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Bibil Identifier bibil:219857
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Sex and Politics
Title (English, ) In Insects, Crustaceans, Birds, Mammals, the Ancient Near East and the Bible
Author Betzig, Laura
Journal Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament (Volume: 23, Issue: 2)
Year (Publication) 2009
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2009
Year (Copyright) 2009
Year (Reference) 2009
Language English
Pages 208-232 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract Eusocial species form societies in which subordinates, which belong to an obligately sterile caste, help raise the young that dominants produce. As in any eusocial species, reproduction was strongly “skewed” in the Ancient Near East: kings assembled harems of thousands of women, and fathered hundreds of children; but their families were provisioned and protected, in part, by eunuchs. As early as 4th-millennium Uruk, “beardless” subjects waited on bearded monarchs; large numbers of eunuchs were commanding imperial armies and administering imperial palaces by Ashurbanipal's time. Assyrian emperors, on the other hand, left records of hundreds of harem governess and weavers, servants and singers; and Artaxerxes II, the Persian king, is supposed to have fathered 115 bastards, along with 3 legitimate sons. So it went in Ancient Israel and Judah. Hebrew kings from David to Zedekiah grew dependent on eunuch messengers, eunuch stewards, eunuch army commanders and eunuch palace guards—who served as workers and soldiers for their hundreds of concubines and wives, and their housefuls of daughters and sons.
DOI 10.1080/09018320903303561
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Old Testament (Introduction) : Theology : Themes : Sexuality
Thesaurus BiBIL : Old Testament (Introduction) : Literature : Genres and Forms : Genealogy
Thesaurus BiBIL : Unbound Keywords : Eunuch
Last modification 2017-10-27