Happy Birthday Charles Martel

Today is the traditional birthday of Charles Martel (born circa. 688), better known as the grandfather of Charlemagne - and founder of the eponymous Carolingian dynasty that ruled France.

Martel himself exerted power over France as Mayor of the Palace although he did not reign as king (his son Pepin the Short was the first of the dynasty to take the title). Martel was offered the title of Consul of Rome by the pope, though he did not accept it as there was already a Byzantine-appointed holder of that office; although we tend to think of there being a whole curia of would-be and former consuls, clearly by this point there was only one.

Despite his lack of these formal titles, Martel was a great man who changed European history - most notably by his victory at the Battle of Tours in 732, which stopped the advance of Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi and his armies from Muslim Spain. The Umayyad made another attempt to invade France in 735, but it was to be their last. Thanks to Martel Islam spread no further than Spain, and the rest of Western Europe remained Christian.


  1. Tis nice to read your voice again. Welcome back!

  2. Glad your back. Hope you are well, or at least getting better.


I do not moderate comments, but I remove spam, overt self-promotion ("read [link] my much better post on this") and what I consider hate speech (racism, homophobia etc).

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.