All schemas are schematic – that is, they sacrifice various details and a raft of qualifications in order to provide a broad topology of a certain area of enquiry. First, there is evil as conceived in and imagined by cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Near East – centrally, Jewish and (later) Judaeo-Christian cultures. Second cultural 'tectonic plate' has its origins in the Western Mediterranean, in ancient Greece and Rome. Like ancient Israel, these vastly influential cultures generated narrative conceptions of evil, at least in their literature, art, and popular religion. The third cultural matrix covered by this volume has its roots in Asia and the Far East. For those raised on Western texts – namely those rooted in ancient Israel, Greece and Rome – the shift to the East is challenging, but no less fascinating for that.