Women Men And Eunuchs

Author: Elizabeth James
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135105472
Size: 61.92 MB
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The collected papers in this volume present a unique introduction both to the history of women, of men and eunuchs, or the third sex, in Byzantium and to the various theoretical and methodological approaches through which the topic can be examined. The contributors use evidence from both texts and images to give a wide-ranging picture of the place of women and Byzantine society and the perceptions of women held by that society. Women, Men and Eunuchs offers a unique and valuable exploration of the issue of gender in Byzantium, which will fascinate anyone interested in ancient and medieval history and gender studies.

The Perfect Servant

Author: Kathryn M. Ringrose
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226720166
Size: 43.64 MB
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The Perfect Servant reevaluates the place of eunuchs in Byzantium. Kathryn Ringrose uses the modern concept of gender as a social construct to identify eunuchs as a distinct gender and to illustrate how gender was defined in the Byzantine world. At the same time she explores the changing role of the eunuch in Byzantium from 600 to 1100. Accepted for generations as a legitimate and functional part of Byzantine civilization, eunuchs were prominent in both the imperial court and the church. They were distinctive in physical appearance, dress, and manner and were considered uniquely suited for important roles in Byzantine life. Transcending conventional notions of male and female, eunuchs lived outside of normal patterns of procreation and inheritance and were assigned a unique capacity for mediating across social and spiritual boundaries. This allowed them to perform tasks from which prominent men and women were constrained, making them, in essence, perfect servants. Written with precision and meticulously researched, The Perfect Servant will immediately take its place as a major study on Byzantium and the history of gender.

Questions Of Gender In Byzantine Society

Author: Lynda Garland
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317072340
Size: 31.67 MB
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Gender was a key social indicator in Byzantine society, as in many others. While studies of gender in the western medieval period have appeared regularly in the past decade, similar studies of Byzantium have lagged behind. Masculine and feminine roles were not always as clearly defined as in the West, while eunuchs made up a 'third gender' in the imperial court. Social status indicators were also in a state of flux, as much linked to patronage networks as to wealth, as the Empire came under a series of external and internal pressures. This fluidity applied equally in ecclesiastical and secular spheres. The present collection of essays uncovers gender roles in the imperial family, in monastic institutions of both genders, in the Orthodox church, and in the nascent cult of Mary in the east. It puts the spotlight on flashpoints over a millennium of Byzantine rule, from Constantine the Great to Irene and the Palaiologoi, and covers a wide geographical range, from Byzantine Italy to Syria. The introduction frames the following nine chapters against recent scholarship and considers methodological issues in the study of gender and Byzantine society. Together these essays portray a surprising range of male and female experience in various Byzantine social institutions - whether religious, military, or imperial -- over the course of more than a millennium. The collection offers a provocative contrast to recent studies based on western medieval scholarship. Common themes that bind the collection into a coherent whole include specifically Byzantine expectations of gender among the social elite; the fluidity of social and sexual identities for Byzantine men and women within the church; and the specific challenges that strong individuals posed to the traditional limitations of gender within a hierarchical society dominated by Christian orthodoxy.

The Eunuch In Byzantine History And Society

Author: Shaun Tougher
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135235708
Size: 11.76 MB
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The existence of eunuchs was one of the defining features of the Byzantine Empire. Covering the whole span of the history of the empire, from the fourth to the fifteenth centuries AD, Shaun Tougher presents a comprehensive survey of the history and roles of eunuchs, making use of extensive comparative material, such as from China, Persia and the Ottoman Empire, as well as about castrato singers of the eighteenth century of Enlightenment Europe, and self-castrating religious devotees such as the Galli of ancient Rome, early Christians, the Skoptsy of Russia and the Hijras of India. The various roles played by eunuchs are examined. They are not just found as servile attendants; some were powerful political players – such as Chrysaphius who plotted to assassinate Attila the Hun – and others were prominent figures in Orthodoxy as bishops and monks. Furthermore, there is offered an analysis of how society thought about eunuchs, especially their gender identity - were they perceived as men, women, or a third sex? The broad survey of the political and social position of eunuchs in the Byzantine Empire is placed in the context of the history of the eunuch in general. An appendix listing key eunuchs of the Byzantine Empire describing their careers is included, and the text is fully illustrated.

Gender And Diffenrence In The Middle Ages

Author: Sharon A. Farmer
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 9781452905563
Size: 80.90 MB
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Nothing less than a rethinking of what we mean when we talk about "men" and "women" of the medieval period, this volume demonstrates how the idea of gender -- in the Middle Ages no less than now -- intersected in subtle and complex ways with other categories of difference. Responding to the insights of postcolonial and feminist theory, the authors show that medieval identities emerged through shifting paradigms -- that fluidity, conflict, and contingency characterized not only gender, but also sexuality, social status, and religion. This view emerges through essays that delve into a wide variety of cultures and draw on a broad range of disciplinary and theoretical approaches. Scholars in the fields of history as well as literary and religious studies consider gendered hierarchies in western Christian, Jewish, Byzantine, and Islamic areas of the medieval world.

