Download Two Accounts of the Battle of Pointers, 732: Chronicle of the Franks

yes no Was this document useful for you?
   Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the workof artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Document related concepts

Muslim conquest of the Levant wikipedia , lookup

Toledo School of Translators wikipedia , lookup

Latin translations of the 12th century wikipedia , lookup

Islamic Golden Age wikipedia , lookup

Visigothic Kingdom wikipedia , lookup

Medieval Muslim Algeria wikipedia , lookup

Muslim conquest of the Maghreb wikipedia , lookup

Umayyad conquest of Hispania wikipedia , lookup

Two Accounts of the Battle of Pointers, 732: Chronicle of the Franks
The defeat of the Saracen invaders of Frankish lands at Tours (more properly Poitiers) in 732 A.D. was a
turning point in history. It is not likely the Muslims, if victorious, would have penetrated, at least at once,
far into the north, but they would surely have seized South Gaul, and thence readily have crushed the
weak Christian powers of Italy.
Chronicle of St. Denis
The Muslims planned to go to Tours to destroy the Church of St. Martin, the city, and the whole country.
Then came against them the glorious Prince Charles, at the head of his whole force. He drew up his host,
and he fought as fiercely as the hungry wolf falls upon the stag. By the grace of Our Lord, he wrought a
great slaughter upon the enemies of Christian faith, so that---as history bears witness---he slew in that
battle 300,000 men, likewise their king by name Abderrahman. Then was he [Charles] first called
"Martel," for as a hammer of iron, of steel, and of every other metal, even so he dashed: and smote in the
battle all his enemies. And what was the greatest marvel of all, he only lost in that battle 1500 men. The
tents and harness [of the enemy] were taken; and whatever else they possessed became a prey to him and
his followers. Eudes, Duke of Aquitaine, being now reconciled with Prince Charles Martel, later slew as
many of the Saracens as he could find who had escaped from the battle.
Isidore of Beja's Chronicle
Then Abderrahman, [the Muslim emir] seeing the land filled with the multitude of his army, crossed the
Pyrenees, and traversed the defiles [in the mountains] and the plains, so that he penetrated ravaging and
slaying clear into the lands of the Franks. He gave battle to Duke Eudes (of Aquitaine) beyond the
Garonne and the Dordogne, and put him to flight---so utterly [was he beaten] that God alone knew the
number of the slain and wounded. Whereupon Abderrahman set in pursuit of Eudes; he destroyed palaces,
burned churches, and imagined he could pillage the basilica of St. Martin of Tours. It is then that he found
himself face to face with the lord of Austrasia, Charles, a mighty warrior from his youth, and trained in all
the occasions of arms.
For almost seven days the two armies watched one another, waiting anxiously the moment for joining the
struggle. Finally they made ready for combat. And in the shock of the battle the men of the North seemed
like North a sea that cannot be moved. Firmly they stood, one close to another, forming as it were a
bulwark of ice; and with great blows of their swords they hewed down the Arabs. Drawn up in a band
around their chief, the people of the Austrasians carried all before them. Their tireless hands drove their
swords down to the breasts [of the foe].
At last night sundered the combatants. The Franks with misgivings lowered their blades, and beholding
the numberless tents of the Arabs, prepared themselves for another battle the next day. Very early, when
they issued from their retreat, the men of Europe saw the Arab tents ranged still in order, in the same
place where they had set up their camp. Unaware that they were utterly empty, and fearful lest within the
phalanxes of the Saracens were drawn up for combat, they sent out spies to ascertain the facts. These spies
discovered that all the squadrons of the "Ishmaelites" had vanished. In fact, during the night they had fled
with the greatest silence, seeking with all speed their home land. The Europeans, uncertain and fearful,
lest they were merely hidden in order to come back [to fall upon them] by ambushments, sent scouting
parties everywhere, but to their great amazement found nothing. Then without troubling to pursue the
fugitives, they contented themselves with sharing the spoils and returned right gladly to their own
Two Accounts of the Battle of Pointers, 732: An Arab Chronicler
From 711 Muslim forces crossed the Straits of Gibraltar, conquered the Visigothic Kingdom, and in less
