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Victor Duruy

Jean Victor Duruy (11 September 1811 – 25 November 1894) was a French historian and statesman.

Duruy was born in Paris, the son of a factory worker, and at first intended for his father's trade. Having passed brilliantly through the École Normale Supérieure, where he studied under Jules Michelet, he accompanied Michelet as secretary in his travels through France, supplying for him at the École Normale in 1836, when only twenty-four. Ill-health forced him to resign, and poverty caused him to undertake an extensive series of school textbooks which made him well known.

He devoted himself to secondary school education, holding his chair in the College Henri IV at Paris for over a quarter of a century. Already known as a historian by his Histoire des Romains et des peuples soumis à leur domination (7 vols, 1843–1844), he was chosen by Napoleon III to assist him in his biography of Julius Caesar, and his abilities being thus brought under the emperor's notice, he was in 1863 appointed minister of education. In this position he worked incessantly, attempting broad and liberal reforms which aroused the bitter hostility of the clerical party. Ironically, despite open domestic opposition to his views in education, in 1868, he was instrumental in the reformation of Galatasaray High School in strict concordance with his secular views, as the first Western-style state higher education institution in Ottoman Empire.

Among his measures were the reorganization of higher education (enseignement spécial), the foundation of the conférences publiques, which became universal throughout France, and of a course of secondary education for girls by lay teachers. He introduced modern history and modern languages into the curriculum both of the lycées and of the colleges. He greatly improved the state of primary education in France, and proposed to make it compulsory and free of charge, but failed to obtain the emperor's support for this move. In the new cabinet that followed the elections of 1869, Duruy was replaced by Louis Olivier Bourbeau, and was made a senator. After the fall of the Empire he took no part in politics, except for an unsuccessful candidacy for the senate in 1876. From 1881 to 1886 he served as a member of the Conseil Supérieur de l'Instruction Publique. In 1884 he was elected to the Académie française in succession to François Mignet.

As an historian Duruy aimed in his earlier works at a graphic and picturesque narrative which should make his subject popular. His fame, however, rests mainly on the revised edition of his Roman history, which appeared in a greatly enlarged form in 5 vols. under the title of Histoire des Romains depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu'à la mort de Théodose (1879–1885), a really great work; a magnificent illustrated edition was published from 1879 to 1885 (English translation by WJ Clarke, in 6 vols., 1883–1886). His Histoire des Grecs, similarly illustrated, appeared in 3 volumes from 1886 to 1891 (English translation in 4 volumes, 1892). He was the editor, from its commencement in 1846, of the Histoire universelle, publiée par une société de professeurs et de savants, for which he himself wrote a "Histoire sainte d'après la Bible," "Histoire grecque," "Histoire romaine," "Histoire du moyen âge," "Histoire des temps modernes," and "Abrégé de l'histoire de France."

His other works include Atlas historique de la France accompagné d'un volume de texte (1849); Histoire de France de 1453 à 1815 (1856), of which an expanded and illustrated edition appeared as Histoire de France depuis l'invasion des Barbares dans la Gaule romaine jusqu'à nos jours (1892); Histoire populaire de la France (1862–1863); Histoire populaire contemporaine de la France (1864–1866); Causeries de voyage: de Paris à Vienne (1864); and Introduction générale à l'histoire de France (1865).

A memoir by Ernest Lavisse appeared in 1895 under the title of Un Ministre: Victor Duruy. See also the notice by Jules Simon (1895), and Portraits et souvenirs by Gabriel Monod (1897).

References[edit]


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40 news items

 
Reading Eagle
Sat, 28 Jun 2014 21:09:55 -0700

Who he is: Great-great-grandson of Fiat founder Giovanni Agnelli; chairman of Fiat's board of directors; chairman and CEO of Exor, an investment company controlled by the Agnelli family; chairman of global real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield; and ...
 
Le JSL
Thu, 17 Jul 2014 20:00:00 -0700

Découvrir un univers imprégné de légèreté, d'humour et d'optimisme au travers des “Sylouettes” de Sylvie Lemarchand c'est aller à la rencontre d'une autodidacte très inspirée qui a développé un travail figuratif, à mi-chemin entre la peinture et l ...
 
leJDD.fr
Mon, 21 Jul 2014 03:30:00 -0700

Fabienne Servan-Schreiber poursuit ses études à Sainte-Marie-des-Invalides puis au lycée Victor-Duruy. "J'ai adoré étudier. Je restais le soir à l'école à Sainte-Marie, en quatrième, pour retarder le moment d'arriver à la maison où l'ambiance était aux ...

Sud Ouest

Sud Ouest
Fri, 18 Jul 2014 20:56:09 -0700

L'ancienne équipe de « footeux » du lycée Victor-Duruy se reforme vingt-et-un ans après. Chaude ambiance pour les retrouvailles, ce soir, à 20 h 33, à la péña A Los Toros. Parmi les expatriés du Sud-Ouest, c'est peut-être Sandrine qui a fait le plus de ...

Sud Ouest

Sud Ouest
Fri, 18 Jul 2014 03:08:05 -0700

"Albert a pris le chemin de randonnée, nous allons le chercher avec une bétaillère", ont annoncé avec soulagement ses propriétaires. Ce vendredi après-midi, ils l'ont récupéré "tranquillement couché dans une châtaigneraie". Il est désormais rentré au ...
 
Sud Ouest
Thu, 17 Jul 2014 22:08:39 -0700

L'ancienne équipe de « footeux » du lycée Victor-Duruy se reforme vingt-et-un ans après. Chaude ambiance pour les retrouvailles, ce soir, à 20 h 33, à la péña A Los Toros. Parmi les expatriés du... Lucas Thirant : « Les gens d'ici ont l'habitude que ...

Sud Ouest

Sud Ouest
Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:30:00 -0700

Plus jamais ça » pouvait on lire sur la pancarte brandie par Céline Thibaudeau, institutrice à Saint-Cybard (école Victor-Duruy). C'est elle qui a relayé en Charente l'appel national lancé sur Facebook pour rendre hommage à l'institutrice poignardée à ...

Sud Ouest

Sud Ouest
Thu, 10 Jul 2014 22:10:28 -0700

'histoire retiendra que Marie-Anne Sénéjoux, âgée de 53 ans, fut la première femme à diriger le lycée professionnel André-Campa, de 2010 à 2014. Aujourd'hui, Madame la Proviseur classe les dossiers et boucle ses valises car elle quitte le Béarn.
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