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Fribourg profile

The Department of Classics offers students the possibility of doing a doctorate in Greek Language and Literature or Latin Language and Literature either in French or German, and even in other languages such as English and Italian. The scope of research covers all Greek literature, from Homer to the Byzantine period, and all Latin literature, from the early days of the Republic to the Humanist period.

However, special attention is paid to the reception of classical Greek antiquity during the imperial period (Second Sophistic), to the culture and literature of late antiquity (Greek and Roman), in particular in terms of its links with Christian authors and by means of fruitful collaboration with the Institute of Antiquity and Byzantium and the Medieval Institute to its survival during the Latin Middle Ages as well as during the Byzantine period and the Renaissance. Students also study the influence of literary forms and ancient mythology on modern literature in partnership with the Institute of General and Comparative Literature.

During their doctorate, candidates have the further possibility of specialising in codicology, palaeography, papyrology and techniques of textual criticism (ecdotics). Training is carried out in partnership with neighbouring disciplines at the University of Fribourg and other institutions in Switzerland or abroad.

Doctoral students also have access to the training activities offered by the CUSO (Conférence Universitaire de Suisse Occidentale) Programme doctoral en Sciences de l'Antiquité (EDOCSA) and those organised under the partnership agreement between the universities of Bern, Neuchâtel and Fribourg (BENEFRI). Similarly, thanks to the participation of the University of Fribourg in Metageitnia a scientific group comprising 14 Swiss, French, German and Austrian universities (Basel, Bern, Fribourg, Genève, Lausanne, Neuchâtel, Zürich; Besançon, Mulhouse, Strasbourg; Freiburg im Breisgau, Konstanz, Tübingen; Innsbruck) doctoral students are able to take part in the group's grand annual meeting and present the results of their research to a specialist public.

Thanks to the contribution of staff from the Department of Classics and the Institute of Antiquity and Byzantium, the programme covers all the various facets of the study of the languages and literature of Greco-Roman antiquity.

Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

Latin Language and Literature

  • Prof. Karin Schlapbach

Areas of specialisation:
– Latin literature of late Antiquity, in particular Augustine
– Philosophical prose
– Poetry and metapoetic discourse
– Dance and pantomime

Theses can be supervised in German, French, Italian or English.

Greek Language and Literature

  • Prof. Thomas Schmidt

Areas of specialisation:
– Plutarch
– Literature of the Second Sophistic
– Byzantine scholiasts and commentators
– Greek papyrology

Theses can be supervised in French, German or English.

Studies organisation

Structure of studies

ECTS credits can be earned.

Doctoral school



In order to be admitted to a doctorate the candidate must have been awarded an academic bachelor's and master's degree or an equivalent qualification from a university recognised by the University of Fribourg.

Before applying for a doctorate the candidate must contact a professor who would be willing to supervise the thesis work.

There is no general right to be admitted to a doctorate.

The respective conditions of admission for each doctoral study programme are reserved.