than a decade crossed the Pyrenees. In 732, under the command of Abd-er- rahman, they were decisively
defeated by Charles Martel and the Franks at the Battle of Poitiers [or Tours]. This event looms much
larger in Western history than Muslim - leading to a famous passage of purple prose by Edward Gibbon
about minarets rather than spires in Oxford if the Muslims had won. The event was notice the Muslim
world, however, and the following is from an Arab chronicle.
The Moslems smote their enemies, and passed the river Garonne, and laid waste the country, and took
captives without number. And that army went through all places like a desolating storm. Prosperity made
those warriors insatiable. At the passage of the river, Abderrahman overthrew the count, and the count
retired into his stronghold, but the Moslems fought against it, and entered it by force, and slew the count;
for everything gave way to their scimitars, which were the robbers of lives. All the nations of the Franks
trembled at that terrible army, and they betook them to their king Caldus [Charles Martel], and told him of
the havoc made by the Moslem horsemen, and bow they rode at their will through all the land of
Narbonne, Toulouse, and Bordeaux, and they told the king of the death of their count. Then the king bade
them be of good cheer, and offered to aid them. . . . He mounted his horse, and he took with him a host
that could not be numbered, and went against the Moslems. And he came upon them at the great city of
Tours. And Abderrahman and other prudent cavaliers saw the disorder of the Moslem troops, who were
loaded with spoil; but they did not venture to displease the soldiers by ordering them to abandon
everything except their arms and war-horses. And Abderrahman trusted in the valour of his soldiers, and
in the good fortune which had ever attended him. But such defect of discipline always is fatal to armies.
So Abderrabman and his host attacked Tours to gain still more spoil, and they fought against it so fiercely
that they stormed the city almost before the eyes of the army that came to save it; and the fury and the
cruelty of the Moslems towards the inhabitants of the city were like the fury and cruelty of raging tigers. It
was manifest that God's chastisement was sure to follow such excesses; and fortune thereupon turned her
back upon the Moslems.
Near the river Owar [Loire], the two great hosts of the two languages and the two creeds were set in array
against each other. The hearts of Abderrahman, his captains and his men were filled with wrath and pride,
and they were the first to begin to fight. The Moslem horsemen dashed fierce and frequent forward
against the battalions of the Franks, who resisted manfully, and many fell dead on either side, until the
going down of the sun. Night parted the two armies: but in the grey of the morning the Moslems returned
to the battle. Their cavaliers had soon hewn their way into the center of the Christian host. But many of
the Moslems were fearful for the safety of the spoil which they had stored in their tents, and a false cry
arose in their ranks that some of the enemy were plundering the camp; whereupon several squadrons of
the Moslem horsemen rode off to protect their tents. But it seemed as if they fled; and all the host was
troubled. And while Abderrahman strove to check their tumult, and to lead them back to battle, the
warriors of the Franks came around him, and he was pierced through with many spears, so that he died.
Then all the host fled before the enemy, and many died in the flight. . . .
Quoted from an unidentified Arabian in Edward Creasy, Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World Everyman's Library
(New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc.), 168-169
Two Accounts of the Muslim Conquest of Spain, 711:
The Chronicle of 754
The anonymous Latin Chronicle of 754 was written by a Christian living in al-Andalus during the second
generation after the conquest of 711. It was designed as an installment in the ongoing “universal
chronicle” begun in the fourth century and continued by John of Biclaro and Isidore of Seville during the
Muslim Conquest. Because the extent Arab histories of the Muslim Conquest post-date the event by
hundreds of years, the Chronicle of 754 is considered the single most important source of information on
the period of Muslim rule from the invasion to the eve of the establishment of the Umayyad emirate of
Cordoba in 756.
In Justinian’s time (Emperor Justinian II who ruled from 705-711 CE), in the aforesaid year, the
