John Nicolas Coldstream 1927–2008

Alan Johnston

in Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 166, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, IX

Published by British Academy

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780197264751
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734229 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

John Nicolas Coldstream 1927–2008

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Nicolas Coldstream was a tall but not lofty person. His manner indeed was that of a quiet and thoughtful member of the old-school type, and this certainly was occasionally misinterpreted. Coldstream tended to couch his disagreements in terms well known from the Yes Minister repertoire: ‘I am not quite sure that I can follow you completely on that’. His deliberate and seemingly at times slow responses were however always to the point, and couched in readily understandable terms; his students always valued the meticulous detail that he could bring to their work, as he did in his publications. Academically Coldstream concentrated on the essentials of gathering physical evidence and interpreting them in historical terms, be they art-historical or broadly political. He regarded both his basic books, Greek Geometric Pottery: a Survey of Ten Local Styles and their Chronology and Geometric Greece as historical contributions; certainly nobody working in the field can afford to ignore either.

Keywords: classical archaeology; archaeologist; Greek geometric pottery; biography; obituary

Chapter.  6146 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Methods and Historiography

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