Cerdanya or La Cerdanya, is a natural comarca and historical region of the eastern Pyrenees divided between France and Spain. It was one of the counties of Catalonia. Cerdanya has a land area of 1,086 km2, divided evenly between Spain and France. In 2001 its population was 26,500, of whom 53% lived on Spanish territory, its population density is 24 residents per km². The only urban area in Cerdanya is the cross-border urban area of Puigcerdà-Bourg-Madame, which contained 10,900 inhabitants in 2001; the area enjoys a high annual amount of sunshine – around 3,000 hours per year. For this reason, pioneering large-scale solar power projects have been built in several locations in French Cerdagne, including Font-Romeu-Odeillo-Via, the Themis plant near Targassonne, Mont-Louis Solar Furnace in Mont-Louis; the first inhabitants of Cerdanya spoke a language related to the old Basque language and to Aquitanian. Many place names testify to this. In the first millennium BC came the Iberians from the south.
Although their identity is still a matter of debate, some theories posit that they spoke an Afro-Asiatic language, that they separated from the Berbers in North Africa and moved into Spain and further north to the south of modern-day France. In Cerdanya they mixed with the native inhabitants, the resulting people were known as the Kerretes, from the native word ker or kar, meaning rock, related to old Basque karri, stone; the Kerretes were essentially of Basque and Aquitanian-related stock, as the Iberian clans who mixed with the native inhabitants can have comprised only small numbers of people. The Kerretes retained a language related to old Basque and Aquitanian, although some Iberian words may have entered the language, Iberians occupied positions at the top of the Kerrete society; the main oppidum of the Kerretes, commanding the whole country, was called Kere and was built on the hill above the modern-day village of Llívia. The Kerretes came under Roman rule, the Romans renamed the oppidum Julia Lybica, with a significant number of Roman citizens settling there.
During the Roman Empire, the area of Cerdanya was a pagus known as pagus Liviensis, part of the province of Hispania Tarraconensis. The pagus Liviensis was itself divided in two: the eastern part around Julia Lybica was known as Cerretania Julia, while the western part was known as Cerretania Augusta; the name Cerdanya comes from Cerretania, itself coming from the old name of the inhabitants, the Kerretes. As for Julia Lybica, the name evolved into Julia Livia and Llívia; the Kerretes seem to have kept their old language until late as late as the 8th or 9th century. Romanization in the area was slow though the native language gave way, the people in Cerdanya ended up speaking Catalan, a language derived from Latin. At the end of the Roman Empire, Julia Lybica entered a period of decadence, lost much of its importance, it is around this time that the town of La Seu d'Urgell started to replace Julia Lybica as the main center of population in that area of northern Catalonia, in the 6th century when the diocese of Urgell was founded, Cerdanya was inside its limits.
Devastated by the Vandals and other Germanic tribes, Cerdanya was part of the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse and Toledo, until it was conquered by the Muslims. After Muslim expansion was halted by Odo the Great in the Battle of Toulouse, the Berber commander Uthman ibn Naissa established a small realm in Cerdanya and allied with Odo, so that the Aquitanian leader could secure his south-eastern borders. However, Uthman ibn Naissa came next under Umayyad attack and the Berber lord was defeated, opening the way to Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi's expedition into Aquitaine. During Abd al-Rahman I´s military campaign across the Ebro region, the Cordovan commander received the submission of Ibn Belaskut, or Galindo Belascotenes, in Cerdanya. Under Carolingian pressure, Cerdanya became a Frankish vassal about 785. County of Cerdanya The county of Cerdanya has its origin in the Spanish Marches established by Charlemagne. In the 9th century Cerdanya was one of the lordships united in the person of the counts of Barcelona, who were counts of Girona and Urgell.
Wilfred the Hairy had three sons and established the youngest, Miron, as Count of Cerdanya, a sovereign state. The sovereign county of Cerdanya bordered the county of Urgell, the county of Barcelona, the county of Besalú, the county of Roussillon, the county of Razès; the county of Cerdanya was made up of Cerdanya proper with the addition of other areas which it managed to acquire over time through inheritance, such as Capcir and Conflent. Thus, the county of Cerdanya was quite an important county; the counts of Cerdanya were great patrons of abbeys, most famously Saint-Michel de Cuxa, dating back to the 10th century and located in Conflent, Saint-Martin-du-Canigou, dedicated by Count Guifred of Cerdanya in 1009. However, the line of the counts died out in 1117 and the county was inherited by the counts of Barcelona to become kings of Aragon. Cerdanya proper was split between Spain and France by the Treaty of the Pyrenees of 1659, with the north of Cerdanya becoming French, while the south of Cerdanya remained Spanish.
The counties of Rosselló, Capcir and Conflent became French at that time. Today, the Cat
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between Spain and France. Reaching a height of 3,404 metres altitude at the peak of Aneto, the range separates the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of continental Europe, extends for about 491 km from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean Sea. For the most part, the main crest forms a divide between Spain and France, with the microstate of Andorra sandwiched in between; the Principality of Catalonia alongside with the Kingdom of Aragon in the Crown of Aragon and the Kingdom of Navarre have extended on both sides of the mountain range, with smaller northern portions now in France and larger southern parts now in Spain. In Greek mythology, Pyrene is a princess; the Greek historian Herodotus says. According to Silius Italicus, she was the virgin daughter of Bebryx, a king in Mediterranean Gaul by whom the hero Hercules was given hospitality during his quest to steal the cattle of Geryon during his famous Labours.
Hercules, characteristically drunk and lustful, violates the sacred code of hospitality and rapes his host's daughter. Pyrene runs away to the woods, afraid that her father will be angry. Alone, she pours out her story to the trees, attracting the attention of wild beasts who tear her to pieces. After his victory over Geryon, Hercules passes through the kingdom of Bebryx again, finding the girl's lacerated remains; as is the case in stories of this hero, the sober Hercules responds with heartbroken grief and remorse at the actions of his darker self, lays Pyrene to rest tenderly, demanding that the surrounding geography join in mourning and preserve her name: "struck by Herculean voice, the mountaintops shudder at the ridges. … The mountains hold on to the wept-over name through the ages." Pliny the Elder connects the story of Hercules and Pyrene to Lusitania, but rejects it as fabulosa fictional. Other classical sources derived the name from the Greek word for fire, Ancient Greek: πῦρ. According to Greek historian Diodorus Siculus "..in ancient times, we are told, certain herdsmen left a fire and the whole area of the mountains was consumed.
The Spanish Pyrenees are part of the following provinces, from east to west: Girona, Lleida, Huesca and Gipuzkoa. The French Pyrenees are part of the following départements, from east to west: Pyrénées-Orientales, Ariège, Haute-Garonne, Hautes-Pyrénées, Pyrénées-Atlantiques; the independent principality of Andorra is sandwiched in the eastern portion of the mountain range between the Spanish Pyrenees and French Pyrenees. Physiographically, the Pyrenees may be divided into three sections: the Atlantic, the Central, the Eastern Pyrenees. Together, they form a distinct physiographic province of the larger Alpine System division. In the Western Pyrenees, from the Basque mountains near the Bay of Biscay of the Atlantic Ocean, the average elevation increases from west to east; the Central Pyrenees extend eastward from the Somport pass to the Aran Valley, they include the highest summits of this range: Pico d'Aneto 3,404 metres in the Maladeta ridge, Pico Posets 3,375 metres, Monte Perdido 3,355 metres.
In the Eastern Pyrenees, with the exception of one break at the eastern extremity of the Pyrénées Ariègeoises in the Ariège area, the mean elevation is remarkably uniform until a sudden decline occurs in the easternmost portion of the chain known as the Albères. Most foothills of the Pyrenees are on the Spanish side, where there is a large and complex system of ranges stretching from Spanish Navarre, across northern Aragon and into Catalonia reaching the Mediterranean coast with summits reaching 2,600 m. At the eastern end on the southern side lies a distinct area known as the Sub-Pyrenees. On the French side the slopes of the main range descend abruptly and there are no foothills except in the Corbières Massif in the northeastern corner of the mountain system; the Pyrenees are older than the Alps: their sediments were first deposited in coastal basins during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras. Between 100 and 150 million years ago, during the Lower Cretaceous Period, the Bay of Biscay fanned out, pushing present-day Spain against France and applying intense compressional pressure to large layers of sedimentary rock.