first year of his rule and the eighty-ninth of the Arabs, Walid (Umayyad Caliph in Damascus) held the
kingship among the Arabs. In Spain, Witiza continued to rule for his fifteenth year.
In Justinian’s time, in the era (709), in his fourth year as emperor and the ninety-first of the Arabs,
Walid received the scepter if the kingdoms of the Saracens, as his father had arranged, and fought various
peoples for four years. He was victorious and, endowed with great honors, exercised his rule for nine
years. He was a man of great prudence in deploying his armies to the extent that, though lacking in divine
favor, he crushed the forces of almost all neighboring peoples, made Romania (Asia Minor) especially
weak with constant raiding, nearly brought the islands to their destruction, raided and subdued the
territory of India, brought cities to utter destitution, besieged fortresses, and from the twisted paths of
Libya, subjugated all of Mauretania (when Muslim armies crossed North Africa into Morocco by 705). In
the western regions, Walid, through a general of his army by the name of Musa (Musa ibn Nusair),
attacked and conquered the kingdom of the Goths, which had been established with ancient solidity
almost 350 years ago from its foundation in the era (362) and which had been extended peacefully
throughout Spain from the time of Leovigild for almost 140 years up to the era (712), and having seized
the kingdom, he made it pay tribute.
In Justinian’s time, in the era (711), in his fourth year as emperor and the ninety-second of the
Arabs, with Wald retaining the scepter of the kingdom for the fifth year, Roderick rebelliously seized the
kingdom at the instigation of the senate (his palace officials). He ruled for only one year. Mustering his
forces, he directed his armies against the Arabs and the Moors sent by Musa, that is against Tariq ibn
Ziyad (Governor of Tangiers), who had long been raiding the province consigned to them and
simultaneously devastating many cities. In the fifth year of Justinians rule, the ninety-third of the Arabs,
and the sixth of Walid, in the era (712), Roderic headed for the Transductine Mountains to fight them and
in that battle the entire army of the Goths, which had come with him fraudulently and in rivalry out of
ambition for the kingship, fled and he was killed. Thus Roderic wretchedly lost not only his rule but his
homeland, his rivals also being killed, as Walid was completing his sixth year of rule.
In Justinian’s time, in the era (711), in his fourth year as emperor, the ninety-second year of the
Arabs, and the fifth of Walid, while Spain was being devastated by the aforesaid forces and was greatly
afflicted not only by the enemy but also by domestic fury, Musa himself, approaching the wretched land
across the straits of cadiz and pressing on the pillars of Hercules, which reveal the entrance to the port like
and index to a book or like keys in his hand revealing and unlocking the passage to Spain, entered the
long plundering and godlessly invasion of Spain to destroy it. After forcing his way to Toledo, the royal
city (where he joined up with Tariq ibn Ziyad), he imposed on the adjacent regions an evil and fraudulent
peace. He decapitated on the scafford those noble lords who had remained, arresting them in the flight
from Toledo with the help of Oppa, King Egica’s son. With Oppa’s support, he killed them all with the
sword. Thus he devastated not only Hispania Ulterior (outer Spain), but Hispania Citerior (Central
Spain), up to and beyond the ancient and once flouring city of Zaragoza, now, by the judgement of God,
openly exposed to the sword, famine, and captivity. He ruined beautiful cities, burning them with fire;
condemning lords and powerful men to the cross, and butchering youths and infants with the sword.
While he terrorized everyone in this way, some of the cities that remained sued for peace under duress
and, after persuading and mocking them with certain craftiness, the Saracens granted their requests
without delay. When the citizens subsequently rejected what they had accepted out of fear and terror,
they tried to flee to the mountains where they risked hunger and various forms of death. The Saracens set
up their savage kingdom in Spain, specifically in Cordoba, formerly a patrician see and always the most
opulent in comparison to the rest of the cities, giving it first fruits to the kingdom of the Visigoths.
In the era (712), in Justinian’s sixth year as emperor and the ninety-fourth of the Arabs, Musa,
after fifteen months had elapsed, was summoned by order of the princes and, leaving his son Abd al-Aziz
