Santa Clara University

History department

Peter Pierson


Peter Pierson


Lee & Seymour Graff Professor Emeritus
Professor Emeritus





Denison University, Granville, Ohio, 1950-52

University of California, Los Angeles. BA (Political Science), 1954; MA (History), 1963; PhD (History), 1966

Military Service

Active Duty 1954-58; USNR Officer: USS Intrepid 1956-57; Staff, Commander 2nd Fleet, 1957-58

Academic Affiliations

Santa Clara University (1966-2000)

Visiting Scholar, History, Stanford University (1987-2004)

Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning, University of San Francisco, Lecturer, 2001-present

Positions and Service, Santa Clara University

History Department Chair, 1988-1992

Chair, President's Lecture Series, 1981-1985

Santa Clara Faculty Senate: President, 1984-1985

Academic Honors and Grants

Fulbright Fellowship, Spain, 1964-1966

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 1974

American Philosophical Society, 1978

Santa Clara University, Summer Research Grant, 1982

Santa Clara University, Faculty Senate Professor for 1996-1997

Selected Publications

"A Commander for the Armada." Mariner's Mirror 55 (1969): 383-400

Philip II of Spain. London, Thames & Hudson, Ltd., 1975

"The Tragedy of Philip II." Opera News. 43, 24 February 1979,

"Ragusa and the Spanish Armada." Mariner's Mirror 67 (1981), 91-92

Felipe II de España. Mexico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1984. translation of Philip II of Spain.

Philipp II von Spanien. Graz, Styria Verlag, 1985; translation of Philip II of Spain, with new bibliographical material

Commander of the Armada: The Seventh Duke of Medina Sidonia. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1989.

"Philip II, the seventh duke of Medina Sidonia and the Infantes Moros: An Episode of the Hispano-Moroccan Frontier." Estudios en Homenaje a Don Claudio Sánchez-Albornoz en sus 90 años. Buenos Aires and Ávila, Instituto de Historia de España and Fundación "Claudio Sánchez Albornoz, 1990

"Music in the Reign of Louis XIV," in The Reign of Louis XIV: Essays in Honor of Andrew Lossky, Paul Sonino, ed. Atlantic Highlands, N.J., Humanities Press International, 1990

"Brethren of the Coast" [Spain and Caribbean Piracy], MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, vol 7, nº1 (1994), 1-21

"The Development of Spanish Naval Strategy and Tactics in the Sixteenth Century," Politics and Religion in Sixteenth Century Europe: Essays in Honor of DeLamar Jensen. Kirksville, Missouri, Sixteenth Century Studies, 1994

Entries "Charles V," "John ofAustria," "Lepanto," "Philip II of Spain," "Portugal." Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation, edited by Hans Hillerbrand. Oxford and New York, Oxford University Press, 1996.

"Elizabeth's Pirate Admiral" (Sir Francis Drake), MHQ: Quarterly Journal of Military History. v. 8, n. 4 (1996), 80-91

"Lepanto," MHQ: Quarterly Journal of Military History. v. 9, n. 2 (1997), 6-19

History of Spain, in series Histories of the Modern Nations, Westport, CT, Greenwood Press, 1999

"Carlos V, gobernante," and English insert"Carolus V Imperator, the Ruler." Carolus V Imperator, Barcelona and Madrid, Lunwerg, 1999

"Philip II: Imperial Obligations and Scientific Vision," The World ofDr. Francisco Hernández (c. 1515-1587), edited by Simon Varey, UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. 2 vols., Stanford University Press, 2001

"Thunderbolt of War," (Marquis of Santa Cruz), MHQ: Quarterly Journal of Military History vol. 13, n. 4 (Summer 2001)

Entries: "Armada, Spanish," "John of Austria" and "Lepanto," for Encyclopedia of the Renaissance, Paul Grendler, ed., New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001

Entries: "Estates and Country Houses;" "Habsburgs, Spanish;" "Isabel Clara Eugenia and Albert of Habsburg, archdukes of Austria;" "Juan of Austria;" "Medina Sidonia, 7th duke of;" "Netherlands, Austrian;" "Netherlands, Spanish;" "Parma, Alexander Farnese, duke of;" "Santa Cruz, 1st marquis of;" "Spain;" "Spanish Armada" for Europe 1450-1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World, edited by Jonathan DeWald. New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2003

Entries: "Cartagena, Columbia;" "Manila Galleon trade;" "Medina Sidonia, Alonso Pérez de Guzmán el bueno, 7th duke of," "Santa Cruz, Álvaro de Bazán, 1st marquis of," in Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History. Oxford University Press, 2007

Current Research

Don Juan of Austria (1547-1578)

Television Appearances

BBC (1988) "The Defeat of the Spanish Armada." (Also consultant)

History Channel (2000) "History's Mysteries: Why Did the Armada Lose?"

Printer-friendly format