Guide for Contributors

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Direct correspondence and manuscripts

All direct correspondence and manuscripts and should be sent to:

The Editor, Acta Classica
Classics, School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics
Memorial Tower Building G019
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Howard College
Durban 4041
South Africa



  1. Acta Classica publishes contributions on any topic pertaining to the ancient Mediterranean area from the earliest times up to and including the Byzantine period. The journal has the special aim of promoting African scholarship and prioritises studies of specific aspects of the broad relationship between ancient Mediterranean and African cultures.
  2. The Editorial Committee assumes that the submitted contributions are the original work of the author(s).
  3. Acta Classica is accredited by Thomson-Reuters (ISI) and the South African Department of Higher Education and Training. Current volumes are available on the Project Muse and SABINET portals. Past issues of the journal are archived on JSTOR.
  4. Articles usually contain about 7 000 to 10 000 words. Contributions that exceed this norm will only be published in exceptional circumstances.
  5. Acta Classica also publishes miscellanea on very specific topics or problems. Miscellanea usually do not exceed 3 500 to 4 000 words.
  6. In each volume, the journal publishes about eight to twelve reviews of books deemed relevant to the research interests of scholars in Africa.
  7. Contributors will receive a PDF version of their contributions. Contributors are requested not to upload electronic versions of their articles on their institutional websites until at least a year has elapsed after publication.


  1. Acta Classica evaluates submissions by means of a double-blind peer review process. Contributors must make every effort to ensure that the identity of the contributor cannot in any way be deduced by referees appointed by the editorial committee. Acknowledgements must be omitted from the initial submission, but may be added in a final footnote once the submission has been accepted for publication.
  2. Articles should initially be submitted to the editor as anonymous email attachments in PDF format. Please use a short form of the title of the article as the filename. For statistical and record-keeping purposes and in the interest of equity, contributors are requested to indicate their titles, names and affiliations in the email message to the editor.
  3. An abstract (maximum 150–200 words) of full articles must appear on the first page after the title. Miscellanea do not have abstracts.
  4. Acta Classica does not publish survey articles or bibliographies.
  5. Once an article has been accepted for publication, the reports of the anonymous referees will be forwarded by email to the contributors for revision. The revised article must then send a revised version in an editable format (such as a recent version of Word) to the editor by email attachment. Contributors should indicate to the editor exactly how they have responded to the suggestions made by the referees in a separate document. The revised document should be double-spaced using a standard Unicode font, such as Times New Roman, that has a full range of Greek and Latin characters, diacritical marks, and accents. All margins should be at least three centimetres wide. All pages should be clearly numbered at the bottom of the page. A font size of eleven points should be used in the body of the article.
  6. Footnotes should be numbered consecutively in the text. A font size of ten points should be used with double line-spacing.
  7. In setting up the article for publication the editor will communicate by email with the contributor on all corrections or problems. A print-ready copy of the article will be sent to the contributor for final proof-reading.
  8. All final corrections are subject to the jurisdiction of the editorial committee.

Editorial conventions

In order to save time and expense, contributors are requested to adhere as closely as possible to the following editorial conventions.

  1. Formatting of articles should be kept to a minimum. The use of paragraph styles in Word is encouraged but these should be restricted to styles for the abstract, headings, body text, quotations, footnotes, and the list of references. A Word template containing the most important paragraph styles is available from the editor.
  2. Italics must be used for the following, in full or abbreviated form: the titles of books and periodicals; the names of classical works; Greek and Latin technical terms; foreign terminology (e.g. Sturm und Drang, tour de force); shorter quotations in Latin, both in the text and in the footnotes. If a word or phrase within the title is already italicised then the originals italics must revert to the regular font. For example: Burstein, S.M. 1995. Graeco-Africana: Studies in the History of Greek Relations with Egypt and Nubia. New Rochelle, NY
  3. Abbreviations of ancient authors and works should be those listed in the latest edition of the Oxford Classical Dictionary. If no abbreviation is found in this publication, then the forms given in the Oxford Latin Dictionary, Liddell-Scott-Jones’ Greek-English Lexicon (9th edition), or the Byzantinische Zeitschrift should be used. Latin titles, not Greek or English, are preferred in abbreviations of ancient texts: for instance, Vesp. not Wasps; Carm. not Odes. References to unfamiliar names and titles of ancient authors and texts should be written in full. Names written in full in the text may be abbreviated in the footnotes. In all cases clarity rather than economy of space should be the first consideration.
  4. Abbreviations of periodicals should be those used by L’Année Philologique. All other journal titles should be given in full. For papyri the Duke Checklist of Editions of Greek, Latin, Demotic, and Coptic Papyri, Ostraka and Tablets should be used.
  5. In the citation of ancient texts, Arabic rather than Roman numerals should be used, and a full stop be placed after book, volume and chapter numbers. The first letter of titles should be capitalised. Where a writer’s full name is given, a comma must separate it from the name of the work. For example:

