Talk:Battle of Tours

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Former good articleBattle of Tours was one of the History good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
June 17, 2007Good article nomineeListed
November 16, 2007Good article reassessmentDelisted
On this day...Facts from this article were featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on October 10, 2004, October 10, 2005, October 10, 2006, October 10, 2007, October 10, 2008, October 10, 2009, October 10, 2010, and October 10, 2011.
Current status: Delisted good article

Useless Victor Davis Hansen quote[edit]

Adds nothing to the article. Did someone here have him as a professor and just wanted to include him to get him in a Wiki article? Hansen isn't an authority in any subject, let alone Medieval European battles. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:18, 10 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hansen isn't an authority in any subject?
As can be seen from my other posts on this talk page I'm hardly a fan of Hanson's best known work, "Carnage and Culture". I would, however, not be dismissive when it comes to Hanson's writings on what he seems to be well versed in, namely Classical Greece and in particular its warfare.
Mojowiha (talk) 17:36, 5 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Old talk[edit]

Fri August 31st, 2007 I am reading Ivan Gobry ‘s book : Charlemagne, fondateur de l’Europe (Edition du Rocher) On page 22, Ivan reports: Cette memorable journee fut celled u Samedi 17 Octobre 733. La date traditionnelle de 732, apprise par tous les ecoliers ne figure que dans la Chronique de Moissac, redigee au IX siecle. Les autres auteurs indique celle de 733. Les historiens arabes celle de l’an 115 de l’hegire qui est l’equivalent de 733. He insiste that Charles could not have enrolled his army a year earlier and that Charles was reported to strategically waited for the “Sarrasins” to waste their power and ambition enjoying their plunder and the women they raped. PierreC9

Ivan is a religious historian, and a sub-par one at that. The Saracens(note) would have easily established motive dominance and prime positioning had Martel followed that time table. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:34, 10 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

GA Sweeps Review: Delisted[edit]

In order to uphold the quality of Wikipedia:Good articles, all articles listed as Good articles are being reviewed against the requirements of the GA criteria as part of the GA project quality task force. Unfortunately, as of November 16, 2007, this article fails to satisfy the criteria, as detailed below. For that reason, the article has been delisted from WP:GA. However, if improvements are made bringing the article up to standards, the article may be nominated at WP:GAN.

Although the article currently has a good number of inline citations, several sections throughout the article are lacking sources, including multiple quotes. Go through the article and add an inline citation for any statement that a reader may question over its verifiability. If you can find sources online, feel free to include those, although book sources are always great, which this article uses a lot of. However, the rest of the article looks fine considering meeting the broad, NPOV, and image requirements. I have listed the many statements that should be sourced, and if sources are added, please do consider renominating the article again.

Need inline citations:

  1. "According to one unidentified Arab, "That army went through all places like a desolating storm.""
  2. "The Umayyad horsemen then utterly devastated that portion of Gaul, their own histories saying the "faithful pierced through the mountains, trampled over rough and level ground, plundered far into the country of the Franks, and smote all with the sword, insomuch that when Eudo came to battle with them at the River Garonne, he fled.""
  3. "As Herman de Carinthia wrote in one of his translations of a history of al-Andalus, Eudes managed a highly successful encircling envelopment which took the attackers totally by surprise — and the result was a chaotic slaughter of the Muslim forces."
  4. "According to the Arabian sources the Franks drew up in a large square, with the trees and upward slope to break any cavalry charge."
  5. "Most historians through the centuries have believed the Franks were badly outnumbered at the onset of battle by at least 2-1"
  6. "But Gibbon believes, as do most pre and modern historians, that Martel had made the best of a bad situation."
  7. "The battle was still in flux when Frankish histories claim that a rumor went through the Umayyad army that Frankish scouts threatened the booty that they had taken from Bordeaux."
  8. "According to Muslim accounts of the battle, in the midst of the fighting on the second day (Frankish accounts have the battle lasting one day only), scouts from the Franks sent by Charles began to raid the camp and supply train (including slaves and other plunder)."
  9. ""All the host fled before the enemy", candidly wrote one Arabic source, "and many died in the flight"."
  10. "Gibbon makes the point that he did not move at once against Charles Martel, was surprised by him at Tours as Martel had marched over the mountains avoiding the roads to surprise the Muslim invaders, and thus the wily Martel selected the time and place they would collide:"
  11. "According to Creasy, the Muslims' best strategic choice would have been to simply decline battle, depart with their loot, garrisoning the captured towns in southern Gaul, and return when they could force Martel to a battleground more to their liking, one that maximized the huge advantage they had in their mailed and armored horsemen."
  12. "Martel believed it was vital to confine the Umayyad forces to Iberia and deny them any foothold in Gaul, a view many historians share."
  13. "Santosuosso notes that 'Uqba b. Al-Hajjaj converted about 2,000 Christians he captured over his career."
  14. "Western historians beginning with the Mozarabic Chronicle of 754 stressed the macrohistorical impact of the battle, as did the Continuations of Fredegar."
  15. "The first camp essentially agrees with Gibbon, and the other argues that the Battle has been massively overstated—turned from a raid in force to an invasion, and from a mere annoyance to the Caliph to a shattering defeat that helped end the Islamic Expansion Era."
  16. "However, Creasy has claimed: "The enduring importance of the battle of Tours in the eyes of the Moslems is attested not only by the expressions of 'the deadly battle' and 'the disgraceful overthrow' which their writers constantly employ when referring to it, but also by the fact that no more serious attempts at conquest beyond the Pyrenees were made by the Saracens.""
  17. "has argued that the military defeat at Tours was amongst one of the failures that contributed to the decline of the Umayyad caliphate: "Stretching from Morocco to China, the Umayyad caliphate based its expansion and success on the doctrine of jihad--armed struggle to claim the whole earth for God's rule, a struggle that had brought much material success for a century but suddenly ground to a halt followed by the collapse of the ruling Umayyad dynasty in 750 CE. The End of the Jihad State demonstrates for the first time that the cause of this collapse came not just from internal conflict, as has been claimed, but from a number of external and concurrent factors that exceeded the caliphate's capacity to respond. These external factors began with crushing military defeats at Byzantium, Toulouse and Tours, which led to the Great Berber Revolt of 740 in Iberia and Northern Africa.""
  18. "Watson adds, "After examining the motives for the Muslim drive north of the Pyrenees, one can attach a macrohistorical significance to the encounter between the Franks and Andalusi Muslims at Tours-Poitiers, especially when one considers the attention paid to the Franks in Arabic literature and the successful expansion of Muslims elsewhere in the medieval period.""
  19. "The mozarabic chronicle a Contemporary source which describes the battle in greater detail than any other Latin or Arabic source states that the franks outnumbered the muslims and were better equipped and that agrees with muslim account and common sense. "

Links/page numbers that should be converted to inline citations:

  1. "Essentially, many modern Muslim scholars argue that the first Caliphate was a jihadist state which could not withstand an end to its constant expansion. [3]" Convert the link to an inline citation.
  2. "The great German military historian Hans Delbruck said of this battle "there was no more important battle in the history of the world." (The Barbarian Invasions, page 441.)"
  3. "Louis Gustave and Chalres Strauss in Moslem and Frank; or, Charles Martel and the rescue of Europe said "The victory gained was decisive and final, The torrent of Arab conquest was rolled back and Europe was rescued from the threatened yoke of the Saracens." (page 122)"
  4. "Antonio Santosuosso points out in his book Barbarians, Marauders and Infidels: The Ways of Medieval Warfare, on p. 126 "they (the Muslims) called the battle's location, the road between Poitiers and Tours, "the pavement of Martyrs.""
  5. "Historian Robert Payne on page 142 in "The History of Islam" said "The more powerful Muslims and the spread of Islam were knocking on Europe’s door. And the spread of Islam was stopped along the road between the towns of Tours and Poitiers, France, with just its head in Europe.""

Again, if you address these issues and check the article against the rest of the GA criteria, consider renominating the article at WP:GAN and let me know and I'll look it over again (so you can avoid the current month+ backlog). If you feel this decision has been made in error, you may seek remediation at WP:GA/R. If you have any questions, let me know on my talk page and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. I have updated the article's history to reflect this review. Regards, --Nehrams2020 10:02, 16 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Perhaps there should be details as to where the battle took place, in a separate section and not having to scatter landscape information throughout the article? --Sunsetsunrise (talk) 01:35, 9 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


In the "background" section...the first paragraph. It is definitely not objective, but is there a reference for it? the_ed17 18:45, 1 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That works. =D the_ed17 04:35, 7 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This article needs some cleaning up. How many times is it necessary to repeat that the Franks held the high ground, that they had no cavalry, that the Umayyad had not scouted the North, etc.? Eulalie Écho (talk) 18:22, 19 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Was reading through the article and noticed that at one point it says that one of Charles biggest advantages was his professional army, then a few paragraphs it states that he had no standing army. This seems a bit contradictory to me, does anyone else think so? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:45, 10 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes. A professional army as opposed, or at least evolution of, to a levy was a Martel devolpment. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:28, 10 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, I guess both notations professional army and not standing army are off realism. To my opinion, Charles Martel was one among the various feudal lords of the 'French' region, who managed to persuade the rest of the lords that the muslims were an actual threat, so they all joined their armies - consisted of farmers - to opose the muslims under the rule of Charles Martel (grantfather of Charlomagne). Although the historical time was that of dark ages, army officers and generals, were practicing the phalanx (column) style of combat, which they inherited from the Romans who inherited it from the Greeks. The general idea (which is the western style of combat) is not to brake your rank and the whole column to fight as one man. This way, the enemy cannot overwhelm you. The Eastern (Asian) style of combat, depends on the bravery of every single soldier who attacks the enemy based on his courage. Yet couragious, but without any sufficient plan, the muslims were doomed to lose the fight. The reason they expanded so far until then, was because no serious army opposed them till then. So, all Charles Martell had to do, was to train the farmers to keep their lines and stay cool while the muslim horsemen were attacking. Throughout history, the Europeans have lost some battles of course, but in general, everytime they fight against Asians, or Africans, or the American Aztecs etc, they win, because of their combat style. Stated by redflaw — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:20, 31 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Better re-read your history books. The Asian Mongols, Turks, and Magyars all regularly terrorized the Europeans of the Middle Ages and won many battles. In Classical times, the Asian Huns were constantly defeating Roman armies in the West and the East. The Arab muslim armies were able to beat both the Byzantine professional army, and the Crusader states, many times. (talk) 20:31, 16 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(Nhoepner (talk) 07:54, 10 April 2016 (UTC)) Actually, a professional but not standing army is not a contradiction at all. However, relating it to a Greek phalanx, via Roman tradition, is an error.Reply[reply]

