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ARTH 1158: Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii (Spring 2017): Cite Sources

A guide to library research

Annotated Bibliography

Cite your sources


The Chicago Manual of Style (online). 15th ed. Chicago: U of Chicago, 1993. (Olin Reference Desk Z 253 U69x 2003; also Uris) "A standard work, thoroughly revised and updated, which serves as a how-to book for authors and editors. The basics online: Chicago Manual of Style.


Manage Information Effectively and Efficiently using Citation Software/PDF organizers such as Zotero, Mendeley, or EndNote

Citing Ancient Sources

Your professor has created a guide for you available as a pdf:

Additional Citing Ancient Sources

The following guide is adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style; for detailed information on citing other types of sources see the current Chicago Manual of Style available online and in print from the MacEwan University library.

The Chicago Style requires a bibliography and either footnotes (at the bottom of the page where the reference occurs) or endnotes (at the end of the paper). Numerical notes are created by using features in MSWord or other word processors.

In your research, you will come across numerous references to ancient (primary) sources which will look very different from your modern (secondary) sources.

When referring to a modern source, you need to direct your reader back to the original location from which your quotation, paraphrase or idea comes – for example, the author, title, publisher, year of publication and page number for a book; or the author, title, journal, volume, year and page for an article. The publisher and year of publication ensure that your reader will be able to find the same edition that you have used.

For ancient sources, the accepted practice is slightly different:

Prose Works in Translation

  • Page numbers aren’t always the best option...

Numerous translations exist of most of the major works of antiquity which, in most cases, do not differ substantially from one another. It does not really matter whether you use, for example, the Penguin, Oxford, Loeb or Landmark edition of Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War. If, however, you have used the Penguin translation but your reader only has the Loeb translation available, a page number will not be of great use.

  • Instead, we use book #s, paragraph #s, and sentence #s

Ancient sources are divided into “books” and “chapters”, usually based on the number of scrolls that were needed to contain the work in its entirety. A “book” in an ancient source is like a chapter in a modern book, and a “chapter”, like a paragraph. The book number is usually clearly indicated in the header of a translation (though not always), but different publishers indicate the paragraph and sentence numbers in different ways. The Penguin and Oxford translations usually do so in the margins of a page. Loeb translations indicate the paragraph numbers in the text, and the sentence numbers in the margins.

When referring to an ancient literary source, therefore, it is customary to do so by means of the author’s name, the title of the work, the book number, the paragraph number, and (if available) the sentence number. If there is no sentence number, do not worry about it.

“Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, 2.15.2” enables your reader to find the passage in question regardless of which text you are using and which he or she is using.

Examples of Endnotes / Footnotes and Bibliographic Entries

The following abbreviations are used:

EN = Endnotes

                Follow these examples when citing sources throughout your essay

B = Bibliography

                Follow these examples when creating your bibliography

Prose Work       

EN: Author (ancient), Book Title in Italics, Book #. Paragraph #. Sentence #. (if available)

B: Author (ancient). Book Title in Italics. Name of Translator. City: Publisher, Year.


EN: Thucydides, History of Peloponnesian War, 2.15.2.  
This endnote/footnote refers to book two, chapter fifteen, sentence two of the History of the Peloponnesian War by the ancient author Thucydides.

EN: Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 2.14.3.
This endnote/footnote refers to book two, letter 14, paragraph 3 of Letters to Atticus by Cicero.

B: Thucydides. History of the Peloponnesian War. Translated by Rex Warner.  London:  Penguin, 1972.

FYI: In addition to the ancient author and the title of the work the translator, publisher and publication date must all be indicated in the bibliography.

Multivolume Prose Work            

EN: Author (ancient), Book Title in Italics, # of vols, Book #. Paragraph #. Sentence #. (if available)

B: Author (ancient). Book Title in Italics. Name of Translator. # of vols. City: Publisher, Year.


EN: Cicero, Letters to Friends, trans. and ed. by D.R. Shackleton Bailey, 3 vols, 2.14.3.

B: Cicero. Letters to Friends. Translated and Edited by D.R. Shackleton Bailey. 3 vols.Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001.

