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Greek, Latin, & Ancient Mediterranean Studies 321: Gods, Magic, and Mysteries

What's a secondary source?

In secondary sources, authors analyze and interpret primary source materials. 

Secondary sources can be scholarly or popular.  Scholarly sources (sometimes called "academic" or "peer-reviewed" sources) are written by and for experts and typically include bibliographies and citations.  Popular sources are written for a general, non-expert audience and can be authored by anyone.

Recommended Subject Databases

There are hundreds of specialized databases from which to choose when you are seeking scholarly work. For this course, the best database to search is L'annee philologique because it focuses on scholarship specifically in Classical Studies.

Search Tips for L'année philologique

1. Before starting your search, make a list of keywords to search.  For each concept, try to come up with a list of synonyms or closely related terms.


2.  Go to L'année philologique and select the advanced search option.  (Hint:  for best results with any database, always choose the advanced search interface.)

3.  Begin to input your search terms.  Separate synonyms with OR in the same row.  Connect separate concepts with AND in different rows.


4.  Choose your limiters.  For example, you likely will want to limit the results to only those languages that you can read.

5.  Evaluate your results.  Click on each record to see the abstract of the article. You may wish to explore these results; you also may wish to try out other search terms as well.

6.  To access an article, click on the link to "Check for full text."  If the article is available in our library, a link will be provided.  If we do not have a copy of the article, then request it via ILLiad (interlibrary loan).  If the source is a book or chapter in a book, you'll need to check Primo for the holdings.  If the book is not available in Collins Library, you can request it from SUMMIT.

7.  Cast your net wide at first, and only then start to narrow things down.




Database Search Tips

Always use the advanced search interface and some combination of the following techniques to increase the effectiveness of your searches:

Search Technique   What It Does
quotation marks Searches for exact phrase
Truncation (usually an *) Searches for all forms of a word
Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) Lets you broaden or narrow your search
Database thesaurus or index             Allows you to pinpoint the exact indexing terms the database uses

Additional Subject Databases

These subject databases may also prove useful for Classics.

E-journal Archives

E-journal archives are convenient, but their search interfaces often are less capable of helping you pinpoint exactly what you seek.

Tip:  When searching JSTOR, limit your results to journals in Classical Studies.

Browse Scholarly Journals

If you're not sure yet what you're interested in, or you're interested in so many different aspects of Greek history that you can't decide where to focus, you might want to just browse through scholarly journals to see what catches your eye.  Collins Library subscribes to several scholarly journals in the interdisciplinary field of Classics, including the three named below: