Eunuchs in the Ming Dynasty, The

Front Cover
SUNY Press, Jan 1, 1996 - History - 290 pages
This book is the first on Chinese eunuchs in English and presents a comprehensive picture of the role that they played in the Ming dynasty, 1368-1644. Extracted from a wide range of primary and secondary source material, the author provides significant and interesting information about court politics, espionage and internal security, military and foreign affairs, tax and tribute collection, the operation of imperial monopolies, judiciary review, the layout of the palace complex, the Grand Canal, and much more.

The eunuchs are shown to be not just a minor adjunct to a government of civil servants and military officers, but a fully developed third branch of the Ming administration that participated in all of the most essential matters of the dynasty. The veil of condemnation and jealousy imposed on eunuchs by the compilers of official history is pulled away to reveal a richly textured tapestry. Eunuchs are portrayed in a balanced manner that gives due consideration to able and faithful service along with the inept, the lurid, and the iniquitous.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

The Demand and Supply of Ming Eunuchs
11
Institutionalization of the Eunuch Agencies
29
Eunuchs and the Ming Military System
59
Eunuchs and the Ming IntelligenceGathering Apparatuses
97
Eunuchs and Ming Diplomacy
119
Eunuchs and Ming Maritime Activities
141
Eunuchs Involvement in the Ming Economy
165
Miscellaneous Duties of the Ming Eunuchs
189
Conclusion
221
Eunuch Agencies and Their Duties in Ming Dynasty
231
Notes
243
Bibliography
271
Index
281
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1996)

Shih-shan Henry Tsai is Professor of History and Chairman of Asian Studies at the University of Arkansas.

Bibliographic information