The Battle of Tours

16 Jan, 2014 940 History of Europe

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Battle of Tours. In 732 a large Arab army invaded Gaul from northern Spain, and travelled as far north as Poitiers. There they were defeated by Charles Martel, whose Frankish and Burgundian forces repelled the invaders. The result confirmed the regional supremacy of Charles, who went on to establish a strong Frankish dynasty. The Battle of Tours was the last major incursion of Muslim armies into northern Europe; some historians, including Edward Gibbon, have seen it as the decisive moment that determined that the continent would remain Christian.

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  • Hugh Kennedy 11 episodes
    Professor of Arabic at SOAS, University of London
  • Rosamond McKitterick No other episodes
    Professor of Medieval History at the University of Cambridge
  • Matthew Innes 2 episodes
    Vice-Master and Professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London

Reading list

  • The Age of Charles Martel
    Paul Fouracre (Routledge, 2000) Google Books →
  • Late Merovingian France: History and Hagiography, 640-720
    Paul Fouracre and Richard Gerberding (ed.) (Manchester University Press, 1996) Google Books →
  • The Rise of the Carolingians and the Liber Historiae Francorum
    Richard Gerberding (Clarendon Press, 1987) Google Books →
  • Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450-900
    Guy Halsall (Routledge, 2003) Google Books →
  • Introduction to Early Medieval Western Europe, 300-900: The Sword, the Plough and the Book
    Matthew Innes (Routledge, 2007) Google Books →
  • Muslim Spain and Portugal: A Political History of al-Andalus
    Hugh Kennedy (Routledge, 1996) Google Books →
  • The Great Arab Conquests: How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live In
    Hugh Kennedy (Phoenix, 2008) Google Books →
  • The Frankish Kingdoms under the Carolingians, 751-987
    Rosamond McKitterick (Longman, 1983) Google Books →
  • The New Cambridge Medieval History II c.700-c.900
    Rosamond McKitterick (ed.) (Cambridge University Press, 1995) Google Books →
  • The Fourth Book of the Chronicle of Fredegar with its Continuations
    J. M. Wallace-Hadrill (trans.) (Oxford University Press, 1960)
  • Conquerors and Chroniclers of Early Medieval Spain
    Kenneth Wolf (trans.) (Liverpool University Press, 1999) Google Books →
  • The Merovingian Kingdoms, 450-751
    Ian Wood (Routledge, 1993) Google Books →

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Programme ID: b03pm7dv

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Auto-category: 944.01 (France - History - Middle Ages, 987-1515)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In the first half of the 8th century, an army from Arab Spain invaded Gaul and reached as far north as Poitiers in central France.