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Court eunuchs in the Neo-Assyrian and Achaemenid monumental reliefs: between Assurnasirpal II (883-859 BCE) and Darius I (522-486 BCE)

Grant number: 23/01822-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2023
Effective date (End): July 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - Ancient and Medieval History
Principal Investigator:Marcelo Aparecido Rede
Grantee:Matheus Treuk Medeiros de Araujo
Supervisor: Davide Nadali
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, Italy  
Associated to the scholarship:22/07801-8 - The Place of Court Eunuchs in the Neo-Assyrian and Achaemenid Empires: a Comparative Analysis., BP.PD

Abstract

The aim of the present research project is to analyze comparatively some figures of (presumed) court eunuchs in the Neo-Assyrian and Achaemenid monumental reliefs, through an approach that privileges notions of continuity and image performance in the near eastern tradition. Court eunuchs were essentially prepubescent castrated males that most likely served in several - and often very high - positions in the Assyrian and Achaemenid palaces and administration. They seem to figure prominently in the monumental sculptures of Persepolis and Nimrud, but many doubts persist regarding the function of these images. To help solve this puzzle, the present project seeks to answer if, how and why the reliefs from Darius tacara at Persepolis and some selected reliefs from Assurnasirpal's II Northwest Palace at Nimrud figure eunuchs, as well as the function of such palace reliefs in their respective contexts. Methodologically, the project explores possible continuities between the Achaemenid concept of image and its well-studied Assyro-Babylonian counterpart, and expects to find similar traditions and beliefs regarding eunuchism in both empires. These enquiries are closely related to the broader discussions developed in our regular research project entitled: "The Place of Court Eunuchs in the Neo-Assyrian and Achaemenid Empires: A Comparative Analysis". (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
MATHEUS TREUK MEDEIROS DE ARAUJO. Achaemenid court eunuchs in their Near Eastern context: images in the longue durée. An. mus. paul., v. 31, . (23/01822-6, 22/07801-8)

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