Friday, October 10, 2008

this day in history

Charles de Steuben's Bataille de Poitiers en Octobre 732 depicts a triumphant Charles Martel (mounted) facing Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi (right) at the Battle of Tours image: Wikimedia Commons

Muslim Invasions: Martel Triumphs at Tours:

October 10, 732 - Frankish and Muslim forces clash at the Battle of Tours. Moving north in 732, Muslim forces led by Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi proceeded to sack Aquitaine. To the north, the Frankish Mayor of the Palace, Charles Martel mobilized his army to meet the threat. Marching to position near Tours, Martel selected a high, wooded plain which would force the Umayyad cavalry to charge uphill. Forming a large square, his men surprised Abdul Rahman, forcing the Umayyad emir to pause for a week to consider his options. On October 10, the emir attacked Martel's position and was repeated repulsed. In the meantime, some of Martel's men infiltrated the Muslim camp. This led a large segment of Rahman's army to break off the battle in order to protect their plunder. Pursued by the Franks, the Muslim army was driven from the field. The victory at Tours marked the end of the Muslim invasions in Western Europe and preserved Christianity in the region.

Battle of Tours (aka Battle of Poitiers) wiki:

While modern historians are divided and there is considerable disagreement as to whether or not the victory was responsible — as Gibbon and his generation of historians claimed, and which is echoed by many modern historians — for saving Christianity and halting the conquest of Europe by Islam, there is little dispute that the battle helped lay the foundations of the Carolingian Empire and Frankish domination of Europe for the next century. "The establishment of Frankish power in western Europe shaped that continent's destiny and the Battle of Tours confirmed that power."

History of Europe: The Battle of Tours
Medieval Sourcebook: Arabs, Franks, and the Battle of Tours, 732: Three Accounts

No comments: