No words of thanks are sufficient to convey my gratitude towards my three principal dissertation advisors—Michael Sells, Kevin Corrigan, and John D. Turner—without whose groundbreaking scholarship, gentle guidance, personal kindness, and, not least, patience, this project could not have been accomplished. I would also like to thank Jonathan Z. Smith for his initial support for this project in its embryonic stage, and also for many fruitful conversations over the years.
There are also several eminent scholars to whom I am indebted for criticism, suggestions, conversation, or encouragement concerning one or another aspect of this project in various phases of its development over the past several years; these include, inter alia (and in no particular order), Gregory Shaw, Jean-Marc Narbonne, Michael Williams, István Perczel, Rob Berchman, Cristina D’Ancona, Garth Fowden, Gerald Bechtle, John Finamore, John Dillon, Karen King, Einar Thomassen, Luc Brisson, Nicola Denzey, David White, and the late Steven Strange, though there are surely others I have omitted. All of the (undoubtedly very many) errors in this work are nevertheless my own responsibility.
Finally, on a more personal note, I would like to thank my parents for their irrationally consistent support of my work, but also, the diminutive leontocephaline Fedya, for his melancholy but furry company, and of course my dearest wife Sasha, for her superhuman bibliographic labors, but also without whom none of this would have been possible.
Cambridge, MA, 2010