Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Charles Martel (ca. 688 – 22 October 741), literally Charles THE HAMMER was a Frankish military and political leader who ruled during an interregnum (737–43) as Duke and Prince of the Franks. In 739 he was offered the title of Consul by the Pope, but he turned it down. He is perhaps best remembered for winning the Battle of Tours in 732, in which he defeated an invading Muslim army and halted northward Islamic expansion in western Europe.
A brilliant general, Charles Martel lost only one battle in his career - the Battle of Cologne. He was a founding figure of the Middle Ages, credited with a seminal role in the development of feudalism and knighthood, and a progenitor of the Carolingian Empire. Born in Herstal, Belgium, Martel was the illegitimate son of Duke Pepin II and his concubine Alpaida. He was the father of Pepin le Bref ("the Short" a.k.a. Pepin the Small) and the grandfather of Charlemagne.
He was called THE HAMMER because he used to crush his enemies skulls with his mighty war hammer. We could use a few leaders like him around here nowadays - Sean Linnane