To Anastasia, Lampros, and Sofia-Melanthia


It is my pleasant duty to acknowledge the help of a number of people whose support and encouragement sustained me throughout the time during which this project, first as a thesis and now as a book, took shape. My gratitude goes to my former supervisor Professor Peter Brown and to Professors John Gager and Kathleen McVey. I have also profited immensely over the years from discussions with a number of scholars who have generously read and commented on parts of the book: Glen Bowersock, Averil Cameron, Jean Noël Guinot, Elaine Pagels, Fergus Millar, Susanna Elm, Neil McLynn, Philip Rousseau, Heinrich von Staden, Anthony Grafton, Robin Darling Young, Michael Frede, Christoph Riedweg, Paul C. Finney, Michael B. Trapp, Claudia Rapp, Caroline Bynum, Richard Goulet, Fritz Graf, Ruth Webb. I would like to thank them all for their willingness to do so and their helpful comments and suggestions. None of them is responsible, of course, for the way their advice has been applied. Any remaining shortcomings are entirely the fault of my obstinacy. During a year spent at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton in 2005–2006, I was able to make initial revisions and enjoy the intellectual vibrancy of an extraordinary research institution. It was an unforgettable experience that transformed my research horizons and ideas, for which I am deeply grateful to Professor Patricia Crone.
I thank Professor Thomas Halton for sharing his draft translation of the Therapeutikê, which is forthcoming from Paulist Press. I also wish to thank the staff of Firestone Library, Princeton University, and Speer Library, Princeton Theological Seminary, for their enormous help. I am greatly indebted to Dr. Stephen Crocco for allowing me to make an expanded use of the Speer Library resources, and to Dimitri Gondicas and the Hellenic Studies Program for their help and support, as well as to Jane Baun, Chris Lee, Andromache Karanika, George Karakostas, Emmanuel Papoutsakis, Harry Platanakis, Michalis Dafermos, Nina Papavasiliou, and Joseph Munitiz for their friendship. I am no less grateful to my teachers from my undergraduate years and especially to Lampros Siasos, Panayotis Pachis, and Andreas Nanakes for their unfailing support throughout both my undergraduate and graduate studies.
My colleagues at Oxford, Dr. Mark Edwards, Dr. Johannes Zachhuber, Professor Angelos Chaniotis, Professor Averil Cameron, and Professor Fergus Millar, have been a source of inspiration and support.
For the long-term nurture of this book I owe an exceptional debt of gratitude to the financial support of the AG Leventis Foundation, and Mr. A. Leventis in particular, for their generosity, love, warmth, and sustained and unswerving support of Humanities in times that their intrinsic value is called into question.
I would also like to thank the editors and publications team at the Center for Hellenic Studies for their enthusiasm for this project and for including it in the Hellenic Studies Series. I am particularly grateful to Jill Curry Robbins and Scott Johnson for warmly embracing the project and seeing the manuscript to publication with unsurpassed professionalism. Their encouragement, patience, and assistance went a long way toward overcoming several problems. Also, Noel Spencer has been a masterful copy-editor and an absolute delight to work with. Special thanks are also due to the Wolfson College librarian Fiona Wilkes for her help with various texts.
I dedicate this book to my parents Λάμπρο and Μελανθία, to whom I owe both τὸ ζῆν καὶ τὸ εὖ ζῆν, and to my wife Anastasia for her loving support.
March 2012