Getting started reading from bibliographies
So, I offered some general advice on how to get started with the provided bibliography that I thought might be worth posting here.
- Start with the Oxford Classical Dictionary, which will itself usually suggest a very selective starting bibliography which will have overlapping works with the longer ones we provide you. Similarly Oxford's and Cambridge's 'Campanion to...' series will give you a good start, as will the Cambridge Ancient History (that goes for most subjects).
- Think about what you might want to argue in your essay first, and then look for works that deal with points that you want to also deal with.
- Many of the books will be located near each other in the library; spend some time consulting their tables of contents and indexes to see if they contain what you need for your argument and are written in a accessible way
- It will probably help if you consult a least some works from each of the relevant sections of the bibliography, so that your reading is rounded
- Mixing articles with books can be a good way of accessing varied viewpoints without having to slog through thousands of pages (and don't forget you don't have to have read a whole work to be able to find useful ideas that you can use and reference in your own work).
- In general veer towards newer works, if they look relevant, because they will often situate the older ones in context, whereas the older ones cannot look forwards to newer work.
Is is is there anything I left out, or anything you disagree with? How do you get your students started with lengthy bibliographies?