Intellectual history is a label applied to a wide range of enquiries dealing with the articulation of ideas in the past. At its core has been the close study of written expressions of thought, especially those crafted at a fairly sophisticated or reflective level. A constitutive part of such study is the attempt to recover the assumptions and contexts which contributed to the fullness of meaning that such writings possessed for their original publics. Sometimes also referred to as the history of ideas, this sub-discipline has in the past been marginalised in Britain first by political historians dismissive of the role of ideas in the face of their interest in the exercise of power, and then by the Marxist-influenced historians of the 1960s and 1970s, who saw ideas as the province of a minority of elites, and in any case as subservient to economic factors. More recently however the decline of both these approaches has seen the flourishing of intellectual history in its various forms.