The Battle of Tours (732): Saracens v. Charles Martel(688 - 742)

- by Charles Auguste Guillaume Steuben (1788 - 1856)

Grave stone of Charles Martel at St. Denis

The Battle of Tours (October 10, 732), also called the Battle of Poitiers. The battle pitted Frankish and Burgundian forces under Austrasian Mayor of the Palace Charles Martel against an army of the Umayyad Caliphate. The Franks were victorious. Ninth-century chroniclers, who interpreted the outcome of the battle as divine judgment in his favour, gave Charles the nickname Martellus ("The Hammer"), possibly recalling Judas Maccabeus ("The Hammerer") of the Maccabean revolt. As later chroniclers praised Charles Martel as the champion of Christianity, pre-20th century historians began to characterize this battle as being the decisive turning point in the struggle against Islam, a struggle which preserved Christianity as the religion of Europe.

Arabs, Franks, and the Battle of Tours, 732: Three Accounts