Patience is perhaps the only virtue saints and scholars share in common. Yet few among the latter equal Fr. Robert I. Burns in his efforts to outdo the former. Beginning in the early 1960s, he has undertaken a comprehensive analysis of the society, economy, institutions, and religious and cultural life of the kingdom of Valencia following its conquest by Aragon-Catalonia in the early thirteenth century. Like the crusading armies he so ably studies, Burns has passed methodically from one scholarly siege to another. The result has been an outpouring of studies remarkable for their combination of painstaking erudition, keenness of insight, and a wholly modern sensitivity to the problems of social and ethnic relations between conquerors and conquered. The capstone of this enterprise is his critical edition of the bulk of the historical evidence: the Valencian registers of King James I (1208-1276). The present study serves as a conceptual and technical prolegomenon to a series of volumes that will open to scholarly review one of the more extraordinary collections of documents of the later Middle Ages. The approximately 2,300 registers filed by the royal chancery beginning in the 1250s— an administrative record made possible by the replacement of parchment by paper thanks to the recent absorption of the high-quality paper mills in Islamic Játiva— afford a unique perspective on the interaction of Christians, Moslems, and Jews in the immediate aftermath of the crusaders’ victory. Students of Latin American history will have already found much to ponder in Burns’s previous studies of “protocolonial” contact among diverse (and antagonistic) societies and cultures in the wake of violent conquest. Now, thanks to the author’s perseverance and skill, they can have recourse to the original documents as well—a feat of scholarly patience of no small magnitude.