Charles Martel, Charles the Hammer

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About the Author

About Martel

About the Lance

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Historical Facts:
Charles, Later Martel, (Charles the Hammer) was born about 688 to Pepin II, Mayor of the Palace, and Alpaida either concubine or Pagan wife. Pepin's son, Grimoald (by his Christian wife) Plectrude, was Duke of the neighboring province. In 714 both Pepin II and Grimoald died. Plectrude seized control and arrested Charles for the murder of her son. Charles escaped and raised an army to settle the confusion and deposed Plectrude, taking the title of Mayor for himself.

(photo at left is statue of Martel - no copyright found)

Charles went on to unite much of Northern Europe. He is most remembered for his victory over the Arab Ab dal Rahmin at the Battle of Tours in 732. The Battle of Tours is considered to be one of the ten key battles in history. Somewhere in the process he came into posession of a religious relic in the form of a lance. The lance was claimed to have been used by a Roman soldier at Calvary to pierce the side of the crucified Christ. The lance gained a legend that its owner would never lose a battle so long as he held it, but would die if he lost it.

Charles died in 741 leaving two sons, Pepin III and Carloman. Pepin's son Charlemagne was crowned Emperor by the Pope in 800. The lance passed through Pepin to his son, Charlemagne. Sometime after Charlemagne's death Charles' body was exhummed and cursed for his use of Church funds to pay the army at Tours. (see Gibbon ref.)

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