Page:15 decisive battles of the world (New York).djvu/185

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SYNOPSIS OF EVENTS, ETC. 179


The enduring importance of the battle of Tours in the eyes of the Moslems is attested not only by the expressions of "the deadly battle" and "the disgraceful overthrow" which their writers constantly employ when referring to it, but also by the fact that no more serious attempts at conquest beyond the Pyrenees were made by the Saracens. Charles Martel, and his son and grandson, were left at leisure to consolidate and extend their power. The new Christian Roman empire of the West, which the genius of Charlemagne founded, and throughout which his iron will imposed peace on the old anarchy of creeds and races, did not indeed retain its integrity after its great ruler's death. Fresh troubles came over Europe; but Christendom, though disunited, was safe. The progress of civilization, and the development of the nationalities and governments of modern Europe, from that time forth went forward in not uninterrupted, but ultimately certain career.

Synopsis of Events between the Battle of Tours, A.D. 732, AND THE Battle of Hastings, A.D. 1066.

A.D. 768-814. Reign of Charlemagne. This monarch has justly been termed the principal regenerator of Western Europe, after the destruction of the Roman empire. The early death of his brother Carloman left him sole master of the dominion of the Franks, which, by a succession of victorious wars, he enlarged into the new empire of the West. He conquered the Lombards, and re-established the pope at Rome, who, in return, acknowledged Charles as suzerain of Italy. And in the year 800, Leo III., in the name of the Roman people, solemnly crowned Charlemagne at Rome as emperor of the Roman empire of the West. In Spain, Charlemagne ruled the country between the Pyrenees and the Ebro; but his most important conquests were effected on the eastern side of his original kingdom, over the Sclavonians of Bohemia, the Avars of Pannonia, and over the previously uncivilized German tribes, who had remained in their fatherland. The old Saxons were his most obstinate antagonists, and his wars with them lasted for thirty years. Under him the greater part of Germany was compulsorily civilized and converted from paganism to Christianity. His empire extended eastward as far as the