It we were to choose the two most important allegorists of the twelfth century in Western Europe, one of them would certainly be Bernard of Clairvaux, and the other would probably be Hugo of Saint-Victor (1096–1141); for they are the two most influential mystical exegetes of their time. While these two men have points of contact, their careers and their writings offer many contrasts. Both are mystics: both seek after the vision beatific. But the one is a true monk, who shuns secular learning, is blind to the natural beauty about him; the other, as a canon-regular teaching in a busy Paris school, lives on the threshold of the outside world; and finds an important, if ancillary, place for the secular learning of the day in his program of studies. Each had his part to play in the quickening of piety and learning which characterized the twelfth and thirteenth centuries in Western Europe.