THIS BOOK HAS come together over a lengthy period of development. As a result, my debts are numerous.
Two people deserve much of the credit for whatever in the following pages is good. It was Richard Talbert who suggested the topic to me when I was a new graduate student in the History Department of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Over the next six years, he was a generous mentor and ideal dissertation supervisor. The more perspective I gain in this profession, the more I realize how lucky I was to have worked with him. As a reader for Oxford University Press, Michael Peachin made ample comments that alternatively encouraged me and challenged me to improve weak points. As a reader, I used to disdain the omnipresent statement in acknowledgments, “none of the people I just thanked should be blamed for any of my book’s shortcomings,” as too obvious. Richard Talbert’s and Michael Peachin’s generosity forces me to say it anyway.
I have benefited greatly from the guidance and input of other esteemed scholars. From my time at UNC, Leanne Bablitz, Hilary Becker, Lee Brice, Jayendra Chhana, Tom Elliott, George Houston, Jerzy Linderski, and Daniëlle Slootjes contributed significantly. So did Tolly Boatwright and Kent Rigsby of Duke University. Werner Riess’s model of erudition and intellectual ambition was a great boon. John Bauschatz has been a partner in crime; his work on Ptolemaic Egypt helped keep me excited about policing in the ancient world. I warmly thank my friend and colleague Dean M. Cassella for his indispensable advice on translation, topography, and much else. Benjamin Kelly, Charlotte Roueché, Sara Saba, and Dorothy Thompson kindly sent me work in advance of publication. So many others assisted by reading drafts, helping me at key moments, sharing a reference, or providing feedback that I must resort to a bare (and probably incomplete) list: Cédric Brélaz, Christopher Browning, Melissa Bullard, Mike Campbell, Guy Chet, Serena Connolly, Michael Crawford, Henry Eaton, Garrett Fagan, Bruce Frier, Joseph T. Fuhrmann, Richard Golden, Edward Harris, Deborah Kamen, Noel Lenski,