Considering how far the Umayyad Empire had come into Europe, and their defeat at the Battle of Tours could they have pushed further into Europe? Did Tours really stop their advance or were there other forces that kept them from further conquest?

Their empire was already large, and it's hard to see how their forces could have continued into the Frankish Kingdoms, and maintain a stable country especially considering they just took Iberia. Looking at later times they had revolts in North Africa they were not in solid control, so if they had spread their forces more they could have fallen swifter and lost European territories if there were revolts. So it looks like they hadn't stabilized control but pressed onwards, yet if they didn't then did they stop to stabilize control of the empire or were there other forces at work?

  • I wouldn't consider it unprecedented, see Mongol invasion of Europe - that country was far larger. Depends on what you consider a "country" of course, it clearly couldn't be governed in a centralized way. Oct 14, 2011 at 12:37
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    I was waiting for this question to come out. :-) It's an interesting point of debate.
    – Noldorin
    Oct 14, 2011 at 12:47
  • My own personal view is that the terrain in France, combined with the military superiority of the Franks and nearby forces (compared to the Visigoths) would have proven extremely costly to the invading Moors had they attempted again.
    – Noldorin
    Oct 14, 2011 at 12:49
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    Russia was geographically very open to attack from the east, and militarily at a disadvantage to light cavalry on the steppes of Asia. The more advanced and indeed populous nations of Central and Western European would have posed a much larger challenge, for sure.
    – Noldorin
    Oct 20, 2011 at 0:28
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    I’m voting to close this question because counterfactuals are off topic.
    – Spencer
    Apr 20, 2021 at 21:04

1 Answer 1


During the battle of Tours, the invading Muslim leader, Emir Abd al Rahman was killed, which represented a major setback for them. After winning the battle in 732, the Frankish leader Charles Martel followed up his victory by "cleaning out" Muslim enclaves established in southern France, meaning that they had lost the initiative.

By about 750, the Ummayad Empire had degenerated into civil war, making it possible for Martel's son and grandson, Charlemagne, to push the invaders out of France entirely, and begin pushing them out of northern Spain.

So yes, the battle of Tours represented a bursting of the Ummayad bubble.

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    Nice, didn't know about Emir Abd al Rahman being killed - that would definitely be a setback. Thanks.
    – MichaelF
    Oct 20, 2011 at 12:07

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