Women Men And Eunuchs

Author: Elizabeth James
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135105472
Size: 74.32 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: 10.64 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.

Beauty And The Male Body In Byzantium

Author: M. Hatzaki
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230245307
Size: 13.42 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.

The Oxford Handbook Of Women And Gender In Medieval Europe

Author: Judith M. Bennett
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191667307
Size: 63.17 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.

Anna Komnene

Author: Leonora Neville
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190498188
Size: 54.26 MB
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Byzantine princess Anna Komnene is known for two things: plotting to murder her brother to usurp the throne, and writing the Alexiad, an epic history of her father Alexios I Komnenos (1081-1118) that is a key historical source for the era of the First Crusade. Anna Komnene: the Life and Work of a Medieval Historian investigates the relationship between Anna's self-presentation in the Alexiad and the story of her bloodthirsty ambition. It begins by asking why women did not write history in Anna's society, what cultural rules Anna broke by doing so, and how Anna tried to respond to those challenges in her writing. Many of the idiosyncrasies and surprises of Anna's Alexiad are driven by her efforts to be perceived as both a good historian and a good woman. These new interpretations of Anna's authorial persona then spark a thorough re-thinking of the standard story which defines Anna's life by the failure of her supposed political ambitions. The second half of this work reviews the medieval sources with fresh eyes and re-establishes Anna's primary identity as an author and intellectual rather than as a failed conspirator.

Questions Of Gender In Byzantine Society

Author: Lynda Garland
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317072340
Size: 55.15 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.

A Social History Of Byzantium

Author: John Haldon
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1444305913
Size: 27.80 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

Gender In The Early Medieval World

Author: Leslie Brubaker
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521013277
Size: 19.27 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.

The Eunuch In Byzantine History And Society

Author: Shaun Tougher
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135235716
Size: 41.30 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.