Jacques Le Goff Receives Heineken Prize

AHA Staff, May 2004

The noted French historian of the medieval world, Jacques Le Goff, 80, has been awarded the biennial Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for History by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Le Goff will receive the prize (of $150,000) at a special ceremony to be held on October 1, 2004, in Amsterdam, along with the winners of other Heineken Prizes awarded for excellence in the fields of art, biochemistry and biophysics, environmental sciences, and medicine.

Le Goff, who was formerly the director of studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and editor in chief of the journal, Annales, has written numerous books, some of which have been translated into English. These include The Medieval Imagination, History and Memory, Your Money or Your Life, and St. Francis of the Assisi. Aimed as much at the scholar as the educated public, Le Goff’s books are widely read and have influenced several generations of historians—and not just of medieval Europe.

Born in 1924, Le Goff joined the French Resistance during the Second World War. He became a history teacher in 1950 and came to the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in the early 1960s, where he succeeded his mentor, Fernand Braudel, as director of studies, and as editor of Annales. Le Goff is one of the pioneers of the movement to replace history of events with a history of mentalities.