Gendering Grief: Emotional Eunuchs—Consoling Constantine the Paphlagonian

  • Shaun Tougher
Part of the New Approaches to Byzantine History and Culture book series (NABHC)


Tougher explores the intersection of emotion and gender in relation to eunuchs. He first considers Eutropius, the grand chamberlain of Emperor Arcadios (395–408), by focusing on Claudian’s invectives concerning him. The chapter then turns to the case of the parakoimomenos Constantine the Paphlagonian for whom Patriarch Nicholas I Mystikos (901–907, 912–925) wrote two consolations on the death of the eunuch’s sister in the early tenth century. The ways in which Nicholas constructs the emotional life of Constantine in relation to gender is also explored. Tougher demonstrates that emotion is a valuable avenue both for analysing the construction of the gender identity of eunuchs and for opening up questions about the reality of the lives they lived in Byzantium.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shaun Tougher
    • 1
  1. 1.Cardiff UniversityCardiffUK

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