Philology (Greek φιλολογία Philologia, Philologia Latin, literally " love of language ") is the collective term for the language and literature of a language or a language branch. Occasionally, the term refers solely to the science of language or exclusively the scientific study of an author and his literary work.


Original task of philology was textual criticism, ie the production of a text as authentic as possible, which was developed from various divergent manuscripts. This edition philology is now only a part of the field of philology.

As the oldest Philology Classical Philology is to look at. This is called classical because it deals with the understood as classical Greek and Roman antiquity and developed most of the other philologies from her. The so-called modern languages ​​, to which the English, the German, the Slavonic and Romance languages ​​are developed mainly during the Enlightenment and Romanticism, and formed the basis for the emergence of another layer, for example Lusitanistics and Rumänistik.

In the context of numerous small Oriental philology, which today continue to exist at various university locations as exotic subjects, but whose existence is at risk incurred. The tendency of splitting a larger philology in many part of philology is also called Orchideisierung.

Subjects (selection)

Classics ( Classical Philology )

  • Gräzistik
  • Latin Studies

Modern Languages ​​- Europe

  • English, including American
  • Baltic Studies
  • Bohemistics
  • Finno - Ugric Studies (especially Hungarian Studies and Fennistik )
  • German studies
  • Celtic Studies
  • Modern Greek
  • Romance (including Hispanic, Lusitanistics, Catalan Culture ), including Latin American
  • Scandinavian
  • Slavic (including Russian Studies, Polish Studies, Serbokroatistik )
  • Arabic
  • Austronesian
  • Dravidistik
  • Hebrew Studies
  • Indology
  • Iranian
  • Japanistik
  • Koreanistik
  • Mongology
  • Sinology
  • Thai Studies
  • Tibetology
  • Turkish Studies
  • Vietnamistik

Philology - Africa

  • Egyptology
  • Ethiopian

Cross- philologies

  • African
  • Ancient Near Eastern Studies ( inter alia, Assyriology, Elamistik )
  • Indo-European Studies
  • Caucasian research
  • Semitic Studies
  • Comparative Linguistics

Philological Programmschriften

  • Friedrich Schlegel: For philology. I and II In: Critical Friedrich Schlegel output. Edited by Ernst Behler. 2 Department. Vol 16: Fragments of poetry and literature. Part 1. Schöningh, Paderborn, Munich, Vienna 1981, p 33-81.
  • Friedrich Nietzsche: We philologists. In: Friedrich Nietzsche: works. Edited by Karl Schlechta. Vol 3, 6, revised edition, Hanser, Munich 1969, pp. 323-332 - notes "We philologists " iR Digital facsimile of total output. Edited by Paolo D' Iorio.
  • August Boeckh: Encyclopaedia and Methodology of philological sciences. Edited by Ernst Bratuschek. B.G. Teubner, Leipzig 1877 - digitized on Open Library.
  • Peter Szondi: About philological knowledge. In: Peter Szondi: Hölderlin studies. With a treatise on philological knowledge. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 1967, ISBN 3-518-10379-2, pp. 9-34.
  • Heinz Floppy: poetry and knowledge. The emergence of the aesthetic consciousness and philological knowledge. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 1990, ISBN 3- 518-58023 -X.
  • January Ziolkowski: " What is Philology " Introduction. In: Comparative Literature Studies 27.1: " What is Philology " special -focus issue 1990, pp. 1-12.
  • Nikolaus Wegmann: What does reading a classic text '? Philological self-reflection between science and education. In: Jürgen Fohrmann, Voßkamp Wilhelm (ed.): History of Science of the German language in the 19th century. Metzler, Stuttgart, Weimar, 1994, ISBN 3-476-00990-4, pp. 334-450.
  • Thomas Schestag: Philology, knowledge. In: Neue Rundschau 119.3 (2008 ), pp. 128-143.
  • Jerome McGann: Philology in a New Key. In: Critical Inquiry 39.2 ( Winter 2013 ), pp. 327-346.