William Miller (historian)

William Miller, FBA (8 December 1864 – 23 October 1945) was a British-born medievalist and journalist.

William Miller
Born(1864-12-08)8 December 1864
Died23 October 1945(1945-10-23) (aged 80)
OccupationMedievalist

BiographyEdit

The son of a Cumberland mine owner, Miller was educated at Rugby School and Oxford, where he gained a double first, and was called to the bar in 1889, but never practised law.[1] He married Ada Mary Wright in 1895,[1] and in 1896 published The Balkans, followed in 1898 by Travels and Politics in the Near East.[2]

In 1903 he and his wife left England for Italy, and despite an effort by Ronald Burrows to recruit Miller as the first incumbent of the Chair of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language, and Literature at London University, he and his wife spent the rest of their lives abroad. They lived in Rome (at Via Palestro 36) until 1923, when Miller found Benito Mussolini's rise to power distasteful, and they moved to Athens.[1] There he was associated with the British School at Athens until the German invasion of Greece in 1941. During his time in Rome and Athens, Miller also served as correspondent of the Morning Post.[2]

Together the couple lived in the Ocean View Hotel in Durban, South Africa, for the rest of their lives. Miller died there in 1945, while Ada Mary surviving him by five years. They had no children.[1]

Miller was a fellow of the British Academy and foreign corresponding member of Academy of Athens.[2]

WorksEdit

Miller was particularly interested in the Frankish period of Greek history, covering the Crusader principalities established on Greek soil following the Fourth Crusade. He was among the most eminent scholars of the field in the early 20th century, and produced a number of "landmark" studies.[3]

Although his work displays a "romantic view of the Crusades and the Frankish expansion into the Eastern Mediterranean" typical of 19th-century Western trends on the subject,[4] and is considered "clearly outdated" given the research produced in recent decades, it has had a major influence and remains widely used to this day.[5] Particularly the 1908 The Latins in the Levant has "remained for decades the standard English-language narrative account of the period",[3] and is "still the main reference for undergraduates in search of information on medieval Greece".[5] Its influence has also been felt in Greece, where already in 1909–1910 the Greek scholar Spyridon Lambros issued an expanded Greek translation of the work.[5]

Selected bibliographyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Hetherington 2009, p. 153.
  2. ^ a b c Runciman St. "Miller, William". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/35024. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ a b Tsougarakis 2014, p. 9.
  4. ^ Tsougarakis 2014, pp. 8–9.
  5. ^ a b c Lock 2013, p. 31.

SourcesEdit