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The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early
Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe and Eastern Europe, based on a common History, historical, Society, social and cultural identity. The T ...
who, along with the
Ostrogoths The Ostrogoths ( la, Ostrogothi, Austrogothi) were a Roman-era Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mention ...
, constituted the two major political entities of the
Goths The Goths ( got, 𐌲𐌿𐍄𐌸𐌹𐌿𐌳𐌰, translit=''Gutþiuda''; la, Gothi) were a Germanic people who played a major role in the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the emergence of medieval Europe. In his book ''Getica'' (c. 551), ...
within the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
in
late antiquity Late antiquity is a periodization Periodization is the process or study of categorizing the past into discrete, quantified named blocks of time.Adam Rabinowitz. It’s about time: historical periodization and Linked Ancient World Data'. Inst ...
, or what is known as the
Migration Period The Migration Period, also known as the Barbarian Invasions (from the Roman and Greek perspective), is a term sometimes used for the period in the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the ...
. The Visigoths emerged from earlier Gothic groups, including a large group of
Thervingi The Thervingi, Tervingi, or Teruingi (sometimes pluralised Tervings or Thervings) were a Gothic Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and languages *Goths or Gothic people, the ethnonym of a group of East Germanic tribes **Gothic language, a ...
, who had moved into the Roman Empire beginning in 376 and had played a major role in defeating the Romans at the
Battle of Adrianople The Battle of Adrianople (9 August 378), sometimes known as the Battle of Hadrianopolis, was fought between an Eastern Roman Empire, Eastern Roman East Roman army, army led by the Eastern Roman Emperor Valens and Goths, Gothic rebels (largely T ...
in 378. Relations between the Romans and the Visigoths were variable, alternately warring with one another and making treaties when convenient. Under their first leader,
Alaric I Alaric I (; got, 𐌰𐌻𐌰𐍂𐌴𐌹𐌺𐍃, , "ruler of all"; la, Alaricus; c. 370 – 410 AD) was the first Germanic Kingship, king of the Visigoths, from 395 to 410. He rose to leadership of the Goths who came to occupy Moesia – terr ...
, the Visigoths invaded Italy and sacked Rome in August 410. Afterwards, they began settling down, first in southern
Gaul Gaul ( la, Gallia) was a region of Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rat ...

Gaul
and eventually in
Hispania Hispania ( ; ) was the Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter in the New Testame ...

Hispania
, where they founded the
Visigothic Kingdom The Visigothic Kingdom, officially the Kingdom of the Goths ( la, Regnum Gothorum), was a kingdom that occupied what is now southwestern France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a ...

Visigothic Kingdom
and maintained a presence from the fifth to the 8th centuries AD. The Visigoths first settled in southern Gaul as ''
foederati ''Foederati'' (, singular: ''foederatus'' ) were peoples and cities bound by a treaty A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually entered into by sovereign states and internationa ...
'' to the Romans, a relationship that was established in 418. However, they soon fell out with their Roman hosts (for reasons that are now obscure) and established their own kingdom with its
capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minusc ...
at
Toulouse Toulouse ( , ; oc, Tolosa ) is the prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area ...

Toulouse
. They next extended their authority into Hispania at the expense of the
Suebi The Suebi (or Suebians, also spelled Suevi, Suavi) were a large group of Germanic peoples originally from the Elbe river region in what is now Germany and Czechia, the Czech Republic. In the early Roman era they included many peoples with their ow ...
and
Vandals The Vandals were a Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mentioned by Graeco-Roman authors. They are also ...
. In 507, however, their rule in Gaul was ended by the
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the . Later the term was associated with Germanic dynasties within the ...

Franks
under
Clovis I Clovis ( la, Chlodovechus; reconstructed Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern E ...

