Charles King of the Franks Martel

Born:688 In:  Herstal, Liege, Belgium
Died:Feb 20 741 (at age ‎~53‏)In:  Quierzy, Aisne, Picardie, France

Immediate family

Rotrud Martel (born of Treves)
His wife
Pepin III "the Short" King of the Franks Martel
His son
Rotrude DeTrêves Martel (born DeThurgovie)
His wife
Pepin D Heristal
His father
Aupais D Heristal (born Alpaide)
His mother

Source citations

Page: Ancestry Family Trees
Citation text:


Charles Martel, King of the Franks gained the title of King Charles of the Franks. Charles Martel, King of the Franks also went by the nick-name of Charles 'the Hammer'.


Charles "The Hammer" Martel (Latin: Carolus Martellus, English: Charles "the Hammer") (ca. 688 – 22 October 741) was proclaimed Mayor of the Palace and ruled the Franks in the name of a titular King. Late in his reign he proclaimed himself Duke of the Franks (the last four years of his reign he did not even bother with the façade of a King) and by any name was de facto ruler of the Frankish Realms. In 739 he was offered an office of Roman consul by the Pope, which he rejected possibly not to conflict with Theodatus Ursus who already occupied the office by appointment of the Byzantine emperor Leo III the Isaurian. He expanded his rule over all three of the Frankish kingdoms: Austrasia, Neustria and Burgundy. Martel was born in Herstal, in present-day Belgium, the illegitimate son of Pippin the Middle and his concubine Alpaida (or Chalpaida). He was described by Louis Gustave and Charles Strauss in their book "Moslem and Frank; or, Charles Martel and the rescue of Europe" as a tall, powerfully built man, who was more agile than his size would lead men to believe.


He is best remembered for winning the Battle of Tours in 732, which has traditionally been characterized as an event that halted the Islamic expansionism in Europe that had conquered Iberia. "Charles's victory has often been regarded as decisive for world history, since it preserved western Europe from Muslim conquest and Islamization."


In addition to being the leader of the army that prevailed at Tours, Charles Martel was a truly giant figure of the Middle Ages. A brilliant general, he is considered the forefather of western heavy cavalry, chivalry, founder of the Carolingian Empire (which was named after him), and a catalyst for the feudal system, which would see Europe through the Middle Ages. Although some recent scholars have suggested he was more of a beneficiary of the feudal system than a knowing agent for social change, others continue to see him as the primary catalyst for the feudal system.





Charles the Hammer Duke of Franks Martel
Ancestor search:
Search Search

Download our exceptional genealogy software for free

Fun & simple to use
Imports your GEDCOM files easily
Smart Matching™ technology
Supports 40 languages