    According to the Ripuarian Law (cited in [1]) the Franks assembled their army either in March (a "Marchfield") or in May (a "Mayfield") by summoning all the free men to gather at a specific place.  Most, rather than going to war, paid to equip others.  It truly took a village.  Fully equipping a Frankish warrior cost the equivalent of thirty-five cows for an infantryman, or forty-seven for a cavalryman.  
    This system provided the Frankish kingdoms with essentially a professional army because those being paid for by the others were the same people, year after year.  Most people really did not want to get involved in medieval combat - the willing minority were the same tough, belligerent people every time.  Thus, when each nobleman led out his contingent of the army, he "did not take 100 different men each year but had his fixed unit, of which he knew that they would do him credit" ([2]).  These were lifelong professional warriors.  They knew each other, campaigned together every year from spring to late fall, and trained individually and in smaller groups through the winter.  So Charles Martel did NOT have to "train the farmers to keep their lines and stay cool."  There were no farmers involved.
    Tactics is another thing.  It was not really a "phalanx."  The Frankish method was in transition from earlier Germanic methods, in particular adopting more cavalry.  Martel's army at Tours was a mix that was normal at the time.  The infantry in the attack fought in a form of "wedge" formation called the "boar's head," really more of a square than a wedge. In the defense, they formed a shield wall.  The Franks in particular used throwing axes (the famous fancisca) as well as spears and swords. Martel's army also included a significant heavy cavalry arm, something for which the Franks were known all the way back to the time of Plutarch ([3]).  Armies were small, a force of ten thousand would have been a large army in those days.  So, both Martel and al-Ghafiqi likely showed up with no more than 10,000 to 15,000 men each.
    Al-Ghafiqi probably had a higher proportion of cavalry, but he had infantry as well.  His mistake was attacking uphill into Martel's shield wall.  He launched three separate attacks, was repelled three times, and then a raid by part of Martel's cavalry on the Muslim camp caused al-Ghafiqi's men to withdraw without orders in order to save their loot and property.  This gave Martel the opportunity to unleash his cavalry and put the Muslim army to flight.
    The idea that the "Eastern style of combat" required courage from each soldier, while the Western way did not, is nonsense, as is the idea that "Eastern" armies were somehow lacking in organization or a plan and were thus "doomed" when facing a Western force.  They crushed the Visigoth kingdom in Spain in a single campaign.  They conquered almost the entire Eastern Roman Empire, invaded Italy periodically, and conquered and ruled Sicily from the eighth to the eleventh centuries. They fought Charlemagne to a standstill in 777.  To regard them as somehow flawed, or doomed, etc because of this one battle at Tours is myopic at best.  Nhoepner (talk) 07:54, 10 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ Verbruggen, The Art of Warfare in Western Europe During the Middle Ages, p. 23
  2. ^ Delbruck, History of the Art of War, Volume III: Medieval Warfare, p. 21
  3. ^ Delbruck, History of the Art of War, volume II: The Barbarian Invasions, p. 408

First to Fight?[edit]

"Charles's grandson, Charlemagne, became the first Christian ruler to begin what would be called the Reconquista from Europe."

I think Pelayo and his heirs get the honors in that area. Cranston Lamont (talk) 20:30, 10 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, its correct. Pelagius of Asturias was the first. Fixed. JamesOredan (talk) 20:00, 11 February 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Schnorr von Carolsfeld fresco[edit]

The illustration at right, used in the text, has been provided with a spurious date in Internet links, which would make it an illustration of this event. I have corrected its caption and repositioned it where it illustrates Christian and European views (in 1822-27) of Saracen invaders, which have colored the traditional historical assessment of the battle of Tours.--Wetman (talk) 23:01, 10 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

== Vouneuil sur Vienne == (intelligible)

I was there at the site yesterday. To name V s V is not correct. It is also missleading. I drove to V s V and had to find out after searching a lot and asking a french man (imagine, how difficult that is, since I hardly speak french) that the monument is actually north-west of Montgame.

This map is approximatelly correct:

Moussais la Battaile is a small place with 3-4 old hauses, which are ruined, but there are people living. The houses of course are not from the time of the battle. The actual battle was between the monument and th M la B of today. M la B is approximatelly the resting place of Abdul Rahman.

-- (talk) 22:14, 10 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Gibbon's Gang[edit]

Is it really necessary for Gibbon's to have his opinion 'validated' by saying basically Gibbons (and every historian that ever lived and mattered) said that...? Soxwon (talk) 17:09, 11 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

      • The context of this comment is unsourced: 'Modern historians, by contrast, are divided over the battle's importance, and considerable disagreement exists as to whether or not the victory was responsible — as Gibbon and his generation of historians claimed, and which is echoed by many modern historians — for saving Christianity and halting the conquest of Europe by Islam.' Can we get a cite?Foamking (talk) 04:34, 10 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually, that's not accurate. A few revisionists have questioned the importance vis a vis the new leftist political school, but the vast majority - and certainly just about every Western university - is firmly in the camp that this battle checked muslim expansion into the Christian West. (talk) 20:37, 16 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(see Postmodernism)[edit]

"(see Postmodernism)" starts a paragraph. This needs elaboration or it needs to be removed. patsw (talk) 17:27, 19 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Simply saying UNKNOWN due to lack of surviving contemporary records or reliable secondary sources seems best. TBH this historically battle is important mainly for the death of the Islamic leader and withdrawal of Islamic expeditionary forces to the well established territory of Islamic rule on the Iberian pennisula. Details of the battle do not impact subsequent battles. The death of the Islamic commander ended his military expedition.  So condensing the article to these actual known facts is probably warranted.

All later historians are in fact just speculating and theorizing about details. The perceived conflicts in surviving contemporary general descriptions may not even exist. It is quite possible that Islamic forces were in fact both superior in numbers in the region BUT also severely outnumbered at the point of engagement. Logistics of living off the land and cavalry raiding styles might well have dispersed and scattered numeric advantage and limited coordinated response to an unexpected encounter. This "dispersed and unprepared" situation is additionally suggested by the ambush of the main camp in the rear. Basically Asian-Islamic style cavalry mobs were good at gathering widespread forces and focusing on attacking known locations once orders were disseminated. But those same forces might not even receive orders to gather for timely defense against unexpected attacks on the vanguard, command group, or main camp. This "unexpected defense" situation would also tend to lead to poor records of the battle by the Islamic side as most "survivors" probably were not near the actual battle. So realistically we should not expect to know many details if the Franks did not record or preserve their perspective. (talk) 20:43, 19 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Relative size of forces[edit]

The mozarabic chronicle a Contemporary source which describes the battle in greater detail than any other Latin or Arabic source states that the franks outnumbered the muslims and were better equiped and that agrees with muslim account and common sense. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zaid almasri (talkcontribs) 20:06, 27 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • I assume the Mozarabic Chronicle you're referring to is also known as the Chronicle of 754. In that case, could you cite which part of the Chronicle verifies the claim that the number of Frankish forces was larger than the Caliphate's? Otherwise, without a specific citation to a translation of the Chronicle or some secondary source commenting on it, I don't think the previous number of about 30,000 for Frankish forces -- which was cited (albeit incompletely) from to Davis -- should be replaced. Emw2012 (talk) 20:50, 27 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"In the blink of an eye, they annihilated the Arabs with the sword. The people of Austrasia, greater in number of soldiers and formidably armed, killed the king, Abd ar-Rahman" - Wolf (trans), Chronicle of 754, p. 145 (Zaid almasri (talk) 22:33, 27 August 2009 (UTC))Reply[reply]

you can check all the previous campaigns of the caliphate in that region and you will find that the armies were very small in size so how come they suddenly became that large despite several defeats. Abdul Rahman also left a large portion of the army to garrison the captured cities.(Zaid almasri (talk) 22:33, 27 August 2009 (UTC))Reply[reply]

it is also a good idea to notice that the size of the army that crossed from north africa and conquered iberia (in 711) only 21 year before the battle of tours were 7000 men only( , so the claims by some sources that the caliphate army were in hundreds of thousands or even tens of thousands is completely unrealistic. (Zaid almasri (talk) 22:33, 27 August 2009 (UTC)) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zaid almasri (talkcontribs) 22:25, 27 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

While some of the higher-end figures might be a bit farfetched, are you actually suggesting that in over twenty years, the Muslim army in Iberia could not have grown into the tens of thousands? I think that you may want to consider the possibility that new troops from the rest of the then-still-expanding Muslim world may have arrived to help conquer Europe in the name of Islam. And what about Iberian natives who converted to Islam? Are you suggesting that none of them might have joined the Caliphate army?--L1A1 FAL (talk) 21:20, 6 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Great! Thanks for the citation. Just to make sure, you're using Baxter's Conquerors and Chroniclers of Early Medieval Spain, right? There's a copy available on Google books that looks like it could be what you're citing, but page 145 isn't part of the online preview. And sorry for reverting your earlier edit -- it just spiked my suspicion that a new user changed an important fact and removed a citation. BTW, you can sign your posts by adding four tildes (~~~~) to the end of your posts. Emw2012 (talk) 00:22, 28 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Yes it is Baxter's Conquerors and Chroniclers of Early Medieval Spain, also page 145 is part of the online preview(last page of the preview actually),and the origional wikipedia article itself uses the same citation. (Zaid almasri (talk) 17:36, 29 August 2009 (UTC))Reply[reply]

Safety of the phalanx[edit]

There's a great deal of discussion of the army about Martel, and rightfully so. Were the women and children protected by the surrounding troops? Sometimes women get themselves in to the middle of battles, with delusional thought of turning attention away and averting something thought childish game, only to see it was a full on attack?

