Classical Literatures

Guides to Reference Works


Jenkins, Fred W. Classical Studies: A Guide to the Reference Literature. 2nd ed. Westport: Libs. Unlimited, 2006. 401 pp. Reference Sources in the Humanities Ser. Z7016.J4 [PA91] 016.48.

A guide to book-length and electronic reference sources, available through 2004, for the study of classical Greece and Rome (from the Bronze Age through AD 599). Entries are organized by type of resource or topic, with chapters on general bibliographies, abstracts and indexes, review journals, periodicals, general dictionaries and encyclopedias, general Internet resources, biographical works, history, primary sources in translation, geography, art and archaeology, language, general works on literature, genres, Greek authors, Latin authors, philosophy, religion and mythology, related disciplines, scholarly societies, research centers, and directories. The annotations offer full descriptions, reliably alert users to revisions or related works in progress, and usually offer some kind of evaluative comment (less so in the case of electronic resources). Two indexes: authors and titles; subjects. More effectively organized than the first edition (1996), Jenkins is a solid guide to basic reference sources for classical studies.

It must, however, be supplemented by Thomas P. Halton, Classical Scholarship: An Annotated Bibliography (White Plains: Kraus, 1986; 396 pp.), a guide to important reference works and scholarship (through c. 1980) for the study of classical Greek and Roman civilization. Entries are organized alphabetically by author in 15 classified divisions: bibliographies and reference works; literary history and criticism; history and influence of the classical tradition; transmission of the classics (including sections on books and libraries, paleography, and textual criticism); language and style; metrics, song, and music; epigraphy; political and cultural history; numismatics; art and archaeology; religion, mythology, and magic; philosophy; science and technology; teaching aids; and collections. Most entries include a list of reviews and an annotation that describes scope and contents, identifies the work’s importance to classical scholarship, and evaluates its quality. Two indexes: subjects; scholars. Classical Scholarship is marred by an inadequate explanation of scope and criteria governing selection and by several annotations that are less precisely descriptive and evaluative than one expects in a critical bibliography.

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism


APh: L’année philologique. Société Internationale de Bibliographie Classique, 2009. 11 Jan. 2013. <>.

L’année philologique: Bibliographie critique et analytique de l’antiquité gréco-latine, [1924– ]. Paris: Société Internationale de Bibliographie Classique, 1928– . Collection de bibliographie classique. Annual. Z7016.M35A.

An international bibliography of scholarship on all aspects of the Greco-Latin world to c. AD 800. Entries are organized in two parts: authors and anonymous works; subjects. Under each author or anonymous work are separate lists of bibliographies, collections of essays, editions, and studies. The second part consists of 10 variously classified divisions: literary history (with sections for general works, literary theory, and genres); linguistics (with sections for general works, specific languages, onomastics, and metrics); history of texts (including paleography and textual criticism); nonliterary sources (with sections for archeology, epigraphy, numismatics, and papyrology); history; law; philosophy and history of ideas; science and technology; the study of the classics; and collections of essays. Entries are accompanied by descriptive annotations (predominantly in French but also in English, Italian, and German) and citations to reviews. The type and number of indexes vary, with recent volumes providing five: subject headings; names from antiquity; names of authors and others since the Middle Ages; places; scholars. The international scope and impressive degree of coverage make this the indispensable guide to scholarship on Greek and Latin language and literature to c. AD 800.

APh, which offers the best access to the content of the printed volumes, also includes interim records. In the basic search screen, users can search by Modern Author (i.e., document author), full text, Ancient Authors, or subjects; Advanced Search allows users to combine the preceding fields with ones for publisher, title, series title, journal title, reviews by journal, and reviewer and to restrict a search by language and date. Records, which can be sorted by author, title, date (ascending or descending), or relevance, aggregate book reviews spread over multiple print volumes. Users who wish to select multiple records for exporting must do so from the results page. Although journal acronyms and abbreviations are expanded in mouse-over boxes in a Web browser, they are not expanded in downloaded, e-mailed, or printed records; see List of Journal Abbreviations on the home page for journals currently indexed. Users who create an account can set preferences, save searches and records, and create alerts. Fortunately, APh supersedes DCB: Database of Classical Bibliography (CD-ROM), a user-unfriendly electronic resource plagued by virtually incomprehensible or woefully inadequate help screens. Complemented by MLAIB (G335) for studies of Greek and Latin language of all ages and for studies of literature after c. 800.

Scholarship before 1924 is covered in the following:

  • Engelmann, Wilhelm, ed. Bibliotheca Scriptorum Classicorum. Rev. E. Preuss. 8th ed. 2 vols. Leipzig: Engelmann, 1880–82. (Covers 1700–1878.)

  • Klussman, Rudolf, ed. Bibliotheca Scriptorum Classicorum et Graecorum et Latinorum. 4 pts. in 2 vols. Leipzig: Reisland, 1909–13. (Covers 1878–96.)

