History Wednesday: Why Care About The Battle of Tours

10 Oct

Wednesday Church History: Why Care About The Battle of Tours

On this day in church history in 732, Charles Martel (“Charles the Hammer”–sounds like a modern lawyer, doesn’t he?) won the Battle of Tours which turned back the Moors/European Muslims from France (and thus mainland Europe), leaving them mainly in Spain (the Iberian Peninsula) for the next 700 years till the time of Ferdinand and Isabella, the Catholic Monarchs.

Some interesting parts of this story:

1) Charles Martel was Charlemagne’s grandfather.  Charlemagne tried to restore the Roman Empire under the title of the “Holy Roman Empire” (since it was now Catholic, not pagan anymore).

2) The anniversary of Charles Martel’s victory falls two days after we celebrated Columbus Day this year.  It was Ferdinand and Isabella who financed Columbus’s expedition, 700 years after Charles Martel.  They overcame the last Moorish/Muslim resistance in Europe and expelled the Moors from Spain in 1492.  They also expelled the Jews from Spain that same year.  And Columbus sailed that year, of course.

3) Ferdinand and Isabella began the Inquisition in Spain, its main location.  Their granddaughter, Bloody Mary of England (daughter of King Henry VIII and the Spanish princess Catherine of Aragon), began the Inquisition in England.  Her inquisitorial activities provide much of the substance of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.

4)  You always knew all of European royalty was related, right?  This is all just proof, eh?


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