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FAH205 Art in Antiquity

Primary Sources

Classics uses a specialized, precise method of citing ancient sources. 

Literary Primary Sources

The proper format for citing classical texts is as follows:

For prose: Author, Title  Book.Chapter.Section

e.g. Arrian, Campaigns of Alexander 1.5.3)

For poetry: Author, Title  Book(if applicable).line number

e.g. Homer, Iliad 18.141-143; Sophocles, Antigone 904-922

You must give the precise reference to the original literary text (book number, chapter number, section/line number), NOT just a page reference to your modern translation.    

If an author wrote only one work, you may omit the name of the work

e.g. Herodotus 9.1, rather than Herodotus, Histories 9.1

Note: If you are including a parenthetical citation at the end of a sentence, e.g. (Homer, Odyssey 1.1-3), the period always follows the citation.

Visual Primary Sources

The proper format for citing classical artworks is:

Artists’ name . Title of work. Date of composition BCE/CE (if unknown use n.d.). Original findspot (if known), now Current museum location or collection, (if known), city of collection or museum. Inventory or Accession number. 

You must also cite your resource:


Name of database or Web site. Web. Date of access.


Book as above.


Unknown. Head of Homer, c. first century BCE or first century CE.  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Inv. 04.13.  Photo: © 2007 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Unknown. Spinario, c. second century BCE.  From Priene, now Staatliche Museum, Berlin. Inv. 8626.  Photo: after Higgins (1967) 120, pl. 58A

Secondary Sources

You will be using  option 1 or 2 from the Standard Methods of Documentation to acknowledge your sources.  In either case, you need to be sure that you have identified the author who originally said/wrote the words you are quoting or citing and that the reference you have given contains all the information your reader will require to find the passage in question. 

   **The purpose of any reference note (in whatever format) is to inform your reader whose words or ideas                                     you are using in this part of your paper and where these can be found.**


Here is a link to a useful document from the UofT writing centre on standard methods of documentation.

This website presents four different styles of reference, however you MUST USE OPTION 1 or OPTION 2.

Option 1. Traditional Endnotes or Footnotes with Superscript numbers

Option 2. New MLA System of Parenthetical Author-Page References


Plagiarism is a serious offense, whether committed intentionally or not.

See the following links for definitions of plagiarism and how you can avoid it.


How Not to Plagiarize