Hitler quote[edit]

Removing a sourced quote from a major 20th century figure regarding the macrohistorical importance of the article subject in a section on 20th century views of its macrohistorical importance is both asinine and vandalism. "Well durr I don't think Hitler counts as a historian durr" is not a valid counterpoint. --NEMT (talk) 02:49, 10 October 2010 (UTC) To expand - the section covers "historical and macrohistorical views" in the context of military and political influence in Europe. Demonstrating how the battle shaped opinions of significant figures in contemporary and modern history should be one of the primary goals here. Dismissing anyone whose primary notability is not as a historian, despite historic significance and a background in the subject matter, is a disservice to anyone looking to gain a comprehensive knowledge of modern historical views of the article subject (i.e.: the reason most would seek out this section of the page). --NEMT (talk) 05:09, 11 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

With this standard in mind, I'm going to keep an eye out on the literature for what Mussolini may have said about the battle. And Stalin. And the Roosevelts, Teddy and F.D. both. Finding something by Charles de Gaulle would be choice, him being French and all. Heck, maybe Donald Trump has waded or will wade in. Get enough such, and the section won't look so much like it does now. Like a bozo nose on a runway model. ô¿ô 01:33, 8 January 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Arabic historiography[edit]

In section 4.2 it says: 'Contemporary Arab and Muslim historians and chroniclers were much more interested in the second Umayyad siege of Constantinople in 718, which ended in a disastrous defeat.' There are no extant histories by 'Arab and Muslim historians' of that date, and even were there there should surely be a citation there. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:51, 7 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Number of Ummayad casulties - 375,000[edit]

There is a lengthy section on the size of the armies, ranging from x to y, with figures for each side going as high as 80.000. Then, it says "Charles Martel's force lost about 1,500 while the Umayyad force was said to have suffered massive casualties of up to 375,000 men". Besides this number being completely out of proportion to the size of the army, it would mean that each Frank would have to have killed 250 men!!!!! Rui ''Gabriel'' Correia (talk) 23:10, 28 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

They probably ment 37,500 Rowanis12 (talk) 16:12, 25 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Also casualty figures could be inflated by non-combatants etc slaughtered in the ambush of the Islamic main camp in the rear area. Blending in such counts was more common in "less civilized times". (talk) 22:26, 19 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I think that this article may be having a POV issue. It seems that in the last few months, an Arab/Islamic point of view, especially in regards to the infobox, has been injected into this article, particularly now that the infobox is essentially according to "Islamic sources" with no exception. I think it would be in the article's best interests that some of these recent edits be either verified, or corrected and re-cited.--L1A1 FAL (talk) 21:13, 6 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Really? Seems to me like it has a Western/Christian POV. I mean, the whole "In Muslim History" section is from a bloody Western perspective! How ridiculous is that!? Why say you're going to give the Muslim historical view on the battle when all you actually do is say what Westerners/Christians believe the Muslims think? That section needs a rewrite. (talk) 23:13, 15 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I agree completely with concerns about the POV issue. The "according to Islamic sources" needs to be integrated with the remaining information or removed entirely. The information given seems to contradict much of the article and needlessly points to a conflicting point of view. Furthermore, many of the claims seem exorbitantly exaggerated (i.e., 400.000 Franks) or simply irrelevant; for instance, how does "withdrawal of the Umayyad army" conflict with "Decisive Frankish victory"?
    I don't see the "In Muslim history" section as particularly problematic at all. Surely, Western arabists and Oriental scholars may freely comment upon the original Muslim sources as well? By analogy, one does not have to be an antique Roman to comment on Roman historians. In fact, it'd be exceedingly discriminatory if only contemporary Muslims are allowed to comment on Islamic sources. (talk) 18:20, 21 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • This blown-up infobox needs a lot of work. The numerous "according to Islamic sources" tags and all those links to the same book (why in caps?) have to be slimmed down a bit, especially since our primary sources, Merovingian or Umayyad, do not supply half this much in reliable evidence. The sections "Belligerents", "Strength", and "Casualties and losses" are cumbersome bordering on silly. I have already reconciled the first two points mentioned here, and would like to invite others to tag along. Trigaranus (talk) 10:36, 22 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Despite all its edits, some good some not as good, this article is on the one side pumped up in content and on the other oozes Western Christian exaltation. I agree that a Western Christian view is offered as the default view and it is presented as marked or slanted when coming from Muslim or critical sources. The continuous artificial Christian/Muslim divide is also overdone, the fact is that there were many actors with different political interests, not clearly depicted here: Charles' northern Franks and his attack on independent non-Frankish Aquitaine in 731, the Basques, the Arabs, the Berbers and their tensions that ultimately spurred al-Gafhiqi´s expedition north, even the Septimanian Visigoths, strongly opposed to the Franks. On the infobox, I would delete all "according to Muslim sources", which would require, if maintained, "according to Western Christian sources" on the other side, ridiculous. Iñaki LL (talk) 07:49, 7 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The article is clearly biased towards the Franks and the Western source-books not towards the Islamic sources ... (except the few Islamic sources used side by side with the Western sources in the info-box) all the sources used in the article are Western. Despite the fact that there are many Islamic source-books for the battle, non of them were used at all in this article. Moreover, the article uses an offensive language against Muslims (such as using the word "Saracens" instead of the word "Muslims"). While it is more objective for the picture of the info-box to be a picture of the battlefield, you have chosen to be the painting of Charles de Steuben which is a fanciful offensive painting. This painting doesn't give any reliable information about the battle itself. Instead, It gives reliable information about the delusions that governed the minds of many people during the middle ages and after.

