Some of the research for this book was made possible by a National Endowment for the Humanities Travel to Collections grant, summer of 1992, and two Research Allocations Committee grants, summers of 1990 and 1992, from the University of New Mexico. Many people helped along the way. I am grateful to Melissa Bokovoy, Jonathan Porter, Omeed Memar, Ralph Austen, Derryl MacLean, and especially Richard Payne and William Risso. I also want to thank the series editors, Edward Farmer and Ainslie Embree; Westview Press Senior Editor Peter Kracht; Lynn Arts and Connie Oehring in Westview Press's Editorial Production Department; copy editor Beverly LeSuer; and Eric Leinberger for his excellent work on the maps.
To keep the text as uncluttered as possible, the Arabic script consonants ayn and hamza have been indicated (as apostrophes) only medially, except in quotations and titles. Subscript dots and long vowel marks have been omitted. Pinyin transcription has been used for Chinese words except for names and places better known by other spellings, such as Canton.
In cases where there could be confusion, alternate spellings are given at the first reference, for example, Quilon (Kawlam).