Beauty And The Male Body In Byzantium

Author: M. Hatzaki
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230245307
Size: 76.77 MB
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A neglected aspect of Byzantium, physical beauty appears as a quality with an unmistakable dark side, relating ambiguously to notions of power, goodness, evil, masculinity, effeminacy, life and death. Examined as an attribute of the human and, in particular, of the male body, this study of beauty refines our understanding of the Byzantine world.

Gender In The Early Medieval World

Author: Leslie Brubaker
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521013277
Size: 16.72 MB
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Gender analysis is one of the most probing ways to understand both power and cultural strategies in pre-industrial societies. In this book, first published in 2004, sixteen scholars on the cutting edges of their disciplines explore the ideas and expressions of gender that characterised the centuries from c. 300 to 900 in milieux ranging from York to Baghdad, via Rome and Constantinople. Deploying a variety of disciplines and perspectives, they draw on the evidence of material culture as well as texts to demonstrate the wide range of gender identities that informed the social, political and imaginary worlds of these centuries. The essays make clear that the fixed point in the gender systems of the period was constituted by the hegemonic masculinity of the ruling elite, marginalised groups often invisible as historical subjects in their own right were omnipresent in, and critical to, the gendered discourses which buttressed assertions of power.

Unrivalled Influence

Author: Judith Herrin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691153213
Size: 42.79 MB
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"Herrin dissolves the most formidable barrier to any balanced history: the wall between women's history and men's. With an eye for details ignored and grand lines distorted by scholarly myopia, she offers a comprehensive history of Byzantium."--Thomas F. Mathews, author of "The Clash of Gods: A Reinterpretation of Early Christian Art" "Herrin is acutely aware not only of Byzantium's place in the world, but also of its idiosyncrasies, which she illuminates by bringing into play the ecclesiastical sources in a way that few other Byzantine historians have done. Her essays reveal first and foremost her breadth of vision."--Michael Angold, editor of "The Cambridge History of Christianity: Eastern Christianity" "Tracing her journey across the history of Byzantium, Herrin's elegant essays display her insightful approaches, solid methodology, and vast historical knowledge."--Christine Angelidi, Institute of Historical Research, Athens "Herrin's essays reveal a capacity given to very few historians--the power to present the big picture without ever losing sight of the vital details. Their genesis over the course of her career, and more importantly their bearing on our current intellectual and political situation, illustrate what it means to be a humane and humanistic scholar in the last half century."--Anthony Cutler, author of "The Hand of the Master" "All of Herrin's essays reveal a distinguished historian with a clear intellectual consciousness."--Antonio Carile, University of Bologna "This wide-ranging collection of studies by one of the foremost medieval historians of this generation opens up new perspectives on Byzantium. The life experience of women and men is re-created with a view from the margins. Women at the court and in private households are restored to agency and the capital of Constantinople is seen from the perspective of the provinces. As a result, Byzantium no longer appears as a monolith steeped in unchanging ritual, but as a dynamic society that developed its own responses to challenges and so ensured its extraordinary longevity."--Claudia Rapp, author of "Holy Bishops in Late Antiquity"

A Social History Of Byzantium

Author: John Haldon
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1444305913
Size: 26.11 MB
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With original essays by leading scholars, this book explores the social history of the medieval eastern Roman Empire and offers illuminating new insights into our knowledge of Byzantine society. Provides interconnected essays of original scholarship relating to the social history of the Byzantine empire Offers groundbreaking theoretical and empirical research in the study of Byzantine society Includes helpful glossaries of sociological/theoretical terms and Byzantine/medieval terms

The Oxford Handbook Of Women And Gender In Medieval Europe

Author: Judith M. Bennett
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191667307
Size: 25.48 MB
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The Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe provides a comprehensive overview of the gender rules encountered in Europe in the period between approximately 500 and 1500 C.E. The essays collected in this volume speak to interpretative challenges common to all fields of women's and gender history - that is, how best to uncover the experiences of ordinary people from archives formed mainly by and about elite males, and how to combine social histories of lived experiences with cultural histories of gendered discourses and identities. The collection focuses on Western Europe in the Middle Ages but offers some consideration of medieval Islam and Byzantium. The Handbook is structured into seven sections: Christian, Jewish, and Muslim thought; law in theory and practice; domestic life and material culture; labour, land, and economy; bodies and sexualities; gender and holiness; and the interplay of continuity and change throughout the medieval period. It contains material from some of the foremost scholars in this field, and it not only serves as the major reference text in medieval and gender studies, but also provides an agenda for future new research.