Many western source-books (especially the primary ones) used to say that 375,000 Muslims were killed in the battle of Toulouse. Then 375,000 (also the same number!!) were killed in the battle of Tours. 375,000 + 375,000 = 750,000 !!!! --عامرالقمر (talk) 11:56, 30 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

After Muslims had already lost three quarters of a million (according to your source-books)!!!, they got back the year after the battle of Tours and conquered the Province territory in South France. Then, led by Oqba ibn Al-Hajjaj Al-Saloli, they conquered the territory of Burgundy (which was included in the kingdom of Charles Martel -the Merovingian Franks-) [the Burundians also were a main part in the Frankish army during the battle of tours]. Then they conquered Piedmont in North Italy, and the Eastern part of Aquitaine. They stayed for about 5 years in these territories before the great revolt occurred in Al-Andalus and North Africa. Charles Martel only appeared after 5 years of the battle of tours, when he tried to utilize that revolt and attack the Umayyads in this critical time. However, his campaign failed in the Septimanian territory.--عامرالقمر (talk) 12:19, 30 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • This edit really messed up the article. the sources are originally in Arabic, some written by western educated writers, others by amateur historians. What they have in common is are that they are usually void of any inline citation, this is understandable since they target a semi-educated audience. None of these books have been taken seriously by any academically published work. The same authors published books titled for example People of Israel and the Myth of Belonging to Semitism, if these count as RS then we might as well burn Cambridge and Oxford.--Kathovo talk 18:37, 7 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It is amazing how much "detail" has been written about this battle, given the lack of evidence; even the year of the battle itself is in dispute. As noted, the most complete account we have of the battle that is anything like contemporary is that quoted in full in the article from the Chronicle of 754, and even that was written over two decades later somewhere in Muslim Spain by an unknown Christian writer, presumably a cleric, not an eyewitness. So many bricks, so little straw!Isidorpax (talk) 20:56, 9 October 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • I'm not sure the article has a POV problem so much as a piecemeal-editing problem. It seems to me fairly obvious that the RS are not going to present a single POV on this and so the article should not attempt to present a consensus but rather to cover the different POVs fairly. Actually I think the article covers a good range of sources but the problem is that they have been added piecemeal by different editors without a consistent attempt to keep the article coherent overall. So now we have different sections of the article quoting different sources for the same facts, leading to what look like contradictions. Someone familiar with the sources (or at least with access to them) needs to take a step back and rework the article to present the different sources consistently throughout. GoldenRing (talk) 13:08, 10 October 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Horses need grain?[edit]

From the article: "The Umayyad attack was likely so late in the year because many men and horses needed to live off the land as they advanced; thus they had to wait until the area's wheat harvest was ready and then until a reasonable amount of the harvest was threshed (slowly by hand with flails) and stored. The further north, the later the harvest is, and while the men could kill farm livestock for food, horses cannot eat meat and needed grain as food."

Horses don't normally eat grain, but fibrous grasses and hay, hence their rumen. Grain is only fed for fattening such an animal for slaughter. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:13, 19 October 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Horses eat grass, and also hay (i.e. grain stalks): they can digest cellulose, but they don't have a rumen. The breakup of cellulose happens with the help of bacteria in their cæcum, a “dead-ended” organ connected at the junction between the small and large intestines. However, they are also fed grain, especially oats, even in countries like Britain where slaughtering horses for food is considered an abomination. Tonymec (talk) 21:32, 26 October 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Military horses tend to be fed grain if available in order to shorten the time spent feeding rather than in actual military movement and activity. If horses are eating grass only, hours per day can be lost to grazing, depending on how green and thick the grass is. Much more time if competing with concentrated masses of other horses denuding the area of grass. Plus horses with bellies full of grass may be a little sluggish for vigorous movement. Of course Asian-Islamic style horse raiders more likely spread out thinly over immense areas in very small groups to graze. This could well have been the cause of having inferior numbers on the actual battle while having superior numbers in the region. That is the size of the main Islamic camp would be limited by recently looted grain and excess forces dispersed out of easy command range. (talk) 21:23, 19 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Troubling (POV?) "Conclusion"[edit]

I wonder why the "Conclusion" reads as it does, particularly why the "traditional" view (i.e. Tours was a world historically significant event in the tradition of Edward Gibbon) is given so much weight and the scholars used to support it.

Neither Huston Smith, Robert Payne (author), nor Victor Davis Hanson seems to (have) be(en) specialists in the issues at stake here (mainly the interaction of early medieval Europe and Islam).

Smith's field is religious studies and not with a focus on neither this period nor area.
Payne seems to have focused far more on popular histories of China and biographies and was a professor of English literature.
Hanson is a specialist in Classical Greece (and its warfare and agriculture in particular) and "Carnage and Culture" (the origin of the rather long quote) is a highly polemical/politicised work, which, as a historian, I find highly dubious in its central thesis about an essentially "Western" tradition of warfare with a continuity (to put it bluntly) from Ancient Greece to the Pentagon. I would certainly be very cautious about using it, as it seems is done here, as the clinching argument for the importance of Tours.

So basically, why are these 3 scholars given "the final word" on the importance of the Battle of Tours?

