The Archpoet and Medieval Culture

ISBN : 9780198719229

Peter Godman
304 Pages
163 x 236 mm
Pub date
Nov 2014
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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.


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

About the author: 

Peter Godman is a cultural historian of the Middle Ages and Renaissance with interests in the Latin tradition.

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