Plutarch and Emotions

Plutarch and Emotions

Anna Ginestí Rosell, Justine Diemke, Felix John, Francesco Padovani, Theofanis Tsiampokalos
Universität Hamburg
Gefördert durch
The German Section of the International Plutarch Society (IPS)
Findet statt
In Präsenz
Vom - Bis
13.09.2023 - 14.09.2023
Justine Diemke, Alte Geschichte, Universität Hamburg

The German Section of the International Plutarch Society (IPS) in co-operation with the Departments of Theology and Ancient History of the University of Hamburg wishes to address the subject of Plutarch and emotions through an international workshop, whose aim is to deepen our understanding of Plutarch’s conceptualisation of emotions, their literary functions and the social issues involved.

Plutarch and Emotions

It has been more than twenty years since classical scholars have turned their attention to the study of the emotions of the Greeks and Romans, resorting to an interdisciplinary methodological framework that combines insights from the more traditional fields of literary studies, textual criticism, ancient history, archaeology, papyrology, with the new impulses provided by the neurosciences, social linguistics, communication theories and psychology. Several studies (e.g. A. Chaniotis, Unveiling Emotions 1, 2 and 3, Stuttgart 2012, 2013, 2021; D. Cairns, A Cultural History of the Emotions. 1, In Antiquity, London/New York 2019; D. Konstan, The Emotions of the Ancient Greeks: Studies in Aristotle and Classical Literature, Toronto 2006) led to a better understanding of the ways the Greeks and the Romans expressed their anger, their fear, their love, etc., within various contexts, whether literary, performative or social. Thus, they managed to refine significantly our understanding of the conceptualisation of emotions as well as the importance ascribed to them in different social fields in the ancient world – one may think, for example, of the social and political contexts, in which emotions such as shame or anger should or should not find expression.

So far, only selective attention has been devoted to Plutarch’s corpus, despite its potential for deepening even more our understanding of emotions in the ancient world: the corpus of the surviving works of Plutarch that has come down to us is not only exceptionally voluminous, covering many different literary genres and types of texts, but it also deals with questions resulting from the everlasting conflict between one’s reason and one’s desires and emotions. Plutarch’s reflection about the importance of emotions in forming one’s own character allows for a broad spectrum of approaches, while it offers at the same time a broad field of application, be it from ethics and politics, or the right way to read poetry or the appropriate attitude towards the divine, but also the impact of the control of emotions on social behaviour and their relation to the ideal paideia. The literary characterisation of emotions also proves crucial in determining the interactions between the characters in the dialogues and represents a significant narrative element in Plutarch’s works.


Wednesday, 13 September 2023

13.45 Opening remarks and welcome.

1st section: Emotions in Plutarch

Chair: Justine Diemke (Hamburg)

14:00 Angela Pabst (Halle/Saale): Die Emotionen hinter dem Text – Plutarchs eigenen Gefühlen auf der Spur.

14:45 Victoria Gleich (Potsdam): Trauer als Gefahr für sich selbst und für den Staat? Zur Funktion der Beschreibung von Trauernden bei Plutarch.

15:30-16:00 Coffee and tea break

Chair: Felix John (Hamburg)

16:00 Alessandro Fino (Cologne): Die Bedeutung der Leidenschaften in Plutarchs Menschenbild. Zwischen Moralia und Vitae, zwischen Antike und Gegenwart.

16:45 Alexei V. Zadorojnyi (Liverpool): Katêpheia in Plutarch: Body Language and Linguistic Framing.

17:30-18:15 Coffee and tea break

Keynote speech

Douglas Cairns (Edinburgh): Honour and Emotion in Plutarch’s Moralia

Chair and Moderation: Werner Rieß (Hamburg)

ca. 20:30 Dinner

Thursday, 14 September 2023

2nd section: Emotions in the Lives

Chair: Theofanis Tsiampokalos (Ghent)

10:00 Eran Almagor (Independent): Barbarian Emotions and Barbarians Incarnating Emotions in Plutarch.

10:45 Anna-Lisa Fichte (TU Dresden): Zwischen Liebe und Politik – Die Macht der Emotionen in Plutarchs Antonius-Biografie.

11:30-11:45 Coffee and tea break

Chair: Francesco Padovani (Tübingen)

11:45 Nicole Diersen (Osnabrück): Ciceros emotionality in Plutarch’s Life.

12:30 Tobias Hirsch (Heidelberg): Emotionalisierung von Anekdoten in Plutarchs Viten und Apophthegmata Regum et Imperatorum.

13.15-14.45 Lunch

3rd section: Emotions in the Moralia

Chair: Theofanis Tsiampokalos (Ghent)

14:45 Katharine Stevens (Rutgers, NJ): Learning to Fear Reasonably in Plutarch’s De audiendis poetis.

15:30 Orestis Karatzoglou (Warsaw): Moderation of passion and animal metaphors in Plutarch’s De virtute morali.

16:15-17:00 Coffee and tea break

Chair: Anna Ginestí Rosell (Eichstätt-Ingolstadt)

17:00 Wim Nijs (KU Leuven): The Double Role of Envy in Plutarch’s Conceptualization of the Flatterer.

18:15 Serena Emilia Di Salvatore (Salerno): Between husband and wife: conjugal emotions in Plutarch’s Quaestiones Romanae.

19:00 Closing remarks.


The conference will be held hybrid.
The link will be sent to you upon registration via the above-mentioned email address!


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