FYI: In the bibliography “Edited by” and “Translated by” are spelled out. In the notes use abbreviations (ed./trans.)

Poetry and Drama

The practice for citing ancient poetry is the same as for modern poetry: the author’s name, the title of the poem, and the line number. In the case of longer poems (e.g., Homer’s Iliad or Milton’s Paradise Lost), you also need to provide the book number. Line numbers usually refer to the translated lines, not the original, but you still do not provide the page number.

Modern drama is usually divided into Acts and Scenes, to which you refer (e.g., Shakespeare, Hamlet, I.3); ancient drama did not have these divisions. As a result, your reference to an ancient tragedy or comedy will look like the reference to a poem, without the book number: the author’s name, title of the play and the line numbers.

Poetry and Play                               

EN: Author (ancient), Title of the Poem in Italics, Book #. Line #.

EN: Author (ancient), Title of the Play in Italics, Line #.

B: Author (ancient). Title of Play or Poem in Italics. Name of Translator. City: Publisher,  Year.     


EN: Homer, Odyssey, 9.102-110.   
This endnote refers to Lines 102 through 110 of Book 9 of Homer’s Odyssey.    

EN:  Horace, Satires, 2.8.5-10.    
This endnote refers to Lines 5 through 10 of the eighth satire in Book 2 of Horace’s Satires.       

EN: Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes, 830-840.
This endnote refers to Lines 830 through 840 of Aeschylus’ Seven Against Thebes.

B: Aeschylus. Seven Against Thebes. Translated by Anthony Hecht and Helen H.  Bacon. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

FYI: In addition to the ancient author and the title of the poem or play the translator, publisher and publication date must all be included in the bibliography

Works in a Custom Course Pack

Course Pack

EN:  Author (ancient). “Title of Chapter,” Name of Translator in Course Number Title of Course Pack in Italics, (City: Publisher, Year), page.

B: Author (ancient). “Title of Chapter.” Name of Translator in Course Number Title of  Course Pack in Italics, Page Range of Chapter. City, Publisher, Year.


EN: Homer, “The Iliad Book One: The Rage of Achilles,” trans. by Robert Fagles in CLAS 102 Greek and Roman Mythology: 2nd Custom Edition for Grant MacEwan College, (Toronto: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2009), 3.

B: Homer, “The Iliad Book One: The Rage of Achilles.” Translated by Robert Fagles in CLAS 102 Greek and Roman Mythology: 2nd Custom Edition for Grant MacEwan College, 1-23. Toronto: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2009.

Inscriptions and Coins and Images

You may also come across references which are little more than a series of letters and numbers. In most cases, these most likely direct you to collections of inscriptions, coins or images. The study of inscriptions is called epigraphy; of coins, numismatics. Both are specialized fields within history or archaeology, but they do form an important source of information for many historical arguments.

Inscriptions: “CIL VI.930; ILS 244; FIRA I.15; JRS 67 (1977): 95-116” will not mean much to most readers; a Roman historian, though, will immediately look up inscription 930 of volume 6 of the Coprus Inscriptionum Latinarum and find the law granting Vespasian imperial power.

References to inscriptions are usually of use only to professional historians. If Vespasian’s imperial power is the subject of your essay, though, and you want to use this law, you should consult your instructor on how to use and cite that law (not least because the reference given will direct you to Latin versions, not English translations, of the law).

Coins: Coins are referred to in a similar fashion – the title of the collection and the number of the coin: RRC 231 directs the reader to coin number 231 in Roman Republican Coinage. Coins found in a library database like ARTstor should be cited in the same way as images found in a library database. Again, it is best to consult your instructor if you wish to use coins among your source material.

Images: Images will be of easier access and use in your papers. Many secondary sources offering commentary on an image or using an image to support their arguments will provide that image.  There are also collections devoted specifically to images such as Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC). Images from these types of sources should be cited like other standard reference works such as dictionaries or encyclopedias.

Images (book)

EN: Author’s First and Last Name, Title of Book in Italics, Page #, and the Figure/Map/Table #.

B: Author’s Last Name, First Name. Title of Book in Italics. City: Publisher, Year.


John G. Pedley, Greek Art and Archaeology, 167, Fig. 6.32.

Adapted from:

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