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 Archpoets 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 atwelfth-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 challengedthe 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.