Freeman, Edward Augustus

Freeman, Edward Augustus


Born Aug. 2, 1823, in Har-borne, Staffordshire; died Mar. 16, 1892, in Alicante, Spain. English historian. Professor at Oxford University (from 1884).

A liberal in his political views, Freeman was one of the leading representatives of that political trend in English historiography which reduced the problems of historical science primarily to the study of political history. Freeman set forth his methodological principles in Comparative Politics and The Unity of History (1874; Russian translation, 1880) and Methods of Historical Study (1886; Russian translation, 1893). He was the author of works on the history of Greece and Italy and of English medieval art. His Historical Geography of Europe (vols. 1–2, 1881–82; Russian translation, 1892) was the first of its type to be published.

Freeman’s best-known works deal with the medieval history of England. Modernizing the past, Freeman adopted the theory of the prevalence of Germanic institutions and attempted to prove that all the so-called free institutions of English society had existed in the Anglo-Saxon period. Consequently all the succeeding history of England down to the Glorious Revolution of 1688–89 is presented in his works as a gradual restoration of the ancient liberties that had been lost, as he supposed, as a result of the Norman Conquest.


A History of the Norman Conquest of England, vols. 1–6. Oxford, 1867–79.
The Reign of William Rufus, vols. 1–2. Oxford, 1882.
In Russian translation:
Razvitie angliiskoi konstitutsiis drevneishikh vremen. Moscow, 1905.


Gutnova, E. V. Istoriografiia istorii srednikh vekhov. Moscow, 1974. (See Index of Names.)
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