January 16th, 2014
Episode 347 of 540 episodes
The Battle of Tours took place in 732 when a large Arab army invaded Gaul from northern Spain. They were defeated near Poitiers by Charles Martel and his Frankish forces. 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. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Hugh Kennedy, Professor of Arabic at SOAS, University of London; Rosamond McKitterick, Professor of Medieval History at the University of Cambridge and Matthew Innes, Vice-Master and Professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London.
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