Castration: First practised on massive scale
The first tribes engaging in warfare on a systematic basis indulged in castration of defeated foes on a grand scale. Ancient nations regarded a collection of male testicles as a sign of skill in combat and a warrior's bravery. Foreskins were given in tribute to signal the defeat of an enemy in biblical times. The first practitioner of mass castration was the legendary Syrian queen Semiramis. Some experts say that she had such mutilated men in order to prevent opposition to her female rule - a latter-day Valerie Solanus! Another expert say that she was just only motivated by jealousy -- after having spent the night in the arms of a lover the queen would have him castrated to prevent him giving the same pleasure to any other woman.
Castration: Most famous case in 18th century England
There is one famous case of castration that occurred in April 1790, near London .
Parish had to support three children, which were sired by half-wit, named James Trotter. The Parish Council, evidently resenting this situation, decided to have the man castrated. He was taken by force and naturally enough castrated, by the local pig-butcher, without anaesthetic. How Mr. Trotter behaved thereafter is remain unknown.
Castration: Most recently practiced on Vatican choirboys
The popes of old used to have young boys castrated, because they wanted to have them to continue to sing sweetly in the Vatican chapel. There is no way of knowing how many young males such emasculated. Even in 1890 Vatican choir boys were still being castrated to conserve their soprano voices.
Most famous castrati
During the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth-centuries in Europe the theatrical stage was dominated by the castrati, often influential performers and immensely wealthy. "He was able to project the tone to such a length as to incite incredulity even in those who heard him, who imagined him to have the help of some wind instrument." - remarked eminent eighteenth-century musical historian, D. Charles Burney, describing Farinelli. Farinelli became a hero of his time, evoking adulation and rapture. A woman is reported as swooning in her box, on hearing Farinelli, exclaiming -"One God and one Farinelli.
A French commentator, writing of Cresentini, another famous male soprano, that this "great balloon" could expand his breath for ten minutes without inhaling!
Most famous case of self-inflicted castration
The single most famous case of self-emasculation is about Origen who severed his own genitals because of religious devotion. Whole sects grew up to practice self-castration of all men and boys who fell into their clutches.
There is a famous tale of self castration in one of the "Dialogues" of Lucian. It is about Cambobus, a young Syrian nobleman, He was ordered to accompany the queen on an extended journey, so he decided to castrate himself so that he would not betray the king en route. He had presented to the king his testicles placed in an ornate casket, which he secured with a royal seal. The queen tried to seduce Cambobus on the journey, so various rumours got back to the king, and the young nobleman was arrested and charged with adultery. But then the king, opening the casket, saw that he was innocent.
Unfortunately, if everyone, including Cambobus, lived happily ever after, we do not know.