- Artoxares: an envoy of Artaxerxes I and Darius II of Persia.
Bagoas (4th century BCE): prime minister of king Artaxerxes III of Persia, and his assassin.
- Bagoas (4th century BCE): a favorite of Alexander the Great. Influential in changing Alexander's attitude toward Persians and therefore in the king's policy decision to try to integrate the conquered peoples fully into his Empire as loyal subjects. He thereby paved the way for the relative success of Alexander's Seleucid successors and greatly enhanced the diffusion of Greek culture to the East.
- Philetaerus (4th/3rd century BCE): founder of the Attalid dynasty of Pergamum
- Sima Qian (old romanization Ssu-ma Chi'en; 2nd/1st century BCE): the first person to have practiced modern historiography – gathering and analyzing both primary and secondary sources in order to write his monumental history of the Chinese empire.
- Ganymedes (1st century BCE): highly capable adviser and general of Cleopatra VII's sister and rival, Princess Arsinoe.
- Pothinus (1st century BCE): regent for pharaoh Ptolemy XII.
- Cai Lun (old romanization Ts'ai Lun; 1st/2nd century CE): reasonable evidence exists to suggest that he was truly the inventor of paper. At the very least, he established the importance of paper and standardized its manufacture in the Chinese empire.
- Eutropius (5th century): only eunuch known to have attained the highly distinguished and very influential position of Roman Consul.
- Chrysaphius: chief minister of Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius II, architect of imperial policy towards the Huns.
- Narses (478–573): general of Byzantine emperor Justinian I, responsible for destroying the Ostrogoths in 552 at the Battle of Taginae in Italy and saving Rome for the empire.
- Solomon: general and governor of Africa under Justinian I
- Staurakios: chief associate and minister of the Byzantine empress Irene of Athens
- Ignatius of Constantinople (799–877): twice Patriarch of Constantinople during troubled political times [847–858 and 867–877]. First absolutely unquestioned eunuch saint, recognized by both the Orthodox and Roman Churches. (There are a great many early saints who were probably eunuchs, though few either as influential nor unquestioned as to their castration.)
- Yazaman al-Khadim (died 891): Emir of Tarsus and successful commander in the wars against Byzantium
- Mu'nis al-Khadim (845/846–933/934): Commander-in-chief of the Abbasid armies between 908 and his death
- Joseph Bringas: chief minister of the Byzantine Empire under Romanos II (959-963).
- Ly Thuong Kiet (1019–1105): general during the Lý Dynasty in Vietnam. Penned what is considered the first Vietnamese declaration of independence. Regarded as a Vietnamese national hero.
- Malik Kafur (fl. 1296–1316): a eunuch slave who became a general in the army of Alauddin Khilji, ruler of the Delhi sultanate.
- Zheng He (1371–1433): famous admiral who led huge Chinese fleets of exploration around the Indian Ocean.
- Judar Pasha (late 16th century): a Spanish eunuch who became the head of the Moroccan invasion force into the Songhai Empire.
- Mohammad Khan Qajar: chief of the Qajar tribe. He became the King/Shah of Persia in 1794 and established the Qajar dynasty.
- Wang Zhen: first Ming eunuch with much power, see Tumu Crisis
- Yishiha: admiral in charge of expeditions down the Amur River under the Yongle and Xuande Emperors
Now, can we please drop the insulting attribution of courage to balls?