  • Lambrino, Scarlat. Bibliographie de l’antiquité classique, 1896–1914. Paris: Belles Lettres, 1951. 761 pp. Collection de bibliographie classique. (The second volume, which was to cover subjects, will not be published.)

  • Marouzeau, J. Dix années de bibliographie classique: Bibliographie critique et analytique de l’antiquité gréco-latine pour la période 1914–1924. 2 vols. Paris: Belles Lettres, 1927–28.

Researchers will find a useful key to acronyms and abbreviations of book, series, and journal titles in Jean Susorney Wellington, Dictionary of Bibliographic Abbreviations Found in the Scholarship of Classical Studies and Related Disciplines, rev. and expanded ed. (Westport: Praeger, 2003; 684 pp.).


Oxford Bibliographies Online: Classics. Ed. Dee L. Clayman. Oxford UP, 2010– . 15 Jan. 2015. <>.

Oxford Bibliographies Online are peer-reviewed, concisely annotated, expertly selected bibliographic citations. Each of the articles within a bibliography, written by scholars in the field, consists of an introduction that covers the history behind the field or subfield, followed by a categorized list of useful academic publications (e.g., introductions, textbooks, journals, handbooks and guides, reference works, primary texts or documents) and sections on debates and controversies, criticism, genres, and more. The lists of citations are highly selective, chosen to represent the best scholarship in a given field. Some articles include links to full text or Web content.

Classics includes articles covering the academy, Aeschylus, Alexander the Great, Aristophanes, Christianity, Homer, and scores of other subjects.

Content is browsable, and users can search the database with the option of limiting by resource type. Searches can be saved, and users can receive e-mails alerting them to new additions.


Carlsen, Hanne. A Bibliography to the Classical Tradition in English Literature. Copenhagen: [Dept. of English, U of Copenhagen], 1985. 164 pp. Anglica et Americana 21. Z2014.C55 C37 [PR127] 016.82′09′3.

A classified bibliography of scholarship, published between 1900 and 1983, on the relationship of English literature to the Greek and Latin classical tradition. The 1,692 entries include studies published in English (for the most part), French, German, Italian, and the Scandinavian languages but exclude dissertations. Entries are listed alphabetically by author in 16 sections: general studies, Middle Ages, Chaucer, sixteenth century excluding Shakespeare, Shakespeare, seventeenth century excluding Milton, eighteenth century, nineteenth century, twentieth century, Greek authors, Latin authors, myths and themes, literary genres, translation, philology, and art. The lack of cross-references means that users must consult the index to locate all listed works on a literary author or anonymous work. A few entries are annotated with a phrase that is seldom adequate to describe the content of a study. Indexed by literary authors, anonymous titles, and some subjects. Although broader in scope than Kallendorf, Latin Influences on English Literature (S4895), and claiming to include all entries therein, Carlsen is less helpfully annotated and less thoroughly indexed, and it overlooks a considerable number of studies. It is, though, a time-saving compilation that, for post-1900 scholarship, supersedes Huntington Brown, “The Classical Tradition in English Literature: A Bibliography,” Harvard Studies and Notes in Philology and Literature 18 (1935): 7–46, and the brief bibliography and notes (pp. 550–705) in Gilbert Highet, The Classical Tradition: Greek and Roman Influences on Western Literature (New York: Oxford UP, 1949; 763 pp.).

Some additional studies can be found in “Bibliography of the Classical Tradition for [1980–89],” Classical and Modern Literature 5–12 (1985–91), an annotated bibliography of books, articles, and dissertations on the relation of classical and postclassical literature, art, life, and thought. Entries are cross-indexed in two subject lists: classical topics (including persons, genres, and subjects); postclassical references (including subjects, a few major authors, and national literatures [subdivided by period]). Most entries in the first division are accompanied by a very brief descriptive annotation. Two indexes: mythological figures (since the bibliography for 1984); scholars. Although the layout prevents effective skimming and subject headings in the second part tend to be too general, this bibliography is useful for its international coverage.


Kallendorf, Craig. Latin Influences on English Literature from the Middle Ages to the Eighteenth Century: An Annotated Bibliography of Scholarship, 1945–1979. New York: Garland, 1982. 141 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 345. Z2012.K34 [PR127] 016.82′09.

A selective bibliography of books and articles (in English, French, German, Italian, and Dutch) that clearly focus on the influence of classical Latin authors on English literature. Thus, discussions of medieval and Neo-Latin authors, technical studies of translation, and purely linguistic scholarship are excluded. Entries are organized in seven variously classified divisions: basic works on the classical tradition; rhetoric and English prose style; medieval literature; Renaissance literature; English Literature, 1600–60; Elizabethan, Jacobean, and Caroline drama; and Restoration and eighteenth-century literature. The descriptive annotations are sometimes too brief to convey an adequate sense of content, but they are more informative than those in Carlsen, Bibliography to the Classical Tradition in English Literature (S4893). Indexed by authors and subjects. Although there are notable omissions, Kallendorf is a time-saving compilation that brings together widely scattered studies. Review: Fram Dinshaw, Notes and Queries ns 31.2 (1984): 265–66.