in his place, he returned to his homeland and presented himself to the king Walid in the last year of his
reign. Musa brought with him from Spain some noblemen who had escaped the sword; gold and silver,
assayed with zeal by the bankers; a large quantity of valuable ornaments, precious stones, and pearls;
ointments to kindle women’s desires; and many other things from the length and breath of Spain that
would be tedious to record. When he arrived, by God’s will he found Walid angry [Note: Walid was
very ill with a fever and died shortly after Musa’s return from Spain. Many historians agree that walid
was probably acting under the delirium of a high fever]. Musa was ignominiously removed from the
prince’s presences and paraded around with a rope around his neck.
At the same time, in the era (715), in Justinian’s ninth year as emperor and the ninety-seventh of
the Arabs, Abd al-Aziz pacified all of Spain for three years under the yoke of tribute. After he had taken
all the riches and positions of honor in Seville, as well as the queen of Spain, whom he joined in marriage,
and the daughters of kings and princes, whom he treated as concubine and then rashly repudiated, he was
eventually killed by a revolt of his own men while he was in prayer. After a month had passed, Al-Hurr
succeeded to the throne of Hesperia by order of the prince (Sulayman, the successor of Walid), who had
been informed of the death of Abd al-Aziz. The prince had also learned that Aziz, on the advice of queen
Egliona, wife of the late king Roderic, whom he had joined to himself, had tied to throw off the Arab
yoke from his neck and retain the conquered kingdom of Iberia for himself.
Source: "The textual transmission of the Chronicle of 754" by C.C. de Hartmann, Early Medieval Europe 8.1,
(March 1999:13-29).
Two Accounts of the Muslim Conquest of Spain, 711:
A History of the Conquest by Ibn Abd-el-Hakem
Musa Ibn Nosseyr sent his son Merwan to Tangiers, to wage a holy war upon her coast. Having,
then, exerted himself together with his friends, he returned, leaving to Tarik Ibn Amru the command of
his army which amounted to 1,700. . . . . . . . . . . When he approached Tangiers, he scattered his light
troops. On the arrival of his cavalry in the nearest province of Sus, he subdued its inhabitants, and made
them prisoners, they yielding him obedience. And he gave them a governor whose conduct was agreeable
to them. . . . . . . . Musa deposed the viceroy whom he bad placed over Tangiers, and appointed Tarik Ibn
Zeiyad governor. He, then, returned to Cairwan, Tarik with his female slave of the name Umm-Hakim
setting out for Tangiers. Tarik remained some time in this district, waging a holy war. This was in the
year 92 (710 CE).
The governor of the straits between this district and Andalus [Spain] was a foreigner called Ilyan,
Lord of Septa. He was also the governor of a town called Alchadra, situated on the same side of the straits
of Andalus as Tangiers. Ilyan was a subject of Roderic, the Lord of Andalus [King of Spain], who used to
reside in Toledo. Tarik ibn Zeiyad put himself in communication with Ilyan, and treated him kindly, until
they made peace with each other. Ilyan had sent one of his daughters to Roderic, the Lord of Andalus, for
her improvement and education; but she became pregnant by him. Ilyan having heard of this, said, I see
for him no other punishment or recompense, than that I should bring the Arabs against him. He sent to
Tarik, saying, I will bring thee to Andalus; Tarik being at that time in Tlemsen, and Musa Ibn Nossevr in
Cairwan. But Tarik said I cannot trust thee until thou send me a hostage. So be sent his two daughters,
having no other children. Tarik allowed them to remain in Tlemsen, guarding them closely. After that
Tarik went to Ilyan who was in Septa on the straits. The latter rejoicing at his coming, said, I will bring
thee to Andalus. But there was a mountain called the mountain of Tarik between the two landing places,
that is, between Septa and Andalus. When the evening came, Ilyan brought him the vessels, in which he
made him embark for that landing-place, where he concealed himself during the day, and in the evening
sent back the vessels to bring over the rest of his companions. So they embarked for the landing-place,
none of them being left behind: whereas the people of Andalus did not observe them, thinking that the
vessels crossing and recrossing were similar to the trading vessels which for their benefit plied backwards
and forwards. Tarik was in the last division which went across. He proceeded to his companions, Ilyan