The intense pressure and uplifting of the Earth's crust first affected the eastern part and moved progressively to the entire chain, culminating in the Eocene Epoch. The eastern part of the Pyrenees consists of granite and gneissose rocks, while in the western part the granite peaks are flanked by layers of limestone; the massive and unworn character of the chain comes from its abundance of granite, resistant to erosion, as well as weak glacial development. The upper parts of the Pyrenees contain low-relief surfaces forming a peneplain; this peneplain originated no earlier than in Late Miocene times. It formed at height as extensive sedimentation raised the local base
Umayyad invasion of Gaul
The Umayyad invasion of Gaul in 720 followed on the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. During the 8th century, Umayyad armies conquered the region of Septimania, the last remnant of the Visigothic Kingdom; the Umayyad advance was stopped at the Battle of Toulouse in 721, but they sporadically raided Southern Gaul as far as Avignon and Autun. However, the Umayyad forces continued to campaign northward, until their defeat in the Battle of Tours in 732. After the 732 Battle of Tours-Poitiers, the Franks checked Aquitanian sovereignty, reasserted their authority over Burgundy, but only in 759 did they manage to take the Mediterranean region of Septimania, due to Andalusi neglect and local Gothic disaffection. By 716, under the pressure of the Umayyad Caliphate from the south, the Kingdom of the Visigoths had been reduced to the province of Septimania, a region which corresponds to the modern Languedoc-Roussillon. By 717, the Umayyads under al-Hurr ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Thaqafi started to cross the eastern Pyrenees into Aquitanian territory and Septimania as a continuation to their Iberian conquest, but the commander did not advance any further.
After being replaced by al-Samh, Umayyad forces seized Barcelona and the Septimanian city of Narbonne in 719 despite local resistance. A sizable number of the town defenders and inhabitants were killed in the aftermath by the victorious Umayyad forces. From 720 on, Narbonne became the capital city of Muslim Septimania, used as a base for razzias. A mosque was established inside the church of Sainte-Rustique. However, the Umayyad tide was temporarily halted in the large-scale Battle of Toulouse, when Emir al-Samh was killed by Odo of Aquitaine. In general terms the Gothic Septimania surrendered to the Muslims in favourable conditions for them, allowing the Umayyads to rule the region with the conditioned support of the local population and the Gothic nobles. In 725, his successor, Anbasa ibn Suhaym Al-Kalbi, besieged the city of Carcassonne, which had to agree to give half of its territory, pay tribute, make an offensive and defensive alliance with Muslim forces. Nimes and all the other main Septimanian cities fell too under the sway of the Umayyads.
In the 720s the savage fighting, the massacres and destruction affecting the Ebro valley and Septimania unleashed a flow of refugees who found shelter in southern Aquitaine across the Pyrenees, Provence. Sometime during this period, the Berber commander Uthman ibn Naissa became governor of the Cerdanya. By that time, resentment against Arab rulers was growing within the Berber troops. By 725, all of Septimania was under Umayyad rule. Uthman ibn Naissa, the Pyrenean Berber lord ruler of the eastern Pyrenees, detached from Cordova, establishing a principality based on a Berber power base; the Berber leader allied with the Aquitanian duke Odo, eager to stabilize his borders, is reported to have married Odo's daughter Lampegia. Uthman ibn Naissa went on to kill Nambaudus, the bishop of Urgell, an official acting on the orders of the Church of Toledo; the new Umayyad governor in Cordova, Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, mustered an expedition to punish the Berber commander's insubordination and putting him to death in Cerdanya, according to the Mozarabic Chronicler, a just retribution for killing the Gothic bishop.
