Jacques le Goff (1924-2014)

633611-histoire-le-goffJacques le Goff, medieval historian, has died at the age of ninety. I found his work really helpful while writing The Birth of Territory, and recently consulted his collection Hérésies et sociétés dans l’Europe pré-industrielle, 11e-18e siècles in which Foucault has a chapter. There are tributes at France Culture and Liberation.

This entry was posted in Medieval Studies, Michel Foucault and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Jacques le Goff (1924-2014)

  1. The most amazing point (if I dare say) is that he was on France Culture this Monday to discuss ‘La peur au Moyen Age’ or the question of ‘fear in the Middle-Age’ with guests Patrick Boucheron and Jean-Claude Schmitt. I listened to the podcast this Monday night, a very good theme for those interested in this question of fear in this era of middle age… Le Goff has been hosting a weekly history programme (Les Lundis de l’Histoire created in 1966) since 1968 with a focus on middle age and precisely on mentalities in this era (another but fascinating angle to approach this era).
    As the Guardian forthrightly writes, over a long and influence career in academia and public broadcasting, Le Goff “transformed views of the middle ages from a dark and backward time to a period that laid the foundations for modern western civilisation.’
    It is obvious that Philippe Levillain, another historian who has been collaborating to Les Lundis de l’Histoire with him for a long while now, will be in charged of Le Goff’s part (Les Lundis de l’Histoire are directed by feu Jacques Le Goff, Philippe LeVillain, Michelle Perrot, and Roger Chartier). At least that won’t surprise me…
    Toutes mes sincères condoléances Jacques Le Goff et merci pour ces si belles émissions…

    • stuartelden says:

      Thanks for this extra information Annick – I didn’t know about the media profile so much, just his books, some of which are in English and some I read in French. A major figure, and yes, he made a real influence in how important the Middle Ages were to modern thought. I found a lot of important elements of modern politics and geography in medieval thought, and people like him helped me to see that.

  2. palacky says:

    I have been listening to “Les Lundis de l’Histoire” and Jacques le Goff for 25 years now. This hourly discussion with other eminent historians was always very enlighting and I learnt a lot thanks to him. He was always talking to the non-specialists listener, asked simple questions and dealt with a wide variety of topics (not only mentalité, memory and culture his favourite topics).
    I would disagree with Annick on the point that co-presenter Philippe Levillain is a specialist of XIXth and XXth century (and religious studies) and he will not succeed Jacques le Goff for the weekly programm about The Middle Age. His former pupil Jean Claude Schmitt or an even younger scholar like Patrick Boucheron might be his successor. By coincidence they were his last guests on Monday (the program was recorded in Le Goff’s flat 2 weeks ago). It would be a nice “passage de témoin”. We shall see very soon …
    For your readers who never had the opportunity to listen to him here is a radio program recorded in 1996 when Jacques le Goff talked about the French king he knew the best, Louis IX (Saint Louis) : http://www.mediafire.com/listen/pclldaefejcxvfw/AGORA_19960226_LE_GOFF_SUR_SAINT_LOUIS.mp3

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