Brill’s New Pauly

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[German version]

Εὐνοῦχος (Eunoûchos, from ὁ τὴν εὐνὴν ἔχων, ‘the one who supervises the bed’) is the term for a male rendered infertile through castration. The word is found for the first time in Hipponax fr. 39,3 D; there are numerous synonyms, the most common being spádōn (from σπάω, ‘tear out’), perhaps for the first time in Theophrastus (= Hier. Adversus Iovinianum 1,47), then in the Septuagint. The Latin language has adopted the Greek expressions. ─ The origin of the practice of castrating young boys before or during puberty in order …

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Guyot, Peter (Hildesheim), “Eunuchs”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 10 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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