Eunuchs

24Aug07

Freud: “Michelango wouldn’t have been possible without sublimination.”

B: Is this why eunuchs were castrated?

Pursuing this train of thought led me on another Wiki-adventure. I looked up eunuchs today. The entry was interesting and traced the history of eunuchs in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, where the practice was most widespread.

According to the entry, eunuchs were castrated to prevent them having children and then seizing power to form a dynasty. When governments are dynastic monarchies, this kind of threat is serious. And although now we have political leaders decided through elections, we still have dynasties but they are political- the Bushes, Clintons, and Kennedys come to mind.

There are many famous eunuchs mentioned in Chinese historical chronicles. Interesting, the killer of John Wilkes Booth, Boston Corbett, was a eunuch, or more accurately- self-castrated. Besides being a Union soldier, he was a hatter by trade, and suffered mental problems, it is theorized, due to mercury exposure during the making of hats.

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