Emboldened by his success, he attacked Uthman ibn Naissa's Aquitanian ally Duke Odo, who had just encountered Charles Martel's devastating offensive on Bourges and northern Aquitaine. Still managing to recruit the necessary number of soldiers, the independent Odo confronted al-Ghafiqi's forces that had broken north by the western Pyrenees, but could not hold back the Arab commander's thrust against Bordeaux; the Aquitanian leader was beaten at the Battle of the River Garonne in 732. The Umayyad force moved north to invade Poitou in order to plunder the Basilica of Saint-Martin-de-Tours. Odo still found the opportunity to save his grip on Aquitaine by warning the rising Frankish commander Charles of the impending danger against the Frankish sacred city of Tours. Umayyad forces were defeated in the Battle of Poitiers in 732, considered by many the turning point of Muslim expansion in Gaul. With the death of Odo in 735 and after putting down the Aquitanian detachment attempt led by duke Hunald, Charles Martel went on to deal with Burgundy and the Mediterranean south of Gaul.
Still, in 734, Umayyad forces under Abd el-Malik el Fihri, Abd al-Rahman's successor, received without a fight the submission of the cities of Avignon and Marseille, ruled by count Maurontus. The patrician of Provence had called Andalusi forces in to protect his strongholds from the Carolingian thrust, maybe estimating his own garrisons too weak to fend off Charles Martel's well-organised, strong army made up of vassi enriched with Church lands. Charles faced the opposition of various regional actors. To begin with the Gothic and Gallo-Roman nobility of the region, who feared his aggressive and overbearing policy. Charles decided to ally with the Lombard King Liutprand in order to repel the Umayyads and the regional nobility of Gothic and Gallo-Roman stock, he underwent the hostility of the dukes of Aquitaine, who jeopardized Charles' and his successor Pepin's rearguard during their military operations in Septimania and Provence. The dukes of Aquitaine in turn relied on the strength of the Basque troops, acting on a strategic alliance with the Aquitanians since mid-7th century.
In 737, Charles captured and reduced Avignon to rubble, besides destroying the Umayyad fleet
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne in the Gironde department in Southwestern France. The municipality of Bordeaux proper has a population of 252,040. Together with its suburbs and satellite towns, Bordeaux is the centre of the Bordeaux Métropole. With 1,195,335 in the metropolitan area, it is the sixth-largest in France, after Paris, Lyon and Lille, it is the capital of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture of the Gironde department. Its inhabitants are called "Bordelais" or "Bordelaises"; the term "Bordelais" may refer to the city and its surrounding region. Being at the center of a major wine-growing and wine-producing region, Bordeaux remains a prominent powerhouse and exercises significant influence on the world wine industry although no wine production is conducted within the city limits, it is home to the world's main wine fair and the wine economy in the metro area takes in 14.5 billion euros each year. Bordeaux wine has been produced in the region since the 8th century.
The historic part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as "an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble" of the 18th century. After Paris, Bordeaux has the highest number of preserved historical buildings of any city in France. In historical times, around 567 BC it was the settlement of a Celtic tribe, the Bituriges Vivisci, who named the town Burdigala of Aquitanian origin; the name Bourde is still the name of a river south of the city. In 107 BC, the Battle of Burdigala was fought by the Romans who were defending the Allobroges, a Gallic tribe allied to Rome, the Tigurini led by Divico; the Romans were defeated and their commander, the consul Lucius Cassius Longinus, was killed in the action. The city fell under Roman rule around its importance lying in the commerce of tin and lead, it became capital of Roman Aquitaine, flourishing during the Severan dynasty. In 276 it was sacked by the Vandals. Further ravage was brought by the same Vandals in 409, the Visigoths in 414, the Franks in 498, beginning a period of obscurity for the city.
