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Epics for Beginners: General Research Guide: Books about Epics

This guide makes the study of ancient epics easy and entertaining.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


GIL-Find Logo Epic Research with GIL-Find

GIL-Find is the library's catalog. For help using GIL-Find, please try Step by Step Literature Searching with GIL-Find. This handout is somewhat out of date, but still has some good information. Watch for a new version!

Note: searching for material related to and about epics, varies from a traditional literary search for a work by a current author. Most epics lack an author. Many are part of ancient history and archaeology. Search for an epic by its name, the name of a famous character within it, or the historical place where the story occured.

Screen shot of a GIL Search 

Sometimes adding an additional topic with AND (in all uppercase) narrows and focuses a search. Mali AND empire finds books on ancient Mali without books about Mali in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries.

Choosing a location or subject heading from a facet GIL-Find lets you narrow down your results with facets on the left side of the screen. The location facet is particularly useful for choosing ebooks or only books that are on your campus. The subject headings under Refine your Search offer ideas for better searches.

To narrow down to books that are really about subjects related to your epic, try to find at least one that is a good fit for your subject. Then click on its blue title. GIL-Find lists subject headings in blue. Click on the one that describes your subject to see similar books.

One good subject heading leads to more good books

Note: you may still need a GIL PIN to borrow books from other libraries and get the GALILEO password.

Alas, most books about epics cover many aspects of that epic, not all of which will interest you. To find the useful material, consult each book's index and table of contents.

Here's the index Table of contents

To find your epic itself, search for it on GIL-Find by title. Remember epic titles sometimes have multiple spellings. Good luck, and don't be afraid to ask library staff for help.