Bekker Numbers in Classical texts

I hope someone can help me.

I'm Required to use MHRA style in my research. Zotero has been a great help; however I want to quote from Aristotle e.g The Nicomachean Ethics and this is usually done citing lines with the Bekker Numbering system rather than page number. Is there a way of doing this with Zotero. It would help if the Bekker system was incorporated into Zotero as I'm sure this would help many of us.

Hope you can help.
  • Zotero currently doesn't have good support for classical texts in general - you can fake the Bekker Numbers with the suffix field, but I believe the citation will still not look right, no?
  • Thanks Adamsmith. I tried your suggestion and it is better than putting it in as 'line'. However it still needs adjustment.
    I don't know if you agree but I think that it would not be difficult for all the 'wise men', it is the season for wise men, to incorporate the Bekker system into Zotero. It could be their Christmas gift to those who are not gifted with programming skills.
    Come on ye 'wise men'.
  • it depends on what needs to be changed - Since classical texts usual follow a completely different citation pattern I think it would actually be quite difficult - or at least a significant amount of work - to add full support.
    But maybe you had something simpler in mind? How would the Bekker support that you suggest look? (I mean conceptually - I understand you can't write the code, but you can still describe how you would like things to work).
  • Again thanks. I'll try and do some work on it and get back in a couple of days. Thanks for your help.
  • I have seen something like this:


    (Nicomachean Ethics, 1097b1-2).

    Subsequent citations would read:

    (Nic. Ethics, 1155a1-5).
  • Hello -

    (Following up on this old thread rather than start a new one on the same topic).

    Even though I am using Chicago style, the principle (solution?) seems like it should be the same: Put the Bekker Number(s) in Zotero's Page field of the Add Citation dialogue.

    Additionally, it seems common to add the book and chapter cited, as well as the Bekker number. Since apparently there is no way to specify a book/volume and chapter on a per-citation basis (possible feature request?), one would either have to make a separate Zotero item for each chapter and section, or, more efficiently, in my method, one would then also add these data into the Page field.

    So, for example, if citing Aristotle's Metaphysics, Book IV (a.k.a "Gamma"), chapter 1, lines 1003a22-1003a32, one would add the following into the Page field:

    4.1 1003a22-1003a32

    Is this the proper approach, or is there another way that is recommended?

    [Note: Chicago Style (and APA, I believe, and perhaps others) now generally recommends converting roman numerals to arabic, hence the "4.1" instead of "IV.1]



    Thank you...
    Best regards,
    Zenon Marko

  • @ZenonMarko , did you ever get anywhere on this? Did page number (ttc) end up being the best way you found to manage it? I'm trying to cite Aristotle in my thesis.
  • @thelauramay I've found no perfect answer thus far. It seems logical that one would select "line" in the Zotero citation dialogue, and then add in the Aristotle line numbers. This results in a citation which includes the "ll." (to indicate that what follows are line rather than page numbers). Yet I never see Aristotle cited in that way; typically the line numbers are cited without the "ll.". The only way I find to achieve the typical mode of citation, then, is to select "Page" instead in the Zotero citation dialogue, and still put the line numbers there. This results in a citation without the "ll.".

    As for the book and chapter numbers, there is wide variation over how these are cited, if they are included in the citation at all. Some cite with Roman numerals, some Arabic. Arabic seems to be the current recommendation for many citation styles. So Aristotle, Metaphilosophy, Book IV, chapter ii, lines 1000a1-b10 could be cited as

    Aristotle, Metaphilosophy, 4.2.1000a1-b10

    or more simply:

    Aristotle, Metaphilosophy, 1000a1-b10

    Any advice from those more "versed" [sic] in citing the classics is appreciated.
  • If you don’t want the prefix to appear, enter the line numbers in the “suffix” field rather than the page/line field.
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