

  • Spadones = someone who can't or won't have children via sexual intercourse, including castrati
  • Eunuch = a political position, the members of which may or may not be spadones.

Newman Luke (talk) 17:21, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

No, it's more like an article about apples (Eunuchs) & discussing different kinds of apples (castrati, court officials, spadon). If U want to add a paragraph about the historical (archaic), Latin definition of Spadon under Roman Law in this article, okay but you were wrong to split the articles without discussion first and, the article about Spadones does a poor job of documenting the definition. Even impotent men could be Spadon. Not even sure your Latin grammar is correct. BTW, there was no "confusion," until you split the articles! So, is Tom DeLay a eunuch (Court Official)?
There were three different types of eunuch identifiable by the three different methods of castration. The slaves whose penis and testes had both been severed were called castrati by the Romans and sandali or es-sendelle by the Arabs. Spadones was the word used to describe those eunuchs whose testicles had been literally torn from their bodies, but not cut off. By far the most common method of emasculation was to detach the testicles by a single cut, and these eunuchs, who were called thlibias or semivir, retained their penis. Source: COLIN BLAKEMORE and SHELIA JENNETT. "eunuchs." The Oxford Companion to the Body. Oxford University Press. 2001.
In Original Bible texts ";eunuch"; is described as saris (Old Testament, Hebrew) or eunouchos (New Testament, Greek). However, both words could also mean ";official"; or ";commander";. The 38 original Bible references to saris and 2 references to eunouchos were studied in order to determine their meaning in context. In the Septuagint saris was translated as eunouchos, except for Genesis 37:36 and Isaiah 39:7 where spadon was used, Source: (Acta Theologica: 2002 22(2): 114-125)
Page 102 HERE gives a definition of Spado as castrated. 68.0.135.137 (talk) 17:23, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

JAzevado (talk) 21:15, 26 October 2009 (UTC)This appears to be an idiosyncratic attempt by an individual pursuing his private agenda. The goal of a proper encyclopedia, such as Wikipedia, is to survey and summarize the existing data, not to create an entirely new vision.

While I have a great many problems with this strange division of the “Eunuch” article into two parts, I will restrict myself to just a few of them. Enough, I hope, to get this reversed.

First of all, while “spadone” may be occasionally used in English language text as if it were an English word, it it most commonly used as a Latin word and glossed as “eunuch” in English. It is rare enough that it does not even occur in the 20 volume Oxford English Dictionary. Even if it were used correctly, it would seem very strange to use such a rare term as an article title in any English language encyclopedia.

Second, changing “eunuch” to “spadone” has perverted existing scholarship. For example, the author has changed “Male-to-Eunuch” gender dysphoria to “Male-to-Spadone” in a paragraph which has citations to three published articles in refereed medical journals which describe it as Male-to-Eunuch. Presentations titled, “The Development of Standards of Care for Individuals with a Male-to-Eunuch Gender Identity Disorder” were made at the 2009 meetings of both the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and the World Association for Sexual Health. A version of it has been submitted for publication to the International Journal of Transgenderism. “Male-to-Eunuch” is likely to be the useage in the next edition of the Harry Benjamin Standards. The document working its way up through the layers of committees toward the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, specifies “Male-to-Eunuch,” not “Male-to-Spadone.”

Third, it seems to make little sense to have a division that puts provincial governors together with lowly harem attendants in one category and to lump military generals, religious fanatics, and singers in another. The division seems highly arbitrary and irrational.

It would be far better to recombine the articles and then to logically discuss differences within the category. ----JAzevado

eunouchos , ho, ( [eunê, echô] )
A. castrated person, eunuch, employed to take charge of the women and act as chamberlain (whence the name, ho tên eunên echôn), Hdt.3.130, al., Ar.Ach. 117, X.Cyr.7.5.60, etc.
Source: Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon.
spădo , ōnis, m., = spadôn.
I. Lit., one who has no generative power, an impotent person (whether by nature or by castration; hence more gen. Than castratus), Dig. 50, 16, 128 ; 23, 3, 39; 28, 2, 6; 1, 7, 2; 40, 2, 14; opp. castratus, Just. Inst. 1, 11, 9 . --Of horses, Veg. 6, 7, 2.--
B. In partic., a castrated person, a eunuch, Liv. 9, 17, 16; Quint. 11, 3, 19; Plin. 13, 4, 9, § 41; Hor. Epod. 9, 13; Juv. 14, 91 al.--
Source: Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary
And,
spadôn [a^], ônos (and ontos LXX, Plu., and Artem., v. infr.), ho: ( [spaô] ):--
A. eunuch, LXX Ge.37.36, Is.39.7, Plb.28.21.5, D.S.30.17, Ph. 1.604, Plu.Demetr.25, Artem.2.69. Hence spa^dônismos , ho, castration, Zonar.
Source: Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon.
These sources show eunuch & spado are synonyms. 68.0.135.137 (talk) 17:23, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

JAzevado (talk) 18:35, 29 October 2009 (UTC) Again, you are citing Latin and Greek, not English. I maintain for more reasons than that, however, that your proposed division is irrational. Read my comments above.