Fergus Millar

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Sir Fergus Millar
Fergus Graham Burtholme Millar

(1935-07-05)5 July 1935
Died15 July 2019(2019-07-15) (aged 84)
Other namesF. G. B. Millar
EducationTrinity College, Oxford
All Souls College, Oxford
OccupationProfessor of ancient history

Sir Fergus Graham Burtholme Millar, FBA, FSA (/ˈmɪlər/; 5 July 1935 – 15 July 2019) was a British ancient historian and academic. He was Camden Professor of Ancient History at the University of Oxford between 1984 and 2002. He numbers among the most influential ancient historians of the 20th century.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Millar was educated at Trinity College, Oxford (BA) and fulfilled his National service in the aftermath of World War II. At Oxford he studied Philosophy and Ancient History, and received his Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) degree there in 1962. In 1958, he was awarded a Prize Fellowship to All Souls College, Oxford, which he held until 1964.[3] In 1959 he married Susanna Friedmann, with whom he had three children.[4]

Academic career[edit]

Millar began his academic career as a fellow of Queen's College, Oxford, from 1964 to 1976. He then moved to University College London where he was Professor of Ancient History between 1976 and 1984.[4] From 1984 until his retirement in 2002, he was Camden Professor of Ancient History at the University of Oxford.[5] While Camden Professor, he was a fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford.[3]

Millar served as editor of the Journal of Roman Studies from 1975 to 1979, and as president of the Classical Association for 1992/1993. He held various offices in the British Academy, to which he was elected a fellow in 1976.[6] He was chairman of the Council for Academic Autonomy (see also Anthony D. Smith), a group of academic activists who sought to promote academic freedom and the separation of universities and research institutions from state control.[7]

He was an authority in the field of ancient Roman and Greek history. His accolades included honorary doctorates from the University of Helsinki, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and elected memberships in foreign academies. His first book, A Study of Cassius Dio (1964), set the tone for his prolific scholarly production. He continued to produce important works, including The Roman Near East (31 BC – 337 AD) (1993), a path-breaking, non-Romano-centric treatment of this area. His further work included The Crowd in the Late Republic (1998) and The Roman Republic in Political Thought (2002).


Millar received the Kenyon Medal for Classics from the British Academy in 2005. He was knighted in the 2010 Queen's Birthday Honours.[8]

In 1976, Millar was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA), the United Kingdom's national academy for the humanities and social sciences.[5] He was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (FSA) in 1978.[9]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "History professor made a knight". BBC News. 12 June 2010. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  2. ^ Beard, Mary (17 July 2019). "Remembering Fergus Millar — on how to disagree". The Times Literary Supplement. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Professor Sir Fergus Millar". All Souls College. University of Oxford. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  4. ^ a b Bowman, Alan (30 July 2019). "Sir Fergus Millar obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Professor Sir Fergus Millar". The British Academy. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  6. ^ British Academy Register Archived 6 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ FGB Millar Academic freedom (Letter to the Editor). The Times 5 June 1990>
  8. ^ "No. 59446". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 June 2010. p. 1.
  9. ^ "Millar, Sir Fergus Graham Burtholme". Who's Who 2019. Oxford University Press. 1 December 2018. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U27468. Retrieved 17 July 2019.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by Camden Professor of Ancient History, Oxford University
Succeeded by