The two texts published in this volume, although both of an apologetic character, differ widely in scope. The first is the well-known Letter in which Gozechinus, a highly appreciated school-master in Mainz, explains to his former pupil Walcherus why he has chosen the famous German city over his beloved native Liège, where he started his career. The importance of the text for the history of teaching and schools in the 11th century is well recognized, and already sixty years ago, Max Manitius called for a critical edition to replace the very defective existing ones. The second text is much less well-known, because it had only been printed in a limited bibliophile edition. The "Apology concerning beards", written by a Cistercian abbot (probably Burchard) of Bellevaux, apart from containing precious information about wear and fashion of hair and beards in the middle of the 12th century, is an outstanding example of allegorical interpretation, in this case of nearly all biblical passages about beards. Although the train of thought is not always easy to follow, it is very much worthwhile. A rich introduction to this text, by Professor Giles Constable, about beards and hair-growth in (Antiquity and) the Middle Ages covers such a wide field that its importance extends well beyond the Apologia de barbis alone.