Ranging from Sumer to ISIS, this collection presents an historic and anthropological approach to the beard in Middle Eastern religious traditions. The twelve contributions, along with a general introduction, cover the ancient Near East (Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Hittites), Judaism, and medieval to contemporary Islam. Since Antiquity the beard has been a symbol of masculine power, linked directly to ideologies of the male body. Whether the wearing of a beard is compulsory or prohibited, encouraged or mocked, it is a fundamental marker of identity and ideology, particularly in the Islamic world. The essays in Barbe et barbus are an elegant demonstration of the complexities inherent in the pilosity of the masculine visage.