Women in Antiq.


Research Options

Whether the libraries are physically accessible or not, there’s a huge amount of scholarly material available online to provide you with primary and secondary evidence to support the arguments you’re making in your papers.

Primary sources

All of the ancient primary source texts available in English on the web that I could find are consolidated on the Ancient Texts page on my website. The Ancient Texts page is also linked to the Resources page.

If you’re looking for dirt on Cleopatra, for example, one of the sources you’ll want is Plutarch’s biography of Mark Antony. Look under P for Plutarch and click on the “E” (for English) opposite Parallel Lives, which is what he called his biographies.

If you click on the “Archives” tab, you’ll see a list of great websites that are chock full of ancient primary sources.

I strongly recommend you make use of primary sources as eyewitness testimony to the time and place you’re investigating, but remember—primary sources can’t be taken at face value. You must always ask what idea the author hoped to convince you of, every time, for every passage. Nothing was ever written for no reason.

Journal articles and full-text books via OneSearch

The CUNY library system has a huge amount of online secondary scholarship in the form of full-text books and scholarly journal articles.

To make sure you’re looking at online-accessible materials: enter your search in the search box on the Lief Library home page. Get your results. In the right-hand panel, click on “Full Text Online” and then on “Apply Filters” at the bottom. This filter will include both online journal articles and online full-text books.

Don’t just stop at the first page—keep loading results. But consider your search terms. If you search for “Cleopatra”, for example, you’ll get a million hits, a lot of them about Shakespeare’s play (which is not ancient and so not relevant to us). But if you search (say) “Cleopatra suicide” you’ll get some relevant journal articles, a chapter in a book called Cleopatras specifically devoted to her suicide, and so on.

  • Warning:  Some tertiary sources will come up in these searches.
    • As a reminder, tertiary sources (encyclopedias, dictionaries, textbooks) are not allowed. Most of the encyclopedia entries are marked by the “reference entry” tag (instead of “book” or “article”). But if it looks like an encyclopedia, dictionary, or textbook, you can’t use it. Ask me if you’re not sure.
  • Note that while you’re off-site, you’ll need to be logged in using the ID code on your Lehman ID to access the full-text material.
  • Lehman Library has a 24/7 ask-a-librarian chat for guidance on finding what you are looking for. It’s linked to at the top of the library home page.


Other online resources

You may find what you need using the CUNY library resources. There are also other resources online. Here are a couple:

  • The Internet Archive at Archive.org is a good resource for scanned copies of old books in general. However, this collection includes kids’ books, novels, textbooks, and other material that isn’t scholarly. Make sure the book you pick is a scholarly work that relies directly on primary sources. Also, note the year. The scholarship in older books might have been superseded by more research historical research and consensus.
  • Google Scholar searches peer-reviewed journal articles available online. For the most part you’re better off with the CUNY library search, because CUNY provides you free access to articles that are behind a paywall for nonacademics. But sometimes an article will come up here and not in the library search. Google Books rarely provides more than a snippet, but there are exceptions.


Remember to get the citation information you need for your footnotes and bibliography when you’re browsing these online resources.

For the things you find through the library search, these will be on the library catalog page, and also on the full-text page that the catalog page links to. Make sure to record this information for your bibliography.

  • For a journal article, the bibliography info needed is:
  • Author name. Year. “Title of Article.” Journal Name VolumeNumber: PageNumbers.

  • For a book, the bibliography info needed is:
  • Author name. Year. Book Title. City: Publisher.