Monday, October 10, 2011

I did not know that

Here in the United States we are celebrating Columbus Day, but in France, the anniversary of a turning point in the history of Europe is noted.  The Battle of Tours happened on October 10, 732.  In that battle, a seemingly beaten Frankish army defeated an unbeaten Muslim army from the Andulusian caliphate, now known as Spain.

I'd read several accounts of the battle, but in glancing at the Wikipedia page I noticed something:  Tours is in the northwest corner of France, almost in Normandy.  Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi had marched across the Pyrenees and deep into Frankish territory before being turned back by Charles Martel and his Christian army.  To me, it was reminiscent of the penetrations the German army made in 1914 before being stopped by the Allies.

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Coincidentally, the king and queen of Spain, Ferdinand and Isabella, who financed Columbus' expedition, also forced the last of the Muslim rulers of Andulusia off of the Iberian peninsula in 1492.

So while we enjoy a day off to celebrate a European discovering the Caribbean Islands, let's take our hats off and drink a bit of wine to remember a battle that helped to stop the conversion by the sword of Europe over 700 years earlier.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks papa, I'm forwarding this to all my Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

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