Clovis I
, who defeated them in the
Battle of Vouillé The Battle of Vouillé (from Latin ''Campus Vogladensis'') was fought in the northern marches In Middle Ages, medieval Europe, a march or mark was, in broad terms, any kind of borderland, as opposed to a national "heartland". More specifically, a ...
. After that, the Visigoth kingdom was limited to Hispania, and they never again held territory north of the
Pyrenees The Pyrenees (; es, Pirineos ; french: Pyrénées ; ca, Pirineus ; eu, Pirinioak ; oc, Pirenèus ; an, Pirineus) is a mountain range straddling the border of France and Spain. It extends nearly from its union with the Cantabrian Mountains to ...

Pyrenees
other than
Septimania 300px, Septimania in 537 Septimania (french: Septimanie ; oc, Septimània ; ca, Septimània ) is a historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything ...
. An elite group of Visigoths came to dominate the governance of that region at the expense of those who had previously ruled there, particularly in the
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...

Byzantine
province of
Spania Spania ( la, Provincia Spaniae) was a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative unit ...
and the
Kingdom of the Suebi The Kingdom of the Suebi ( la, Regnum Suevorum), also called the Kingdom of Gallæcia ( la, Regnum Gallæciae) or Suebi Kingdom of Gallæcia ( la, Gallaecia suevorum regnum), was a Germanic peoples, Germanic Migration period, post-Roman kingdom t ...
. In or around 589, the Visigoths under
Reccared I Reccared I (or Recared; la, Reccaredus; es, Recaredo; 559 – December 601 AD; reigned 586–601) was Visigothic King of the King of the Romans (variant used in the early modern period) File:Nezahualpiltzintli.jpg">Aztec King Nezah ...
converted from
Arianism Arianism is a Christological doctrine first attributed to Arius Arius (; grc-koi, Ἄρειος, ; 250 or 256–336) was a Cyrenaic The Cyrenaics or Kyrenaics ( grc, Κυρηναϊκοί; ''Kyrēnaïkoí'') were a sensual hedonist Greek ...
to
Nicene Christianity The original Nicene Creed (; grc-gre, Σύμβολον τῆς Νικαίας; la, Symbolum Nicaenum) was first adopted at the First Council of Nicaea, which opened on 19 June 325.''Readings in the History of Christian Theology'' by William Car ...
, gradually adopting the culture of their Hispano-Roman subjects. Their legal code, the ''
Visigothic Code The cover of an edition of the Liber Iudiciorum from 1600. The Visigothic Code ( la, Forum Iudicum, Liber Iudiciorum; es, Libro de los Jueces, Book of the Judges), also called ''Lex Visigothorum'' (English: Law of the Visigoths), is a set of laws f ...
'' (completed in 654), abolished the longstanding practice of applying different laws for Romans and Visigoths. Once legal distinctions were no longer being made between ''Romani'' and ''Gothi'', they became known collectively as ''Hispani''. In the century that followed, the region was dominated by the
Councils of Toledo From the 5th century to the 7th century AD, about thirty synods, variously counted, were held at Toledo, Spain, Toledo (''Concilia toletana'') in what would come to be part of Spain. The First Council of Toledo, earliest, directed against Priscill ...
and the episcopacy. Little else is known about the Visigoths' history during the 7th century, since records are relatively sparse. In 711, an invading force of Arabs and Berbers defeated the Visigoths in the
Battle of Guadalete The Battle of Guadalete was fought in 711 at an unidentified location between the Christian Visigoths The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people who, along with the Ostrogoths, constitute ...
. Their king,
Roderic Roderic (also spelled Ruderic, Roderik, Roderich, or Roderick; Spanish language, Spanish and pt, Rodrigo, ar, translit=Ludharīq, لذريق; died 711) was the Visigoths, Visigothic king in Hispania between 710 and 711. He is well-known as "the ...
, and many members of their governing elite were killed, and their kingdom rapidly collapsed. This was followed by the subsequent formation of the
Kingdom of Asturias The Kingdom of Asturias ( la, Asturum Regnum; ast, Reinu d'Asturies) was a kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese Aragonese or Aragones may refer to: * Something related to Aragon, an autonomous commun ...
in northern Spain and the beginning of the
Reconquista The ' (Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portug ...

