Pavlovian fear conditioning is a phenomenon amenable to laboratory analysis of the neurobiology of fear and the investigation of neural mechanisms of learning and memory. Investigators have made much progress in delineating the neurocircuitry and neurochemistry of fear conditioning. The place of the hippocampus in context fear remains a controversial issue. In this review, we examine the evidence that the hippocampus plays a role in fear conditioning. We then critically examine hypotheses concerning its exact role in learning and memory for cued and context fear conditioning.