The Most Powerful Eunuchs In History

Eunuchs have played a prominent role in shaping our history as they held positions of power in courts around the world. They often had the confidence of the kings as they were never considered a threat to the crown because of their inability to reproduce. From being loyal to their kings to exploiting their trustworthiness, eunuchs have changed the course of history.

1. Cai Lun

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Birthday: 50
Born In: Guiyang
Died On: 121
Famous As: Chinese inventor
Cai Lun was a court eunuch of the Han dynasty in China. He was the inventor credited with the creation of paper and papermaking processes, one of the four great inventions in ancient China.

2. Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar

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Birthday: 14 March 1742
Born In: Gorgān, Iran
Died On: 17 June 1797
Famous As: Shah of Iran

After founding the Qajar dynasty of Iran, Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar ruled the dynasty from 1789 to 1797. He was popularly known as the eunuch Monarch as he was castrated during his younger days after getting captured by Adel Shah Afshar.


3. Farinelli

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Birthday: 24 January 1705
Born In: Andria
Famous As: Singer

Farinelli was one of the most celebrated castrato singers and one of the greatest in the history of opera. Castrato, a male singing voice, is achieved by the castration of the singer before the singer hits puberty.


4. Sima Qian

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Birthday: 139
Born In: Hancheng
Famous As: Historian

Sima Qian is regarded as the father of Chinese historiography. He was castrated and sent to prison for defending a military officer named Li Ling. Upon his release, Sima chose to serve as a palace eunuch.


5. Bagoas

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Born In: Unknown
Died On: 336
Famous As: Official

Bagoas was one of the most prominent and popular eunuchs as he served as Artaxerxes III's chief minister in the famous Achaemenid Empire. He served in this position until his death.