Mapes, Or Map, Walter, an English Latin poet, born about the middle of the 12th century, probably in Herefordshire, died about 1210. He studied in Paris, and after his return became a great favorite on account of his learning and courtly manners, especially with Henry II., by whom he was sent on a mission to the French court, and to the council summoned by Pope Alexander III., at which he was called on to refute the deputies of the Waldenses. He received several livings, was made canon of the cathedrals of St. Paul and of Salisbury, precentor of Lincoln, incumbent of Westbury in Gloucestershire, and finally in 1196 archdeacon of Oxford. His tastes were however for elegant literature, and he is only known at the present day as a genial, festive, and satirical writer, to whom is attributed a great portion of the humorous rhyming Latin Leonine lyrics and Norman French romances of the latter half of the 12th century. Of late years it has been doubted whether Mapes was really the author of the poems which pass under his name, but the fact that they were for several centuries so generally attributed to him has been thought to prove that he excelled in a peculiar style of writing, and that a part of them at least are his.
He also wrote much prose, both in Latin and Anglo-Norman. Among the former is his De Nugis Cnrialium, a work containing much curious information of a vary varied character; and among the latter are a large portion of the existing romances of the round table. The "Latin Poems commonly attributed to Walter Mapes" were printed in London by the Camden society in 1841, and De Nugis Curialium in I860.