Appendix II: How to Read Classical Citations/References
HOW TO READ CLASSICAL CITATIONS
Citations can be tricky even for those accustomed to their usage in the field of classical studies. If you aren’t familiar with them, they can appear to be utter nonsense, conveying little to no helpful information.
Classical Studies use a specific method of citation. The format for the citation of classical texts is as follows:
Author, Title, Book/Section. (Poem if applicable) Line number(s)
For example, in verse:
Homer, Iliad 18.141-143:
Horace, Odes 4.1.1-4
Plato, Symposium 215a3-318b7.
Cicero, First Catilinarian 14.2
Try this on your own; read the following source and Identify its Author, Title etc.
Vergil (Or Virgil), Eclogues 1.1-10
How was it?
Working through it, you should have gotten Vergil as the Author, Eclogues as the title, book/section one as its book/section number, and lies 1-10 as the line numbers.
Furthermore, sometimes classical sources can be abbreviated by Title and Author. Ie:
Cas. Dio. 3.4.55 (=Cassius Dio)
Because of the confusing nature of abbreviations if you are unfamiliar with the study of classics, we have supplied the Oxford dictionary’s extensive list on abbreviations in classical studies:
We have tried not to use abbreviations in this work, but it still can be confusing to understand how classical texts work. If you get stuck, you can always Google the reference and if the text is available online it should appear