Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Palace eunuch
(1,016 words)

1. Introduction

The palace eunuch was a long tradition in China, probably dating back as far as the 8th century BCE, even though castration was contrary to the religious principle intrinsic to ancestor worship - securing the succession of generations by producing heirs. Appointing palace eunuchs in the Chinese Empire was therefore a practice strictly confined to the imperial court. The eunuchs’ central task was serving the women of the …

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Mittag, Achim, “Palace eunuch”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 18 October 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_025208>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721



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