Reconquista
by Christian troops under
Pelagius Pelagius ( – 418) was a theologian who advocated free will and asceticism. He was accused by Augustine of Hippo and others of denying the need for divine aid in performing good works. They understood him to have said that the only grace ne ...

Pelagius
. During their governance of Hispania, the Visigoths built several churches that survived. They also left many artifacts which have been discovered in increasing numbers by archaeologists in recent years. The
Treasure of Guarrazar Location of Guadamur. The Treasure of Guarrazar, Guadamur, Province of Toledo Toledo is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', ...
of
votive crown A votive crown is a votive offering Bronze animal statuettes from Olympia, votive offerings, 8th–7th century BC. A votive offering or votive deposit is one or more objects displayed or deposited, without the intention of recovery or use, ...

votive crown
s and crosses are the most spectacular. They founded the only new cities in western Europe from the fall of the Western half of the Roman Empire until the rise of the
Carolingian dynasty The Carolingian dynasty (known variously as the Carlovingians, Carolingus, Carolings, Karolinger or Karlings) was a Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historic ...
. Many Visigothic names are still in use in modern
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
and
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
languages. Their most notable legacy, however, was the ''Visigothic Code'', which served, among other things, as the basis for court procedure in most of Christian
Iberia The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese language, Aragonese and Occitan language, Occitan: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península Eibérica * eu, Iberiar penintsula also known as Iberia, is a penin ...

Iberia
until the
Late Middle Ages The Late Middle Ages or Late Medieval Period was the period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical com ...
, centuries after the demise of the kingdom.


Nomenclature: Vesi, Tervingi, Visigoths

The Visigoths were never called Visigoths, only Goths, until
Cassiodorus Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator (c. 485 – c. 585), commonly known as Cassiodorus (), was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people ...
used the term, when referring to their loss against
Clovis I Clovis ( la, Chlodovechus; reconstructed Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern E ...

Clovis I
in 507. Cassiodorus apparently invented the term based on the model of the "
Ostrogoths The Ostrogoths ( la, Ostrogothi, Austrogothi) were a Roman-era Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mention ...
", but using the older name of the Vesi, one of the tribal names which the fifth-century poet
Sidonius Apollinaris Gaius Sollius Modestus Apollinaris Sidonius, better known as Sidonius Apollinaris (5 November of an unknown year, 430 – 481/490 AD), was a poet A poet is a person who creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as ...

