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Philological studies were part of the University curriculum from the very beginning. After the establishment of Vilnius University students of philology studied Latin Grammar, stylistics, rhetoric, practiced writing verse and epigrams in Latin. The studies of Latin were supplemented by a short course in Ancient Greek. This was the environment that brought up the famous 17th century poet M. K. Sarbievijus.

Later on students got an opportunity to study Slavic philology, learn German, French, Italian and some other languages, study literature in those languages. Though the studies of Lithuanian philology started very late - only in the 20th century, the old University played a very important role in the development of Lithuanian national culture by bringing up the great personalities of the 19th century S. Daukantas and S. Stanevičius, as well as the famous Polish romanticist A. Mickiewicz. The printing house of the University (Academy) published the works by M. Daukša, a dictionary and "Gospel Points" by K. Sirvydas, a hymn book by S. Slavoczinsky, and other important publications. Until about the middle of the 18th century in St. Johns' Church sermons were delivered in Lithuanian. Lithuanian was also used in academic life, for example, when students had to translate Latin texts into their native language.

As a result of the reorganisation of the Faculty of History and Philology in 1968, the Faculty of Philology was set up. Even though the post-war conditions were not the most favourable, the teaching and research staff gained world recognition  for the work carried out in the field of Baltic studies and phonology, and in recent years research in semiotics has been gaining fame.


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The Faculty Today

  • The mission of the Faculty is to educate philologists of wide erudition that have general university education, are able to work in innovative ways and that meet current requirements raised for graduates of humanities.
  • There are 184 university research and teaching staff (15 Professors, 89 Associate Professors and Doctors, over 80 Lecturers, Assistants and research orkers).
  • Around 1500 students are currently studying in the Faculty.
  • Students can choose from 10 BA study programmes, 10 MA programmes, specialised professional studies of translation and interpreting, and doctoral studies of philology. The research areas of the Faculty are: Lithuanian language and other Baltic languages (synchronic and diachronic approaches), Lithuanian literature (the history and the present), world languages and literatures, applied linguistics, theory of language and literature, antiquity and its traditions.
  • The Faculty publishes the following journals: Baltistica [Baltic Studies], Literatūra [Literature], Kalbotyra [Linguistics]; it also contributes to the publishing of the journal Archivum Lituanicum.
  • The Faculty maintains close scientific relations with universities in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Italy, the USA, Latvia, Poland, Norway, France, the Netherlands, Finland, Germany, etc.