Philology matters. But why? In this talk, postdoctoral researcher Kristine Palmieri examines the central role that classical philology played in the development of the German research university and its contributions to the meteoric rise of science in nineteenth-century Germany. Focusing on the history of the philology seminar, she begins by tracing the evolution of philological methods and pedagogical practices during the period 1730–1830. She then foregrounds the braided institutional, cultural, and political factors that facilitated classical philology’s growing institutional authority, educational importance, and scientific legitimacy. In so doing, Palmieri underscores how philological research gave rise to a distinctive way of knowing, which she identifies as the philological cornerstone of modern (German) science.