together with the merchants that were with him being left behind in Alchadra, in order that he might the
better encourage his companions and countrymen.
The news of Tarik and of those who were with him, as well as of the place where they were,
reached the people of Andalus. Tarik, going along with his companions, marched over a bridge of
mountains to a town called Cartagena. He went in the direction of Cordova. Having passed by an island in
the sea, he left behind his female slave of the name of Umm-Hakim, and with her a division of his troops.
That island was then called Umm-Hakim. When the Moslems settled in the island, they found no other
inhabitants there, than vinedressers. They made them prisoners.
According to Arab prophecy: There was a house in Andalus, the door of which was secured with
padlocks, and on which every new king of the country placed a padlock of his own, until the accession to
power of the king against whom the Moslems marched. They therefore begged him to place a padlock on
it, as the kings before him were want to do. But he refused saying, I will place nothing on it, until I shall
have known what is inside. He then ordered it to be opened; but behold inside were portraits of the Arabs,
and a letter in which it was written: "When this door shall be opened, these people will invade this
When Tarik landed, soldiers from Cordova came to meet him; and seeing the small number of his
companions they despised him on that account. They then fought. The battle with Tarik was severe. They
were routed, and he did not cease from the slaughter of them till they reached the town of Cordova. When
Roderic heard of this, he came to their rescue from Toledo. They then fought in a place of the name of
Shedunia, in a valley which is called this day the valley of Umm-Hakim [on July 11, 711, at the mouth of
the Barbate river]. They fought a severe battle; but Allah, both mighty and great, killed Roderic and his
companions. Mugheyth Errumi, a slave of Welid (Umayyad caliph of Damascus), was then the
commander of Tarik's cavalry. Mugheyth Errumi went in the direction of Cordova, while Tarik passed
over to Toledo.
When Tarik arrived at Toledo, he entered it, and asked for the table of Suleyman Ibn Dawid,
having nothing else to occupy himself. This, as the men of the Bible relate, was the table of Suleyman Ibn
Dawid, may the blessing of Allah be upon him. Andalus [Spain], having been conquered for Musa Ibn
Nosseyr, Tarik believed that he should take from it the table of Suleyman Ibn Dawid, and the crown.
Tarik was told that the table - was in a citadel called Faras, two days' journey from Toledo, and the
governor of this citadel was a nephew of Roderic. Tarik, then, wrote to him, promising safetv both for
himself and family. The nephew descended from the citadel, and Tarik fulfilled his promise with
reference to his safety. Tarik said to him, deliver the table, and he delivered it to him. On this table were
gold and silver, the like of which no one had not seen. Tarik, then, took off one of its legs together with
the pearls and the gold it contained, and fixed to it a similar leg. The table was valued at two hundred
thousand dinars, on account of the pearls that were on it. He took up the pearls, the armor, the gold, the
silver, and the vases which he had with him, and found that quantity of spoils, the like of which one had
not seen. He collected all that. Afterwards he returned to Cordova, and having stopped there, he wrote to
Musa Ibn Nossevr informing him of the conquest of Andalus, and of the spoils which he had found.
Musa then wrote to Welid Abd Ed-Malik' (Caliph of Damascus) informing him of that, and
throwing himself upon his mercy. Musa wrote to Tarik ordering him not to leave Cordova until he should
come to him. And he reprimanded him very severely. Afterwards Musa Ibn Nosseyr set out for Andalus,
in Rajab of the year 93 (711 CE), taking with him the chiefs of the Arabs, the commanders, and the
leaders of the Berbers to Andalus. He set out being angry with Tarik, and took with him Habib Ibn Abi
Ubeida Elfihri, and left the government of Cairwan to his son Abd Allah who was his eldest son. He then
passed through Alchadra, and afterwards went over to Cordova. Tarik then met him, and tried to satisfv
him, saving: "I am merely thy slave, this conquest is thine." Musa collected of the monev a sum, which
exceeded all description and Tarik delivered to him all that he had plundered.
Source: History of the Conquest of Spain, by Ibn Abd-el-Hakem, trans. by John Harris Jones (Gottingen, W. Fr.
Kaestner, 1858), pp. 18-22