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Dinner Conversations: Feb 2 2019

by on September 14, 2019

Last night’s dinner conversation was, by the standards around here, completely normal.  For interest, posterity, and history, I’m sharing it with you.  … Although not verbatim, we talked about these things.

I must interject.

I was having dinner with the parents.  I don’t know how this conversation started; I walked into it.  I walked into a discussion, or perhaps a reminiscence  of what remembers from the books.

Now, political discourse tells us that politicians are supposed to be interested in conversations around the dinner table (and frankly, that we are inclined to vote for a candidate we’d have a beer with).  So I hope that politicians and policy-makers are ready for this normal conversation (no liqueur included).

As I said, I entered a conversation where my dad was describing the Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula.  My parents are trying to remember exactly when the Moroccans took over what is Spain, and how long they were there.

My dad couldn’t remember the name of the battle that stopped the Muslim conquest.  We could remember that this was in the 700 hundreds, CE.  Or maybe the 900 hundreds.

And, being that we remember that the Muslims took over the Iberian peninsula, the battle must have been somewhere in the Pyrenees between what is now and Spain.  I was sure there was a battle in Carcasoone, or perhaps somewhere in the Languedoc.  Of course, I was thinking of – and knowing it wasn’t what the same – the Albigensian Crusade that happened five hundred years later.

So out come the phone that searches for something like “Muslim invasion of iberian peninsula.”.

It tells us that there was a Battle of Tours (10 October 732).  This didn’t seem right.  Tours, and another search to refresh our memory, tells us, is west of Paris.  But there is it is.

So now we must remember who was in the battle.  Being Western-centered, we were not think of Abd al-Rahman.  Was it Odo, I asked?  It turns out that it was Odo – a faint ringing of a name that was delved up from somewhere in K-12 education.  And also some famous guy names Charles Martel.

Charles Martel, I am reminded, was the founder of the Carolingian Empire and the grandfather of Charlemagne.  He was also an ancestor to William I of England.

I was led down the rabbit-hole of Wikipedia searches thanks to the conquest of the Iberian peninsula, which led me to Odo and Charles Martel.

From → Life, World

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