The Ellen Clarke Bertrand Library

Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies: Reference & Introductory Sources

Essential Reference Sources for Classics

How to use these sources?

Reference sources help you to define unfamiliar terms or concepts, find background information, and generally provide context for your studies. They can be particularly helpful for Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies as we are seeking to learn more about a world and culture that is unfamiliar to us.

Often, reference sources can be great resources to help you develop your topic or expand your knowledge of related ideas. 

Some uses of reference sources include: 

  • Reading topical encyclopedia pages to inspire questions and topics
  • Using dictionaries and encyclopedias to understand what a word or phrase that shows up in your sources means and why it's important
  • Using a multi-language dictionary to translate a word that appears in its original language
  • Using an atlas or other image-heavy source to get a sense of where something is/was and what it looks/looked like.

References sources are one option you have for these research needs- one benefit of using reference sources like the ones on this page is that they tend to have a high level of academic authority because they are written and reviewed by academic experts.

Some Print Reference Sources for Classics