A philologist is someone who studies the history of languages, especially by looking closely at literature. If you're fascinated with the way English has changed over time, from Beowulf to Beloved, you might want to become a philologist.
Linguistics is the study of language, and a philologist is a type of linguist. For a philologist, the most fascinating part of linguistics is the way the history of language, its grammar, and its meaning, can be studied by analyzing written texts and oral traditions of storytelling. Any philologist can tell you that the word comes from the Greek philologia, "love of learning, discussion, and literature."