Study Classical Philology

Study Classical Philology Abroad

At the age of seven, Goethe read the original Illias and was able to translate entire poems from German into Latin. He was therefore not a child prodigy: An education in the ancient languages ​​was a good form among wealthy citizens of the 18th century.

Goethe later became a proponent of the humanistic educational ideal propagated by Wilhelm von Humboldt. Humboldt strived for an education that educates people to think and act freely, independently and morally. This was to be done primarily by studying the ancient Greek and Roman poets and thinkers , whose culture Humboldt considered exemplary.

According to, Latin and ancient Greek are still taught in humanistic grammar schools today . Would you like to deal more intensively with the culture and language of the ancient Greeks and Romans and the spiritual-historical origins of our culture ? Then a degree in Classical Philology is right for you.

Content of the study

Most universities combine Greek and Latin studies in one institute for classical philology. Behind this is a study of Latin or Greek philology. In these courses, students deal with the Latin language and culture or with the language and culture of the ancient Greeks.

Most courses deal with the works of antiquity . However, there are also study programs in the area of ​​Latin Studies that focus on the modern era or the Middle Ages. The students thus focus their attention on the period when Latin was the language of the clergy and the educated classes.

Bachelor Classical Philology

Language is the focus of all bachelor’s programs. This is a basic requirement in order to be able to read the texts of Greek and Roman scholars in the original. Students who have not yet had Latin and Greek lessons at school have to catch up on the Graecum and Latinum. To do this, they take ancient Greek and Latin courses at the beginning of their studies.

The students get to know different forms and dialects of Greek or Latin and translate Greek or Latin original texts into German or vice versa. At the same time, they deal with the culture and mythology of the ancient Greeks and Romans. They also take modules from related subjects such as philosophy or archeology and go on excursions to ancient Greek or Roman cultural sites.

Master Classical Philology

There are also many courses in the field of ancient philologies in the master’s area. There are master’s programs with:

  • pedagogical focus , which train the students to become Greek or Latin teachers.
  • Focus on a specific period of ancient Greek or Latin
  • a major , e.g. inscription (epigraphy)

Study requirements

Students who are interested in studying Latin or Greek studies need the Latinum and the Graecum . Those who did not acquire these qualifications at school have the opportunity to do so before the start of their studies or in the first semesters at the university. In addition, language skills are in modern foreign languages desirable such as English, French or Italian.

In which professional fields do philologists work?

Many who choose to study an ancient language later work as teachers . After her first state exam or the master’s degree usually they go into the clerkship and then as officers or employees of the school system .

For everyone else, the career path is not so clearly mapped out, but there are certainly job opportunities outside of the classroom. Graduates of ancient philology courses work in museums, libraries or research institutes or are employed by publishers . Your academic qualifications also enable you to work in non-specialist sectors , for example in PR agencies or in the management of commercial enterprises .

Advantages of studying abroad

In order to improve their professional chances, students should already gain a lot of practical experience during their studies. This includes internships in potential future professional fields, but also semesters abroad.

A stay abroad during your studies not only enables you to get to know Greek and Roman cultural monuments up close and to sharpen your professional profile . A study visit abroad also contributes to the development of one’s own personality. In addition, studying abroad promotes characteristics such as flexibility, assertiveness and organizational talent, which future employers like to see.

Study Classical Philology