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Sources for background information on ancient Greece and Rome
ENCYCLOPEDIAS OF ANCIENT GREECE AND ROME
Oxford Classical Dictionary
Now handily available online, this is the major one-volume scholarly encyclopedia in the English language on all aspects of the Greco-Roman world. To learn not only what we know about a topic in antiquity, but how we know it, this is the place to look. The articles tell which ancient (and modern) authors tell us about an event, and exactly where in their writings to find it. The list of abbreviations for ancient authors and their works is the standard system used by classical scholars.
The following multivolume encyclopedias cover both ancient Greece and Rome.
Brill's New Pauly: Encyclopaedia of the Ancient World
This is the major scholarly encyclopedia about all aspects of the Greek and Roman world. Fifteen volumes are devoted to Greco-Roman antiquity, while five volumes are devoted to the influence of the classical heritage from the end of the Roman Empire to modern times.
Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome
This multivolume encyclopedia, aimed at the student and general reader, serves not only as a reliable source of factual information, but also as a guide to recent approaches and interpretations of the significance of many aspects of the classical world.
Civilization of the Ancient Mediterranean: Greece and Rome
This is an excellent encyclopedia to start with to learn more about the ancient world. The highly readable articles are arranged by topic within broad subject areas (for example, "Greek Forms of Government" and "Slavery" are both articles in the section on Government and Society).
The following one-volume encyclopedias cover both ancient Greece and Rome.
The following are handy one-volume encyclopedias that are useful for doing research on ancient Greece.
The following are handy one-volume encyclopedias that are useful for doing research on ancient Rome.