I am interested in whether the article can be omitted in a phrase like The Ideas About a Woman in Roman Literature (as in the name of a scientific article). Is the article needed here at all, since the noun is used in its commonest sense?
Some references can be found on websites of doubtful trustworthiness:
Before a common noun used in its commonest sense:
Man is mortal.
Iron is a useful metal.
But the first case has already been discussed here on StackExchange. And the second one is just a mass noun.
A detailed set of rules for the use of zero article is provided in Longman English Grammar, but it states nothing at all about the omission of articles before nouns in their commonest sense. Neither do the Cambridge Grammar of English or Collins COBUILD English Grammar.
Obviously, if we say the concept of 'woman', the article will be omitted, but if there are no quotation marks, as in the ideas about [a] woman in Roman literature, is there a rule which allows omitting the article or which explains why the article is mandatory?
P.S. Here is an example where no article is used in a paper by a native speaker, Prof. Maggie Gale.