    Thuc. 6.71.2; 7.14.3-4; Hor. Serm. 3.2.275-77; Vitr. De Arch. 2.3.3; but Themistius, Orat. 3.4.

    Note that references are separated by semi-colons. References to multiple lines or sections within the same book are separated by commas (the book number is not repeated). For example:

    Hom. Il. 1.56, 58, 74; 22.10, 23, 85.

  6. References to ancient sources under discussion should be given in parentheses in the body of the article. Supporting references and citations of modern scholarship should be put into a footnote after the punctuation.
  7. Dates should be indicated in small caps as BC (after the date) and AD (before the date) or as BCE / CE, without stops (whichever form is adopted should be applied consistently throughout the article). Decades should be given as in ‘1960s’. When used adjectivally ‘century’ should be hyphenated (‘fifth-century concerns’ as opposed to ‘in the fifth century’). References to centuries should be spelt out in full (‘fifth century’), except in footnotes where numerical abbreviations may be used (‘5th century’).
  8. Numbers from one to ten should be spelt out except when preceding a unit of measurement (10km), or when referring to a chapter in a book (Chapter 2). Higher numbers should be written as numerals. All units of measurement should be metric.
  9. In the case of obscure texts, particularly fragments, the name of the editor, the date of the edition, and the place of publication should be supplied. For example:

    Themistius Orat. 3.4 (p. 31.15 ed. W. Dindorf, Leipzig 1831).

  10. All quotations and references should be verified against the original source. The contributor is responsible for the accuracy of citations and references.
  11. Familiar words, phrases and single sentences shorter than two lines in Latin or Greek need not be translated unless their meaning is contested or unclear. In general Greek words and phrases should be used in their original form and not in transliteration. Extra care should be taken with regard to the form and placing of accents, breathings and subscript iotas. Transliteration should be avoided except in the case of names for which
    contributors may follow their own preference, provided that they do so consistently throughout the article
  12. Single quotation marks must be used for quotations within the body of the text other than those in Greek or Latin, and for the title of an article, chapter or contribution in a book. Double quotation marks must be used only for an interior quotation. Quotations marks and apostrophes should be curly (“”, ‘’) rather than straight (“,’).
  13. In general, contributors should strictly avoid using too many and/or excessively long quotations. Quotations should be pertinent to the preceding or subsequent discussion in the article. If a quotation consisting of more than one sentence or three lines of text is essential to the argument, it should be placed in a separate paragraph in a ten-point font as a block quotation, indented by 1cm from both margins, without inverted commas. Insertions into the quotation by the author should be enclosed in square brackets as in ‘He [Thucydides] states . . .’ Double line-spacing should be maintained in quotations.
  14. The original text of quotations need not be included unless there is a specific reason for it. If the original text is deemed essential it should be placed in a separate indented block as prescribed above. Otherwise a good translation of the passage, preferably by the author, is sufficient. In these cases the passage should be translated into the language in which the article is written and a reference to the edition from which the passage has been taken and / or the translation used should follow it in parenthesis. If the original text is included it should precede the translation. In general, contributors should translate passages in quotations themselves, but if the translation is not that of the contributor, the translator’s name and the date of publication of the translation should be supplied in parenthesis at the end of the quotation as in ‘Hom. Il. 1.20–22, tr. Lattimore 1951’. Poor quality translations in stilted and old-fashioned language should be avoided. The policy in respect of the translations used in the article should be indicated in a footnote at the first occurrence of a translation.
  15. In footnotes, quotations from ancient texts that consist of more than one sentence or two lines of text should be given in the original language of the article. followed by a parenthesis containing the reference to the source, together with a translation of the quotation into the language in which the article is written. If the translation is not that of the contributor, the name and date of the translation used should be acknowledged and a full reference to the translation should be given in the list of references.
  16. Illustrations such as photographs, maps, and line drawings should be put into an appendix with each illustration on a separate page. Illustrations should be numbered consecutively (Fig. 1 etc.) and a descriptive caption should be included below the illustration.
  17. Citation of ancient sources may be given in the body of the article in parenthesis, but citations of modern scholarship should be relegated to the footnotes. Lists of citations in footnotes should be separated by semicolons. There is no need to include ‘and’ before the last citation.
  18. List of references. Books, book sections, and journal articles cited in the article must be listed alphabetically by the author(s) name(s) in a list of references at the end of the contribution. Compound surnames of Dutch or German origin should be alphabetized according to the particle not the name (e.g. Van der Blom, H. not Blom, van der H.). However, when the surname follows the initials in the body of the article the particle should be given in lower case (e.g. H. van der Blom).
  19. Books should be given as:

