Through the prism of his best known work, the Somnium morale pharaonis, this study attempts to demonstrate the central importance of John of Limoges, a relatively under researched author. John, who has all too often been mistaken with his early 13th century Cistercian namesake, may be described as 'first of all an intellectual', in Jacques Le Goff's terms. Fresh study of his biographical sources, combined with some new clues, underlines the Paris phase of his formation, the period the Somnium morale pharaonis dates to. Subsequently entering the Cistercian order in Clairvaux, he continued to maintain closes relationships with the French capital. His career retraced, we will try to lift the veil on the recipient of the Somnium, Count Thibaut of Champaign.