Medieval Latin Language and Literature

Instrue praeceptis animum, nec discere cessa. Distichs of Cato, Book III,1

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Medieval Latin studies, i.e. the philology of the Latin Middle Ages, constitute the basis of medieval European studies. The Latin medievalist makes primary sources of information, i.e. the sources written in Latin language, accessible to researchers who are interested in the Middle Ages. As such, they provide the basis for all fields of research connected with medieval times and exist as auxiliary scientists especially for history, philosophy, theology, archaeology, art history, music history, and the history of science. At the same time, as a standalone discipline, Latin medievalists research the Latin language and literature of the Middle Ages - i.e. make a wide range of the sources written in Latin accessible, provide the critical interpretation of these texts, and analyse these texts in the literary historical context of the European cultural tradition. Latin medieval studies is an interdisciplinary field of research which is essential for understanding the history of the medieval Europe.

The doctoral degree study programme in medieval Latin language and literature can take a full-time study mode or a combined form. It is appropriate for graduates of the Master’s degree programme of Latin language and literature or its medieval specialization and for graduates of the Master’s degree programmes of connected fields, especially Bohemian studies, Romance languages and literatures, history, auxiliary sciences, philosophy, history of religions, and theology.

Candidates for study who are graduates of connected branches have to demonstrate during the entrance examination a knowledge of Latin language and literature and ancient culture at the level of the Bachelor’s degree study programme examination of Latin language and literature. The students choose the topic by agreement with the incoming supervisor.

During the study, the student acquires sufficient knowledge in these subjects: medieval Latin language and medieval Bohemian literature written in Latin, Latin literature of medieval Europe, Latin literature of ancient times and patristics, older Bohemian literature, the basis of the history of the Middle Ages, the basis of palaeography, and modern editing work. The concrete student profile and publishing work is specified by the topic of the thesis and the aims. The research and publications of the medieval part at the Department of Classical Studies deals with texts from medieval Bohemian and European sources. There is a team of editors editing texts of the Bohemian reformation (e.g. Enarratio Psalmorum (Ps. 109-118). Ed. J. Nechutová et al., Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis 253. Brepols: Turnhout, 2013). Students can address topics connected with this concrete medievalist work. The Department of Classical Studies also organizes doctoral conferences: e.g. Laetae segetes - the international conference 2005, Laetae segetes iterum - the international conference 2007, 2012, and 2016. Students in full-time study mode attend study abroad for at least 3 months; the Department of Classical Studies enables this type of study especially with the help of the Erasmus programme in Germany, Poland, and Italy.


After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:

  • know medieval Bohemian and European literature written in Latin and describe its connection to ancient and patristic literature
  • work with Latin medieval texts as an expert in the fields of interpreting, translating, and editing
  • know medieval literature written in the Czech language and the cultural and historical connections of medieval Europe
  • according to their profile, describe and use the basic actual findings of the methods of interpretation, translation, and textual criticism
  • concretely account for and use modern findings of other connected medievalist disciplines (history, theology, philosophy, musicology, etc.)
  • closely know both Czech and foreign secondary literature and editions which are connected with the thesis
  • write a study in foreign language
  • read medieval Latin manuscripts and participate in preparing their modern critical editions
  • compose and present a lecture

Graduates will be fully qualified to work in the departments of the Academy of Sciences, in universities engaging in humanities, and in archives and museums where medieval literature and diplomatic sources are studied. According to their specialization – in literary history, translation, or editing work – graduates may work as Latin language experts in various publishing houses, mass media, and bookstores (undertaking tasks such as proofreading).


The doctoral degree study programme in Medieval Latin language and literature is part of the philology doctoral programme. The standard duration of this doctoral degree study programme is four semesters. For admittance to the doctoral final state examination, students have to earn a total of 240 ECTS credits for type A/required and type B/selective courses.

The student has to earn 24 ECTS credits for the type A/required courses that are compulsory for the whole faculty, i.e. Philosophy for Doctoral Studies I and II (if study is in English, the student must pass General Methodology instead of Philosophy for Doctoral Studies II) and a foreign language; an examination in the Language Centre can be bypassed by making and presenting (at scholarly conference or another scholarly context) a supervisor-evaluated paper in a foreign language.

The student obtains 190 ECTS credits for courses closely connected with the thesis writing. These are regular individual consultations with the supervisor (Colloquium I) and an examination which includes interpreting selected medieval texts and the knowledge of medieval Bohemian and European Latin literature (Colloquium II). The student also has to work continually during the studies with sources (Research and Study I-IV) and demonstrate to the supervisor at least once a semester the working development of the thesis (Writing Seminar I-V). The student presents a scholarly lecture on the topic of the thesis (in the range of the selected seminar, conference, or symposium - Conference Paper) and publishes in a scholarly journal (Journal Article). The student submits the thesis with theses with an English summary. For the submitted thesis, which has at least 180,000 characters, the student obtains 25 ECTS credits. The thesis is submitted in two copies in a hardcover binding, usually during the eighth semester.

The student has to earn the rest of the ECTS credits for type B/selective courses. Special Lecture I-IV courses are lectures chosen by the student after consultation with the supervisor of all the courses taught at the faculty or university (usually at the departments of philosophy, history, history of religion, history of art, Bohemian studies, auxiliary sciences etc.). One recommended possible conclusion is the Medieval Interpretative Seminar, which includes an interpretation of some selected Latin works of some Bohemian or European medieval author; the text is changed every year.

Students in full-time study mode attend study abroad for at least 3 months; the Department of Classical Studies enables this type of study especially with the help of the Erasmus programme in Germany, Poland, and Italy. Students must also teach some seminar at the Department of Classical Studies for 2-4 hours per week.


Part of the full-time study programme includes teaching a seminar at the Department of Classical Studies and participating in scholarly conferences, symposiums, and studies abroad.


Doctoral final state examination: The doctoral student shall prepare the exposition and defence of five minor theses. These are chosen in coordination with the supervisor and submitted in writing (required length: 3-5 pages, including literature) at least two months before the planned date of the doctoral final state examination. Minor theses may not be similar in content to the topic of the doctoral thesis. During the examination, the doctoral student shall present at least two minor theses (according to the advance choice of the commission) and answer additional questions about Bohemian and European medieval Latin literature.

The requirements concerning the doctoral thesis are available on the department website (


Field of study specifications

Field of Study: Medieval Latin Language and Literature
Abbreviation: LM
Code: 7310V227
Type: doctoral degree programme
Degree: Ph.D.
Accreditation: to 31/12/2024
Programme: P7315 D-FI4 Philology (4-years)
Faculty of Arts
Field of study guaranteed by:
Faculty of Arts
Field guarantor:
doc. Mgr. Petra Mutlová, M.A., Ph.D.