Sidonius Apollinaris
had already used when referring to the Visigoths. The first part of the Ostrogoth name is related to the word "east", and Jordanes, the medieval writer, later clearly contrasted them in his ''Getica'', stating that "Visigoths were the Goths of the western country." According to Wolfram, Cassiodorus created this east–west understanding of the Goths, which was a simplification and literary device, while political realities were more complex. Cassiodorus himself used the term "Goths" to refer only to the Ostrogoths, whom he served, and reserved the geographical term "Visigoths" for the Gallo-Spanish Goths. The term "Visigoths" was later used by the Visigoths themselves in their communications with the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
, and was still in use in the 7th century. Two older tribal names from outside the Roman empire are associated with Visigoths who formed within the empire. The first references to any Gothic tribes by Roman and Greek authors were in the third century, notably including the
Thervingi The Thervingi, Tervingi, or Teruingi (sometimes pluralised Tervings or Thervings) were a Gothic Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and languages *Goths or Gothic people, the ethnonym of a group of East Germanic tribes **Gothic language, a ...
, who were once referred to as Goths by
Ammianus Marcellinus Ammianus Marcellinus (born , died 400) was a Roman soldier This is a list of Roman army units and bureaucrats. *''Accensus'' – Light infantry men in the armies of the early Roman Republic, made up of the poorest men of the army. *''Actuarius'' ...
. Much less is known of the "Vesi" or "Visi", from whom the term "Visigoth" was derived. Before Sidonius Apollinaris, the Vesi were first mentioned in the ''
Notitia Dignitatum Palestine and the River Jordan, from the ''Notitia Dignitatum'' illuminated by Peronet Lamy.">Peronet_Lamy.html" ;"title="River Jordan, from the ''Notitia Dignitatum'' illuminated by Peronet Lamy">River Jordan, from the ''Notitia Dignitatum'' ...
'', a late-4th- or early-5th-century list of Roman military forces. This list also contains the last mention of the "
Thervingi The Thervingi, Tervingi, or Teruingi (sometimes pluralised Tervings or Thervings) were a Gothic Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and languages *Goths or Gothic people, the ethnonym of a group of East Germanic tribes **Gothic language, a ...
" in a classical source. Although he did not refer to the Vesi, Tervingi or Greuthungi,
Jordanes Jordanes (), also written as Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th-century bureaucrat widely believed to be of who became a historian later in life. Late in life he wrote two works, one on Roman history and the other on the Goths. The latter, alon ...
identified the Visigothic kings from
Alaric I Alaric I (; got, 𐌰𐌻𐌰𐍂𐌴𐌹𐌺𐍃, , "ruler of all"; la, Alaricus; c. 370 – 410 AD) was the first Germanic Kingship, king of the Visigoths, from 395 to 410. He rose to leadership of the Goths who came to occupy Moesia – terr ...
to
Alaric II Alaric II ( got, 𐌰𐌻𐌰𐍂𐌴𐌹𐌺𐍃, , "ruler of all"; la, Alaricus; August 507) was the in 484–507. He succeeded his father as king of the in on 28 December 484; he was the great-grandson of the more famous , who sacked Rom ...
as the successors of the fourth-century Tervingian king
Athanaric Athanaric or Atanaric ( la, Athanaricus; died 381) was king of several branches of the Thervingi The Thervingi, Tervingi, or Teruingi (sometimes pluralised Tervings or Thervings) were a Gothic Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and lang ...
, and the Ostrogoth kings from
Theoderic the Great Theodoric (or Theoderic) the Great (454 – 30 August 526), also called Theodoric the Amal ( la, Flāvius Theoderīcus; el, Θευδέριχος, Theuderichos), was king of the Ostrogoths (471–526), and ruler of the independent Ostrogothic Kin ...
to
Theodahad Theodahad, also known as Thiudahad ( la, Flavius Theodahatus , Theodahadus, Theodatus; born 480 AD in Tauresium – December 536) was king of the Ostrogoths from 534 to 536. Early life Theodahad was a nephew of Theodoric the Great through ...

