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A Journey Through Ancient China

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A Journey Through Ancient China

Eunuchs in Chinese History

Evening Course

Wednesday, June 14, 2023 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0270D
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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China has more than 3,000 years of recorded history, but misconceptions abound at every stage. This series takes you on a thematic tour of four important topics in ancient Chinese history: religion, ethnicity, law, and eunuchs. Justin M. Jacobs, a professor of Chinese history at American University, gives you a nuanced overview based on the latest scholarship and illustrated with copious slides.  

Jacobs is the author of The Compensations of Plunder: How China Lost Its Treasures. He recently completed a 24-episode series on UNESCO World Heritage Sites for The Great Courses and is currently conducting research on the voyages of Captain Cook in the Pacific.

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Eunuchs in Chinese History

Long despised by the Confucian elite and grossly neglected by historians, eunuchs often appear as little more than a demeaning caricature in narratives of Chinese history. Jacobs details the everyday lives of imperial Chinese eunuchs and explains why they were so politically indispensable despite rhetorical denunciations of them. He also examines the traumatic life cycle of a eunuch from birth to employment to retirement.

Additional Sessions of the Journey through Ancient China Series

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