This project was suggested to me by Professor John H. Parry, who encouraged me to pursue a comparative approach. Originally this book was to appear in a multi-volumed history of Spain in English. Under the auspices of Ediciones Grijalbo the series continues in Spanish, where this volume will appear next to those on the later middle ages by Jocelyn Hillgarth, whose encouragement and advice were significant in the elaboration of my own view of Spanish culture. The entire volume was read in manuscript by Robert I. Burns and Richard Bulliet, who provided helpful criticism from the viewpoints of a European medievalist and Islamist, respectively. L. P. Harvey's reading from his unique cross-cultural perspective contributed immensely. Pierre van den Berghe offered a critical reading of the chapter on ethnic relations, as did Michael R. McVaugh of that on science. Dr. Thorkild Schioler's noria drawing (Figure 3) is used with his gracious permission. Research for this book was carried out under grants from the Social Science Research Council in 1970-i971 and the American Council of Learned Societies in 1974-1975.
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