Theodahad
as the heirs of the Greuthungi king
Ermanaric 250px, The orange area signifies the Chernyakhov Culture, identified with Ermanaric's kingdom, in the early 4th century. Ermanaric ( got, *Aírmanareiks; la, Ermanaricus or ''Hermanaricus''; ang, Eormanrīc ; on, Jörmunrekr , gmh, Ermenrîc ...
. Based on this, many scholars have traditionally treated the terms "Vesi" and "Tervingi" as referring to one distinct tribe, while the terms "Ostrogothi" and "
Greuthungi 250px, The Greuthungi (also spelled Greutungi) were a Gothic people who lived on the Pontic steppe between the Dniester and Don rivers in what is now Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraina, ) is a country in Eastern Europe. ...
" were used to refer to another. Wolfram, who still recently defends the equation of Vesi with the Tervingi, argues that while primary sources occasionally list all four names (as in, for example, ''Gruthungi, Austrogothi, Tervingi, Visi''), whenever they mention two different tribes, they always refer either to "the Vesi and the Ostrogothi" or to "the Tervingi and the Greuthungi", and they never pair them up in any other combination. In addition, Wolfram interprets the ''
Notitia Dignitatum Palestine and the River Jordan, from the ''Notitia Dignitatum'' illuminated by Peronet Lamy.">Peronet_Lamy.html" ;"title="River Jordan, from the ''Notitia Dignitatum'' illuminated by Peronet Lamy">River Jordan, from the ''Notitia Dignitatum'' ...
'' as equating the Vesi with the Tervingi in a reference to the years 388–391. On the other hand, another other recent interpretation of the ''Notitia'' is that the two names, Vesi and Tervingi, are found in different places in the list, "a clear indication that we are dealing with two different army units, which must also presumably mean that they are, after all, perceived as two different peoples". Peter Heather has written that Wolfram's position is "entirely arguable, but so is the opposite". Wolfram believes that "Vesi" and "Ostrogothi" were terms each tribe used to boastfully describe itself and argues that "Tervingi" and "Greuthungi" were geographical identifiers each tribe used to describe the other. This would explain why the latter terms dropped out of use shortly after 400, when the Goths were displaced by the Hunnic invasions. Wolfram believes that the people Zosimus describes were those Tervingi who had remained behind after the Hunnic conquest. For the most part, all of the terms discriminating between different Gothic tribes gradually disappeared after they moved into the Roman Empire. Many recent scholars, such as
Peter Heather Peter John Heather (born 8 June 1960) is a British historian of Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting ...
, have concluded that Visigothic group identity emerged only within the Roman Empire.
Roger Collins Roger J. H. Collins (born 1949) is an English medievalist, currently an honorary fellow in history at the University of Edinburgh , latin_name = Universitas Academica Edinburgensis , image_name = University of Edinburgh ceremonial roundel.s ...
also believes that the Visigothic identity emerged from the Gothic War of 376–382 when a collection of Tervingi, Greuthungi and other "barbarian" contingents banded together in multiethnic ''
foederati ''Foederati'' (, singular: ''foederatus'' ) were peoples and cities bound by a treaty A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually entered into by sovereign states and internationa ...
'' (Wolfram's "federate armies") under Alaric I in the eastern
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rathe ...

Balkans
, since they had become a multi ethnic group and could no longer claim to be exclusively Tervingian. Other names for other Gothic divisions abounded. In 469, the Visigoths were called the "Alaric Goths". The
Frankish Table of Nations The Frankish Table of Nations (german: fränkische Völkertafel) is a brief early medieval genealogical text in Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin ...
, probably of Byzantine or Italian origin, referred to one of the two peoples as the ''Walagothi'', meaning "Roman Goths" (from Germanic *''
walhaz ''Walhaz'' is a reconstructed word meaning "Roman", "Romance-speaker" or "(romanized) Celt". The term was used by the ancient Germanic peoples to describe inhabitants of the former , who were largely and spoke Latin languages (cf. in ). Th ...
'', foreign). This probably refers to the Romanized Visigoths after their entry into Spain.
Landolfus Sagax Landolfus Sagax or Landolfo Sagace (''sagax'' meaning "expert" or "scholar") was a Lombard historian who wrote a ''Historia Romana'' in the last quarter of the tenth century or beginning of the eleventh. When his ''Historia'' was first published ...
, writing in the 10th or 11th century, calls the Visigoths the ''Hypogothi''.


Etymology of Tervingi and Vesi/Visigothi

The name ''Tervingi'' may mean "forest people", with the first part of the name related to Gothic ''triu'', and English "tree". This is supported by evidence that geographic descriptors were commonly used to distinguish people living north of the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
both before and after Gothic settlement there, by evidence of forest-related names among the Tervingi, and by the lack of evidence for an earlier date for the name pair Tervingi–Greuthungi than the late third century. That the name ''Tervingi'' has pre-Pontic, possibly Scandinavian, origins still has support today. The Visigoths are called ''Wesi'' or ''Wisi'' by
Trebellius Pollio The ''Historia Augusta'' (English: ''Augustan History'') is a late Roman collection of biographies, written in Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Lat ...
, Claudian and Sidonius Apollinaris. The word is
Gothic Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and languages *Goths or Gothic people, the ethnonym of a group of East Germanic tribes **Gothic language, an extinct East Germanic language spoken by the Goths **Crimean Gothic, the Gothic language spoken by ...
for "good", implying the "good or worthy people", related to Gothic ''iusiza'' "better" and a reflex of
Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the languages of Europe together with those of the northern Indian subcontinent and the Iranian Plateau. Some European languages of ...
*''wesu'' "good", akin to
Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, indigenous to the British Isles, spoken in Wales ** Patagonian Welsh, a dialect of Wels ...
''gwiw'' "excellent",
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
''eus'' "good",
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
''vásu-ş'' "id.". Jordanes relates the tribe's name to a river, though this is most likely a
folk etymology Folk etymology (also known as popular etymology, analogical reformation, reanalysis, morphological reanalysis or etymological reinterpretation) is a change in a word or phrase resulting from the replacement of an unfamiliar form by a more familia ...
or legend like his similar story about the Greuthung name.