In the late 6th century, the city re-emerged as the seat of a county and an archdiocese within the Merovingian kingdom of the Franks, but royal Frankish power was never strong. The city started to play a regional role as a major urban center on the fringes of the newly founded Frankish Duchy of Vasconia. Around 585, Gallactorius is fighting the Basque people; the city was plundered by the troops of Abd er Rahman in 732 after they stormed the fortified city and overwhelmed the Aquitanian garrison. Duke Eudes mustered a force ready to engage the Umayyads outside Bordeaux taking them on in the Battle of the River Garonne somewhere near the river Dordogne; the battle had a high death toll. Although Eudes was defeated here, he saved part of his troops and kept his grip on Aquitaine after the Battle of Poitiers. In 735, the Aquitanian duke Hunald led a rebellion after his father Eudes's death, at which Charles responded by sending an expedition that captured and plundered Bordeaux again, but did not retain it for long.
The following year, the Frankish commander descended again to Aquitaine, but clashed in battle with the Aquitanians and left to take on hostile Burgundian authorities and magnates. In 745, Aquitaine faced yet another expedition by Charles's sons Pepin and Carloman, against Hunald, the Aquitanian princeps strong in Bordeaux. Hunald was defeated, his son Waifer replaced him, confirmed Bordeaux as the capital city. During the last stage of the war against Aquitaine, it was one of Waifer's last important strongholds to fall to King Pepin the Short's troops. Next to Bordeaux, Charlemagne built the fortress of Fronsac on a hill across the border with the Basques, where Basque commanders came over to vow loyalty to him. In 778, Seguin was appointed count of Bordeaux undermining the power of the Duke Lupo, leading to the Battle of Roncevaux Pass that year. In 814, Seguin was made Duke of Vasconia, but he was deposed in 816 for failing to suppress or sympathise with a Basque rebellion. Under the Carolingians, sometimes the Counts of Bordeaux held the title concomitantly with that of Duke of Vasconia.
They were meant to keep the Basques in check and defend the mouth of the Garonne from the Vikings when the latter appeared c. 844 in the region of Bordeaux. In Autumn 845, count Seguin II marched on the Vikings, who were assaulting Bordeaux and Saintes, but he was captured and executed. No bishops were mentioned during part of the 9th in Bordeaux. From the 12th to the 15th century, Bordeaux regained importance following the marriage of Duchess Eléonore of Aquitaine with the French-speaking Count Henri Plantagenet, born in Le Mans, who became, within months of their wedding, King Henry II of England; the city flourished due to the wine trade, the cathedral of St. André was built, it was the capital of an independent state under Edward, the Black Prince, but in the end, after the Battle of Castillon, it was annexed by France which extended its territory. The Château Trompette and the Fort du Hâ, built by Charles VII of France, were the symbols of the new domination, which however deprived the city of its wealth by halting the wine commerce with England.
In 1462, Bordeaux obtained a parliament, but regained importance only in the 16th century when it became the centre of the distribution of sugar and slaves from the West Indies along with the traditional wine. Bordeaux adhered to the Fronde
Aquitaine, archaic Guyenne/Guienne, is a historical region of France and a former administrative region of the country. Since 1 January 2016 it has been part of the region Nouvelle-Aquitaine, it is situated in the south-western part of Metropolitan France, along the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees mountain range on the border with Spain. It is composed of the five departments of Dordogne, Lot-et-Garonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques and Gironde. In the Middle Ages, Aquitaine was a duchy, whose boundaries fluctuated considerably. There are traces of human settlement by prehistoric peoples in the Périgord, but the earliest attested inhabitants in the south-west were the Aquitani, who were not proper Celtic people, but more akin to the Iberians. Although a number of different languages and dialects were in use in the area during ancient times, it is most that the prevailing language of Aquitaine during the late pre-historic to Roman period was an early form of the Basque language; this has been demonstrated by various Aquitanian names and words that were recorded by the Romans, which are easily readable as Basque.
Whether this Aquitanian language was a remnant of a Vasconic language group that once extended much farther, or it was limited to the Aquitaine/Basque region is not known. One reason the language of Aquitaine is important is because Basque is the last surviving non-Indo-European language in western Europe and it has had some effect on the languages around it, including Spanish and, to a lesser extent, French; the original Aquitania at the time of Caesar's conquest of Gaul included the area bounded by the Garonne River, the Pyrenees and the Atlantic Ocean. The name may stem from Latin'aqua', maybe derived from the town "Aquae Augustae", "Aquae Tarbellicae" or just "Aquis" or as a more general geographical feature. Under Augustus' Roman rule, since 27 BC the province of Aquitania was further stretched to the north to the River Loire, thus including proper Gaul tribes along with old Aquitani south of the Garonne within the same region. In 392, the Roman imperial provinces were restructured as Aquitania Prima, Aquitania Secunda and Aquitania Tertia, better known as Novempopulania in the south-west.
Accounts of Aquitania during the Early Middle Ages are a blur, lacking precision, but there was much unrest. The Visigoths were called into Gaul as foederati, they established themselves as the de facto rulers in south-west Gaul as central Roman rule collapsed. Visigoths established their capital in Toulouse. In 507, they were expelled south to Hispania after their defeat in the Battle of Vouillé by the Franks, who became the new rulers in the area to the south of the Loire; the Roman Aquitania Tertia remained in place as Novempopulania, where a duke was appointed to hold a grip over the Basques. These dukes were quite detached from central Frankish overlordship, sometimes governing as independent rulers with strong ties to their kinsmen south of the Pyrenees; as of 660, the foundations for an independent Aquitaine/Vasconia polity were established by the duke Felix of Aquitaine, a magnate from Toulouse of Gallo-Roman stock. Despite its nominal submission to the Merovingians, the ethnic make-up of new realm Aquitaine wasn't Frankish, but Gallo-Roman north of the Garonne and main towns and Basque south of the Garonne.
A united Basque-Aquitanian realm reached its heyday under Odo the Great's rule. In 721, the Aquitanian duke fended Umayyad troops off at Toulouse, but in 732, an Umayyad expedition commanded by Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi defeated Odo next to Bordeaux, went on to loot its way up to Poitiers. Odo was required to pledge allegiance to the Frankish Charles Martel in exchange for help against the advancing Arabic forces. Basque-Aquitanian self-rule temporarily came to a halt in 768 after the assassination of Waifer. In 781, Charlemagne decided to proclaim his son Louis King of Aquitaine within the Carolingian Empire, ruling over a realm comprising the Duchy of Aquitaine and the Duchy of Vasconia He suppressed various Basque uprisings venturing into the lands of Pamplona past the Pyrenees after ravaging Gascony, with a view to imposing his authority in the Vasconia to south of Pyrenees. According to his biography, he achieved everything he wanted and after staying overnight in Pamplona, on his way back his army was attacked in Roncevaux in 812, but narrowly escaped an engagement at the Pyrenean passes.
Seguin, count of Bordeaux and Duke of Vasconia, seemed to have attempted a detachment from the Frankish central authority on Charlemagne's death. The new emperor Louis the Pious reacted by removing him from his capacity, which stirred the Basques into rebellion; the king in turn sent his troops to the territory, obtaining their submission in two campaigns and killing the duke, while his family crossed the Pyrenees and continued to foment risings against Frankish power. In 824, the 2nd Battle of Roncevaux took place, in which counts Aeblus and Aznar, Frankish vassals from the Duchy of Vasconia sent by the new King of Aquitaine, were captured by the joint forces of Iñigo Arista and the Banu Qasi. Before Pepin's death, emperor Louis had appointed a new king in 832, his son Charles the Bald, while the Aquitanian lords elected Pepin II as king; this struggle for control of the kingdom led to
Charles Martel was a Frankish statesman and military leader who as Duke and Prince of the Franks and Mayor of the Palace, was the de facto ruler of Francia from 718 until his death. The son of the Frankish statesman Pepin of Herstal and a noblewoman named Alpaida, Charles asserted his claims to power as successor to his father as the power behind the throne in Frankish politics. Continuing and building on his father's work, he restored centralized government in Francia and began the series of military campaigns that re-established the Franks as the undisputed masters of all Gaul. According to a near-contemporary source, the Liber Historiae Francorum, Charles was "a warrior, uncommonly...effective in battle". Much attention has been paid to his success in defeating an Arab raid in Aquitaine at the Battle of Tours. Alongside his military endeavours, Charles has been traditionally credited with a seminal role in the development of the Frankish system of feudalism. At the end of his reign, Charles divided Francia between his sons and Pepin.
