November 09, 2005

Medieval Barber

So, you have a hernia? Hmm, we're not really sure how to fix that. But we have noticed that eunuchs don't get hernias, so we're pretty sure we have a surgical option that will cure you of the hernia problem. See, what we're going to do is cut off your gonads. Now, wait a minute, I don't think you're thinking this through very well. Who's the barber here? I mean, do you want to live with the hernia, or do you want to find a cure? Very well, then. We'll schedule the surgery as soon as possible.

In the 5th Century, testicular castration became a "cure" for hernias. Of course, the eunuch population that was seen without hernias was a small sample, but doctors were groping for any way to treat the problem. Castration became a panacea for many medical ailments in Europe until the nineteenth century. One eighteenth century doctor wrote of a castrator who had so many clients that her dog was fed entirely on the surgically removed bits.

Posted by Jennifer at November 9, 2005 06:10 PM | TrackBack


Oh geezuz... thanks, now I have to eat supper with this upset stomach.

Posted by: Oorgo at November 9, 2005 06:21 PM

Um. Did you and the boy have a fight or something?

Posted by: Victor at November 9, 2005 08:04 PM

Yeah, cuz I've never posted anything like this before...

(No, no fight.)

Posted by: Jennifer at November 9, 2005 09:38 PM

I don't think there's any ailment/disease/deformity that would make me want to cut off my balls. Unless they swelled to the size of basketballs, each grew two arms, and began punching me about the head and neck.

Posted by: shank at November 10, 2005 07:31 AM

And even then...

Posted by: Paul at November 10, 2005 09:42 AM

So, there IS a boy, then!

Also, this post is very upsetting to me especially the part about the dog.

Posted by: Trey Givens at November 10, 2005 06:42 PM

I just threw up in my mouth. A lot. I don't think I'll allow myself to read blogs before breakfast anymore.

Posted by: sis at November 11, 2005 08:12 AM

Unless I was into bicycle racing...

Posted by: triticale at November 13, 2005 04:34 PM

There is also the matter of Castrato singers. In parts of southern Europe, young boys who were especially good choir singers, particularly in the higher ranges presumably, were castrated before puberty so that their voices would not change. Such singers were referred to as castrato. Seems like a high price to pay for choir singers....

Posted by: Dr_Funk at November 13, 2005 09:57 PM