Battle of Tours  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Battle of Tours (10 October 732) — also called the Battle of Poitiers and, by Arab sources, the Battle of the Palace of the Martyrs — was fought between Frankish and Burgundian forces under Charles Martel against an army of the Umayyad Caliphate led by 'Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, Governor-General of al-Andalus. It was fought in an area between the cities of Poitiers and Tours, in north-central France, near the village of Moussais-la-Bataille, about Template:Convert northeast of Poitiers. The location of the battle was close to the border between the Frankish realm and then-independent Aquitaine.

The Franks were victorious. 'Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi was killed, and Charles subsequently extended his authority in the south. Details of the battle, including its exact location and the number of combatants, cannot be determined from accounts that have survived. Notably, the Frankish troops won the battle without cavalry.

Ninth-century chroniclers, who interpreted the outcome of the battle as divine judgment in his favour, gave Charles the nickname Martellus ("The Hammer"). Later Christian chroniclers and pre-20th century historians praised Charles Martel as the champion of Christianity, characterizing the battle as the decisive turning point in the struggle against Islam, a struggle which preserved Christianity as the religion of Europe; according to modern military historian Victor Davis Hanson, "most of the 18th and 19th century historians, like Gibbon, saw Poitiers (Tours), as a landmark battle that marked the high tide of the Muslim advance into Europe." Leopold von Ranke felt that "Poitiers was the turning point of one of the most important epochs in the history of the world."

There is little dispute that the battle helped lay the foundations of the Carolingian Empire and Frankish domination of Europe for the next century. Most historians agree that "the establishment of Frankish power in western Europe shaped that continent's destiny and the Battle of Tours confirmed that power."

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Battle of Tours" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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