This is the first monograph to be published about one of the most famous and least understood authors of the Latin Middle Ages. We know him by the pseudonym of Archpoet. Setting the Archpoet's world and works in their historical contexts, Peter Godman argues that they provide insight into a brilliant counter-culture of medieval Germany. Its subtlest exponent did not indulge in literary play but refashioned the political, social, and religious roles available to a
twelfth-century thinker in order to create, for himself and his patron, an identity alternative to the norms of clerical conformity prevalent elsewhere in Europe. At a time when Germans were being decried as backward barbarians, he produced a manifesto of intellectual heterodoxy which wittily challenged
the truth-claims made by humourless moralists. The Archpoet and Medieval Culture reconsiders the categoriesin which the literature of the Middle Ages is interpreted and suggests a less literal mode of reading the sources to historians.
Peter Godman is a cultural historian of the Middle Ages and Renaissance with interests in the Latin tradition.
I. Prelude in the Pub ; II. The Ruin of the World ; III. Culture and Conflict in the Chancery ; IV. Transmontane Identity ; V. 'A Depraved Man Sowing Tares' ; VI. The Anti-Actor ; VII. The Reluctant Encomiast ; VIII. The Penitent at Pavia ; IX. The Preacher of Sin ; X. The Roving Prophet ; XI. The Culture of the Barbarians