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Old November 17th, 2012, 09:43 PM   #51
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Much has been made in the West of how this battle saved Christendom.
But it is noteworthy that Tabari (died 923), the greatest Arab historian,
and [B]Ibn al-Qutiyya[/B] (died 977), the first historian of Muslim Spain,
make no mention at all of the Battle of Tours/Poitiers
(Source: Bernard LEWIS: The Muslim Discovery of Europe, London: Phoenix,1982, page 19)

(Yup, emphasis is mine)
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Old November 19th, 2012, 05:45 AM   #52

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Muslim historians in Spain traditionally gave little mention to defeats - bad for reader circulation!!


I'll stick with the view that Poitiers is a little over-glamourised for the reasons I outlined earlier from the recent study, whilst Toulouse 10 years earlier and the Berra lagoon near Narbonne in 737 are significantly under-rated or ignored.

Reading through the depths of Spanish Muslim history, Simancas (939) (and it's aftermath) and of course Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212 were both much more monstrously epic muslim defeats. Although Simancas was just a (big) blip in the tide, Las Navas seems to have destroyed the whole Almohad Empire in one swoop, and against the run of play, as they say in sport.

The whole history of the 700+-year history of muslim presence in Spain is so varied it makes me very bemused when people talk as if 'the moors came, there was a reconquest, and then they went'!!

Arabs, berbers, slavs, yeminis, christian converts, christian subjects, jews, africans, syrians, turks...

Omeyas, Abbasids, Caliphate, Taifas, Muslim-Christian alliances, Almoravids, Almohads, Marinids, Nasrids.......
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Old November 19th, 2012, 06:28 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by johnincornwall View Post
Muslim historians in Spain traditionally gave little mention to defeats - bad for reader circulation!!


I'll stick with the view that Poitiers is a little over-glamourised for the reasons I outlined earlier from the recent study, whilst Toulouse 10 years earlier and the Berra lagoon near Narbonne in 737 are significantly under-rated or ignored.

Reading through the depths of Spanish Muslim history, Simancas (939) (and it's aftermath) and of course Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212 were both much more monstrously epic muslim defeats. Although Simancas was just a (big) blip in the tide, Las Navas seems to have destroyed the whole Almohad Empire in one swoop, and against the run of play, as they say in sport.

The whole history of the 700+-year history of muslim presence in Spain is so varied it makes me very bemused when people talk as if 'the moors came, there was a reconquest, and then they went'!!

Arabs, berbers, slavs, yeminis, christian converts, christian subjects, jews, africans, syrians, turks...

Omeyas, Abbasids, Caliphate, Taifas, Muslim-Christian alliances, Almoravids, Almohads, Marinids, Nasrids.......
If behind that sweeping generalization on the only human chauvinistic bias there may be any actual review of let say Tabari or Ibn al-Qutiyya, you must be aware that they timely & duly reported plenty of Muslim defeats, particularly the critical defeats against the Romans of Constantinople.

The bare fact is that Poitiers/Tours remained fundamentally unnoticed by the Muslim accounts of the time.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 05:19 AM   #54

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Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
If behind that sweeping generalization on the only human chauvinistic bias there may be any actual review of let say Tabari or Ibn al-Qutiyya, you must be aware that they timely & duly reported plenty of Muslim defeats, particularly the critical defeats against the Romans of Constantinople.

The bare fact is that Poitiers/Tours remained fundamentally unnoticed by the Muslim accounts of the time.
Sylla we are both agreeing that it was a large razzia, not an invasion per se.

It was not my own opinion that muslim writers tend to under-state defeats over the years, or not list them, it comes from a number of Spanish historians analysing the sources. I am talking about Spain particularly not the whole empire. It is a constant theme, so that is why it is a generalisation.

Also as regards Poitiers there is only one contemporary muslim source - the Cronica Mozarabe, around 750, author unknown but of Cordoba. When I get back to the recent study I'll tell you what it said, but I'm not home right now. Ibn al-Qutiyya for example lived 300 years later, so it's a bit like us giving a 'contemporary' account of the War of the Spanish Succession, but without the advantages of modern media.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 05:51 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by johnincornwall View Post
Sylla we are both agreeing that it was a large razzia, not an invasion per se.

It was not my own opinion that muslim writers tend to under-state defeats over the years, or not list them, it comes from a number of Spanish historians analysing the sources. I am talking about Spain particularly not the whole empire. It is a constant theme, so that is why it is a generalisation.

Also as regards Poitiers there is only one contemporary muslim source - the Cronica Mozarabe, around 750, author unknown but of Cordoba. When I get back to the recent study I'll tell you what it said, but I'm not home right now. Ibn al-Qutiyya for example lived 300 years later, so it's a bit like us giving a 'contemporary' account of the War of the Spanish Succession, but without the advantages of modern media.
The Mozarabic Chronicle of 754 (Continuatio Hispana) was written by Christians, not Muslims.
The Mozarabs were Hispanic Christians who lived under the Islamic rule in Al-Andalus.

The Arab sources like the notable Tarikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk (History of the Prophets and Kings) by the aforementioned Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (9th - 10th centuries), and the 11th-century Kitab al-'Uyun certainly listed the relvant Muslim defeats, notably by the Medieval Roman Empire.

Ergo, the absolute silence of these same sources on Tours / Poitiers 732 becomes even more significant.

Last edited by sylla1; November 26th, 2012 at 06:15 AM.
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