Philip Melanchthon's impact upon Lutheranism was second only to that of Martin Luther. Yet Melanchthon is often overlooked and he remains one of the most enigmatic figures of the Reformation. It is within Dr. Stupperich's incisive portrayal of a man, acclaimed as 'the preceptor of Germany' in his lifetime, that the reader can uncover the secrets of a layman who directly influenced Luther. Melanchthon struggled with contemporary powers, yet his persistence and drive resulted in him becoming the chief architect of Germany's school system and also a chief negotiator between statesmen and theologians. Despite this success, almost no-one wholly accepted Melanchthon's religious views. Yet, few could have managed without the advances which Melanchthon precipitated in theology, education, natural science and even public affairs. This study of impressively broad scope begins by addressing the historical background which shaped Melanchthon's early life. The development of Melanchthon's inner humanist is investigated through an assessment of his childhood and adolescence. The second chapter examines the path which Melanchthon carved for himself in theology, where it is revealed how Melanchthon became a defender of Luther. Further chapters trace his life to its end, to allow the reader to see the full impact of a life which encourages the Reformation to be viewed in a new focus and depth. The Author: Robert Stupperich was Professor of Church History at the University of Munster until his death in 2003. He was recognised as an international expert on the history of the Reformation.