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CLAS355: Human Form in Greek & Roman Art: How do I understand a reference entry?

A guide for Professor Lorenzo's course.

LIMC: Decoded

Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae - AKA: LIMC

  • What is it? It is a multivolume encyclopedia of Classical images, including black and white illustrations and bibliographical information.
  • It covers Greek and Roman art from the Mycenaeans to the Early Christian Era.
  • The call number is N7760 .L49 1981.  There are multiple volume numbers and has two or three parts in separate books. Example: for Volume 1, the articles are in Part 1 and the images are in Part 2.
  • Images are arranged alphabetically by subject, then grouped together by iconography.  Example: Apollo, Artemis, Demeter.
  • Each image listed in the text section has a number beside it.  Those with stars next to the number have a corresponding black and white picture in the image volume.  Remember, it is arranged by topic then by iconography, so you can see similar depictions of Apollo and Daphne, for example, in different media.
  • Each image has a small bibliography provided in the text volume entry.
  • The articles are written in German, Italian French, English depending on the native language of the author.  Don't worry!  You don't have to read the entire text to use this resource.  Check out the translation of key terms in the bottom right corner for more information.
  • Where do I find it? First floor, reference section.


*information adapted from:


Reference Entry: Decoded

Brill's New Pauly: Encyclopaedia of the Ancient World  (HU-Reference DE5 .N3513 2006)

Themisto (Θεμστώ; Themistṓ).

[1] Daughter of Lapith → Hypseus, third wife of  → Athamas (Herodoros 3I F 38 FGrh; Apollod. I, 84; Ath. 13,560d; Nonn. Dion. 9,305-307; Tzetz. Lykophr. 22), who is the father of her several children.  Her predecessors were → Nephele [I] and Ino. When the latter returns, T., tries to kill her children (Hyg. Fab. 4,239, otherwise in Fab. I).  By means of change of clothing Ino causes T.  to kill her own children, whereupon T. takes her own life.
[2] Daughter of → Inachus [I], by → Zeus the mother of → Arcas and ancestor of the Arcadians (Istros 334 F 75 FGrH).

Th. Ganshow, s. v. Leukonoe, LIMC 6.I, 272;
A. Lesky, s. v. T. (I-2), RE 5 A, 1680-1683.     R. HA.


The Oxford Classical Dictionary (HU-Reference DE5 .O9 2012)

Themisto, name of several heroines, the only one of importance being the daughter of Hypseus (Nonnus, Dion. 9. 305 f.), wife of *Anthamas.  Herodorus, in schol. Ap. Rhod. 2. 1144, makes her his first wife and mother of several childrens including Phrixus and Helle.

            See Hofer in Röscher; Themisto'.                    HJR


chronological order
Fragment - Don't use!
primary source citation
author of reference entry


Remember that each reference book has a list of abbreviations at the front of the book to help you decode the entry.  

In Brill's New Pauly this begins on page XI and includes a list of general abbreviations, bibliographic abbreviations, ancient authors/works, and a list of contributing authors to the encyclopaedia.  NOTE:  There is no list of bibliographic abbreviations or ancient authors in volumes 2, 4, 5, & 6 - you will need to look at the beginning of another volume to find that information!

Additional tip for Brill's: the Index (shelved after the last volume) has a completely alphabetized "List of Authors" (=contributing authors to the encyclopaedia) starting on pg. 287.

In the Oxford Classical Dictionary abbreviations lists begin on page XVII with an index to the initials of the contributors, and continues with a list of abbreviations that includes the ancient authors/works.  

Reference Abbreviations Help
Where do I find... Which is... Oxford Classical Dictionary (OCD) Brill's New Pauly Tip
Initials at the end of the article Author of the article "Index to Initials of Contributors" (see Key To Initials)

"List of Authors" in he individual volumes


The Index (shelved after the last volume) has a completely alphabetized "List of Authors" starting on pg. 287

Includes the name of the author's location OR the university where the author teaches.
Stuff in parentheses Ancient authors and sources "Abbreviations used in the Present Work: Author and Books" "List of Abbreviations: Ancient Authors and Title of Works"
or for modern sources:
"List of Abbreviations: Bibliographic Abbreviations"

Other abbreviations:

  • ff.
  • f.
  • and more...
  "Abbreviations Used in the Present Work: General" List of Abbreviations: General  


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Rebecca Seipp
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MSIS, Information Science
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Southwestern University

Translation of Key Terms

Greek - German: Griechische, French: Grecque,  Italian: Greco

Roman - German: Romanisch, French, Romain, Italian: Romano

MosaicGerman: mosaik, French: mosaique, Italian: mosaico

Painting - German: malerai, plural: Gemalde French: peinture, Italian: pittura

Sculpture - German: skulpture, skulpturen French: sculpture, Italian: scultura

Relief sculpture  - German, French: relief, Italian: scultura in rilievo

Attic - German:  Attisch

Ceramics - German: keramik, French: ceramique, Italian: ceramica

Red figure - German: rotfigurige, French: chiffre rouge, Italian: figura rosso

Black figureGerman: schwarzfigurige, French: figure noir, Italian: figura nera

Gems - German: Gemmen, French: 
bijoux, Italian: gemme

Representations - German: darstellungen, French: representation, 
Italian: immagine

Shell(s) - German: Schale, shalen, French: coquilles, Italian: conchigle