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« on: October 10, 2017, 10:11:14 am »

It was Christianity's first win over the Muslim invaders of Christendom. It saved all of Europe [for the time being] from enslavement to Islam. It was the battle of tours, in France.

Islam had erupted out of the Arabian peninsula in the mid 7th century, and had quickly overrun the Christian governances of Egypt, the Middle East [Syria, Palestine],and the African littoral. Islam then turned its eyes on mainland Europe. The invasion came from western North Africa, via the island of Gibralter [a corruption of the Arabic 'Gibal al Tarik', the rock of Tarik (the invasion's leader)]. And from the Muslim point of view, it couldn't have come at a more opportune time.

Spain was ruled by the Visigoths, the same Visigoths who had pillaged Rome in the early 5th century. But the Visigoths weren't alone in Iberia. there were lesser kingdoms of Alans, and other former barbarians who had overridden the Western Roman Empire and had kept going, until they reached Iberia. And while the Visigoths were the preeminent rulers, they were engaged in internecine wars, both with other peoples,  and within their own ruling house. in short, they were easy pickings.

It didn't take long for the Muslims to occupy the entire peninsula, killing the Visigothic king in the process. And by the early 8th century, having organized Iberia into a series of their own kingdoms, they sent an army over the Pyrenees to their next target. what we today, call France.

By the time of the Muslim invasion, one tribe, the Franks, had become predominant in the area. And they were led by the Charles Martel ["The Hammer"]. The Franks were, at the time, expanding themselves, and when they collided with the Muslims at Tours, the fate of Europe may well have hung in the balance.

The Muslims were primarily a cavalry force. the Franks were mixed. But the Franks took up a defensive position on high ground, where the Muslim mobility was stalemated, and beat off the Muslim attackers, killing the governor of Cordoba in the process.

The result of the battle was twofold. First France, and with France Europe was saved. The Muslims in Spain never invaded again. Second, Martel's victory assured his house would rule the kingdom of the Franks. His son, Pepin, was the first of France's Carolingian kings. his grandson, Charlemagne, was the first Holy Roman Emperor.

You can get more with a smile, a handshake and a gun than you can with a smile and a handshake - Al Capone
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