On Theophylact’s In defense of Eunuchs Cover Image

О Теофилактовој Одбрани евнуштва
On Theophylact’s In defense of Eunuchs

Author(s): Bojana Krsmanović, Darko Todorović
Subject(s): 6th to 12th Centuries
Published by: Vizantološki institut SANU
Keywords: Theophylact of Ohrid; eunuch; monk; oeconomy (οἰκονομία); ecclesiastical and secular legislation

Summary/Abstract: The first part of this paper analyzes a text by Theophylact of Ohrid known as In Defense of Eunuchs. In terms of its genre and topic, this work stands alone in Byzantine literature. Through a dialogue between the two interlocutors – a monk and a eunuch, Theophylact challenges the traditional representation of eunuchs. He particularly focuses on the condemnation of castration in Ecclesiastical Canons and secular legislation (of the late Roman Empire and Byzantium). Theophylact highlights the ambivalence of the views on eunuchs in Byzantine society, demonstrating that castration as such did not necessarily lead to the marginalization of the castrated individual. The most important part of Theophylact’s Defense offers a comparison between “the bearded” and eunuchs in monastic orders. Also, the affirmation of freedom of choice between good and evil and insisting that an individual should be judged according to his own deeds is the guiding idea of Theophylact’s Defense. The second part of the paper contains a Serbian translation of Theophylact’s text with a commentary. Besides the French translation by the editor of the critical edition P. Gautier, this is the second complete translation of the Greek original. It deviates from Gautier’s version in several places, offering alternative readings of ambiguous places.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 52
  • Page Range: 91-172
  • Page Count: 82
  • Language: Serbian