1
2
Highlight China Common topics China Perspectives Faith & Belief Personages Nations & Customs Arts Daily Life
Phrase & Stories Mandarin Chinese Medicine KungFu Sightseeing Food & Drink Archit & Design Business

Search

Ask
I want to know
something about ...
Answer
I love to answer a
question above...
Share
I like to share an
inspiring article...
Discuss
Show knowledge
share your views
and opinions
Newsletters
Sign up for free,
Get latest information
Nations & Customs
Eunuchs In China


Eunuchs  In  China


The tradition of using eunuchs in the imperial court goes back at least 2,000 years. Beginning in the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.- A.D. 220), palace eunuchs often ran the day to day affairs of the court. They vied for power with military leaders and scholar-bureaucrats.

The word eunuch comes from the Greek word for bed watcher. Eunuchs were used in China, the Byzantine Empire, Ottoman Turkey and other imperial states by monarchs as "keepers of the couch," or guardians of the royal harem.

Chinese imperial eunuchs were nicknamed 芒鈧揵ob-tailed dogs". During the Ming dynasty it was said that 20,000 of them were employed in the Forbidden City. Imperial eunuchs survived until 1924 when the last 1,500 of them were banished from the Forbidden City, according to one observer, 芒鈧揷arrying their belongings in sacks and crying piteously in high pitched voices.芒鈧?

Eunuches were widely seen as greedy, corrupt and scheming. In dramas about Imperial life they are often cast as villains. Even so they made their contributions to Chinese culture and civilization. The eunuch Cai Lun is credited with inventing paper in A.D. 105. Court eunuchs in the Ming Dynasty were the first Chinese to play Western classical music. The eunuch Zheng Ho was China"s greatest explorer. In the the Qing Dynasty, Emperor Qianlong assembled a chamber orchestra of eunuchs dressed in European suits and wigs.

 

 
   
About Us    |    Statement    |   Advertising   |   Feedback   |   Contact Us
     website counter 1315 All Rights Reserved Since 2008