The latter became the first king of the Carolingian dynasty. Charles' grandson, extended the Frankish realms, became the first Emperor in the West since the fall of Rome. Charles, nicknamed "Martel", or "the Hammer", in chronicles, was the son of Pepin of Herstal and his second wife Alpaida, he had a brother named Childebrand, who became the Frankish dux of Burgundy. In older historiography, it was common to describe Charles as "illegitimate", but the dividing line between wives and concubines was not clear-cut in eighth-century Francia, it is that the accusation of "illegitimacy" derives from the desire of Pepin's first wife Plectrude to see her progeny as heirs to Pepin's power. After the reign of Dagobert I the Merovingians 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, granted land and privileges in the name of the figurehead king. Charles' father, Pepin of Herstal, was able to unite the Frankish realm by conquering Neustria and Burgundy.
He was the first to call himself Duke and Prince of the Franks, a title taken up by Charles. In December 714, Pepin of Herstal died. Prior to his death, he had, at his wife Plectrude's urging, designated Theudoald, his grandson by their late son Grimoald, his heir in the entire realm; this was opposed by the nobles because Theudoald was a child of only eight years of age. To prevent Charles using this unrest to his own advantage, Plectrude had him imprisoned in Cologne, the city, intended to be her capital; this prevented an uprising on his behalf in Austrasia, but not in Neustria. 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 declaring political independence. On 26 September 715, Ragenfrid's Neustrians met the young Theudoald's forces at the Battle of Compiegne. Theudoald fled back to Cologne. Before the end of the year, Charles Martel had escaped from prison and been acclaimed mayor by the nobles of Austrasia.
That same year, Dagobert III died and the Neustrians proclaimed Chilperic II, the cloistered son of Childeric II, as king. 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, still held by Plectrude. Charles had little time to gather men, or prepare, the result was the only defeat of his career; the Frisians held off Charles, while the king and his mayor besieged Plectrude at Cologne, where she bought them off with a substantial portion of Pepin's treasure. They withdrew. Charles retreated to the hills of the Eifel to gather men, 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. According to one source, he split his forces into several groups. Another suggests that while this was his intention, he decided, given the enemy's unpreparedness, this was not necessary.
In any event, the suddenness of the assault lead them to believe they were facing a much larger host. Many of the enemy fled and Martel's troops gathered the spoils of the camp. Martel's reputation increased as a result, he attracted more followers; this battle is considered by historians as the turning point in Charles's struggle. Richard Gerberding points out that up to this time, much of Martel's support was from his mother's kindred in the lands around Liege. After Amblève, he seems to have won the backing of the influential Willibrord, founder of the Abbey of Echternach; the abbey had been built on land donated by Plectrude's mother, Irmina of Oeren, but most of Willibrord's missionary work had been carried out in Frisia. In joining Chilperic and Ragenfrid, Radbod of Frisia sacked Utrecht, burning churches and killing many missionaries. Willibrord and his monks were forced to flee to Echternach. Gerberding suggests that Willibrord had decided that the chances of preserving his life's work were better with a successful field commander like Martel than with Plectrude in Cologne.
Willibrord subsequently baptized Martel's son Pepin. Gerberding suggests a date of Easter 716. Martel received support from Bishop Pepo of Verdun. Charles took time to prepare. By the following spring, Charles had attracted e
The Umayyad Caliphate spelt Omayyad, was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty; the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan, was a member of the Umayyad clan. The family established dynastic, hereditary rule with Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan, long-time governor of Syria, who became the sixth Caliph after the end of the First Muslim Civil War in 661. After Mu'awiyah's death in 680, conflicts over the succession resulted in a Second Civil War and power fell into the hands of Marwan I from another branch of the clan. Syria remained the Umayyads' main power base thereafter, Damascus was their capital; the Umayyads continued the Muslim conquests, incorporating the Transoxiana, the Maghreb and the Iberian Peninsula into the Muslim world. At its greatest extent, the Umayyad Caliphate covered 11,100,000 km2 and 33 million people, making it one of the largest empires in history in both area and proportion of the world's population.
