Today (maybe?) in European history: the Battle of Tours (732…I guess?)

Let’s get the big problem out in the open right up front: while October 10, 732, is the most commonly cited date upon which this battle, between the armies of the Umayyad Caliphate and a European coalition under the command of Frankish majordomo Charles Martel (d. 741), took place, there are a lot of reasons to think that it isn’t the correct date. As I explained the last time I wrote about Tours:


Nobody’s really sure if the battle actually took place on October 10. Christian accounts have the battle taking place on a Saturday, but October 10 was a Friday in 732. Islamic accounts, when they bother to mention the battle at all, say it took place during the month of Ramadan, and in 732 October 10 did not fall within Ramadan. October 25 is possible, but other historians actually argue that the battle took place on October 17, 733, even though that was a Tuesday, or at least “late October 733,” because the Arab commander who died at Tours, the Andalusian governor Abd al-Rahman al-Ghafiqi, may not even have been appointed to his post as of October 10, 732.

Source: Today (maybe?) in European history: the Battle of Tours (732…I guess?)


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