There are several people without whom this volume would have been significantly delayed or might not have come to press at all. On behalf of the contributors, I would like to express our collective appreciation for their assistance.

First and foremost among these is James George, a fellow traveler with this book who in the end was not able to be a part of its final version. Not only did he help conceive the project several years ago, but he was an important member of our original Oxford conference on which the book is based. His enthusiasm for both Greek literature and late antiquity is unflagging and it played a crucial role in moving towards publication. Out of gratitude and friendship I have chosen to dedicate this book to him.

I would also like to thank Matthew Polk, who worked painstakingly with Greek fonts and bibliographical stylesheets to lay the foundation of the text you see before you. He was the first-round copy editor who dealt gently with all the idiosyncrasies of our various computers and academic proclivities. I am also grateful for his help with the index. He has been a friend and colleague in the publication process from beginning to end.

Ivy Livingston was responsible for making the text look like a real book, and she did a marvelous job. As always, she was professional, courteous, and prompt. An editor simply could not ask for a more talented and affable typesetter, especially one so gifted at making thorny design problems look easy.

I am grateful to my colleagues in the Society of Fellows for wide-ranging discussions that helped to shape the vision of this volume. In particular, I would like to thank David Elmer and Gregory Nagy for reading the introduction and suggesting improvements and Jonathan Bolton and Jurij Striedter for helping me to think about the concept of literary history.

Finally, it is a pleasure to offer my gratitude to John Smedley, Celia Hoare, and the editorial staff at Ashgate. John was excited about this project from our very first meeting at the 2004 Byzantine Studies Conference in Baltimore. His encouraging and patient nature is enviable in any context, but particularly when one is falling significantly behind a deadline. Above all, he should be warmly thanked for what he has done to advance the knowledge of late antiquity and Byzantium in the scholarly community and beyond.

My wife Carol and daughter Susanna have lived with these papers for many months. I am grateful to them and the rest of my family for their unfailing support and love during this busy season.

Scott Fitzgerald Johnson,
Cambridge, Massachusetts,
November 2005