I would like to express my gratitude to many generous individuals for their contributions to this research. In particular, I am greatly indebted to Lorenz Korn for his guidance, his patience, and his invaluable criticisms. I owe a special debt of gratitude to Karin Rührdanz whose many suggestions improved the text’s structure. Very particular thanks are due to Charles Melville for his encouragement, support, valuable suggestions and his profound proofreading of the text. All errors are, needless to say, solely my responsibility. I express my profound thanks to Robert Hillenbrand, Birgitt Hoffmann, Sheila Blair, Adel Adamova, Christiane Gruber, Eleanor Sims, Yuka Kadoi and Sussan Babaie for their help and valuable advice on a number of matters presented in this study. I would also like to express my appreciation to Ilse Sturkenboom for her generous help at different stages of the work. Particular thanks are due to Ashkan Rahmani for his hospitality during my stay in Istanbul.
Warm thanks go to the staff of the David Collection, especially Joachim Meyer, the curator, and Anne-Marie Keblow Bernsted, the conservator of the Museum, for their numerous acts of assistance. I would like to thank the personnel of the Topkapı Sarayı Library in Istanbul for the permission to examine some exquisite and fragile manuscripts. For dispatching images of related materials, I am grateful to Akbar Irani, head of the Written Heritage Research Center, Stefan Kamola in the Princeton University, Ami Potter in the Yale University Art Gallery, Elaine Wright in the Chester Beatty Library, Jochen Sokoly, Abbas Hossaini, and such collections as Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Aga Khan Museum, Cincinnati Art Museum, Freer and Sackler Galleries, Harvard Art Museums, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Art and Keir Collection.
This research was made possible by the financial support of such organizations as “The Iranian Ministry of Science, Research and Technology”, “The German Academic Exchange Service” (DAAD STIBET-Doktorandenprogramm), and the Oxford-based “Barakat Trust Foundation” (Travel Grant 2014–15). The Shahnama Centre for Persian Studies at Pembroke College, Cambridge, generously supported the acquisition of the images vital for my study.
However, warmest thanks of all go to my wife who has been enduringly supportive over the years.