I have a problem with my [TeXshop] and my bibliography. I need to cite a classical author, concrete Plinio el viejo, but when I compile my tex the biblio say el viejo, Plinio. Someone know what can I for solve it? I use the biblatex package.


2 Answers 2


If you have an entry whose author field currently reads

author = "Plinio el viejo",

BibTeX and biblatex (biber) will interpret "el" as the "von" component of the person's full name, and therefore also "viejo" as the surname component and "Plinio" as the first-name component of the full name. Obviously, that's not what you want for this entry.

To indicate to BibTeX and biblatex that the author has a single composite name, you should write either

author = "{Plinio el viejo}",


author = {{Plinio el viejo}},

Adding the pair of curly braces tells BibTeX and biber not to parse the author's full name and, in essence, treat it as a multi-component single name. That way, the entry will also be sorted under "P" for "Plinio" rather than under "E" for "el viejo".

Here's a full MWE :

enter image description here

  author = "Plinio el viejo",
  title  = "Naturalis {Historia}",
  year   = {{77}},
  author = "{Plinio el viejo}",
  title  = "Naturalis {Historia}",
  year   = {{77}},


\citet{plinio:77a}, \citet{plinio:77b}
  • 8
    author={Plinius Secundus, C., senior}
    – egreg
    Jan 9, 2017 at 10:25

Especially for classic authors and text you can use the biblatex-style archaeologie.

The special thing is the various versions of an ancient author you can use. There is the common/known way, like "Pliny the Elder" which is stored in shortauthor. Since the way of referencing to classic books is rather specified (e.g. "Plin. nat.") you can use the field shorthand for that. And for a complete transcript of the name use the ordinary field author for it with the latin/greek way of the name: "Plinius Secundus, Caius".

  author       = {Plinius Secundus, Caius},
  editor       = {Roderich König and Gerhard Winkler},
  title        = {Naturkunde},
  publisher    = AWi,
  location     = {Düsseldorf},
  origlanguage = {latin},
  origtitle    = {Naturalis historia},
  translator   = {Roderich König and Gerhard Winkler},
  shorthand    = {Plin. nat.},
  shortauthor  = {{Pliny the Elder}},
  keywords     = {ancient},
  options      = {ancient},
  date         = {1997/2007},

This is how \citeauthor{Plin_nat} describes it in \citetitle{Plin_nat}.\footcite[77,12,3]{Plin_nat}

This is the result:

enter image description here

  • Careful, BibTeX gives errors/nonsense with non-ASCII characters. Need to write "K{\" o}nig".
    – vonbrand
    Feb 22, 2020 at 1:21
  • i am using lualatex for compiling, no error given then. Feb 22, 2020 at 13:54

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