Skip to main content

ARKEO 2711: Archaeology of the Roman world: Italy and the West (Fall 2017): Encyclopedias

A guide to library research


Encyclopedias are great for:

  • choosing a topic
  • quick self-education
  • perspective on a topic
  • variant spellings, vocabulary, terminology
  • bibliography

Language Dictionaries

Oxford Pocket Latin-English Dictionary

Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek

Older language, and other kinds of, dictionaries available through Perseus Digital Library

Cambridge Histories Online

Cambridge Histories Online

Excellent resource. Full text. Chapters as pdfs. Extremely high quality essays with rich footnotes and bibliography.


Oxford Bibliographies Online: Classics
Offers peer-reviewed annotated bibliographies on all aspects of Antiquity.


Oxford Classical Dictionary (5th edition)
Much more than a dictionary. An excellent source for sources on all aspects of the Classical World.

Antiquity Encyclopedias

Specialized Scholarly Encyclopedias (superior to Wikipedia on most topics)

Encyclopedia of early Christianity c1997 Olin Library Reference (Non-Circulating) + BR162.2 .E56 1997

The Cambridge companion to the Roman historians c2009

Oxford Art Online provides web access to the entire text of The Dictionary of Art, ed. Jane Turner (1996, 34 vols.) and The Oxford Companion to Western Art, ed. Hugh Brigstocke (2001). Articles, and over 1,500 thumbnail art images and line drawings, extensive image links, and sophisticated search and navigation tools.

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Excellent on all aspects of philosophy and history of ancient science.

The Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization. 1998. (Olin Reference DE5.O92x 1998+). A shortened version of The Oxford Classical Dictionary.

    The historians of late antiquity, Routledge, 2002.

Ancient Writers Greece and Rome. 1982 (Olin Reference PA 3002.A54) Grant, Michael, and Rachel Kitzinger.

Sienkewicz, Thomas J. Encyclopedia of the Ancient World. 3 vols. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2002. (Olin Reference CB311 .E54x 2002) 

The Virgil Encyclopedia

Encyclopedia of Greece and the Hellenic Tradition. 2000. (Olin Reference DF757.E53x 2000)


Mythology Encyclopedias


Brill's New Pauly Supplement vol 4. The Reception of Myth and Mythology

Encyclopedia of Greco-Roman Mythology. 1998. (Olin Reference BL 715 D56x 1998) 

Early Greek Myth: A guide to Literary and Artistic Sources. 1993.  (Olin Reference BL782.G21)

Encyclopedia of Ancient Dieties. 2000. (Olin Reference BL473 .C68 2000 +) 

The Encyclopedia of Religion.  1987. (Olin Reference BL 31 E55+)

The Dictionary of Classical Mythology. 1986. (Olin Reference BL 715 .G86 1986)

Gods and heroes : a quick guide to the occupations, associations and experiences of the Greek and Roman gods and heroes. 1977. (Olin Reference BL715 .H29) 

Funk and Wagnall's Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend. 1972. (Olin Reference GR 35 F98 1984) 

Encyclopedia of Creation Myths. 1994 


Flicker photo by teachernz

Superior to Wikipedia on most topics & disciplines:

Gale virtual reference library 

Sage Reference Online

Oxford Reference Online