This book is based on ten expository lectures given at a CBMS Conference at
the University of Georgia, Athens, June 18-22, 1984. I should like to thank
Kenneth D. Johnson, who directed the Conference, and the other participants for
an inspiring feedback during the lectures. The final manuscript was written in
the spring of 1985 in Paris. I want to thank the Department of Mathematics at
the Universite de Paris VII and, in particular, M. Duflo for hospitality during
this period. For helpful comments on the material in this book I want to thank
S. Helgason, T. H. Koornwinder, T. Oshima, E. van den Ban and, in particular,
H. Schlichtkrull. For typing the manuscript very efficiently I want to thank
K. Astrup and R. Crifling. Finally, a very special thanks to my wife Inger.
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