This research guide introduces selected academic publications about the Roman Empire. Use the navigation menu on the left to explore the Library's classical studies collections and feel free to contact me if you have questions. I am also available for research consultations. Use the book now button to schedule a meeting with me.
Encyclopedias, Handbooks & Companions
The Library has a substantial collection of subject-specific encyclopedias, handbooks, and companions with exhaustive and well-researched articles written by subject experts. These essays are great introductions to the historiography and helpful in defining and focusing a topic. Articles generally include references to recommended literature. Oxford Research Encyclopedias - Oxford Classical Dictionary
This digital edition began with all of the articles from the 4th edition, but is regularly expanded with new articles and updated with revisions to previously published articles. Overview articles are now lengthier, more detailed, and cover broader topics. The digital edition includes images, maps of the ancient world, links, and audiovisual clips. Encyclopedia of Ancient History (Wiley-Blackwell)
Covers all civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean world including the Near East and Egypt. Encyclopedia of the Roman Army (Wiley-Blackwell)
Presents academic essays on all aspects of the Roman army during the Republic, Principate, and Late Antique periods. Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online
Covers the most important authors, texts, ideas, and places that played a role in the history of the development of Christianity. Its content is intended to bridge the gap between the fields of New Testament studies and patristics, covering the whole period of early Christianity up to 600 CE. Source continuously updated. Online access via Brill Online. Brill's New Pauly Online
Covers civilizations of the ancient world from the second millennium BC to early medieval Europe. The online edition includes two separate print series and supplements. BNP Antiquity offers short introductions to a wide variety of topics covering the ancient Near East, Egypt, Greek and Roman Antiquity, Late Antiquity, and the German kingdoms. BNP Classical Tradition focuses on the reception of the ancient world from the Middle Ages to the present day. Thus, there are two articles on historiography, one about historiography in the ancient world and one on historiography from the Middle Ages to the present. Oxford Bibliographies Online - Classics (Oxford University Press)
Presents peer-reviewed, annotated bibliographies and expert commentary on current scholarship in all areas of the multidisciplinary field of Classical Studies. Oxford Handbooks Online - Classical Studies (Oxford University Press)
Each handbook introduces and surveys the state of scholarship in a field of study through review articles written by leading subject specialists. Articles review key issues and debates and set the agenda for new research. Cambridge Histories Online (Cambridge University Press)
Each volume is edited and written by experts in the field. Includes the Cambridge Ancient History series (14 vols.), the Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare (2 vols.), the Cambridge Economic History of the Greco-Roman World, the Cambridge History of Religions in the Ancient World, and the Cambridge World History of Slavery (vol. 1, The Ancient Mediterranean World). Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World (Wiley-Blackwell)
The companions cover a wide range of people and subjects from the ancient world including religion, women, gender roles, the army, and families in the Roman world. Each companion synthesizes the state of scholarship and introduces the reader to the sources. While most companions are available online, some are only available in print. Cambridge Companions to Literature and Classics (Cambridge University Press)
Features authoritative guides to major authors, periods, and genres written by leading experts. The companions to classical civilization examine key periods (e.g., The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Justinian and the Cambridge Companion to the Roman Republic), major writers such as Ovid, Cicero, and Vergil, and subjects such as Roman law, the Roman economy, and Roman historians. Brill's Companions to Classical Studies (Brill)
The companions cover a wide variety of subjects and persons from Classical Antiquity, and their reception in European culture. Each volume synthesizes the state of scholarship and introduces the reader to the sources. While most companions are available online, some are only available in print including the volume on Writings in Imperial Rome which features chapters on Vergil's geopolitics and Senecan political strategies.
Books & Book Chapters
Much of the scholarly literature in the field is published in books which are often referred to as monographs. Find books in the Library’s collection with a Books & Media
search. Start with keywords that describe your topic and use the hyperlinked subjects
in the book records to reduce and focus search results. Notice facets
such as topic and language which will further narrow results. Subject searches can significantly increase or decrease the number of results. For a more comprehensive review of the literature consult WorldCat
and use the integrated Borrow from other libraries
feature to request books which are not locally available. Books & Media
Includes records of all print and e-books owned by the Library. Books that are currently checked out can be requested through E-ZBorrow or interlibrary loan. WorldCat (FirstSearch)
Presents a combined catalog of the catalogs of more than 10,000 libraries worldwide. WorldCat highlights publications available at Villanova University. Other items can be requested via an inter-library loan request form. JSTOR
Provides a full text archive of academic journals and books in the humanities, social sciences, and mathematics. E-ZBorrow and Interlibrary Loan
Interlibrary loans are only available for books and journals which are not owned by Falvey. The E-ZBorrow service can be used for books which the library owns, but which are currently checked out. E-ZBorrow books are provided by a local library network and tend to arrive faster than interlibrary loans.
