January 16th, 2014
Episode 346 of 550 episodes
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. With: Hugh Kennedy Professor of Arabic at SOAS, University of London Rosamond McKitterick Professor of Medieval History at the University of Cambridge Matthew Innes Vice-Master and Professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London.