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Department of Classical Philology

 

Universiteto g. 5, LT-01513 Vilnius. Tel. (8 5) 268 7220

Head of the Department – Assoc prof dr Audronė Kučinskienė

AdministratorGražina Lyvens

 

The Department of Classical Philology is the oldest department of the University. It was part of the original Jesuit College of 1570, before the University itself was founded in 1579. Here ancient Greek and Latin languages were taught and the works of the classical Greek and Roman authors were read and analysed. The methods of the College – the classes in Grammar, Poetics and Rhetoric, the lecture syllabus, and teaching techniques – survived unchanged during the whole early period of Vilnius University, until 1773.

The head of the Department of Classical Philology from 1805 to 1825 was Professor Gotfried Ernest Grodek. Under his rule the traditional classes in the ancient Greek language, Latin language, history of Greek literature, and history of Roman literature were supplemented with new courses in ancient religion, mythology, archaeology, and numismatics.

From 1919 to 1939 there were two separate Departments of Latin and Greek Literatures in the University of Vilnius, headed respectively by Professor Jan Oko and Professor Stefan Srebrny; at the same time in the University of Vytautas the Great in Kaunas the classical philology disciplines were conducted by Professor Vladimiras Šilkarskis, Dr Pranas Brenderis and others. From 1919 to 1939 there were two separate Departments of Latin and Greek Literatures in the University of Vilnius, headed respectively by Professor Jan Oko and Professor Stefan Srebrny; at the same time in the University of Vytautas the Great in Kaunas the classical philology disciplines were conducted by Professor Vladimiras Šilkarskis, Dr Pranas Brenderis and others. After the Second World War all classical philology courses were concentrated in the University of Vilnius. For fifteen years, from 1945 to 1960, the head of the Classical Philology Department was the famous Greek language and literature scholar Professor Jonas Dumčius. For many years the Fellows of the Department were Professors Merkelis Račkauskas, Benediktas Kazlauskas, Marcelinas Ročka and Leonas Valkūnas. The latter was the head of the Department from 1960 to 1976.

Since 1984 to 1999 the Head of the Department was Prof. Dr (Habil.) Eugenija Ulčinaitė. Since 1999 to 2001 the Head of the Department was Assoc. Prof. Dalia Staškevičienė. Since 2001 to 2006 Prof. Eugenija Ulčinaitė has again taken the office of the Head. Since 2006 to 2012 the Head of the Department was Assoc. Prof. Nijolė Juchnevičienė. Since September 1, 2012 the Head of the Department is Assoc. Prof. Audronė Kučinskienė.

 

Research

The Latin literature of Lithuania (16th-18th c.) and the traditions of ancient literature. Research follows two directions.

The first deals with ancient literature, historiography, rhetoric and aesthetics. The members of the department prepare Lithuanian translations of classical texts -- Aristotle, Plutarch, Seneca, Cicero, Plato, Theocritus, and other authors -- and write commentaries for them.

The other deals with Latin literature in Lithuania from the 16th to the 18th century: the adoption of ancient genres, styles, verse forms and modes of imitation. The purpose of these investigations is to elucidate theoretically and, on the basis of particular works, practically, the relationship between ancient tradition and the creative originality of the Renaissance and Baroque in Lithuania.

 

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