Frankish defeat by Muslims = no modern civilisation?

Nov 2010
Agree with that Whyte. If it wasn't bad enough already the Omeya/Umayyad collapse was an absolutwe watershed moment. That initial 'islamic unity' would never happen again.

History today is almost like growing up as a kid. When we were young they told us the Romans never came past Exeter. Now in Cornwall they are busy excavating villas and mines etc, from the 400 years as part of the Empire. Metaphorically when we were young, they told us the Visigoth remains went up to Asturias and on it went from there. Now we pretty much know that Visigothic hierarchies in particular areas - like Narbonne as you mention but also, famoulsy, the Ebro/Tudela, Merida, Toledo to name a few - pacted and stayed exactly where they were converting to islam. part of the squabbling hotchpotch that would define the 8th and 9th centuries, until the rather remarkable Abderraman III pulled the whole lot into the Caliphate of Cordoba - in turn a rather mortal enemy of the Abassids and the Fatimids, as it happens

The Visigoths can be traced quite well into Muslim Spain. Probably most famously the Banu Qasi of the Tudela/Zaragoza/Ebro region. There's also a tale (in Spanish) of 'The Last Visigoth', who's name sadly escapes me among the million names and places in my head. His family pacted in Toledo and became muslim gentry in the area. Traced all the way down to the time Alfonso VI took over Toledo, our last descendent emigrated to Timbuctu/Gao area rathert than live in the changing world of Toledo and became (more) famous as an extremely learned man (and still is today)

I've said it before but the ultimate paradox surrounds the expulsions of muslims from Spain, hap hazard until the expulsion of the moriscos in 1609-11. In a population estimated at 2-4 million in the 8th century, immigration was measured in tens of thousands (with some later). The rest of the population of muslim Spain by the year 1000, say, was the original people - Visigoths (still in charge!) and hispano-romans.

Agricultural workers don't run away when someone invades, they just change owners and, if necessary, religion.

The definitive proof of Christian -Muslim politics is, I guess, El Cid. Whilst in the employ of the Emir of Zaragoza( muslim tributary to Castilla) he gave good hidings to Aragon, Barcelona (both Christian and Lleida/Denia (muslim), these last 3 allied. Whilst running his own army/operations he made his own mini-empire and also destroyed the La Rioja lands of his Castillian arch-enemy Garcia Ordonez.

He is most famous for taking and holding Valencia as a bulwark against the invading African fundamentalists, the Almoravids - an invasion not in the interests of either Christian or Muslim Spain, as it turned out


Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
Slovenia, EU
Interesting bit from Eupedia:

"After two centuries of rule, the waning power of the Merovingian dynasty prompted Charles Martel (686-741), a native from Liège, to proclaime himself Duke of the Franks and was in all but name de facto ruler of the Frankish Realms. In 732, he routed the invading Islamic Moorish armies of the Umayyad Caliphate at the Battle of Poitiers (also known as the Battle of Tours), thus saving Europe from Islamisation. This is one of the most important achievements of the Franks in the history of Europe up to this day. Without Charles Martel, Europe, or at least Western Continental Europe, would have become part of the Muslim world, an event that would almost certainly have prevented the Renaissance from happening, and would consequently also have precluded the Great Voyages, the Colonisation, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and everything that follows. Without Charles Martel, Europe might well have stagnated to the medieval period to this day. As a result, modern technologies wouldn't exist anywhere on Earth."

A brief history of the Franks

Do you agree with this or not?
In my opinion it is an overrated event. Defense of christian Europe was executed by Byzantines, they were saviours of christendom.


Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
Republika Srpska
The Muslim armies may have been motivated by faith, but their goal was NOT spreading Islam. Quite the opposite actually. The Umayyads tried to stop the spread of Islam.
Sep 2014
It's hard to say. In 732 the Muslim invaders were more concerned with conquest then civilization. As time elapsed the Islamic world embraced learning and culture. Look at what developed in Spain, for example. Still, would the interior of Europe have received the same attention I would venture to say, no. So, I would agree that Europe's development would have been stunted overall.
The part of Spain that they inhabited had been the last realm of Rome/Constantinople in the West. People give the Moslems too much credit for not destroying what the Romans had built.
Likes: Rodger
Oct 2013
The part of Spain that they inhabited had been the last realm of Rome/Constantinople in the West. People give the Moslems too much credit for not destroying what the Romans had built.
Not exactly: there was south of France, a part that even if not nominally under control, remained Roman and very far from the "dark ages".
Likes: bedb
Nov 2013
The part of Spain that they inhabited had been the last realm of Rome/Constantinople in the West. People give the Moslems too much credit for not destroying what the Romans had built.
Then why was Islamic Andalusia more culturally distinguished than that of Byzantine Andalusia?

Romans did a thing or two for the province......but wasn't that more in the pagan period?

Even if what you said was right, might Islamic Andalusia might have been better run the Visigothic, or even Byzantine Andalusia (hence why they were able to overrun it in the first place?
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