Ancient History - Rome

Ancient History - Rome

Getting Started  

 Research tip #1

Identify what kinds of research materials you need - books, primary sources, journal articles, etc. 

  • Define your problem - be specific
  • Identify synonyms and keywords that describe your topic
  • Construct using 'boolean' operators:
    • OR broadens search results. Use it for synonyms representing a single aspect.
      • Example: dieties OR worship
    • AND narrows search results. Use it to connect the different aspects in the strategy above.
      • Example: Augustus AND rome AND police
    • To retrieve variations of a word, use *
      • Example: symbol *  (retrieves symbol, symbols, symbolism, symbolic, etc.)

Finding Books

 Research tip #2

Try different search strategies, key terms, and look at Subject Headings.

  • Use Scotty, the Library's online catalog to identify books by topic, title or author OR 
    to identify if the Library owns particular journals. Scotty does not include articles. 

    Search by keyword for materials on a particular topic, then refine using Subject Headings.

Example:  Keyword search ~  magic and rome    
Example:  Subject Headings:  Witchcraft -- Rome -- History.,  Magic, Ancient.   

  • To find primary sources in Scotty, use the following "primary source keywords" in combination with words from your list to search SCOTTY.

Primary Source Keywords

Description and Travel
Diary or diaries
Early works to _____
Oral Histories
Personal Narratives
Pictorial works
Songs and Music

    Example: occult* and rome and sources          

  • Try Melvyl, the UC library-wide catalog for broader coverage. 


Internet Gateways

Useful Reference Works

Print encyclopedias provide an overview of a topic and include bibliographies. Bibliographies, biographical sources, and historiographies lead you to other sources. Here is a sampling:

  • Classical Studies: a Guide to the Reference Literature - Ref Z7016 .J4 2006

     Research tip #3

    Let the research lead you:  check  the bibliographies.

  • Brill's New Pauly: Encyclopaedia of the Ancient World  - Ref DE5 N47413 2002
  • Oxford Classical Dictionary - Ref DE5 O9 2003
  • Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire - Ref DG270 B86 2002
  • Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Greek and Roman Women - Ref HQ1136 L54 2000
  • Encyclopedia of Women in the Ancient World - Ref HQ1127 S25 2001
  • Encyclopedia of Early Christianity - Ref BR162.2 E53 1997

Electronic reference works include:


  • JSTOR Journal Archive is a a great place to find scholarly journal articles. Since JSTOR is an archive of journals,  there are no current years online. Given JSTOR's wide coverage,  it is wise to limit your search terms to particular journals and disciplines.

    Getting to JSTOR:  Select Databases A-Z  (on the left side) -» Choose  J   -»  Then  JSTOR The Scholarly Journal Archive 

    Once you enter JSTOR: 

Research tip #4

  Connect From Home  Connect from Home  Click here for instructions for connecting off campus. 

    • Select SEARCH then Advanced Search
      JSTOR Advanced Search Screen
    • Enter Search Terms
    • Set Limits
      Select   Classical Studies - 16 journals History - 73 journals Religion - 26 journals
      • Notes:  Use quotation marks to search for a phrase
        The searching default is full-text - you can change to article title or abstract

  • L'Année Philologique (APh) is the most comprehensive index to periodical literature for the classics. This database also include book and book chapters.  Its subjects are Greek and Latin literature and linguistics, including early Christian texts and patristics, Greek and Roman history, philosophy, art, archaeology, religion, mythology, music, science and scholarly sub-specialties such as numismatics, papyrology and epigraphy. Articles appear in many European languages. 

    Getting to APh:  Select  Databases By Subject  -» Choose  History  -»  Then L'Année Philologique (APh) 

    Once you enter APh:

 Research tip #5

Evaluate before copying or printing - Read the abstracts!

    • Select criteria from the navigation bar on top of the page. (e.g. full text, ancient authors)
    • Criteria can be combined.  To limit a search by a particular language, search using Other Criteria--Language. Use the Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT to combine the two sets. Examples : Q1 and Q2  
    • UC-eLinks is NOT available.  You will need to check the journal or book cited in Scotty.
    • When searching for Ancient Authors: authors are listed under the Latin form of the name.  Greek names are converted to their Latin equivalent. For example, Homer becomes Homerus. Latin endings are used, “v” is written as “u” unless it is an initial “v”.  Examples:  Livy -> Liuius, Ovid -> Quidius, Virgil -> Vergilius Maro
    • Anonymous classics are generally listed by title.

      Note: This Guide to L'Annee Philologique and online search tips in print may be helpful as you search online.
  • Other databases: Arts and Humanities Citation Index and  ATLA (Religion Index)

Research tip #6 

Some databases provide only citations and/or abstracts to articles in journals.  Click on UC-eLinksto see if the article is available online or in the library. For print, you will need to write down the journal's call number.

Cite Your Sources  

Researchers use standard citation formats to identify books, articles, etc., consulted and to give credit to their authors. Consistency is crucial. As a university student, you are expected to follow the same guidelines.

Always consult your instructor for the format used in your class.
See the Library's Cite your sources  guide for help with the most common formats.

Professors in history and some humanities courses often require footnotes or endnotes based on The Chicago Manual of Style. You will usually be asked to include a bibliography at the end of your paper as well.  Click on the following link for tips: Chicago-style and Quick guide (N stands for endnote/footnote and B for bibliography)      


Further Assistance

 Research Tip #7 

Track your work!

Librarians are here to help you! 
Stop by at the Reference Desk, call at 827-4392, email us at:, or  click on 
Need Help? Ask a Librarian Chat with a Librarian Ask a Librarian a question via e-mail Reference desk phone numbers .  

Last modified: 6/24/2011 4:10 PM by M. Yonezawa

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