Thursday, October 23, 2014

Historical Perspective

Martin will be studying in Granada, Spain for his last semester at college. After getting our dates correct, Bill and I started to appreciate a more grand sense of history. These dates and events will be familiar to you, but I’ll refresh. In October 732, the Frankish and Burgundian forces of western Europe fought the Muslim army of the Umayyad Caliphate (the Moors) near Tours and Poitiers. The famous Battle of Tours (or Battle of Poitiers) pitted the forces of Charles Martel against those of ‘Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi. The Frankish army has been estimated at between 15,000-80,000, the Moors at a similar number. Both sides have accounts of the enemy at 400,000.

What is undisputed is that the Christians crushed the Moors and stemmed a 21 year advance of Islam through Europe. Charles was given the name Martellus (“The Hammer”), and the battle became a landmark in history preserving a Christian Europe.

Now we fast forward to where Martin will be studying. On January 2, 1492, Muhammad XII of Granada (King Boabdil) surrendered the City of Granada to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. If Martin gets there by January 2, he can participate in the annual celebration. After the battle of Granada, all Muslims had to convert to Christianity, become slaves, or be exiled. This was the end of the conquering Moors in Europe.

So, Bill and I finally saw our history in a little better perspective. It took 760 years for the native Europeans to expel the invading Moors after the famous Battle of Tours (about 800 years after the first invasion). This country is only a few hundred years old since the European invasion. Native Americans still have three or four hundred years to drive out the invaders and reclaim their country, and history will record this brief foreign occupation state as only just that.

No comments: