Classical philology  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Classical philology is the study of the so-called "classical" Indo-European language systems, including ancient Greek, classical Latin, and Sanskrit. The term "classical" is a conventional usage; see Classical studies for discussion. Classical philology has been defined as "the careful study of the literary and philosophical texts of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds." (Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Nietzsche on Morality) Greek and Latin literature and civilization have traditionally been considered foundations of Western Culture.

Sanskrit is the major classical language of Indian civilization. It derives much of its status from its use in Hindu texts, especially the four Vedas.

Classical philology was a major preoccupation of the 19th-century German education system, which became "the paradigm for higher education" throughout Western culture. The discipline was considered a form of Wissenschaft, a "science." The training in critical analysis afforded by an education in classical philology was of particular influence on Nietzsche.

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