IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 1511: On the Borders?: Recentring Eunuchs in Byzantium

Thursday 9 July 2020, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Cardiff Centre for Late Antique Religion & Culture
Organiser:Shaun Tougher, School of History, Archaeology & Religion, Cardiff University
Moderator/Chair:Eve MacDonald, School of History, Archaeology & Religion, Cardiff University
Paper 1511-aThe Border between Eunuchs and Non-Eunuchs in the Novels of the Emperor Leo VI, 886-912
(Language: English)
Yuki Kontani, School of History Archaeology & Religion Cardiff University
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Gender Studies, Law, Social History
Paper 1511-bThe Place of the Ethiopian Eunuch in Byzantium
(Language: English)
Shaun Tougher, School of History, Archaeology & Religion, Cardiff University
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Gender Studies, Religious Life, Social History
Paper 1511-cRecentring Marginal Texts/Bodies/Perspectives in the Psalter of an Eunuch Abbot (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, MS Vat. gr. 342)
(Language: English)
Felix Szabo, Department of History, University of Chicago, Illinois
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Greek, Religious Life
Abstract

It is all too easy to consign eunuchs to the borders as beings of marginal social and gender identities. This session focuses on eunuchs in the Byzantine empire and recentres them within narratives of their lives. Yuki Kontani examines the legislation of Leo VI, considering issues of marriage and adoption. Shaun Tougher explores the significance for Byzantine eunuchs of the story of the Ethiopian Eunuch from the ‘Acts of the Apostles’. Felix Szabo focuses on a manuscript produced for a eunuch abbot, containing three epigrams by him. These reveal the lived experience of eunuch monasticism.