The departmental programme German Studies is the investigation of German culture and its place in the formation of the modern world. The programme concentrates on significant aspects of the cultural tradition of the German-speaking countries. From Luther to Nietzsche, Freud, and Marx, German writers have moved men and nations to change the course of the world. The literary and intellectual development of Germany culminated around 1800 in the epoch of Classicism. The authors of this epoch (Lessing, Herder, Hegel, Goethe, Schiller) founded their writings on a thorough knowledge of the cultural tradition of Europe,especially Greek culture. As scientists, historians, and politicians they described in their literary works, problems and questions of a universal nature. They became the first historians of literature and created the discipline of aesthetics. The universality of the authors of German classicism explains their present day relevance and makes the study of German important and attractive.