Older European languages and cultures

This field of study is primarily dedicated to ancient Greek and Latin languages, literature, rhetoric, historiography and philosophy. Modern Greek philology also belongs to this area.

The field of study at a glance

As a central foundation of our culture, this field of study researches the language and literature of Greek and Roman antiquity. In addition to linguistics, important auxiliary and minor subjects in classical philology include ancient history, classical archaeology, antiquity, art history, philosophy and religious studies. The subject of Middle Latin Philology, which deals with the Latin language and literature of the European Middle Ages, is closely based on classical philology. Celticology is the study of the language and literature of the Celtic peoples.

Course offerings

The subjects in this area are mainly represented at traditional universities. In classical philology, students usually choose one of the majors in ancient Greek/Greek studies or Latin/Latin studies. Celtic studies courses can also be studied at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Neo-Greek Studies (Modern Greek Philology) is offered at the Bachelor's and Master's levels.

Contents of the course

In subjects such as Latin Studies/Latin, Classical Philology, Greek Philology and Greek Studies, reading the most important ancient authors in the original as well as the relevant commentaries forms the core of the entire course of study. The technical and methodological skills are gradually expanded. Linguistics, literature and antiquity modules serve this purpose. Building on the language skills acquired at high school, basic modules convey the central content and methods of the subject. This includes translation, grammar and style exercises, knowledge of ancient culture as well as the acquisition of scientific working methods and literary theoretical concepts/approaches.

The study of neo-Greek studies covers the literature, language and regional studies of New Greece (from the beginning of the 19th century).

As part of the teacher training course, pedagogical and subject-didactic modules are added. Travel/excursions to the countries and landscapes of ancient culture serve to deepen knowledge of the region.

Admission criteria & application for study

The prerequisite for most courses in this area is a good knowledge of Latin and Greek. Knowledge of English, French and Italian is often expected for reading secondary literature. Because of the close interconnection of Latin and Greek literature and intellectual history, students usually also have to demonstrate knowledge of the other language or acquire it during their studies (Graecum or Latinum).

Career opportunities after graduation

Classical philologists work primarily in schools. Further fields of activity include universities, antiquity museums, special research institutes, libraries, textbook publishers and other media sectors, as well as, in exceptional cases, tourism (tourist tours).