Translation by Michael Laudahn:
At a time when 732 still was taught at school
They had crossed the Pyrenees and lunged at Gaul like a cloud of crickets.’
Charles Martel beats the arabs at Poitiers
Charles Martel at the battle of Poitiers
Observe: 1. Charles Martel, his costume, his arms.
2. Behind him, the franks, armed with axes, lances, short swords. 3. The arabs, their white burnousses, their scimitar with an extended blade.
1. The invasion of the arabs. – In 732, Charles was the Maire du Palais.
This was the time when the arabs wanted to expand the moslem religion by means of war and conquest. They had aready submitted northern Africa and Spain. They had crossed the Pyrenees and lunged at Gaul like a cloud of crickets. They burned, marauded Toulouse and Bordeaux. Then they turned towards Tours, capital of christian Gaul.
2. The two armies meeting for the first time. – The arabs’ was a strange army indeed. The chiefs and the princes, having fine tanned faces, wore silk. They wore long burnousses made of white wool and mousseline turbans. Their golden jewellery glittered. They were proud of their small, nervous and rapid horses, of their scimitars with jewel-decorated handles. Other arabs, less moneyed, only had rough burnousses, tightened around their heads with a cord made of camel hair. They rode dromedaries.
All of Gaul, Germania and the northern countries were seized by fear. Charles assembled a powerful army, quite different from the light cavalry of the arabs. Franks were there, tall and blond, who brandished the intimidating francisque; the alemanni armed with a lance which they held in the middle; the saxons, who held their large and heavy sword with both hands. Bishops went from rank to rank, giving their benediction.
RÈfÈrences du manuel: Notre France, son histoire, par E. AUDRIN et M. et L. DECHAPPE, Cours ÈlÈmentaire des Ecoles Primaires, classes de 9Ëme et 10Ëme des LycÈes et CollËges. Editions Lavauzelle, 1951.