French historian Jacques Le Goff, promoter and then president of the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, has passed away. The library likes to remember his magistral work on the medieval roots of European society, brilliantly summarized, for example, in this excerpt from the introduction to The Birth of Europe (English translation of his L’Europe est elle née au Moyen age?). The volume is part of the series The making of Europe, of which he was the editor:
The middle ages manifested, and frequently embodied, the major real or supposed features of Europe: these include the combination of a potential unity and a fundamental diversity, the mixing [métissage] of populations, West-East and North-South oppositions, the indefinite nature of its eastern frontier and, above all, the unifying role of culture.
For our colleagues in libraries, here is the ‘notice d’autorité’ on Jacques Le Goff at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.