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ARTH 1158: Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii (Spring 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.


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 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.

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

Antiquity Encyclopedias

Specialized Scholarly Encyclopedias (superior to Wikipedia on most topics)


    The historians of late antiquity, Routledge, 2002.


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

The Cambridge companion to the Roman historians c2009

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 Encyclopedia of Ancient Civilizations. New York: Mayflower Books, 1980. (Olin Reference CB 311 E565+) 

Ancient Writers Greece and Rome. 1982 (Olin Reference PA 3002.A54) Grant, Michael, and Rachel Kitzinger. Civilization of the Ancient Mediterranean: Greece and Rome. 3 vols. New York: Scribners, 1988. (Olin Reference DE 59 C58 1988) 

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

The Encyclopedia of Ancient Civilizations. 1980. (Olin Reference CB 311 E565+) 

Civilization of the Ancient Mediterranean: Greece and Rome. 1988. (Olin Reference DE 59 C58 1988) 

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

Encyclopedia of the Ancient World. 2002. (Olin Reference CB311 .E54x 2002) 


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 


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Superior to Wikipedia on most topics & disciplines:

Gale virtual reference library 

Sage Reference Online

Oxford Reference Online

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