History


Early origins

The Visigoths emerged from the Gothic tribes, most likely a derivative name for the
Gutones The Gutones (also spelled Guthones, Gotones etc) were a Germanic people who were reported by Roman era writers in the 1st and 2nd centuries to have lived in what is now Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl ...
, a people believed to have their origins in
Scandinavia Scandinavia; Sami Places * Sápmi, a cultural region in Northern Europe * Sami, Burkina Faso, a district of the Banwa Province * Sami District, Gambia * Sami, Cephalonia, a municipality in Greece * Sami (ancient city), in Elis, Greece * Sa ...

Scandinavia
and who migrated southeastwards into eastern Europe. Such understanding of their origins is largely the result of Gothic traditions and their true genesis as a people is as obscure as that of the
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the . Later the term was associated with Germanic dynasties within the ...

Franks
and
Alamanni The Alemanni (also ''Alamanni''; ''Suebi'' "Swabians") were a confederation of Germanic peoples, Germanic tribes * * * on the Upper Rhine River. First mentioned by Cassius Dio in the context of the campaign of Caracalla of 213, the Alemanni captu ...
. The Visigoths spoke an eastern Germanic language that was distinct by the 4th century. Eventually the Gothic language died as a result of contact with other European people during the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
. Long struggles between the neighboring
Vandili The Vandals were a Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mentioned by Graeco-Roman authors. They are also a ...
and
Lugii The Lugii (or ''Lugi'', ''Lygii'', ''Ligii'', ''Lugiones'', ''Lygians'', ''Ligians'', ''Lugians'', or ''Lougoi'') were a large tribal confederation mentioned by Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman ...
people with the Goths may have contributed to their earlier exodus into mainland Europe. The vast majority of them settled between the
Oder The Oder ( , ; Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is ...

Oder
and
Vistula The Vistula (; pl, Wisła, , german: Weichsel) is the longest river in Poland and the 9th-longest river in Europe, at in length. The drainage basin, reaching into three other nations, covers , of which is in Poland. The Vistula rises at Bar ...

Vistula
rivers until overpopulation (according to Gothic legends or tribal sagas) forced them to move south and east, where they settled just north of the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
. However, this legend is not supported by archaeological evidence so its validity is disputable. Historian Malcolm Todd contends that while this large ''en masse'' migration is possible, the movement of Gothic peoples south-east was more likely the result of warrior bands moving closer to the wealth of Ukraine and the cities of the Black Sea coast. Perhaps what is most notable about the Gothic people in this regard was that by the middle of the third century AD, they were "the most formidable military power beyond the lower Danube frontier".


Contact with Rome

Throughout the 3rd and 4th centuries there were numerous conflicts and exchanges of varying types between the Goths and their neighbors. After the Romans withdrew from the territory of Dacia, the local population was subjected to constant invasions by the migratory tribes, among the first being the Goths. In 238, the Goths invaded across the Danube into the Roman province of
Moesia Moesia (; Latin: ''Moesia''; el, Μοισία, Moisía) was an ancient region and later Roman province situated in the Balkans south of the Danube River. It included most of the territory of modern-day Central Serbia, Kosovo and the northern ...
, pillaging and exacting payment through hostage taking. During the war with the Persians that year, Goths also appeared in the Roman armies of
Gordian III Gordian III ( la, Marcus Antonius Gordianus; 20 January 225 – 11 February 244) was Roman emperor from 238 to 244. At the age of 13, he became the youngest sole Roman emperor. Gordian was the son of Antonia Gordiana and Junius Balbus who died be ...
. When subsidies to the Goths were stopped, the Goths organized and in 250 joined a major barbarian invasion led by the Germanic king, Kniva. Success on the battlefield against the Romans inspired additional invasions into the northern
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rathe ...

