Fergus Millar

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]


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

Early life

Millar was educated at Trinity College, Oxford (BA) and All Souls College, Oxford. 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, which he held until 1964.[3] In 1959 he married Susanna Friedmann, with whom he had three children.[4]

Academic career

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]


  • Millar, Fergus (1964). Study of Cassius Dio. Oxford University Press. p. 250 pages. ISBN 0-19-814336-2.
  • Millar, Fergus; Berciu, D (1967), The Roman Empire and its neighbours, London Weidenfeld & Nicolson, OCLC 264971844
  • Millar, Fergus (1967). Roman Empire and Its Neighbours. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 370 pages. ISBN 0-7156-1569-6.
  • Millar, Fergus (1977). The Emperor in the Roman World, 31 BC–AD 337. Cornell University Press. p. 657 pages. ISBN 0-8014-1058-4.
  • Millar, Fergus; Erich Segal (1984). Caesar Augustus: Seven Aspects. Clarendon Press. p. 221 pages. ISBN 0-19-814858-5.
  • Millar, Fergus (1993). The Roman Near East (31 BC–AD 337). Harvard University Press. p. 587 pages. ISBN 0-674-77886-3.
  • Millar, Fergus (1998). The Crowd in Rome in the Late Republic. University of Michigan Press. p. 236. ISBN 0-472-08878-5.
  • Millar, Fergus (2002). The Roman Republic in political thought. Hanover. p. 201 pages. ISBN 1-58465-199-7. Series: Menahem Stern Jerusalem lectures
  • Millar, Fergus; edited by Hannah M. Cotton and Guy M. Rogers (2002). Rome, the Greek World, and the East vol. 1: The Roman Republic and the Augustan Revolution. Chapel Hill. p. 383 pages. ISBN 0-8078-4990-1.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  • Millar, Fergus; edited by Hannah M. Cotton and Guy M. Rogers (2004). Rome, the Greek World, and the East vol. 2: Government, Society and Culture in the Roman Empire. Chapel Hill. p. 470 pages. ISBN 0-8078-5520-0.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  • Millar, Fergus; edited by Hannah M. Cotton and Guy M. Rogers (2006). Rome, the Greek World, and the East: Volume 3: The Greek World, the Jews, and the East. The University of North Carolina Press. p. 552 pages. ISBN 0-8078-5693-2.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  • Millar, Fergus (2006), A Greek Roman Empire : power and belief under Theodosius II (408–450), Univ. of California Press, cop, ISBN 978-0-520-24703-1

See also


  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. "Professor Sir Fergus Millar". All Souls College. University of Oxford. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  4. Bowman, Alan (30 July 2019). "Sir Fergus Millar obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  5. "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/9780199540884.001.0001/ww-9780199540884-e-27468. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Peter Brunt
Camden Professor of Ancient History, Oxford University
Succeeded by
Alan Bowman
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