Did the twelfth century discover the individual? For a number of years now medievalists have claimed that it did. Indeed, over the past fifty years, in what Wallace Ferguson calls ‘the revolt of the medievalists’, scholars have claimed for the twelfth century many of the characteristics once given to the fifteenth century by Michelet and Burckhardt. As a result, standard textbook accounts now attribute to the twelfth century some or all of the following: ‘humanism’, both in the narrow sense of study of the Latin literary classics and in the broader sense of an emphasis on human dignity, virtue and efficacy; ‘renaissance’, both in the sense of revival of forms and ideas from the past (classical and patristic) and in the sense of consciousness of rebirth, and historical perspective; ‘the discovery of nature and man’, both in the sense of an emphasis on the cosmos and human nature as entities with laws governing their behaviour and in the sense of a new interest in the particular, seen especially in the ‘naturalism’ of the visual arts around the year 1200. In the past fifteen years, however, claims for the twelfth century have increasingly been claims for the discovery of ‘the individual’, who crops up–with his attendant characteristic ‘individuality’—in many recent titles. In the area of political theory, Walter Ullmann has seen the individual emerging in the shift from subject to citizen. Peter Dronke, Robert Hanning and other literary critics have argued for the emergence of the individual both as author and as hero of twelfth-century poetry and romance. And, in the area of religious thought, R. W. Southern, Colin Morris and John Benton have called to our attention a new concern with self-discovery and psychological self-examination, an increased sensitivity to the boundary between self and other and an optimism about the capacity of the individual for achievement.