A eunuch (太監, Taijian) is a man who has been castrated in his early life for this change to have major hormonal consequences.
They have performed a wide variety of functions in many different cultures: treble singers, courtiers, domestics, religious specialists, government officials and harem servants. Records of eunuchs in China date to the Shang dynasty, when the Shang kings castrated prisoners of war. In China, castration included removal of the penis as well as the testicles. Both organs were cut off with a knife at the same time. Men sentenced to castration were turned into eunuch slaves of the Qin dynasty state to perform forced labor for projects such as the Terracotta Army. From ancient times until the Sui Dynasty, castration was both a traditional punishment (one of the Five Punishments) and a means of gaining employment in the Imperial service. At the end of the Ming Dynasty, there were about 70,000 eunuchs employed by the emperor, with some serving inside the Imperial palace. Certain eunuchs gained immense power that occasionally superseded that of even the Grand Secretaries, like Zheng He, who lived during the Ming Dynasty. When the Ming army finally captured Yunnan from Mongols in 1382, thousands of prisoners were killed and, according to the custom in times of war, their young sons – including Zheng He – were castrated. (Wikipedia)
Certain eunuchs gained immense power that occasionally superseded that of even the Grand Secretaries, like Zheng He, who lived during the Ming Dynasty.
In China, castration included removal of the penis as well as the testicles. Both organs were cut off with a knife at the same time.
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