MacArthur Fellows Program

Peter N. Miller

Intellectual Historian | Class of 1998

Intellectual Historian
Washington, District of Columbia
34 at time of award
Published July 1, 1998

About Peter's Work

Peter Miller is a scholar of early-modern, European, intellectual history who works at the intersections of political thought, historical writing, moral philosophy, biblical studies, philology, and the arts.

Miller’s work examines issues of cultural diversity and historiography as they affected European thought at the beginning of the seventeenth century. This research centers on Nicolas-Claude de Peiresc (1580-1637), whose philological and ethnographical inquiries into the history and culture of Egypt and the Ottoman Empire helped to create ‘Orientalism’ as a distinct field of study in the West. In other research, Miller explores how intellectual disciplines emerged after the demise of the medieval organization of knowledge. In addition to Latin and a range of modern European languages, he has training in biblical and rabbinical history, and in Hebrew and Aramaic--languages central to Peiresc’s efforts to reconstruct the cultural history of the ancient Mediterranean.


Miller is a professor at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture. He is the author of Defining the Common Good: Empire, Religion, and Philosophy in Eighteenth-Century Britain (1994) and Peiresc's Europe: Learning and Virtue in the Seventeenth Century (2000).

Miller received a B.A. (1986) from Harvard College, an M.A. (1987) from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. (1990) from the University of Cambridge.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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