The Battle of Poitiers as Viewed by the First Continuator of the Chronicle of Fredegar

Barrie Brill

The first continuator of Fredegar’s Chronicle was Childebrand, the uncle of Pippin III and thus a source favourable to the Pippinids. Chapter 13, below, refers to the Battle of Poitiers. This version of the Battle of Poitiers claims that Duke Eudo called on the Muslims for support, when in fact he called on Charles for support in his struggle against the Muslim attackers.


Fredegarii et aliorum chronica

A 15th Century interpretation of the Battle of Poitiers 732
Figure 5.7 Charles Martel at the Battle of Poitiers 732; Jean Fouquet (c. 1420-c. 1477) Les grandes chroniques de France.

During the same period, Duke Eudo withdrew from the terms of the treaty. When Prince Charles learned of this, he raised his army and crossed the river Loire; Duke Eudo was put to flight and Charles returned home with a large quantity of booty taken from his enemies for the second time in one year. Since Duke Eudo saw that he had been overturned and was the subject of derision, he called upon the faithless Saracens to support him against prince Charles and the Frankish people. The Saracens marched out under their king, who was called ‘Abd al-Rahman, crossed the Garonne, and reached the city of Bordeaux; burning churches and killing people, they advanced as far as Poitiers; burning the church of Saint Hilary, which is painful to report, and intended to destroy the house of the blessed Martin. Against them, Prince Charles boldly deployed his troops against them and, warrior that he is, fell upon them. With Christ’s help, he pulled down their tents, rushing into battle to grind them to pieces, and when he had prostrated and killed their king ‘Abd al-Rahman, he defeated their forces; and so he triumphed, a victor over his enemies.





Questions for Consideration

  1. In what ways does this account differ from the previous one?
  2. In what ways does the author frame this account to support his own belief system?
  3. Taken together, what can we conclude from these documents about the Battle of Poitiers?


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The Ancient and Medieval World Copyright © by Barrie Brill is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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