I have had the remarkable good fortune throughout my academic career to have consistently worked with scholars who took their pleasure in the acquisition of knowledge and the advancement of intelligence, not in the dance of one-upmanship. The places where I found these remarkable people start with my undergraduate work at San Francisco State University under the tutelage of Richard Hoffman, through my graduate years in the Group in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology at Berkeley, and later among my colleagues in the History Department (and throughout the College of Liberal Arts) at Colorado State University, and at the annual conventions of the Association of Ancient Historians. Because of my remarkable good fortune in this regard, the number of people to whom I owe a debt of gratitude for the production of this manuscript is far greater than the number of names included here.
Some friends, mentors, and colleagues have made this book better than it would have been without their assistance, some by reading drafts, others by formal and informal conversations. These contributors include Michael Alexander, Shadi Bartsch, Courtenay Daum, Alison Futrell, Tobi Jacobi, Elizabeth Leake, Kathleen McCarthy, Andrew Riggsby, Jennifer Ross, Raphael Sealey, the anonymous readers assigned by the University of Texas Press, and the staff of the press, especially Jim Burr, Leslie Tingle, and Nancy Bryant, and Sheila D’Amico who not only gave birth to me but who edited many portions of the manuscript.
I have spent many a summer ensconced in the Robbins Collection of Roman and Canon Law at Boalt Law School on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley. I have benefited not only from the financial assistance provided by the Robbins Collection and the use of the resources available there but also from the assistance of its director, Laurent Mayali, and that of the generous and helpful staff.