LAVISSE, ERNEST (1842-1922), French historian, was born at Nouvion-en-Thierache, Aisne, on Dec. 17, 1842, and died in Paris on Aug. 18, 1922. He was educated at the Ecole Normale Superieure, and after working as private secretary to Victor Duruy for a time, he returned there in 1876 as maitre de conference, suc ceeding Fustel de Coulanges. In 1883 he was appointed assistant professor of modern history at the Sorbonne, and in 1888 full professor. In this post, and as director of the Ecole Normale (1904-19), after its incorporation in the University of Paris, he played an important part in the revival of higher studies in France after 1871, and showed himself to be not only a brilliant historian but also an extraordinarily able organizer and teacher. On his retirement in 1919 he was made honorary director of the Ecole Normale.
His thesis for his doctor's degree in 1875, a study on the origin of the Prussian monarchy, was crowned by the Academy in 1879, in which year he published his Etudes sur l'histoire de la Prusse.
Other works on German history were Trois empereurs d'Alle magne (1888), La Jeunesse du grand Frederic (1891, Eng. trans. 1891) and Frederic II. avant son avenement (1893) ; but Lavisse is best known for the Histoire generale du IVe siecle jusqu' a nos jours (1893-1901, 12 vols.), which he edited with his friend Alfred Rambaud, and for the Histoire de France depuis les origines jusqu'd la Revolution (1908-11, 9 vols.). His greatest work was completed in the Histoire de France contemporaine depuis la Revolution jusqu' a la paix de 1919 (192o-22, 10 vols.), of which he was also the editor. Lavisse was admitted to the Academie Francaise in 1892, and after the death of James Darmesteter, became editor of the Revue de Paris (1894).