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SSI2-103: Alexander the Great: Stepping-Stone Approach

Practice

1. Navigate to this article on Alexander and the Amazons.

2.  Browse through the footnotes.  Which citations are to secondary sources and which are to primary sources?  How do you know?

3.  Now try your hand at locating some of the actual sources, using the most appropriate tools (either Primo or Primo Journal search), JSTOR, or Loeb's Classical Library.

Wiley's List of Abbreviations of Classical Works (.pdf)

The Oxford Classical Dictionary Online List of Abbreviations (use for Author names and their works)

L’Année philologique's List of Journal Abbreviations

Search Primo

Primo Journal Search

Type in the title of the journal, not the title of the article!

Launching Forth with a Scholarly Work

In the stepping-stone approach, your curiosity may be piqued by a scholarly work you've read, perhaps even one of your course readings.  Maybe you don't quite agree with the scholar's argument.  Or maybe the scholar makes an intriguing aside but then doesn't follow that trail.  

In this research approach, you start with the scholarly work and the question that work has provoked in your mind.  You follow the scholar's bibliographic trail as a way to explore his or her evidence and reasoning.  As you work with these sources, you may refine your questions, or end of asking different questions, or reaching different conclusions. 

In order to be successful with this approach, at a minimum you need to be able to:

1.  Correctly decipher citations (including abbreviations to citations).

[Classics uses a specialized, precise method of citation. The proper format for citing classical texts:

[Author], [Title] [Book/Section.(Poem, if applicable)].[Line #s cited/Paragraph #s cited]

Example of a citation in footnotes:

  • Curt. 6.5.25-32 --> Q. Curtius Rufus, Historiae Alexandri Magni Book 6 Section 5 lines 25-32.]
  • Diod. 17.77.1-3 --. Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History Book 17 Section 77 paragraphs 1-3
  •  

2.  Select and use the most appropriate library tools to locate these sources.

Deciphering Modern Secondary Sources

When working with modern secondary sources you are likely to encounter three different kinds of works: journal articles, book chapters, and books. The citation for each type of work will be slightly different.

This is a citation for a chapter in a book:

  • Lane Fox, Robin. "Alexander on Stage: A Critical Appraisal of Rattigan's Adventure Story." Responses to Oliver Stone's Alexander: Film, History, and Cultural Studies. Edited by Paul Cartledge and Fiona Rose. 55-91. Madison, WI: U of Wisconsin P, 2010. 

Notice that there are no volume or issue numbers in this citation. The title of the chapter is in quotation marks and the title of the book is italicized.  To find a chapter in a book, search using the title of the book (not the title of the chapter!) in Primo. In this case, search for Responses to Oliver Stone's Alexander: Film, History, and Cultural Studies.


This is a citation for an article in a periodical (journal):

  • Mark, Samuel.  "Alexander the Great, Seafaring, and the Spread of Leprosy."  Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 57.3 (2002) 285-311.

Notice the volume number in this citation. To find this article, search for the title of the journal (not the title of the article!), in this case Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, using the Collins Library Primo Journal Search.

This is a citation for a book:

  • Stoneman, Richard. Alexander the Great: A Life in Legend. New Haven, CT.: Yale University Press, 2008.

To find this book, search Primo by either author or title.