Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

After the fall of Ramadi and Palmyra: Did the West underestimate the jihadists? (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Migrants and immigrants: A global crisis (part 1)

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

"French cinema triumphs"

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Is China creating a tech start-up bubble?

Read more

ENCORE!

The Little Prince on the big screen

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

At least 3 dead in grenade attack in Bujumbura

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Inequality, sexism and the movie industry

Read more

ENCORE!

Sienna Miller on motherhood, her new movies and Cannes glamour

Read more

Culture

Prominent French historian Jacques Le Goff dies at 90

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-04-01

Jacques Le Goff, one of the most influential medieval historians of modern times, died on Tuesday in a Paris hospital at the age of 90.

Over the course of his lengthy career in academia and public broadcasting, Le Goff has been credited with changing the way people looked at the Middle Ages, construing it as a period that laid the foundations for modern Western civilisation rather than a time of darkness.

He was a leading proponent of what has come to be known as “New History”—the shift in historical research from emphasis on political figures and events to mentality and anthropology.

Outside the world of academia, Le Goff hosted a weekly history programme on France Culture public radio and even acted as a historical advisor on films, including the 1986 adaption of Umberto Eco’s “The Name of the Rose,” which starred Sean Connery.

Born January 1, 1924 in Toulon, Le Goff studied in top tier schools before taking a teaching position and eventually heading up the Paris-based School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS).

He was editor-in-chief of the highly influential journal “Annales”—the bible of historians who stress long-term social research.

His many books included works on intellectuals of the Middle Age, bankers and merchants, a biography of King Louis IX and a seminal work on the introduction of the concept of Purgatory.

“By transforming our view of the Middle Ages, you have changed the way we deal with history,” Le Goff was told when awarded the prestigious Dr. A.H. Heineken prize for history in 2004, whose jury described him as “without doubt the most influential French historian alive today”.

As a young researcher in Prague, Le Goff witnessed the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia in 1948 and throughout his life he was a frequent commentator on current events, as a committed left-winger, agnostic and pro-European.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

 

Date created : 2014-04-01

COMMENT(S)