The Institute

Founded by the Conseil universitaire in June 1999, the Institut d’études anciennes et médiévales is a unique and exciting learning environment. It provides professors, researchers and students a place to pursue and develop a long and rich tradition of teaching and research in ancient studies.

Working in a broad range of fields, our ancient studies scholars contribute to furthering many areas of specialization. These include:

  • Greek and Latin language, literature and linguistics;
  • Greek and Roman history;
  • Graeco-Roman and Near Eastern archaeology;
  • Greek epigraphy;
  • Early Christianity;
  • Gnosticism and Manichaeism;
  • Eastern Christian languages and literature;
  • Ancient philosophy and its extension into the Middle Ages;
  • Survival of the classical heritage in the Middle Ages;
  • The Latin influence on the Renaissance;
  • Sanskrit language and literature;
  • Classical values in contemporary culture.

Historical Background

For many years, Université Laval has recognized the importance of ancient studies within its programs of higher learning and its research activities. Ancient studies first appeared at Université Laval in the year 1920, when a normal school to train high-school teachers was founded.

In 1937, the École normale supérieure created the Faculty of Arts, which continued to grow at its Quartier latin location until 1964 when it moved to the Sainte-Foy campus. In 1961, the Department of Ancient Studies was established. This Department existed until 1972, when the Faculty of Arts adopted a new system whereby departments and programs were each organized and administered separately. On the one hand, professors were grouped into four departments—Geography, History, Literature, and Language, linguistics and translation—while, on the other, students were associated with just one of the Faculty’s programs. Greek and Latin professors teaching language, literature and civilization were incorporated into the Department of Literature, while archaeology professors joined professors of ancient history in the Department of History.

However, it quickly became apparent that this divided model, which impeded exchange between the University’s different administrative units, seriously compromised the development and harmonious operations of ancient studies programs. In addition, this system led to a decline in the use of resources available outside of the Faculty of Arts. This realization greatly inspired the reorganization, in 1996-1997, of undergraduate and graduate programs in ancient studies. Decisively based on an interdisciplinary approach, the new programs focus not only on the activities traditionally associated with ancient studies—Greek and Latin language and literature, Classical archaeology, history of antiquity and ancient art—but also on other fields, such as Early Christianity and Patristics, Gnosticism and Manichaeism and ancient philosophy. Master’s and doctoral programs in ancient studies were established to further the study of ancient Eastern languages, religious history, Early Christian, Gnostic and Manichaean texts, and ancient philosophy. This rounded out the ancient studies programs and strengthened the University’s research activities in these fields.

Created by the University Council in June 1999, the Institute of Ancient Studies of Université Laval provides henceforth professors, researchers and students a dynamic environment that contributes to their mutual development, permitting them to take part in a long and rich tradition of teaching and research in the vast field of the ancient studies.


The Institut d’études anciennes et médiévales at Université Laval is a multi-Faculty organization whose aim is to ensure a concerted and harmonious development of instruction and research at the graduate level. The Institute is governed by the Statutes and Regulations of the Université Laval, and by its own Statutes that you can access in our french website.


The Institut d’études anciennes recognizes four categories of members: Regular, Special Regular, Associate, and Student members. To learn more about our members, visit our french website.