The Reception of Classical Tradition as a Marker of Cultural Transformations in Eastern and Central Europe (16th – 20th c.)

PhD Advisors: Prof. Jerzy Axer; Prof. Alina Nowicka-Jeżowa

Between the 16th and the 21st centuries Central and Eastern Europe has been undergoing political transformations which have radically affected statehood in particular regions composing this part of the continent. We invite you thus to study classical traditions in their regional setting, i.e. across contemporary national borders. You may choose to explore the subcultures generated by the reception of classical tradition in the realm of Saint Stephan’s kingship (16th-20th c. Hungary, Croatia, Slovakia, and partly Serbia and Romania); study the role of the classical tradition in the formation of multiethnic and multiconfessional states built by Polish and Hungarian nobility; conduct primary source research on Hungarian humanism in the 15th century and its influence on Polish humanism, as well as on Hungarian Protestantism in the 16th and 17th centuries; or compare the politics of the communist states in their respective approach to classical tradition and to classical studies. In either case you will hopefully open up new perspectives on the cultural frontier between East and West in general, and in particular on the dynamics of assimilation and transformation of West European influences pertaining to Ancient culture. Such an approach will allow you to shed new light on the processes of modernization in the above mentioned region.

If you choose this field of doctoral research you will complete your fellowships abroad at the following Partner Institutions:

Institute for Literary Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (ITI), Magyar Tudomanyos Akadémia – Irodalomtudomanyi Intézet
The Institute for Literary Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (ITI) houses a Bibliographical Center devoted to the Hungarian Literary History, the Department of Central and East-European Studies, as well as the Department of Renaissance and Baroque Studies. Of particular relevance is ITI’s interest in textology and most importantly in critical editions of old Latin and Hungarian texts. You will work under the supervision of Prof. László Szörényi. For more information see:

Department of Classical Philology, University of Pécs
Besides the traditional classical studies, the Department of Classical Philology of Pécs University (PTE) offers several specialized training programs in History of Greek and Roman Art, History of Ancient Music and History of Greek, Roman and Indian Theatre. The Kerényi family has bequeathed to the Department the personal library of Károly Kerényi, who finished his life in emigration after 1945. This collection, together with ca. 8000 volumes of primary and secondary sources received from the École Normale Supérieure is the most important Hungarian departmental library specializing in classical philology. You will work under the supervision of Prof. György Karsai. For further information see:

Collegium Budapest
Collegium Budapest is one of the first institutions in post-communist Europe organized as an Institute for Advanced Studies, following the model of Princeton, Berlin Wassenaar, and Uppsala. Its specialty is the association of the humanities and life sciences, as well as the organization of very efficient interdisciplinary research teams collaborating with prestigious institutions of learning throughout the world. Collegium Budapest offers the expertise of its fellows, as well as the access to its unique library (11,000 volumes and very efficient interlibrary loan system throughout Hungary). Of special importance is the research program Gnôthi seauton! – Classics and Communism. The History of the Studies of Antiquity in the Context of the Local Classical tradition in Socialist Countries, 1944/45 – 1989/90. You will work under the supervision of Prof. Gabor Klaniczay. For more information, see:

Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities, IGITI, Moscow, Russia
The Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities (IGITI) in Moscow has been a leading academic institution in Russia promoting intellectual innovation and interdisciplinary studies which associates the history of ideas, the history of science in general, and the history of social sciences in particular. IGITI combines these disciplines in order to study the symbolic systems elaborated by European culture throughout its evolution, with a specific stress on institutions and epistemological paradigms structuralizing the intellectual space in Europe. In parallel with this interest in intellectual history, IGITI develops media studies (especially for investigating contemporary mass media), alongside a strong Center of Fundamental Sociology. IGITI provides a convenient point of entry into the most innovative projects in Russia: e.g. Moscow State Lomonosov University, Faculty of History and Faculty of Philology; Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities, Russian State University for Humanities; Interdisciplinary Centre for Studies in History, Economy and Society, Moscow. You will work under the supervision of Prof. Irina Savelieva. For more information, see: