Re: Tours/Poitiers 732733

Michael Kuettner <miksbg@xxxxxxxx> wrote:

Paul J Gans schrieb
Guy Halsall sums up current opinion on the battle
which took place near Tours or perhaps near Poitiers
in 732 or perhaps in 733. I'll quote from his
"Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450-900"
page 13. Halsall had been discussing the changing
views of the period. After speaking of several
other authors, he writes:

"Similarly useful, but now looking rather old
in terms of its explanations is Beeler's "Warfare
in Feudal Europe". Again, Beeler only dealt with
the last century and a half of the period covered
by this volume. Beeler's book begins in the
730s because, in line with the then current views,
he saw the battle of Poitiers as of decisive
significance. It was felt that Poitiers marked
the emergence of heavily armored shock cavalry as
a battle-winning element in western warfare.

"Beeler also followed ideas then current at the
time to propose that it was the combination of
technological change, specifically the introduction
of the stirrup, and a new military threat in
the form of mounted Muslim raiders, which brought
about this transformation in battlefield tactics
and underlined Poitiers' significance. As with
the old idea that Poitiers marked the salvation
of Europe from the Muslim flood, this view is
no longer accepted by scholars, although it survives
in more popular views of history."

I agree with all of the above, except for the "raiders".
You don't seek allies in countries you want to raid only.
The pendulum of historiography ...
Tours was neither a pivotal battle nor a raid.
It was "shopping for lands & plunder" with some forces;
neither an all-out conquest nor just plundering along.
As Soren has noted, the Muslims used the same tactics
(bribing/finding allies) elsewhere ...

I understand what you are saying. But it was a raid
in the sense that it was not an invasion.

Perhaps the term "scouting mission" would have been
better? But raid is the term used by many historians.

--- Paul J. Gans