Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Castration Frustration

OK, so I guess this is what happens when one really doesn't have anything specific in mind for a post but one wants to keep up the blog. Well, this is related to anthropology, after all, which in turn is related to linguistics. So....

I was reading a post on Archaeologica (see link at right) about the Italian exhumation of a popular opera castrato. Of course curiosity got the best of me and I had to read up more on castrati and castratism. I had no idea there was such a market for this back into the 1500s, and the practice continued in Italy until the 1800s.

Here is a Wikipedia article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castrato

I was particularly amused, and also saddened somehow, both at the same time, when I read this line from the Wikipedia article:

Castration was by no means a guarantee of a promising career. During the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, only approximately 1% of fully or partially castrated boys developed into successful singers.

That must have really sucked! I mean to be neutered for what turned out to be no good reason...that must have been frustrating!

All in the name of entertainment.

1 comment:

rob said...

This amuses me.