Department of Greek and Latin Studies

Major Research Areas

Our research in the field of ancient Latin language and literature concentrates on two key areas – diachronic linguistics and literary studies. The linguistic part of the research (L. Pultrová) focuses on the development of morphology and phonology, with special emphasis placed on the origins of Latin grammar (the critical translation of Varro’s De lingua Latina). The literary branch of our research (M. Bažil, E. Kuťáková) deals mainly with poetic and dramatic texts from the Augustan Era, the Silver Era, and Late Antiquity. Major points of interests include the works of Virgil and their later reception; Seneca the Younger (especially his dramatic works); late Latin poetry, especially epic forms and experimental forms (cento, etc.). Naturally, this double focus leads to a special interest in interdisciplinary studies which combine both linguistic and literary approaches: theory of literary translation of ancient languages into Czech with a special focus on poetry. New fields of interest include pragmatics, the emergence of the concept of text in Late Antiquity, and commentaries (glosses on canonical school texts and biblical commentaries).

As for studies in Ancient Greek, Dagmar Muchnová is engaged in the field of Ancient Greek linguistics, especially Greek syntax; she applies the approaches currently used in the study of modern languages (text linguistics, pragmatics, discourse analysis). Apart from this, she is interested in the history of ancient linguistic thought. The research interests of Sylva Fischerová cover a range of issues, including archaic Greek poetry (Homer, Hesiod), pre-Socratic philosophy, Greek historiography and Hippocratic medicine, as well as the ancient novel. Ján Bakyta is primarily interested in the historical grammar of Ancient Greek, with special emphasis placed on its Indo-European roots; another, rather different field of his research is concerned with the Byzantine Empire and its relations to medieval (Latin) Europe and with Byzantine historiography.

Members of the Ancient History section are interested in all periods of ancient history (Greek and Roman) as well as in the historiography of the respective periods. Other particular topics of research include ancient political thought (J. Souček and V. Marek), ancient numismatics and Latin epigraphy (V. Marek), the relations between the Greeks and the Barbarians as well as Greek geography (J. Souček), and the history of late antiquity, especially regarding the religious situation in the late Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity (I. Prchlík).

Research in the area of Medieval Studies is quite varied. In her research, Iva Adámková concentrates on medieval Latin texts about architecture and liturgy (Suger of Saint-Denis). She has published studies on encyclopedic literature (Isidore of Seville) and took part in a project devoted to early Christian martyrs. Currently, her focus is on monastic literature, especially on texts by Bernard of Clairvaux. Lucie Doležalová deals with the medieval art of memory as well as with late medieval devotion and with the obscure, yet popular late medieval Latin opuscles. She has co-edited a number of books, e.g., on the late medieval manuscript miscellanies, on obscurity in medieval texts, and on the medieval library of the Augustinians in Roudnice nad Labem. Jan Kalivoda specializes in the topic of early hagiography and historiography in Bohemia as well as in research on Jan Hus. He is chairman of the Society of Hus-Haus/John Hus House in Constance. He has edited a number of Latin texts originating from Bohemia and is engaged in the implementation of new information technologies in the humanities, especially in classical philology and in medieval Latin studies.

As for studies in Modern Greek, Pavlína Šípová has joined the activities of the European Network of Research and Documentation of Performances of Ancient Drama, the European Society of Modern Greek Studies, and of Literature and Art in Intercultural Relationships; she is currently working on the post-Byzantine parodies (PRVOUK09), on post-Byzantine dramatic texts and religious theatre, and also on the development of the database Modern Greek Literature in Translation. Konstantinos Tsivos teaches modern and contemporary Greek history. His research focuses on the history of the Greek Civil War and political refugees and on the current crisis in Greece.

Profiling Projects

Several members of the Department take part in the collaborative faculty project (PRVOUK09) The Ancient and Medieval Roots of Popular Literature and Pulp (within the Literature and Arts in Intercultural Contexts project, the subprogramme: Formula Fiction: ‘Trivial’ and ‘Pulp’ Genres in the Context of Historical Development and Concepts of Popular Culture). Output: several workshops, an international conference entitled Popular Literature in the Ancient and Medieval World (Prague 2014); a collective monograph is forthcoming this year. Several other members of the Department serve as researchers at the University Centre of Excellence for the Study of Ancient and Medieval Thought (2012–2017).

Major Publication Projects

Since 1960, the Department has been publishing the scholarly journal Graecolatina Pragensia (GLP – annotated in Année Philologique and included in ERIH database), which is part of a university-wide periodical Acta Universitatis Carolinae – Philologica. The GLP contains original (double-blind) peer-reviewed articles, written in major languages and encompassing all areas of Greek and Latin studies, including medieval Latin and Byzantine studies; the journal also offers book reviews and is opened to Czech as well as to foreign experts. For a number of years, the Department members have also been contributing as authors and editors to the publication of the peer-reviewed journal, Auriga – ZJKF, published by the Association of Classical Philologists (JKF). In this journal, they have publised articles on ancient culture, medieval studies and, occasionally, Modern Greek studies (with abstracts written in a major foreign language). The members of our academic staff are active in a number of specialized research areas; the list of their recent publications is available on the Department’s website.

National and International Partner Institutions

The Department has Erasmus agreements with universities in Bologna, Bratislava, Budapest, Florence, Freiburg im Breisgau, Ioannina, Korfu, Ljubljana, Paris, Thessaloniki and Wroclaw. It has also established close collaboration with the Classical Philology Institute of the University of Vienna (joint seminars in 2013 and 2014 supported through AKTION program). The Department is the primary receiver of funding for the collaborative program Digital Editing of Medieval Manuscripts, together with Queen Mary University in London, University of Siena, University of Lyon and Stiftsbibliothe Klosterneuburg, supported through the scheme Erasmus+ Key Action 2: Strategic Partnerships, 2014-2017). In 2013, the Department took part in the Erasmus Intensive Programme Early European Literatures in Manuscripts in Austria. The Department has also received support for collaboration with the library of Sankt Gallen in Switzerland and organization of joint seminars (2015-2016). The Department represents the Czech Republic in the union of ten European universities EUROPAEUM (Oxford, Leiden, Bologna, Bonn, Genève, Paris, Prague, Madrid, Helsinki, Kraków) which organizes regular meetings of the centres of classical learning. In 2009, the Europaeum Ninth Classics Colloquium Teaching, Teachers and Students in Ancient World took place in Prague.

20150416IMG_7934Prizes and Awards

In the last few years, three members of the Department were awarded the Charles University Award for excellent research monograph (M. Bažil, D. Muchnová, L. Pultrová). Recently, two students of the Department have been awarded the Jan Palach Prize:

2013: Ján Országh, The Hippocratic treatise On the Sacred Disease. Translation, commentary and introductory study.

2015: Robert Roreitner, Trojan Destinies (τυγχάνω and τεύχω in the oldest Greek epos).