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Author Ringrose, Kathryn M
Title The Perfect Servant : Eunuchs and the Social Construction of Gender in Byzantium
Imprint Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2004
book jacket
Descript 1 online resource (309 pages)
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Note Intro -- Contents -- List of Illustrations -- Spelling Conventions for Greek Names -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction - Eunuchs of Byzantium: Context and Definition -- PART I GENDER AS SOCIAL CONSTRUCT -- 1 The Language of Gender -- 2 Byzantine Medical Lore and the Gendering of Eunuchs -- 3 Gender Construction as Acculturation -- 4 Making Sense of Tradition: Regendering Legendary Narratives -- PART II BECOMING PROTAGONISTS -- 5 Passing the Test of Sanctity: Eunuchs and the Ecclesiastical World of Byzantium -- 6 Transgressing Gender Boundaries: Eunuchs in Authority -- 7 Transcending the Material World: Eunuchs and Angels -- 8 Eunuchs at the Palace: Gendered Space and Confirmation of the Imperial Numen -- 9 Social Reproduction and Integration -- Conclusion - Present and Past Perceptions of Gender -- Appendix - Spelling Equivalents, Traditional and Reformed -- Frequently Used Abbreviations -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Index
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
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Electronic reproduction. Ann Arbor, Michigan : ProQuest Ebook Central, 2020. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ProQuest Ebook Central affiliated libraries
Link Print version: Ringrose, Kathryn M. The Perfect Servant : Eunuchs and the Social Construction of Gender in Byzantium Chicago : University of Chicago Press,c2004 9780226720159
Subject Eunuchs -- Byzantine Empire.;Sex role -- Byzantine Empire.;Byzantine Empire -- Civilization
Electronic books
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