Classical Greek Language and Literature

To the roots of our civilization.

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This Bachelor’s degree study programme introduces students to the Attic dialect of classical Greek, in which many literary works foundational for the European cultural tradition were composed. The first four semesters of the programme are dedicated to the intensive study of normative grammar, with an emphasis on the morphological features of the language. In the third year of study, the student is set to develop a profound knowledge of the syntax of classical Greek. Compulsory interpretative seminars are complemented with optional courses aimed at the practical application of the acquired linguistic competences to selected Greek texts; the selection is modified periodically. In addition to the linguistic focus, reading seminars place further emphasis on developing the ability to interpret the texts in their cultural and historical contexts. Students are required to enrol in courses of Latin grammar as well; upon successful completion students are able to translate Latin texts with the help of a dictionary. In addition to the linguistic-oriented courses and reading seminars, the programme introduces students to the socio-cultural milieu of the ancient world by means of lectures on ancient literature, history, mythology, and philosophy. An ongoing process of the internalization of the lectures at the Faculty of Arts at Masaryk University provides students with the opportunity to enrol in lectures held in foreign languages (esp. English and modern Greek).


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

  • describe thoroughly the grammar of the Attic dialect of classical Greek (morphology as well as syntax)
  • interpret soundly the linguistic features of an original Greek text
  • interpret an original Greek text in its literary and historical context
  • gain an orientation in both ancient Greek and Latin texts
  • successfully apply the theoretical knowledge of a metrical structure of Greek poetry to the dialogue of dramatic texts
  • describe in broader strokes Latin grammar and translate original Latin texts with the help of a dictionary
  • gain an orientation in the historical development of the ancient world
  • gain an orientation in technical terminology pertaining to linguistics and literary criticism, in auxiliary fields of study, and in scholarly journals
  • gain an orientation in the area studies of the ancient world

Following the successful completion of this study programme, graduates will possess all of the necessary philological prerequisites for the independent reading and study of Greek texts composed in the Attic dialect and will be able to interpret them in the wider sociocultural context of the ancient world. Their acquired competence in a morphologically and syntactically demanding language that is still present in a larger part of the technical terminology of all domains of human knowledge allows graduate to master modern languages of the Indo-European language family with much greater ease. In-depth interpretation of the foundational texts of European literature nurtures critical thinking and the ability to formulate opinions clearly and precisely. By studying the classical world on which European culture is based, graduates acquire the ability to orient themselves in epistemological and axiological systems foundational for Western civilization. Graduates in the Bachelor’s study programme will be well-equipped for work in humanities-oriented institutions, such as archives, libraries, and museums, as well as in all the professions requiring good orientation in cultural studies and an ability to express ideas in a dignified manner in both speech and writing. Graduates can further their knowledge in the Master’s study programme and – upon successful completion thereof – acquire the necessary formal prerequisites to teach ancient Greek at classically-oriented high schools and universities.


The standard duration of studies is six semesters, with the possibility of one year of extension. For admittance to the final state examination, students must obtain a minimum of 180 credits for type A/required, type B/selective, and type C/elective courses.

For successful graduation, students are required to present and defend the Bachelor’s thesis and successfully complete the state examination. In order to access the state exam, the student is required to obtain at least 180 ECTS credits, consisting of 160 ECTS credits for courses within the study programme, 10 ECTS credits for the Bachelor’s thesis seminar, and 10 credits for type A/required courses shared by all students of the Faculty of Arts (philosophy, physical education, and foreign language). The courses providing basic formation in the studied field are type A/required; they amount to 97 ECTS credits for the single-study programme and include credits awarded for the completion of preparatory courses for the Bachelor’s thesis. Type C/elective courses amount to 45 ECTS credits and are chosen by students according to their preferences and future specialization. The remaining 28 ECTS credits may be obtained for successful completion of any type C/elective courses within the study programme or courses offered by other departments of the Faculty of Arts.

During the course of their studies, students should follow the study catalogue valid for their year of matriculation. The study catalogues for the individual years of matriculation are available at the Faculty of Arts website.


The Bachelor’s state examination has a written and an oral part. Students are obliged to enrol for both parts during the same semester. The successful completion of the written part is a necessary prerequisite for admission to the oral part. If a student successfully passes the written test and fails the oral examination, that student will not be required to re-sit the written part of the state examination in the course of their next attempt. The written part requires the student to translate an original Greek text with the help of a dictionary and to demonstrate knowledge of classical Greek morphology and syntax in a set of exercises, including the active translation of simple phrases into classical Greek. In the oral part of the state exam, students demonstrate their knowledge of classical Greek by translating selected portions of texts chosen from the writers on the compulsory reading list. Students shall have 45 minutes of preparation time available; the use of a dictionary during the oral exam is not permitted. The oral part of the state examination further includes testing student knowledge in the fields of Greek and Roman literature and the metrical structures of ancient poetry.

The Bachelor’s state examination tests the student for the following abilities and competences:

- thorough knowledge of the normative grammar of the Attic dialect of classical Greek;

- knowledge of technical terminology in the field of linguistics and general knowledge of the ancient Mediterranean languages;

- thorough knowledge of the development of Greek literature and general knowledge of the relations between the basic developmental stages of Roman literature and Greek literature;

- general knowledge of the role of Classical Studies in the domains of Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as the knowledge of their particular sub-fields of Classics and their scientific methodology;

- being well-read in the writers selected for compulsory reading.


Following the successful completion of the Bachelor’s study programme, students may further their educational career in the Master’s study programme in the same field. The entrance exam may be omitted for students who successfully completed the Bachelor’s state examination at the Department of Classical Studies of the Faculty of Arts at Masaryk University with a resulting grade no worse than ‘C’ and with a date of completion no later than the semester during which they wish to enrol in the Master’s degree programme or the semester immediately preceding it.


Field of study specifications

Field of Study: Classical Greek Language and Literature
Abbreviation: KR
Code: 7310R081
Type: Bachelor's degree programme
Degree: Bc.
Accreditation: to 31/12/2024
Programme: B7310 B-FI Philology
Faculty of Arts
Field of study guaranteed by:
Faculty of Arts
Field guarantor:
doc. Mgr. et Mgr. Juraj Franek, Ph.D.

Additional Information