Latin Language and Literature

Nemo nascitur sapiens, sed fit. No one is born wise, but he becomes wise. Seneca

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This study programme represents an exciting journey to the origins of European culture and erudition. It enables students to get to know the thoughts and works of famous ancient writers, scholars, philosophers, generals, and politicians in their original form, as these works form the basis of the European values of humanity. The programme also enables students to get acquainted with the ancient Greco-Roman world in a broad context.

The Bachelor’s degree programme aims at the acquisition of knowledge and skills in the fields of Latin grammar, ancient literature, and other disciplines pertaining to antiquity. An essential part of the study involves reading texts in their original language, which allows students to gain competence in multi-level interpretations of the original texts (grammatical, literary, and socio-historical). The programme includes a course in ancient Greek.

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

  • understand original Latin texts and translate selected original classical Latin texts into Czech
  • identify and reproduce morphological forms used in classical Latin; identify, use, and explain selected syntactic phenomena; translate shorter sentences into Latin
  • use dictionaries, critical editions of texts, commentaries, and on-line databases
  • identify basic stylistic and poetic devices used in Latin texts
  • characterize the works of the most important Greek and Latin authors; point out the differences between Greek and Roman ancient literatures; and explain the development of ancient literatures and the dependence of Roman literature on Greek
  • specify the main features of basic literary genres
  • analyse and read hexameter poetry and other ancient metrical structures
  • give an account of the cultural and historical background of the ancient world
  • remember the basic morphology of ancient Greek
  • describe methodological approaches used in the field of classical philology
  • work with scholarly literature and use various sources of information
  • write a shorter coherent text on scholarly topics
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The Bachelor’s degree programme allows graduates to work in archives, libraries, and museums in positions appropriate for the Bachelor’s level of education. As the programme emphasizes the knowledge and command of basic stylistic structures of the Czech language equivalent to the respective structures of the classical languages, graduates are prepared for various editorial positions in mass media (especially in culture- and literature-oriented sections).

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The standard duration of studies is six semesters. For admittance to the final state examination, the student must obtain a total of 180 ECTS credits for type A/required, type B/selective, and type C/elective courses. Within those 180 credits, the credits for the type A/required courses of a foreign language, philosophy, and physical education are included. The number of required credits is different in the single-subject and dual concentration programme.

In the single-subject programme, students must obtain 103 credits for type A/required courses which constitute the basis of the discipline and focus mainly on Latin grammar, ancient literature, and reading Latin texts written by selected classical authors. Besides that, students must obtain 28 credits for type B/selective courses (chosen out of the list of courses) and 39 credits for type C/elective courses (chosen out of all the courses taught at university). Thus, students can modify their study plan according to their interests and intended professional specialization. The choice of courses allows students to focus on their field of interest. Ten credits must be obtained for courses of foreign language, philosophy, and physical education.

In the dual concentration programme, students must obtain either 91 credits (if they decide to write a Bachelor’s thesis in Latin Language and Literature) or 81 credits (if they decide to write a Bachelor’s Minor thesis in Latin Language and Literature) for type A/required courses. The list of type A/required courses is almost the same as in the single-subject programme (a few type A/required courses are type B/selective for students of the dual concentration programme). Besides that, students must obtain 4 credits for type B/selective courses and 5 credits for courses of foreign language, philosophy, and physical education (i.e. one half of 10 credits which students must obtain in both of their fields of study together).

In both the single-subject and dual concentration programme, students must read selected passages of Latin texts and be able to translate and understand them. The list of required reading is available in the Information System of Masaryk University.

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 through the Information System of Masaryk University or at the Faculty of Arts website.

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The Bachelor’s final state examination has written and oral sections. The written part consists of the translation of a passage selected from the required reading of Livy’s work (with a dictionary) and a test in Latin grammar (without a dictionary). The oral part examines students’ ability to translate two passages selected from the required readings of the work of Cicero and Virgil, knowledge of Greek and Roman literature and their mutual relations, and basic knowledge of Latin philology. Students must be successful in all the subject areas.

In the single-subject programme and dual concentration programme within which the Bachelor’s thesis is submitted, one part of the final state examination is also the defence of the Bachelor’s thesis. The requirements concerning the Bachelor’s thesis are available on the Faculty of Arts web page (https://is.muni.cz/auth/do/phil/Pracoviste/SO/4581421/Vzor_bakalarske_prace.pdf) and on the department’s web pages (http://www.phil.muni.cz/wuks/home/studium).

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After completing the Bachelor’s study programme, graduates can continue further studies in any Master’s degree programme (after satisfying the admission requirements). At the Department of Classical Studies, it is possible to study for a Master’s degree in Latin Language and Literature, Medieval Latin Language and Literature (a programme focused on medieval Latin and the basic skills required for editing manuscripts), or in upper secondary school teacher training in Latin Language and Literature (a programme that qualifies the graduate for teaching at secondary schools). All these programmes can be studied as single-subject or double-major study. In the teacher training programme and double-major study of Latin Language and Literature, students choose to specialize in either classical Latin or medieval Latin.

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Field of study specifications

Field of Study: Latin Language and Literature
Abbreviation: LJ
Code: 7310R088
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:
prof. PhDr. Daniela Urbanová, Ph.D.