Collingwood’s scholarly reputation is a complicated and variegated affair. For one has not only to make a distinction between his reputation during his life and after his premature death in 1943, but also between his reputation as a philosopher and as an archaeologist and historian. Collingwood himself considered philosophy as his primary occupation and his work in archaeology and history as that of an amateur. This work, however, reached the highest standards and his contributions to archaeology and history have always been appreciated accordingly. Though Collingwood’s reputation as the main expert on Roman Britain in the inter-war period remains unchallenged, modern developments in this field have inevitably superseded his contributions and made them primarily voices from a past period. Philosophy was the other half of Collingwood’s scholarly life. In his thinking there was always a close relationship between philosophy and archaeological and historical practice. His interpreters have not always recognized this connection. I have met archaeologists who were surprised to hear that Collingwood was a philosopher as well, and philosophers who either did not know that he had been a practising archaeologist and historian, or thought it no more than a private hobby.


Unpublished Manuscript Historical Explanation Philosophical Writing Historical Practice Primary Occupation 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.HeerlenThe Netherlands

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