Familiarity with and intelligent use of both primary and secondary sources - and knowing the difference between them - is crucial to a good research paper (even if you don't actually write out the paper).
Each student must choose a different topic. If there is something you really want, let me know as soon as possible.
Each student must verify the topic with me in advance. Anyone who hands in a project without having chosen it in advance and informed me of the choice will receive half credit if it is a unique topic and zero credit if it is a topic that someone else already has.
A Sample Project with all of its parts.
A Student Paper on M. Atilius Regulus
A Student Paper on the Historian Josephus
Rules concerning ancient sources:Bibliography must use an accepted standard (social science or other) consistently.You must find all of the sources pertaining to your topic, except any (e.g., inscriptions) which do not exist in English translation.
If you have difficulty finding translations of the sources, or even finding out what they are, ask for help.
Rules concerning modern scholarship:Modern works must include both articles in learned journals and, when possible, books (most topics will be discussed in some part(s) of books).
You must read and add to the annotated bibliography at least one book review of a book which you are using. Two reviews are better.
Modern bibliography must include the most recently published items on the topic.
Modern bibliography must also include classic standard works on the topic, e.g., for the late Republic, Erich Gruen, The Last Generation of the Roman Republic, for Augustus, Ronald Syme, The Roman Revolution.
If you need help, ask for it in a timely manner.
The easiest way is to go from the most available or easiest modern works to the more detailed and specialized. To take Hannibal as an example, the second edition of the Oxford Classical Dictionary sends one to the article on the Punic Wars for bibliography (ancient and modern), where the primary sources are listed; the third edition of the Oxford Classical Dictionary cites recent modern bibliography at the end of the article on Hannibal, but no ancient sources. The OCD is available in the reference room of the library (third edition DE5 .O9 1996; second edition DE5 .O9 1970) and at the Classics Department (481 Main Street).
A History of the Roman World 753 to 146 BC and From the Gracchi to Nero also have sources mentioned in the notes to each chapter, usually near the beginning of each section of notes. Unfortunately, the book by Greenidge and Clay to which Scullard often refers is not available at the UVM library.
The Cambridge Ancient History has, at the back of each volume, an extensive list of primary sources and bibliography for each chapter. The CAH is available in the reference room of the library (D57 .C252) and at the Classics Department (481 Main, room 207).
My favorite place to look is in the multi-volume German encyclopedia of classical antiquity known familiarly as Pauly-Wissowa or RE (for Paulys Real-encyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft); you don't need a word of German to be able to use this if all you want to find are ancient sources. The exhaustive articles in this work are peppered with references to ancient sources (for the Second Punic War, for example, the abbreviation for Livy looks much the same in any European language, i.e., Liv.). Pauly-Wissowa is shelved at 481 Main Street room 207. If you are looking up a person, it is useful to know which person you want: Sertorius is Sertorius 3; Scipio Africanus is Cornelius 336; Scipio Aemilianus is Cornelius 335; Cicero is Tullius 29. How does one learn the right number? Check the OCD first; e.g. under Cicero the entry begins "Cicero (1), Marcus Tullius (PW 29)": this tells you to look Cicero up in Pauly-Wissowa under Tullius and to go to the 29th Tullius.
If the person, topic, or thing you want to look up in Pauly-Wissowa begins with a letter from A to S (more precisely, is alphabetized up to and including Syl-), you can use an English language reference work based upon the massive German edition, and updated. It is available both in room 207, 481 Main, and in the reference room at the library (call number DE5 .N4813 2002); this is called Brill's New Pauly: encyclopaedia of the ancient world.
Another excellent way to find ancient sources keyed to people (and events have to do with people as well) is to consult T.R.S. Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic, in the reference room, call number DG83.5 .A1 B73. There are three volumes. Within the first two, information is arranged chronologically beginning with the earliest names we have for Romans who held office under the Republic, what they did and how we know this (i.e., ancient sources). At the end of the second volume there is an index of careers. The third volume contains additions and corrections. For people in the first centuries of the empire, consult Prosopographia imperii romani saec. I. II. III. The call number is DG203.5 .P9 1933 and there are seven volumes. It has been shelved in the research annex but it will be in my office for the foreseeable future.
If you can find good scholarly books and journal articles about your topic, the ancient sources should be not only listed but discussed (sometimes ad nauseam).
How to cite ancient sources:
Cicero Against Verres I trans. M. Grant [cite within the work by section/paragraph number, not page number unless you can't figure out the section number]
Plutarch Life of Marius trans. [whoever the translator is]; add the section number if you are using a printed text or an online version that gives section numbers.
Livy 21.12 trans. de Sélincourt [the Penguin translator]; Livy 5.54 trans. Luce [the Oxford translator]
Look in the endnotes to whichever volume of Scullard is suitable for your period (you may need to use the index at the back to help get you to the right page). Any books or articles which he cites will be very good ones; these will, however, not be the most recent works available (History last revised 1978, Gracchi last revised 1981).
Next, look in L'Année philologique, e.g. under the name of a person associated with or central to your topic. It is in the reference room (Z7016 .A56); there is another copy at 481 Main Street room 207. This bibliographical resource lists all books published about classical themes, and where, if anywhere, the books have been reviewed. It is also a veritable treasure house of information on articles in learned journals, many of which can be found in the UVM library. Instructions on using L'Année philologique
Try the UVM library for books, after searching by subject.
Do a preliminary search on JSTOR, being aware that due to licensing
limitations JSTOR does not access the last several years, nor does it
access all of the periodicals in our library relating to classical
Cruising the stacks: If your topic is regarded by the Library of Congress as historical, you will find books on Roman history under the LC heading DG. Roman law, on the other hand, is JC, religion is BL or BR, classical literature is PA. You can find books about Tacitus under both DG and PA, depending upon the whim of the cataloguer (or whether the book is concerned more with history or with literary devices).
Here is a link to a class guide created for a History seminar last semester by Patricia Mardeusz. Although the subject of the class was Hellenistic history, the reference materials she gathered and the information on how to judge whether or not a piece of writing is scholarly (What is a scholarly journal?) are well worth your attention.
A very quick way to unearth lots of modern scholarship is to find a
good scholarly book or article, of recent date, on an appropriate topic
and peruse not only its text but its bibliography and footnotes.
How do you tell if a book is good? There are no guarantees, but some or all of the following will give you an idea:
1. The book is by a refereed publisher (e.g. a university press)
2. The bibliography contains entries in a variety of modern languages (thus indicating that the author has done the homework)
3. There are a lot of footnotes or endnotes
4. The author takes the trouble to describe what editions of the ancient writers s/he is using
5. Reviews of the book are not uniformly hostile. You should read at least two reviews, if they are available, of any scholarly book (this is good advice for any field). You can find reviews in a number of ways; for recent books you can try the Bryn Mawr Classical Review on-line, and for both recent and older works look in the bibliographical resource known as L'Année philologique.
How to cite modern bibliography:
Book: Gruen, Erich S. The Last Generation of the Roman Republic. Berkeley 1974. [or: you can add 1995 reprint to this information if you are using that version]
Article: Henderson, M.I. "The Establishment of the 'equester ordo'." JRS 53 (1963) 61-72. [JRS is the Journal of Roman Studies] Please use the same abbreviations that L'Année philologique uses.
Servius Tullius = Mastarna?Date and historicity of the Foedus Cassianum
Horatius at the bridge Mucius Scaevola Cloelia and the hostages
Maelius and Minucius
Coriolanus M. Furius Camillus and the Gauls
M. Manlius Capitolinus
Invasion of Pyrrhus of Epirus
Last updated: 30 October 2008
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