Jump to navigation Jump to search This article is about the Frankish mahomet & Charlemagne (French Edition) PDF. After establishing unity in Gaul, Charles’ attention was called to foreign conflicts with the Islamic advance into Western Europe a foremost concern.
Apart from his military endeavours, Charles has been considered a founding figure of the European Middle Ages. He divided Francia between his sons, Carloman and Pepin. The latter became the first of the Carolingians. Charles, nicknamed « Martel », or « the Hammer », in later chronicles, was the son of Pepin of Herstal and his second wife Alpaida. In older historiography, it was common to describe Charles as « illegitimate ». This is still widely repeated in popular culture today.
But, polygamy was a legitimate Frankish practice at the time and it is unlikely that Charles was considered « illegitimate ». It is likely that the interpretation of « illegitimacy » derives from the desire of Pepin’s first wife Plectrude to see her progeny as heirs to Pepin’s power. Merovingians effectively ceded power to the Pippinid Mayors of the Palace, who ruled the Frankish realm of Austrasia in all but name. They controlled the royal treasury, dispensed patronage, and granted land and privileges in the name of the figurehead king. The Frankish kingdoms at the time of the death of Pepin of Heristal. Arnulfing dominance of the highest offices. Arnulfing mayor, first Theudoald then Charles.
The German duchies to the east of the Rhine were de facto outside of Frankish suzerainty at this time. In December 714, Pepin of Herstal died. Pepin’s death occasioned open conflict between his heirs and the Neustrian nobles who sought political independence from Austrasian control. In 715, Dagobert III named Ragenfrid mayor of their palace. In 716, Chilperic and Ragenfrid together led an army into Austrasia intent on seizing the Pippinid wealth at Cologne. The Neustrians allied with another invading force under Radbod, King of the Frisians and met Charles in battle near Cologne, which was still held by Plectrude. Charles retreated to the hills of the Eifel to gather men, and train them.
Having made the proper preparations, in April 716, he fell upon the triumphant army near Malmedy as it was returning to its own province. In the ensuing Battle of Amblève, Martel attacked as the enemy rested at midday. In this battle, Charles set a pattern for the remainder of his military career. He appeared where his enemies least expected him, while they were marching triumphantly home and far outnumbered him. He also attacked when least expected, at midday, when armies of that era traditionally were resting.