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ARKEO 2688: Cleopatra's Egypt (Spring 2017): Encyclopedias

A guide to research


Encyclopedias are great for:

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

Language Dictionaries

Cambridge Histories


Best Bets:

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

Oxford Bibliographies Online: Classics Offers peer-reviewed annotated bibliographies on all aspects of Antiquity.  Particularly recommended is Caitlin Barrett's "Hellenistic and Roman Egypt"

Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt (2003)

Encyclopedia of the archaeology of ancient Egypt (1998) New York : Routledge.  (Olin Library Reference DT58 .E53x 1998)

The encyclopedia of ancient Egyptian architecture (2003) Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press. (Fine Arts Library Reference  NA215 .A7513 2003)


Ancient Greece & Rome Encyclopedias

Ancient Greece & Rome

Best Bets:

The Oxford Classical Dictionary. 5th ed. Excellent source. Covers biography, literature, mythology, philosophy, religion, science, geography of the classical world with bibliography.

The Oxford encyclopedia of ancient Greece and Rome 



Encyclopedia of the Roman empire (Olin Library Oversize DG270 .B86x 2002 +)

Conflict in ancient Greece and Rome: the definitive political, social, and military encyclopedia [2016] (Olin Library Reference Oversize JC73 .C675 2016 +)

Encyclopedia of early Christianity (Olin Library Reference + BR162.2 .E56 1997)

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

Civilization of the Ancient Mediterranean: Greece and Rome. 3 vols. New York: Scribners, 1988. (Olin Reference DE 59 C58 1988) 

Ancient Writers Greece and Rome. 1982 (Olin Reference PA3002.A54)

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

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.

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

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) 

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