Wabash Professor Featured on History Channel Program

by Howard W. Hewitt

November 19, 2004

A Wabash College history professor was featured in a History Channel program Nov. 20.

Dr. Stephen Morillo, History Department Chair, was one of three professors commenting during the airing of Command Decisions. The episode was about the 1066 Battle of Hastings.

Morillo is widely considered one of the nation’s most authoritative sources on the battle. His 1996 book, The Battle of Hastings, Sources and Interpretations, is widely recognized as a definitive source on the historical clash.

"They got in touch with me at the end of summer and asked if I’d be willing to participate in the show," Morillo said. "The hook is they stop at various crucial points in the battle and ask the audience, ‘What would U do in this situation?’ "

The Battle of Hastings was the last time England was successfully invaded and conquered by a foreign army. The result was the establishment of common law and property rights, Morillo explains.

"You can make a claim that common law is the legal frame work of the rise of the industrial revolution and everything else," he said.

Morillo provides commentary to help move the story along and also checked the script prior to production for historical accuracy. The History Channel production team filed the interview on the Wabash Campus.

"It’s fun. It’s not a deep scholarly endeavor, but it's publicity for the college and publicity for me," Morillo said.

Besides leading the Wabash College history department, Morillo is a widely published author of historical books and articles. He has taught at Wabash since 1989. Prior to joining the faculty here, he taught at the University of Georgia and Loyola University, at New Orleans. He is a Rhodes Scholar and 1980 Magna cum laude graduate of Harvard.


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