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The Battle of Tours

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Battle of Tours of 732, in which a Frankish army led by Charles Martel defeated an invading Arab force.

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.


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.

Available now

42 minutes

Last on

Thu 16 Jan 2014 21:30


Hugh Kennedy at SOAS, University of London


Rosamond McKitterick at the University of Cambridge


Matthew Innes at Birkbeck, University of London


Battle of Tours - Wikipedia





Paul Fouracre, The Age of Charles Martel (Routledge, 2000)


Paul Fouracre and Richard Gerberding (ed.), Late Merovingian France: History and Hagiography, 640-720 (Manchester University Press, 1996)


Richard Gerberding, The Rise of the Carolingians and the Liber Historiae Francorum (Clarendon Press, 1987)


Guy Halsall, Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450-900 (Routledge, 2003)


Matthew Innes, Introduction to Early Medieval Western Europe, 300-900: The Sword, the Plough and the Book (Routledge, 2007)


Hugh Kennedy, Muslim Spain and Portugal: A Political History of al-Andalus (Routledge, 1996)


Hugh Kennedy, The Great Arab Conquests: How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live In (Phoenix, 2008)


Rosamond McKitterick, The Frankish Kingdoms under the Carolingians, 751-987 (Longman, 1983)


Rosamond McKitterick (ed.), The New Cambridge Medieval History II c.700-c.900 (Cambridge University Press, 1995)


J. M. Wallace-Hadrill (trans.), The Fourth Book of the Chronicle of Fredegar with its Continuations (Oxford University Press, 1960)


Kenneth Wolf (trans.), Conquerors and Chroniclers of Early Medieval Spain (Liverpool University Press, 1999)


Ian Wood, The Merovingian Kingdoms, 450-751 (Routledge, 1993)



Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest Hugh Kennedy
Interviewed Guest Rosamond McKitterick
Interviewed Guest Matthew Innes
Producer Thomas Morris


  • Thu 16 Jan 2014 09:00
  • Thu 16 Jan 2014 21:30

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