(French, martel, ‘hammer’) Frankish leader. He was the son of Pepin II, ‘mayor of the palace’ under Merovingian rule. He gained control of the Austrasian province and defeated the Neustrian mayor. Burgundy and Aquitaine were also acquired. His greatest achievement, and the one which made him a traditional French hero, was his defeat of the Muslim forces between Poitiers and Tours in 732, which signalled the end of their northward expansion.
Subjects: Military History.