October 10…732: The Disputed Battle of Tours

I call it disputed because

1) Sources don’t tell us much about it actually, and what they do say is debatable (the eternally inflated numbers of history, conflicting details)

2) The importance of the battle has been estimated from world-changing to just another raid in a series of Muslim raids.

Things the photo below don’t necessarily say is that the battle was more a campaign lasting a good week or more, and the Franks were suprisingly well-armored. Charles Martel, the Christian leader, seems deliberately aiming at empire, which his grandson Charlemagne would actually found. There’s a distinct hint that what stopped the Arabs was the threat of loosing their war-won booty.

Would the whole world have been changed if the Franks lost at Tours? Hard to say, but the history of France and the Holy Roman Empire, at least, would have been different, if it existed at all.

From The Medieval World at War :


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