This book is based on a dissertation which I defended in April 2001 at the Catholic University of America, Washington DC. I am grateful to my dissertation committee, the Revd Dr Sidney H. Griffith, the Revd Dr David W. Johnson, and Prof. Dr Robin Darling Young, for introducing me to the field of Early Christianity in general and, more particularly, for the guidance and expert advice they provided over the first set of years of research and writing. Stimulating discussions with Fr Griffith guided me along the path. Prof. Young provided reliable support and challenging questions. I am very grateful in particular to Fr Johnson who proved to be an unfailing source of constructive criticism and encouragement. All throughout those years I have also found indefatigable assistance and friendship in Dr Monica Blanchard, academic librarian of the Institute for Christian Oriental Research (ICOR) at The Catholic University of America. She shared my enthusiasm in Peter the Iberian. I treasure her support greatly.
In the later stages of the work on the original dissertation, I benefited from the detailed advice and encouragement of Dr Janet Timbie and Prof. Dr Philip Rousseau. I also would like to record my thanks to Peter Stacha for his technical support and to two of my former colleagues, Dr Jason Zaborowski and Dr Robert Phenix, for their valuable editorial assistance on many a project related to Peter the Iberian.
The text of the present book substantially expands upon and nuances the matter covered in the dissertation. As such it constitutes the first‐fruits of my close collaboration with Dr Robert Phenix over the last three years. I have reason to hope that our marriage will bring forth further scholarly fruits in years to come. I also gratefully wish to acknowledge the valuable advice and correction I received during that time from Dr Theresia Hainthaler and the Revd Dr Michel van Esbroeck, now of blessed memory. Both modelled for me scholarly dedication. For all remaining mistakes and infelicities of expression in this work, of course, I alone carry the burden of responsibility.
I owe a daughter's gratitude to my parents, Albert and Christa Horn, and that of a niece to my godmother, Agnes Horn. Without their moral, spiritual, and financial support I would not have been (p.viii) able to set out on this project and I would not have had the strength to carry through with it.
Much appreciation is due to many other individuals as well as institutions who supported my research on Peter the Iberian in a variety of ways. First of all, I would like to thank the Program of Early Christian Studies, now the Center for the Study of Early Christianity, at The Catholic University of America and the Institute of Christian Oriental Research (ICOR) for providing a solid home base and granting me access to many of the rare materials otherwise unavailable. I wish to acknowledge the support of the Lady Davis Foundation at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for granting me a doctoral research fellowship for field‐work in Israel during the academic year 1998–1999. While in Israel, I enjoyed scholarly contacts with Dr Michael Stone and Dr Konstantine Lerner, Department for Indian, Iranian and Armenian Studies, as well as with Dr David Satran and Dr Bruria Bitton‐Ashkeloni, Department of Religious Studies, all at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The Revd Sr Dr Kirsten Stoffregen Pedersen shared with me her insights concerning the history of the Christian communities in Jerusalem. I was hospitably received and graciously granted access to invaluable collections at the libraries of the École Biblique et Archéologique Française of St. Stephen's Monastery (Jerusalem), the Albright Institute (Jerusalem), the Greek Orthodox Patriarchal Library (Jerusalem), and the German Protestant Institute for the Study of the History and Archaeology of the Holy Land (Mount of Olives, Jerusalem). To the director of the latter institution, Dr Hanswulf Bloedhorn, I owe special thanks for the on‐site training in evaluating archaeological discoveries which he provided, but even more so for his warm welcome and generous, inspiring friendship. Warm words of thanks are due to the Russian Orthodox Sisters of the Convent of Mary Magdala, Gethsemane, Jerusalem, and representative for all of them to Abbess Elizabeth and Mother Agapia (formerly Maria) Stephanopoulos for their kind hospitality during much of my stay in Israel. I feel honoured to publicly express my deep gratitude to the Maronite American Research Institute (MARI) and its president, Ms Guita G. Hourani, for constant, creative, and unfailing support, especially while carrying out field‐research in Lebanon. I wish to say a heartfelt word of thanks to the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation, particularly to their Washington chapter under the guidance of the local superior, Sr Marie William Lapointe, for welcoming me as a resident in their house and providing for me a place conducive to both study and personal growth. I will never forget the many early morning hours spent over coffee in discussions with Dr Myung‐Ae Chung, forcing me to express my thoughts and insights in a way that is accessible to the (p.ix) (p.x) non‐specialist in the field as well. My gratitude also extends to the members of the University of St Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and especially to my former colleagues in the Department of Theology who from 2001 to the spring of 2004 have provided a stimulating and supportive environment, which made work on this book possible. The staff at UST's interlibrary loan office is to be recommended highly for obtaining materials, which even I thought were impossible to get. My new colleagues in the Department of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University have welcomed me with open arms and already during the first semester have demonstrated strong support for academic research into the lesser known regions of early Christianity. It is during these first months that the final work on the completion of the manuscript could be carried out. One of my graduate research assistants at Saint Louis University, Mrs Inta Ivanovska, is to be recommended highly for the attention to details and the critical judgement with which she helped me to lay the final touches on this book. I wish to thank the second one, Fr Oliver Herbal, for assistance with indexing this volume.
I want to thank Gillian Clark and Andrew Louth for accepting this volume for publication in the Oxford Early Christian Studies series. Professor Clark's comments as well as those of Lionel R. Wickham, who agreed to serve as anonymous reader, have greatly assisted in reshaping and thus improving the book. My gratitude also extends to Hilary O'Shea, Lucy Qureshi, David Sanders, and Jenny Clarke at Oxford University Press, who offered much assistance and in the later stages of the process expertly handled the multiple problems of converting into pleasingly printed pages a typescript that had embedded in it so many Eastern and Oriental Christian languages and corresponding fonts.
There are many friends who have helped and supported me all along in one way or another. I am deeply grateful to all of them. God alone knows what the support, encouragement, and friendship of everyone mentioned or not mentioned herein means to me.
Feast of St Nikolas, 2004