The DIR aims to present comprehensive, up-to-date articles that can both inform
an interested, general reader and support research by amateurs, students, and
professional scholars. Both clarity and accuracy are goals. Authors should presuppose
intellectually capable readers, but not that they will all necessarily know Roman
history in detail. The text of an article should tell the main story clearly, without
bogging down in technicalities; footnotes should tell the reader where primary sources
support the article's contentions directly, where controversies are disputed, and
in both cases where to look for more information and for further discussion of the evidence.
The extent of documentation in secondary sources should roughly match the general interest and
importance of the imperial figure being treated. Editors will insist that articles and references
be able to meet the needs of the DIR's users! If an author and his or her supervising editor disagree about
the necessity of suitable documentation, the decision of the editor is final.
Cyberspace imposes no mechanical restriction on the size of a DIR article:
authors and editors can decide how long an article needs to be to cover the topic in
depth appropriate to the DIR's mission. One should note, however, that
shorter articles save on load time and allow users to take greater advantage of
hypertext linking to other relevant resources.
For clarity and ease of reference, all but the shortest articles should be articulated
into subsections. Place section titles on the left margin. All articles should include,
as a final section, Bibliography. This section should list bibliographical
references for the works used in writing the article and for other sources that readers
interested in pursuing the topic may wish to consult. Authors should follow the conventions of the Chicago
Manual of Style (Turabian) when formatting bibliographical items, as for footnotes
accompanying the text. Footnotes or parenthetical notes within the text should cite
primary sources, using standard abbreviations such as are tabulated in LSJ, the
OLD, or the OCD. See the article on
Constantine I in the
Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies as a model of formatting.
Some points of style for the DIR
Italicize titles of primary and secondary sources and words in foreign languages.
Authors may italicize text for emphasis, but sparingly.
Spell out centuries in lower-case letters (e.g., second century, fourteenth
century); when used as adjectives, they should be hyphenated (e.g., third-century crisis).
DIR editors generally use the old-fashioned B.C. and A.D.
Numbers should be spelled out, if they can be spelled out in one or
two words, unless they precede a unit of measure.
Hypertext links may be included in articles. An editor will insert
links to existing DIR pages into your article, or you may encode the material
yourself. Please note that links to sites beyond the DIR should not be
preceded by an icon.