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and had been defeated and slain. After subduing the rebel, Abderahman resolved to march against Othman's ally and father-in-law. This drove Eudo into making an abject and instant submission to his Frankish suzerain,
In 732 the viceroy crossed the western Pyrenees at the head of the largest Saracen army that Spain had yet seen, strengthened by reinforcements from Africa and the East. Eudo stood on the defensive against him and endeavoured to defend the line of the Garonne, but was routed with the loss of almos't the whole of his army. He fled beyond the Loire and threw himself on the mercy of Charles ,, , .
Martel; meanwhile the Saracens stormed Bor- invades Gaul, deaux, and moved slowly forward, ravaging the 732' country on all sides till they drew near to Poictiers. It was for no mere raid that they had come on this occasion, but for the permanent conquest of Aquitaine, perhaps even with the design of attacking Neustria also. Headed by the strongest and most popular viceroy that Moslem Spain had yet known, and mustering not less than seventy or eighty thousand men, they set no limit to their desires.
In the hour of danger the great Mayor of the Palace was not wanting. He did not rush hastily into the field, but drew together the whole force of both the Frankish realms, though his firmest reliance was on his own Austrasians. Leading an army whose like had not been seen since the earliest days of the monarchy—for never had Neustria and Austrasia combined for an expedition of such moment—he crossed the Loire near Tours and advanced to meet Abderahman. It was close to Poictiers 'in suburbia Pictavietisi' that the two great hosts faced each other, though by some freak of the chronicler it is Tours that has given its name to the battle in the pages of many of our histories. Abderahman and Charles both felt that they were about to engage in no common contest. The fate of Aquitaine, possibly of all Gaul, might be largely influenced by the result of the oncoming battle between Christian and Moslem. For seven days the two hosts lay opposite each other, each waiting for the enemy to advance; at last Abderahman took the offensive, and his host poured out from their camp to assail the Frankish line. Hardly a detail of the great struggle has survived: we only know that the Saracen horsemen surged in vain around the impenetrable masses of the Frankish infantry, whose firm shield-wall 'was frozen to the earth like a rampart of ice.' The Austrasians bore the brunt of the fighting; 'the men of the East huge in stature Battle of an(l iron-handed hewed on long and fiercely; it Poictiers, 733. was they who sought out and slew the Saracen chief The fight endured till night fell, when the invaders withdrew, leaving Abderahman and many thousands more lying dead in front of the Frankish line. In the darkness the Arabs had time to count up their losses, which were so appalling that they hastily fled rather than face another day's fighting. Their tents, crammed with all the booty of Aquitaine, their baggage and military stores, with thousands of horses and enormous piles of arms, fell into the hands of the victorious Franks. So ended the danger of western Christendom from the Moslem invader, a danger which has not unfrequently been exaggerated, especially by French writers anxious to glorify the Austrasian mayor, whom they have chosen to make into a French national hero. It is probable that even if Abderahman had been victorious nothing more than the duchy of Aquitaine would have fallen into his hands, for this invasion after leaving Bordeaux was degenerating into an incursion for plunder, like that which in 525 had ended with the sack of Autun. The Moslems of Spain had proved themselves during the last forty years so factious and unruly, that we cannot believe that even under a leader of exceptional ability they would have held together long and loyally enough to ensure the conquest of central Gaul. Neustria, and still more Austrasia, were states of a very different degree of vigour from the decrepit Visigothic monarchy which fell in 711. Even if Poictiers had fared as Autun, there was strength and courage enough in the Franks to face many such another blow, and we may doubt the judgment of Gibbon when he draws his gloomy forecast of the probable results of a victory for Abderahman, ending in a picture of the Muezzin calling the True Believers to prayer in the Highlands of Scotland, and the Mollahs of Oxford disputing on the attributes of a Unitarian Godhead.
The remnants of the Saracen host made no attempt to hold Aquitaine, but fled hastily across the Pyrenees, so that duke Eudo was able to reoccupy Bordeaux and Toulouse, and rule once more over the whole of his former dominions as the vassal of the Frank. Meanwhile, Charles returned to Austrasia laden with booty, and was hailed by all western Christendom as the greatest conqueror since Constantine. The Frankish poets and chroniclers continued to celebrate his triumph with such fervour that ere long the world was told and believed that he had slain 375,000 Saracens, with the loss of no more than 1500 men on his own side! If only he had been more of a favourite with the Church he would have been enshrined in history as the equal of his grandson, Charles the Great. But the zeal with which he forwarded the conversion of Germany, and smote the infidel, did not atone, in the eyes of the monkish historians, for the highhanded way in which he had dealt with the Gaulish church. Because he banished bishops, and forbade synods to be held without his leave, and occasionally laid military burdens on church-land, he received a very half-hearted blessing from the annalists of his day.
Charles spent the years that followed his great victory in regulating the government of Burgundy, where he replaced most of the counts and dukes by followers of his own, and in completing the subjection of Frisia. The peaceful duke Aldgisl had been succeeded by a fierce pagan named Boddo, whom the great mayor was soon forced to attack, when he commenced to kill or drive away the missionaries of Willibrord and Boniface. After slaying Boddo in battle, and burning every heathen shrine in Friesland, Charles left the country so tamed that it did not revolt again for full twenty years.
In 73S, however, new troubles began in the south. Duke Eudo died, and Charles thought the time was ripe for the complete incorporation of the great southern duchy with the Frankish realm. He rode through the land and forced its inhabitants to do him homage, but their subjection was only the result of fear, and when he had returned home the southerners proclaimed Eudo's son Hunold as their duke. Hunold would probably have been put down had not the Saracens begun once more to stir. Headed by Yussuf-abenAbderahman. the son of the chief who had fallen
Wars with . .
Hunold of at Poictiers four years before, they sallied out Aquitaine, of Narbonne, crossed the Rhone, and seized the '-"'''"' old Roman city of Arles. The years 736-39 were mainly occupied in driving back three successive Moslem inroads into south-eastern Gaul, and Charles was so engrossed in this strife that he consented to recognise Hunold as duke of Aquitaine, so that he might have his hands entirely free for the greater struggle. Complete success at last crowned his arms: Provence was swept clear of the Arabs; Arles and Avignon, which the Infidels had seized and held for a space, were recovered; Nismes, Agde, and Beziers, which they had possessed since the great invasion of Septimania in 726, were taken, dismantled, and burnt, and a great host was defeated in front of Narbonne. That city, however, did not yet fall into the hands of the Franks; together with the southern half of Septimania it still remained a Saracen outpost, covering the passes of the eastern Pyrenees. For twenty years more it was fated to remain unconquered; not Charles but his son was destined to move forward the Frankish boundary to the foot of the mountains. Meanwhile the Saracens of Spain, cowed by the crushing blows of Charles the Hammer, abandoned their attempt to push northward, and plunged into a weary series of civil wars.
While Charles was engaged in his Saracen war, the puppetking Theuderich iv., in whose name he had been ruling for the last seventeen years, chanced to die. So little had the royal name come to mean, that the great mayor Fourking. did not seek out the next heir of the childless less years, king and crown him, but ruled for the last four 737-42' years of his life without any suzerain. He did not himself, however, take the kingly title, but continued to be styled mayor, prince, or duke of the Franks; he cared not for name or style so long as the real power was in his hands.
The reconquest of Provence and northern Septimania was the last of the great mayor's triumphs. But the four years which he had yet to live were not without their importance. In 738 he compelled the Westphalian Saxons on the Lippe and Ems to do him homage and pay tribute. In 739 the organisation of the south German church was completed by the erection of four bishoprics in Bavaria, which looked to Boniface, now archbishop of all Transrhenane Germany, as their Metropolitan. Thus Bavaria became ecclesiastically an integral part of the Frankish Church, even as politically it had already become an integral part of the Frankish The Pope empire. But though Charles was a firm supporter asks aid from of the Church in his own dominions, he would Charles>739not interfere in ecclesiastical disputes beyond his frontier. Pope Gregory Ni. had plunged into a struggle with the Lombard king Liutprand, and invited the pious ruler of the Franks to march against the enemy of the Church. But Charles refused; Liutprand had given him some aid against the Saracens, and he was not minded to attack an old ally merely because the Lombard had fallen out with the Pope concerning the duchy of Spoleto.
In the summer of the next year the great mayor began to feel his health failing, though he had not yet completed his fifty-fourth year. He determined to set his house in order ere yet the hand of death was upon him, and summoned the great council of all the Frankish realms to meet him. With its approval he proceeded to make over the rule of the