If you check the recent episode of In Our Time (BBC Radio 4), the scholars there were all very cautious about both our extant sources on the battle (emphasising their vague, fragmented and partisan nature) and were clearly on the side of downplaying "Gibbon'esque" importance assigned to this battle. (See, or rather listen to:

Mojowiha (talk) 11:48, 22 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Completely agree. The so-called "Conclusion" is just three more opinions. Thee's no evidence provided that those opinions are in any way "conclusive". I've therefore moved them to the tradioal view section and deleted the "Conclusion" heading. Unless it can be shown that the balance of scholarly opinion is one way or another, then any conclusion is either not possible or just a synopsis of the previous two subsections. DeCausa (talk) 15:48, 22 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Also called "Battle of Bordeaux"[edit]

this sourced edit was removed. Why? In ictu oculi (talk) 16:33, 29 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Presumably because it's a different battle. That was earlier in the campaign and against the Acquitanians. The Muslims won that one. (They lost the Battle of Tours.) We have an article on it under Battle of the River Garonne. Your edit should go in that article. Also the redirect you created Battle of Bordeaux (732) should refirect to that article. DeCausa (talk) 18:49, 29 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've added it to the other article and changed the redirect. DeCausa (talk) 05:16, 1 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

IP's "concerns"[edit]

IP needs to explain his continuing edit warring to remove a referenced statement by Victor Davis Hanson. This statement appears to be the same type of criticism has placed in the Victor Davis Hanson article.[1] --Kansas Bear (talk) 15:35, 20 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The IP has edit-warred to remove this quote on the ground that it is an "ad hominen attack" on other historians:
For the life of me, I can't see where the "ad hominem attack" is. (But even if there were one, so what?) It's just a (very mild) expression of a difference of opinion. DeCausa (talk) 16:08, 20 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I of course can't know what the person using this IP address is thinking, and I agree that the Hanson quote is not an ad hominem attack. However, I've already stated the problems with having Hanson have "the last word", so to speak, in my earlier complaint over a previous version of this article. Hanson is not a specialist in this area and time in history, and his bombastic conclusion simply asserts that because Charles Martel went on to become an important Frankish leader this vindicates the "traditionalist" view of Poitiers as a world important event, or at least a crucial event in European history. He shunts aside the crucial issue of the lack of good sources in favour of this "20/20 hindsight"-argument which is simply bad historical analysis and argumentation. Compounding this is the fact that the entire book from which the quote is taken from is a highly polemical work (personal POV, I know). Yes Hanson is a military historian, but his area of expertise is Ancient Greece, not medieval European/Islamic history/warfare. Contrast Hanson's absolute certainty with the highly cautious statements by the historians discussing this battle on In Our Time (BBC Radio 4):
Mojowiha (talk) 11:11, 3 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well he no longer has the "last word". I edited the conclusion out back in January ( see earlier thread). As the article is currently, I don't feel what Hanson says is WP:UNDUE but, based on what you say, there is a case to take him out altogether. However, I would suggest that the quote is actually not an unreasonable summation of a strand of thought that is worth including - given that alternative views are prominently reprsented. The IP left behind, in their last edit, a slightly bizarre commentary embedded in the article on Hanson, with citations that were not specifically about his viewpoint on Toulouse. It didn't sound encyclopedic, and I've taken it out. The ardour of the IP's attack was somewhat strange - it felt rather personal and I wonder if there was a COI. Some academic rivalries get very touchy! DeCausa (talk) 22:43, 3 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The question is the by now classic Wikipedia dilemma of how broad a palette of opinions should be included on a sort of "diversity vs. marginality" scale.
As I wrote before I have major issues with Hansons' "Carnage and Culture", which I frankly think is a piece of bad historical analysis (basically, Hanson cherry-picks both his battles and his interpretations, as well as making some really odd claims, such as European/Western armies being supplied by a free enterprise system in pre-modern times).
I think that the quote here is indicative of one of the problems in Hanson's reasoning in that he skips the core of "we don't really know" and then just asserts, based on subsequent events, that the battle was really important. But this is just conflating correlation and causality. Not to mention that Charles Martel had already conquered a lot of his Frankish and other Germanic neighbours prior to Tours/Poitiers and would still be fighting them subsequently. In so many words, Hanson doesn't make a case for any clear events connected to the victory at Tours/Poitiers, just a vague generalised appeal to subsequent history. Hanson's wording itself is indicative (my emphasis): "What is clear is that Poitiers marked a general continuance", followed by a lack of ability to point out any clear specificities or events, only vague general continuance and without substantiating that Tour/Poitier played a crucial role in this general continuance, as compared to all the victories against other Franks, Saxons and Bavarians.
To do an about-face, I could argue that Hanson could simply be cited as one scholar who continues to argue for the crucial importance of Tours/Poitiers. That's certainly an incontrovertible fact - no matter how bad(ly founded) I think his argument is.
Mojowiha (talk) 10:23, 4 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Based on what you say, I don't have a strong view on whether to keep him in or not. But WP:UNDUE is not about whether we think he's made a good or bad point. The question is, is he making a point that should be included here in order to proportionately reflect all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on the topic? DeCausa (talk) 15:17, 4 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

IMHO some extraneous analysis going on here[edit]

Interesting article, but it would be better if we just quoted the few sources we have, and left the analysis to God, or someone else who was there.

This is a sea of conjecture. For instance "see the Battle of Hastings" - that was 300 years later, and Charles could not have been influenced by it.

I know its tempting, but please, stick to the facts. Some things are just lost to history.

