“Non scholae, sed vitae discimus” – “We learn not for school, but for life”. At this standard sentence of the Latin teachers some will have rolled their eyes inwardly. But even if the school lessons sometimes do not suggest it: Latin consists of more than just learning vocabulary and grammar.
The lasting influence of the Romans
Knowledge of Latin makes it possible to take a look at a world that has influenced our lives to this day. Latin was the official language of the Roman Empire, which in ancient times extended over the entire Mediterranean region. The architecture , philosophy , literature and language of the Romans shaped many European cultures . The Romance languages like Italian and Spanish developed out of Latin. Buildings like the Colosseum are world famous to this day. Virgil’s works are still on the school curriculum and a life without Roman inventions such as flushing water is unimaginable.
One subject – several areas of focus
When studying Latin Philology or Latin Studies, students deal with the Latin language and ancient Roman culture . Their heyday extends from around 300 BC. Until about 500 AD. Most courses in the field of classical philology with a focus on Latin studies deal with the literature of that time. However, there are also study programs that focus on a specific period of time. This includes the following fields of study:
- Middle Latin Philology: The courses are devoted to the Latin language and literature from around AD 500 to around AD 1600 – the time when Latin was the language of the Church and the educated classes.
- Modern Latin Philology: The focus here is on Latin texts that were written from AD 1600.
According to LOCALCOLLEGEEXPLORER, the acquisition of the Latin language is the focus of all courses at the beginning . Students who do not have the Latinum must do so. In the bachelor’s degree , students deal with the various phases and forms of Latin, for example Old Latin or Vulgar Latin. They deal with the transmission of texts and learn how to read editions that are critical of the text.
The focus of the course is on translation . The students translate the works of famous Roman authors such as Caesar or Cicero into German and vice versa. In doing so, they deal with the historical and mythological backgrounds of the texts. In this way they get to know the most important literary genres and epochs. Modules from related subjects such as ancient Greek , philosophy or archeology and excursions to Roman cultural sites round off the course. They give students the opportunity to delve even deeper into the world of the ancient Romans.
A master’s degree is ideal for students who see their professional future in research and teaching or who are striving for a management position in the private sector. The Master’s programs in the field of Latin Studies offer students the opportunity to get more intense with a literary or cultural-historical era to employ . Alternatively or specialize in an area such as inscription (epigraphy).
Latin is also offered in the form of teacher training courses. Depending on the federal state, these are designed as state examination courses or converted to the Bachelor and Master system. In the latter case, it is necessary that the prospective Latin teachers complete a master’s degree with a pedagogical focus after completing their bachelor ’s degree . This is the only way to get admission to the clerkship.
Studying Latin is not possible without knowledge of Latin and ancient Greek. Those who did not acquire the Latinum and Graecum in school have the opportunity to make up for both qualifications in the course of the first semester. Knowledge of Italian, French and English is desirable in order to understand the research literature, some of which is foreign.
Professions for philologists
Most Latin students are drawn to schools. After graduation, you usually go to a legal traineeship at a grammar school or comprehensive school to become a teacher .
For the rest of the graduates, the career path is less clearly defined. Therefore, it makes sense to complete internships during your studies in order to orientate yourself on the job market and to gain professional experience.
The subject of Latin Studies basically qualifies you for the following professional fields :
- University research and teaching (usually linked to a doctoral degree )
- Research institutes
- Trade journals.
What are the benefits of studying abroad?
Studying abroad can significantly increase employment opportunities. For Latin studies students, it is a good idea to go to Italy for one or two semesters to gain a deeper insight into Roman culture .
The foreign language skills and intercultural skills that students acquire abroad represent valuable additional qualifications and are welcomed by future employers.