Chapter 2. Men, Women, Eunuchs: Gender, Sex, and Power

  1. John Haldon Professor
  1. Liz James Professor

Published Online: 12 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444305906.ch2

The Social History of Byzantium

The Social History of Byzantium

How to Cite

James, L. (2008) Men, Women, Eunuchs: Gender, Sex, and Power, in The Social History of Byzantium (ed J. Haldon), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444305906.ch2

Editor Information

  1. History Department, Princeton University, USA

Author Information

  1. University of Sussex, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 12 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 28 NOV 2008

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405132404

Online ISBN: 9781444305906



  • men, women, eunuchs - gender, sex, and power;
  • Alexander Kazhdan's People and Power in Byzantium;
  • women and life histories;
  • studies of Byzantine women - simply to add them in (or not) to historical mix of Byzantine Studies;
  • Women's history - sub-set of history, not an integral element - Eirene, a powerful woman;
  • women and social and cultural histories;
  • Catia Galatariotou's “Holy women and witches - aspects of Byzantine concepts of gender”;
  • how biological sex affects socio-economic position and how gender played a part in this;
  • Late Antiquity and Byzantium - Christianity above all is a site of gender constructions;
  • Byzantium - gender, sex, and power - intimately entwined in society


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Women: Life Histories

  • Women: Social and Cultural Histories

  • Gender

  • Men and Eunuchs

  • Gender, Sex, and Power

  • Case Study - Eirene, A Powerful Woman?

  • Bibliography