    Hammond, N.G.L. 19863. A History of Greece to 322 B.C. Oxford.

    cited as Hammond 19863:6-12 (In referring to modern works, page or column numbers must be given in full; the use of f. or ff. should be avoided. En dashes rather than hyphens should be used in numbered ranges and citations should be separated by semi-colons rather than commas). In referring to a later edition of a work, contributors may wish to add the date of the first edition. This should be in the following format:

    Rohde, E. 19143 [1876]. Der griechische Roman und seine Vorläufer. Darmstadt.

    For multi-volume works the date of the volume consulted should be provided. For example:

    Martindale, J.R. 1980. The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire. Vol. 2: A.D. 395-527. Cambridge and New York.

    When citing more than one volume of the same work, refer to the date, volume number and page number(s). For example:

    Mitchell, S. 1993. Anatolia: Land, Men, and Gods in Asia Minor. 2 vols. Oxford.
    Referred to as Mitchell 1993:1.94.

  20. Books sections should follow the following format:

    Saddington, D.B. 1975. ‘Race relations in the Early Roman Empire.’ In W. Temporini and P. Hasse (edd.), ANRW, 2.3:112–37. Berlin.

    When citing more than one section of an edited book, reference should be made to the editors, date and pagination of the edition only. Full details of the edited book should be given separately. For example:

    Balme, D. 1987. ‘The place of biology in Aristotle’s philosophy.’ In Gotthelf and Lennox (edd.), 9–20

    followed by a separate reference to:

    Gotthelf, A. and Lennox, J.G. (edd.) 1987. Philosophical Issues in Aristotle’s Biology. Cambridge.

  21. Journal articles should be given as:

    Lloyd, G.E.R. 1968. ‘Plato as a natural scientist.’ JHS 88:78-92.

    Referred to as Lloyd 1968: 84

  22. Editions of ancient works to be given as:

    Zimmerman, M. (ed.) 2012. Apuleius: Metamorphoseon Libri XI. Oxford Classical Texts. Oxford.


    Rattenbury, R.M., Lumb, T.W. and Maillon, J. (edd.). 1935–1943. Héliodore: Les Éthiopiques (Théagéne et Chariclée). Tomes I-III. Paris.

  23. Translations of ancient works must be given in the following format:

    Lattimore, R. (tr.) 1951. Homer: The Iliad. Chicago, Ill.


    Pope, M.W.M. and Hewitt, W.H. (trr.). 1960. Menander: The Angry Old Man. Cape Town.

  24. Translations of modern works must be given in the following format:

    Maurach, G. (tr. D. Nardo) 1990. Enchiridion poeticum: Introduzione alla lingua poetica latina. Brescia.

  25. The full URL of online resources together with an indication of the date they were consulted should be given in a separate numbered list below the list of references and cited in the article as ‘Web #’. For example:

    Web 1: October 2018).

    Readily recognisable works can be cited in brief form:

    CIL 15.3579
    IG 2215, line 87
    ILS 212, col. 2
    BMC Imp 3.303 no. 507
    TLL 5.1.448, line 41 (use ‘line’ or ‘lines’ rather than l. or ll., which may be confused with numerals)
    Jacoby FGrH 115 F 153

  26. Tense lines should be relaxed by including a discretionary hyphen in large words in the following line. The Oxford Spelling Dictionary should be consulted as the guide on matters of spelling and hyphenation. Authors are free to use spellings of words that they are familiar with (for example, US or UK spellings), but these should be applied consistently throughout the article.
  27. For contributors who make use of Endnote, a style template is available here: (ActaClassicaHarvard.ens).