IN this second edition the eight lectures forming the reading matter of this book have suffered scarcely any change, and, excepting the chapter on Syria, the additions are insignificant. It would have been an easy matter to expand them, but I did not want these lectures to become erudite dissertations, nor the ideas which are the essential part of a sketch like the present to be overwhelmed by a multiplicity of facts. In general I have therefore limited myself to weeding out certain errors that were overlooked, or introduced, in the proofreading.
The notes, however, have been radically revised. I have endeavored to give expression to the suggestions or observations communicated to me by obliging readers: to mention new publications and to utilize the results of my own studies. The index makes it easy to find the subjects discussed.
And here I must again thank my friend Charles Michel, who undertook the tedious task of rereading the proofs of this book, and whose scrupulous and sagacious care has saved me from many and many a blunder.
PARIS, FRANCE, February, 1909.