Cheers Ben Billyshiverstick (talk) 04:22, 21 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think you miss the point that among the facts of the Battle of Tours and the depiction of it as a significant event in European history by Gibbon and the contrasting opinions on this interpretation. It would make little sense to just quote the primary sources and "let people make up their own minds". Also, the reference to Hastings is not positing any kind of causal connection between the two, but an illustration of what happened in an early Medieval battle in cases "of infantry being lured into the open by armoured cavalry." Now I've changed the section because I think it misses the point by making a false analogy as it's highly doubtful that the Umayyad Caliphate forces were comprised (mainly) of armoured cavalry. Something like the Battle of Adrianople (378 AD) or probably some of Martel's earlier battles, particularly his use of the feigned retreat at the Battle of Amblève two decades earlier would be better analogies - even though cavalry was arguably less important to the armies of the Franks and their European opponents than to the Arab armies. Mojowiha (talk) 09:18, 5 May 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bad ISBN[edit]

Because they are causing a Checkwiki error #72: "ISBN-10 with wrong checksum", I removed the ISBN from these entries:

  • "The state of Islam in Al Andalus", written by Mohammed Abdullah Annan, ((The first era-The first section, from the conquest until the beginning of the era of Al-Nasir)). Fourth edition, published by Khanji library in Cairo. ISBN 977-505-082-4 Parameter error in {{ISBN}}: checksum. Page 96
  • "The state of Islam in Al Andalus", written by Mohammed Abdullah Annan, ((The first era-The first section, from the conquest until the beginning of the era of Al-Nasir)). Fourth edition, published by Khanji library in Cairo. ISBN 977-505-082-4 Parameter error in {{ISBN}}: checksum. Page 99

I have tried unsuccessfully to locate the correct ISBN on the Internet. This invalid ISBN appears in many articles of the Arabic Wiki. Knife-in-the-drawer (talk) 15:56, 22 May 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re: POV[edit]

As usual, the victor writes history. Since the Franks won, they left a more complete record. The losers, trying to mitigate the defeat, left a scant record. As to the overall effect of the battle, I think we can say it ended the lucrative plunder of northern Europe and that in turn had an effect on the stability of the Muslim hold over Spain. Without the ready flow of treasure and slaves, the Regime had to support itself which it could not do. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:51, 31 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

as usual, the old canard "victors write history" is patently untrue - as any cursory read of histories thru the ages obviously show
Frankish commanders likely spent some time at the nearest village making their records during post-battle "clean up" and reorganization over a couple days. So Desk, ink, and dry parchment was much more like available and preservation of documents was a viable priority.
Whereas on the losing Islamic side - its quite possible that the majority of literate Islamic survivors were too dispersed to even see the battle due to the logistics of cavalry living off the land. Do we know the original position of the commander who took charge after the leader was killed? He may have just ridden in from the surrounding area then immediately was too busy leaving to gather credible witnesses. Plus weeks fleeing as cavalry or foot soldiers does not lend itself to record making or preservation in the day of quill and ink. I doubt toting a desk, ink and keeping parchment safe was a priority.
When "losers" write stuff intended to be historical record, the actual writers generally do so from a position of fairly good political immunity (e.g. powerful nobles) or literal distance (e.g. exile) from the losing government. IF they lacked that I would doubt the commanders of the returning army gave much thought to "history". I am sure that they gave thought to the principle of not proclaiming themselves "messengers and experts on bad news" to their superiors in permanent written records. Apparently no one up the Islamic chain of command ordered anyone to record this for posterity at a later date. I think this is less a case of trying to downplay defeat for history than avoiding being reminded of something contemporaries were all too aware. Relatively few people think in terms of how the distant future will view their history. Plus of course much turmoil in the Islamic world over the next few decades probably discouraged many from dwelling on writing memoirs in their later years. (talk) 21:49, 19 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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--Adbouz (talk) 23:36, 7 December 2020 (UTC)All these stories of Islamic conquests are just tales without a head or tail. Persian tales The Thousand and One Night have more historical value than your posturing on Wikipedia. There are no witnesses to this event which seems to have turned the history of the world upside down. Not a single witness of the time. An era in which writing was very widespread. The Berbers wrote novels centuries ago. It should have had thousands of witnesses. However, we don't have a single Graffiti on a stone.Reply[reply]

 In Hijaz, supposedly the birthplace of Islam, not the slightest sign of community life. No archaeological traces, no names of artists, of king and queen, of a philosopher. Nothing, the total desert. Normal, the Hijaz is a desert where even scorpions have difficulty in surviving

The Berber Adrian of Canterbury

Location of battlefield[edit]

I have read that the battlefield was actually closer to Poitiers than Tours. This article says it is “somewhere between the cities of Poitiers and Tours”. I can live with that, although it would be nice to cite the latest consensus on the exact location. What I can’t live with is the geographical coordinates of the city of Tours. That is incorrect and misleading.

Could someone knowledgeable of the history and with the editing skill to display the coordinates please fix this. Humphrey Tribble (talk) 21:42, 20 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Battle of Tours,[6] also called the Battle of Poitiers and, by Arab sources, the Battle of the Highway of the Martyrs (Arabic: معركة بلاط الشهداء, romanized: Maʿrakat Balāṭ ash-Shuhadā'),[7] was fought on 10 October 732, and was an important battle during the Umayyad invasion of Gaul. It resulted in the victory for the Frankish and Aquitanian forces,[8][9] led by Charles Martel, over the invading forces of the Umayyad Caliphate, led by Abdul Rahman Al-Ghafiqi, governor of al-Andalus.[edit]

I wna here it (talk) 00:51, 26 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]