Today (maybe) in European history: the Battle of Tours (probably 732)

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 the Battle of Tours (Poitiers) was fought, between the Umayyad Caliphate and a European coalition under the command of Frankish majordomo Charles Martel (d. 741), there are a lot of reasons… Continue reading Today (maybe) in European history: the Battle of Tours (probably 732)

Today in Central Asian history: the Battle of the Baggage (737)

In the waning years of the Umayyad dynasty, a caliphal army suffered a major defeat in an area that is now part of Afghanistan to a Turkish people called the Turgesh. The defeat was serious enough to disrupt caliphal control of the region called Transoxiana (“across the Oxus River,” which is today better known as… Continue reading Today in Central Asian history: the Battle of the Baggage (737)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Marj Rahit (684)

The early caliphate was not an especially stable place. In the two centuries after Muhammad’s death in 632, the empire went through four fitnas, or civil wars. It’s fair to say that the second of these, which lasted from 680 to 692, was really almost a do over of the first, with the same factions… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Marj Rahit (684)

Today in European history: the Siege of Constantinople begins (maybe, 717) and ends (718)

Before it fell for good to the Ottomans in 1453, the city of Constantinople withstood something like a dozen sieges by foreign armies over its long history. The one successful siege, by the soldiers of the Fourth Crusade in 1204, was of course eventually rolled back when the Latin Empire went defunct in 1261. But… Continue reading Today in European history: the Siege of Constantinople begins (maybe, 717) and ends (718)

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

Today in Central Asian history: the Battle of the Baggage (737)

In the waning years of the Umayyad dynasty, a caliphal army suffered a major defeat in an area that is now part of Afghanistan, to a Turkish people called the Turgesh. The defeat was serious enough to disrupt caliphal control of the region called Transoxiana (literally “across the Oxus River,” which is today known as… Continue reading Today in Central Asian history: the Battle of the Baggage (737)