The Skoptzy

The Russian Sect of the Castrated
  • Didier Diers
  • Xavier Valla


Partial or complete amputation of the external sexual organs is an ancient practice that is not limited to Judaism or Islam. Although Christian dogma is officially opposed to sexual mutilations such as castration and circumcision, a variety of Christian religious sects have arisen down through the ages whose members have imitated the act of self-mutilation performed by Origen, an early father of the Christian Church. The fact that there are seventy-two eunuchs to be found in the list of Christian saints indicates the special place castration has earned in traditional Christianity.


Eighteenth Century Sect Member Ancient Practice Byzantine Empire Early Father 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Derbes VJ. The keepers of the bed: castration and religion. Journal of the American Medical Association 1970; 212: 97–100.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Volkov N. La Secte Russe des Castrats. Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1995.Google Scholar
  3. von Stein F. Die Skopzensekte in Russland, in ihrer Entstehung, Organisation und lehre. Zeitschrift fur Ethnologie 1875; 7: 37–69.Google Scholar
  4. Volkov NN. Skopchestvo i sterilizatsiia: istoricheskii ocherk. Moskva: lzd-vo Akademii nauk SSSR, 1937.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Didier Diers
  • Xavier Valla

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations