Doktorand (Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien)


Max-Weber-Kolleg (Steinplatz 2) / Raum 411a (3. OG)

+49 361 737-2809

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Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien
Nordhäuser Str. 63
99089 Erfurt

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Universität Erfurt
Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien
Postfach 90 02 21
99105 Erfurt


Resonant Self-World Relations in the Context of Socio-Religious Practices in the Comedies of Titus Maccius Plautus

The comedies of Titus Maccius Plautus, most of which are based on episodes from everyday life, show stereotypical family life, but in a constructed world in which the traditional Roman norms and values – based on the traditionalistic concept of the mores maiorum, the customs of the ancestors, and pietas, which represented the normative relational binder of the patriarchal society – have been turned upside down in a saturnalian or carnivalesque manner. Their dramatic plots – the problems, conflicts and threats of typical characters, which are in most cases already revealed in the prologue – always close with a happy ending and thereby re-establish social balance and order. Even though Plautus wrote adaptations of originally Greek comedies, he considered the specifics of his cultural context and imbued his plays with significant Roman nuances, in order to address his audience with distinctive local characteristics. Among other aspects of daily Roman life which were shown by Plautus on stage, numerous socio-religious practices are a discernible part of his plays. This is no coincidence, as they represent an essential component of Roman everyday life. They were regulated by law and an important part of all events, concerning both the private as well as the public sphere. Focusing on the fact that socio-religious practices in their performative materialization consist of verbal and physical elements, which have to be contextualized accordingly, and considering that they evoke certain cognitive, affective, emotional and transformational aspects in the people involved, my research concentrates on drama-inherent performative elements as well as on questions related to the concrete reception processes in the frame of the Roman ludic theatre. The concept of resonance offers a new and comprehensive approach to this problem and opens up new perspectives on the role of rituals in the theatre of Plautus, be it on the level of theatrical performance or regarding the question of the contemporary recipients.