Bloch, Marc

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Bloch, Marc

(blôk), 1886–1944, French historian and an authority on medieval feudalism. He taught at the Univ. of Strasbourg from 1919, became professor at the Sorbonne in 1936, and was cofounder of the journal Annales. Bloch did much to promote the study of economic history. As a Jew, he was subject to German restrictions during World War II. He joined the French Resistance in Lyon in 1942, helping to publish the newspaper Franc-Tireur, a name adopted by the Resistance forces in the region. His activities led to his execution by the Germans. His Strange Defeat (tr. 1949) describes wartime France. Among Bloch's major works are The Historian's Craft (tr. 1953) and French Rural History (tr. 1966). His Feudal Society (tr. 1961) is a brilliant synthesis of the subject.

Bloch, Marc


Born July 6, 1886, in Lyon; died near there, June 16, 1944. French historian.

Bloch studied at the École Normale Supérieure and completed his education (1908–09) at the universities of Leipzig and Berlin. He was a professor at the University of Strasbourg from 1919 to 1936; later, he was a professor at the Sorbonne. During the German occupation of France, Bloch was an active participant in the Resistance movement; he was shot by the Gestapo.

In specific historical works, Bloch gave the most profound treatment in bourgeois scholarship of Western European feudalism as an integrated social system, on the basis of generalization from a great quantity of factual material. In 1929, Bloch and L. Fèvre founded and directed the journal Annales d’histoire économique et sociale (now Annales: Economies, Sociétés, Civilisations), which strengthened the study of socioeconomic history in France and promoted a more extensive use in historical research of materials from related disciplines (psychology, geography, economics, statistics, and others). The learned school which was formed around Bloch during the 1930’s is still influential in contemporary historiography (especially in the study of the Middle Ages and the modern period).


Les Caracteres originaux de l’histoire rurale française, vols. 1–2. Oslo-Paris, 1931–56. In Russian translation: Kharakternye cherry frantsuzskoi agrarnoi istorii, vol. 1. Moscow, 1957.
Apologie pour l’histoire. . . . Paris, 1949.
La Société féodale. [Paris, 1968.]
Melanges historiques, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1963. (Bibliography of Bloch’s works, vol. 2, pp. 1031–1104.)


Kon, I. S., and A. D. Liublinskaia. “Trudy frants. istorika M. Bloka.” Voprosy istorii, 1955, no. 8.


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