Keywords: Hegel, Philosophy of History, Universal History, Historiography.
For longer than a century it was widely accepted that Hegel's lectures - published during the decade after his death - were an adequate reflection of his thought. Over the last forty years, however, thanks to the discovery of the Nachschriften of the courses he gave in different years, scholars have wondered if his Berlin period (1818-1831) was characterized less by some definitive arrangement of ideas than by a steady and hard intellectual elaboration. Such a view has paved the way to significant results concerning the aesthetics and the philosophy of religion. The paper deals with what Hegel meant by philosophy of history, and suggests that a diachronic analysis of the Nachschriften sheds light also on his oscillations on the very role of the philosophy of history within his system of philosophy.