The dynasty was overthrown by a rebellion led by the Abbasids in 750. Survivors of the dynasty established themselves in Cordoba in the form of an Emirate and a Caliphate, lasting until 1031; the Umayyad Caliphs were considered too secular by some of their Muslim subjects. Christians, who still constituted a majority of the Caliphate's population, Jews were allowed to practice their own religion but had to pay a head tax from which Muslims were exempt. There was, the Muslim-only zakat tax, earmarked explicitly for various welfare progammes. Muawiya's wife Maysum was a Christian. Relations between the caliphate's Muslim and Christian subjects were stable in this time; the Umayyads were involved in frequent battles with the Christian Byzantines without being concerned with protecting themselves in Syria, which had remained Christian like many other parts of the empire. Prominent positions were held by Christians, some of whom belonged to families that had served in Byzantine governments; the employment of Christians was part of a broader policy of religious accommodation, necessitated by the presence of large Christian populations in the conquered provinces, as in Syria.
This policy boosted Muawiya's popularity and solidified Syria as his power base. According to tradition, the Umayyad family and Muhammad both descended from a common ancestor, Abd Manaf ibn Qusai, they came from the city of Mecca in the Hijaz. Muhammad descended from Abd Manāf via his son Hashim, while the Umayyads descended from Abd Manaf via a different son, Abd-Shams, whose son was Umayya; the two families are therefore considered to be different clans of the same tribe. While the Umayyads felt deep animosity towards the Hashimites before Muhammad, their animosity deepened after the Battle of Badr of 624; the battle saw. This fueled the opposition of Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, the grandson of Umayya, to Muhammad, his family, Islam as a whole. Abu Sufyan sought to exterminate the adherents of the new religion by waging another battle against the Medina-based Muslims only a year after the Battle of Badr, he did this to avenge the defeat at Badr. Scholars regard the Battle of Uhud as the first defeat for the Muslims, since they incurred greater losses than the Meccans.
After the battle, Abu Sufyan's wife Hind, the daughter of Utba ibn Rabi'ah, is reported to have cut open the corpse of Hamza, taking out his liver which she attempted to eat. In 629, within five years of the defeat in the Battle of Uhud, Muhammad took control of Mecca and announced a general amnesty for all. Abu Sufyan and his wife Hind embraced Islam on the eve of the conquest of Mecca; the Umayyad's ascendancy began when Uthman ibn Affan, an early companion, second cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad became the third Caliph. Uthman placed some members of his clan at positions of power. Most notably, he appointed his first cousin, Marwan ibn al-Hakam, as his top advisor, which created a stir among the Hashimite companions of Muhammad, as Marwan had been permanently exiled from Medina by Muhammad. Uthman appointed his half-brother, Walid ibn Uqba, whom Hashimites accused of leading prayer while under the influence of alcohol, governor of Kufa and appointed his foster-brother Abdullah ibn Saad as the Governor of Egypt, replacing Amr ibn al-As.
Most notably, Uthman consolidated Muawiyah's governorship of Syria by granting him control over a larger area. Muawiyah proved a successful governor, he built up a loyal and disciplined army composed of Syrian Arabs and befriended Amr ibn al-As, the ousted governor of Egypt. In 639 Muawiyah was appointed as the governor of Syria after the previous governor Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah died in a plague along with 25,000 other people. In 649 Muawiyah set up a navy manned by Monophysite Christian and Jacobite Syrian Christian sailors and Muslim troops, who defeated the Byzantine navy at the Battle of the Masts in 655, opening up the Mediterranean. Uthman's rule saw the relaxing of restrictions instituted by the second Caliph Umar ibn Al-Khatt