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Chicago/Turabian Format Style Guide: Older Works and Sacred Works

This guide will assist in writing papers using the Chicago or Turabian style in the correct format as well as creating citations.

Notes-Bibliography Style

Literary works produced in classical Greece or Rome, medieval Europe, and Renaissance England as well as sacred texts are cited differently than modern literary works.  These sources usually have numbered sections (books, lines, stanzas, etc.) instead of numbered pages.  Also, these works have been published many times throughout the course of time, meaning that many publication details are not often as important as those for modern works.

These works are usually only cited in footnotes, endnotes, and parenthetical notes.  Include the author's name, the title, and the section number in the entry.


1. Ovid, Amores 1.7.27.

2. Beowulf, lines 2401-7.

3. Spenser, The Faerie Queene, bk. 2, canto 8, st. 14.

If your sources include those that analyze the texts, or if translation differences are relevant, include these works in your bibliography.

Classical, Medieval, and Early English Literary Works

Classical Works

In addition, the following rules apply to classical works.

  1. Use no punctuation between the title of a work and a line or section number.
  2. Use Arabic numerals for section numbers.
  3. Put commas between two or more citations of the same source and semicolons between citations of different sources.
  4. Author names, works, collections, etc. can be abbreviated.  Use the abbreviations in place of ibid, in succeeding references to the same work. For example, Thucydides can be abbreviated Thuc.


1. Aristophanes, Frogs 1019-30.

2. Cicero, In Verrem 2.1.21, 2.3.120; Tacitus, Germania 10.2-3.

3. Pindar, Isthm. 9.43-45

Medieval Works

Works from medieval authors follow the rules for classical works.


4. Augustine, De civite Dei 20.2

Early English Works

Early English works have the following rules apply in addition to the general citation rules:

  1.  Cite poems and plays by book, canto, and stanza; stanza and line; act, scene, and line.
  2. You may shorten numbered divisions by omitting words such as act and line, using a number system similar to classical works.
  3. If editions differ in wording, line numbering, and scene division, include the work in the bibliography with the edition specified.  If there is no bibliography, include the edition in the first note.


5. Chaucer, "Wife of Bath's Prologue," Canterbury Tales, lines 105-14.

6. Milton, Paradise Lost, book 1, lines 83-86.

The Bible and other Sacred Works

Cite the Bible and sacred works in your footnotes, endnotes, or parenthetical notes.  You do not need to include them in your bibliography.

For citations from the Bible, include the abbreviated name of the books, chapter number, and verse number - never a page number. Consult your professor for the appropriate abbreviation if you are unsure.  Use Arabic numerals for chapter and verse numbers, as well as numbered books.


1. 1 Thess. 4:11, 5:2-5, 5:14.

2. 2 Sm 11:1-17, 11:26-27; 1 Chr 10:13-14.

Since books and numbering can be different between versions of the scriptures, identify the version you are using in your first citation with either the spelled out name or accepted abbreviation.


3. 2 Kings 11:8 (New Revised Standard Version).

4. 1 Cor. 6:1-10 (NAB).