Library of Congress Subjects
Experiment with keyword and subject searches for better results. Keywords are pulled from anywhere in the catalog record including the table of contents while subject terms are limited to the Library of Congress (LC) subject thesaurus. LC subjects can help with the discovery of books missed with a keyword search. For example, a simple keyword search for women and antiquity brings up a list with close to 400 matching publications. A closer look at the record for Women in Antiquity: Real Women Across the Ancient World reveals the hyperlinked LC subject “Women – History – To 500” which pulls up a different and much shorter list which in turn leads to the discovery of the Companion to Women in the Ancient World, an important work that was not part of the first list because the keyword antiquity does not occur in its catalog record.
The Library subscribes to many classical studies journals including The Journal of Roman Studies
, Greece and Rome
, The Classical Quarterly
, The Classical World
, and Classical Antiquity
. Use the E-Journal Finder
or the Articles & more
search option on the Library’s website to look up known references. Request articles from journals that are not part of the Library's collections through interlibrary loan.
The journal databases listed here index the contents of most if not all classical studies journals and are by far the best tools to discover articles published in these journals.
Année Philologique: Bibliography of the Classical World (Brepols)
Indexes and abstracts journal articles, books, book chapters, conference proceedings, and theses relating to all aspects of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations from 200 B.C. to roughly 800 A.D. Includes publications in many languages with abstracts in the major European languages. Coverage extends back to the early 20th century.
Includes links to the full text in the Library's collection. The findit tool also generates borrow requests, a.k.a. Get a scan, for articles which are not locally available. These requests are typically filled in one to two days and delivered via email. JSTOR
Comprises an archive of core journals in the humanities. Current content is usually excluded.
The Advanced Search permits discipline-specific searches. Disciplines include classical studies and archaeology among others. TOCS-IN (University of Toronto)
Provides the tables of contents of a selection of classics, Near Eastern studies, and religion journals. Coverage goes back to 1992. Indexing is limited and includes only author names, titles, journal titles in abbreviation, plus a few additional publication details. A list of abbreviations is available. This resources does not include full text links. Articles & More Search
If all else fails give Articles & more a try. Use unambiguous keywords and limit results to articles from peer-reviewed journals.
Journal Title Abbreviations
Confused by journal title abbreviations in references? They are common in the classical studies literature and the two abbreviations lists below will be helpful in figuring out the full names of cited journals.
Discover primary sources through the Books & Media
search option on the Library’s website. The Library’s collections include numerous transcribed and annotated primary source editions as well as facsimile editions of primary sources. Author and subject searches are particularly helpful. Use WorldCat
to expand your search and ask for assistance if needed. Books & Media
Use author and subject searches to discover primary sources in the Library's collection. For example, search for Suetonius as an author and filter results for English language publications. Try the following subjects in combination with other keywords: sources, inscriptions, speeches, addresses, and correspondence. Loeb Classical Library (Harvard University Press)
Lacus Curtius: Greek and Roman Authors
Offers online access to authoritative editions of Greek and Latin texts. English translations appear on facing pages, following the format of the print editions. The collection is searchable in English and in the original language. Also available in print
Features Greek and Roman texts and their translations. Perseus Digital Library
Presents Greek and Roman texts as well as translations and commentaries. Perseus Project Texts under PhiloLogic
Presents Greek and Roman texts and their translations from the Perseus project on the PhiloLogic gateway. Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Rome (Fordham University)
Offers a rich index to primary sources in English translation freely available on the Internet. Expect a certain amount of broken links.
Maps, Atlases, & Gazetteers
Features an open-access digital directory of places in ancient history, built on the Classical Atlas Project, which produced the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World. Create and share customized maps. Pleiades is a joint project of the Ancient World Mapping Center, the Stoa Consortium, and the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. Peripleo (Pelagios Network)
Discovers georeferenced data about ancient places, physical objects, people, and time periods. Maintained by the Pelagios network, a digital humanities initiative. Orbis: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World (Stanford University)
Models geospatial movements in the Roman world taking time and cost into account. Digital Atlas of Roman and Medieval Civilizations (Harvard University)
Offers geospatial data for spatial and temporal analyses of all aspects of the civilizations of western Eurasia in the first 1500 years of our era. Generates customized maps. Historical Atlas of the Ancient World (Brill)
This new atlas of the ancient world illustrates the political, economic, social and cultural developments in the ancient Near East, the Mediterranean world, the Byzantine Empire, the Islamic world and the Holy Roman Empire from the 3rd millennium BC until the 15th century AD. The atlas has 170 large color maps that document the main historical developments. Each map is accompanied by a text that outlines the main historical developments. These texts include bibliographies and 65 additional maps, tables, and stemmata that provide further elucidation. Encyclopedia of Ancient History - Maps of the Ancient World (Wiley-Blackwell)
Features a selection of maps. The maps can be opened and enlarged in an online image viewer, and downloaded as powerpoint slides or pdf files. Ancient World Mapping Center
Free digital maps of the ancient world.