Over the years many friends and colleagues have given me help, advice, and encouragement. So too have many students, graduate and undergraduate. To single out individuals would be invidious, but to all of them I express my deepest appreciation. There are three people, however, to whom I owe particular debts: Chris Williams for drawing the maps that will, I hope, make the narrative easier to follow; Thomas Le Bien, formerly of Oxford University Press, for his help in getting this project launched; and Susan Ferber, his successor as my editor at the Press, for suffering so much with such equanimity during the book's lengthy and often painful gestation. Finally, there are the three men to whom the book is dedicated. To them I owe the profoundest gratitude for having pounded into me, many years ago, the need to develop at least some feeling for literature to balance my fascination with history.