Paul Crawford : Professor tells television audience of battling knights

Historians in the News

History Channel viewers regularly tune in for information about a name from the past, a distant place or a forgotten age. Part history and part entertainment, it generally adds up to solid information.

It's not often that a university can boast that the on-camera expert is one of its own. That was the case recently when California University of Pennsylvania assistant professor Paul Crawford appeared on the "Lost Worlds" segment about the Knights Templar.

Dr. Crawford, 45, who has a doctorate in medieval history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was formerly a professor of medieval and early modern history at Alma College in Alma, Mich. Before that, he lectured in ancient and medieval history at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

As the newly hired assistant professor of ancient and medieval history at CalU, he teaches Western civilization, the Renaissance, the Reformation and the craft of history or, as he describes it, "how to be a historian."

Dr. Crawford spent two days filming the Knights Templar segment, highlighting the religious order of fighting monks. It has aired several times since its initial July screening. Traveling to Syria for the program, he visited castles used by the knights in the two days of filming in mid-February. About five minutes wound up on screen.

The unique thing about him is that he is so interested in the crusades and the Knights Templar that he is able to draw students in, said Laura Tuennerman, chairwoman of the university's Department of History and Social Science.

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Sandra N. Grisso - 10/17/2006

I am trying to find info. on a J. Relis that was a seneschal. I can't find any date for when he was a templar. He was on the listed for Palestina 1100's. Any idea where I could look further??