Balkans
and deeper into
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
. Starting in approximately 255, the Goths added a new dimension to their attacks by taking to the sea and invading harbors which brought them into conflict with the Greeks as well. When the city of
Pityus Pitsunda ( ab, Пиҵунда, russian: Пицунда) or Bichvinta ( ka, ბიჭვინთა ) is a resort town in the Gagra district of Abkhazia/Georgia (country), Georgia. Founded by Greek colonists in the 5th century BC, Pitsunda became ...
fell to the Goths in 256, the Goths were further emboldened. Sometime between 266 and 267, the Goths raided Greece but when they attempted to move into the Bosporus straits to attack Byzantium, they were repulsed. Along with other Germanic tribes, they attacked further into Anatolia, assaulting Crete and Cyprus on the way; shortly thereafter, they pillaged Troy and the temple of Artemis at Ephesus. Throughout the reign of emperor
Constantine the Great Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ...

Constantine the Great
, the Visigoths continued to conduct raids on Roman territory south of the Danube River. By 332, relations between the Goths and Romans were stabilized by a treaty but this was not to last.


War with Rome (376–382)

The Goths remained in
Dacia Dacia (, ; ) was the land inhabited by the Dacians The Dacians (; la, Daci ; grc-gre, Δάκοι, Δάοι, Δάκαι) were a Thracians, Thracian people who were the ancient inhabitants of the cultural region of Dacia, located in the ar ...

Dacia
until 376, when one of their leaders,
Fritigern Fritigern (fl. 370s) was a Thervingian Gothic chieftain whose decisive victory at Adrianople Edirne (, ), historically known as Adrianople (; la, Hadrianopolis; founded by the Roman emperor Hadrian Hadrian (; la, Caesar Traianus Hadri ...
, appealed to the Roman emperor
Valens Flavius Valens (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ) ...

Valens
to be allowed to settle with his people on the south bank of the
Danube The Danube ( ; ) is the List of rivers of Europe#Longest rivers, second-longest river in Europe, after the Volga in Russia. It flows through much of Central Europe, Central and Southeastern Europe, from the Black Forest into the Black Sea. It ...

Danube
. Here, they hoped to find refuge from the
Huns The Huns were a nomadic people A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fixed habitation which regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter-gatherers, pastoral ...

Huns
. Valens permitted this, as he saw in them "a splendid recruiting ground for his army". However, a
famine A famine is a widespread scarcity of food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual con ...

famine
broke out and Rome was unwilling to supply them with either the food they were promised or the land. Generally, the Goths were abused by the Romans, who began forcing the now starving Goths to trade away their children so as to stave off starvation. Open revolt ensued, leading to 6 years of plundering throughout the Balkans, the death of a Roman Emperor and a disastrous defeat of the Roman army. The
Battle of Adrianople The Battle of Adrianople (9 August 378), sometimes known as the Battle of Hadrianopolis, was fought between an Eastern Roman Empire, Eastern Roman East Roman army, army led by the Eastern Roman Emperor Valens and Goths, Gothic rebels (largely T ...
in 378 was the decisive moment of the war. The Roman forces were slaughtered and the Emperor
Valens Flavius Valens (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ) ...

Valens
was killed during the fighting. Precisely how Valens fell remains uncertain but Gothic legend tells of how the emperor was taken to a farmhouse, which was set on fire above his head, a tale made more popular by its symbolic representation of a heretical emperor receiving hell's torment. Many of Rome's leading officers and some of their most elite fighting men died during the battle which struck a major blow to Roman prestige and the Empire's military capabilities. Adrianople shocked the Roman world and eventually forced the Romans to negotiate with and settle the tribe within the empire's boundaries, a development with far-reaching consequences for the eventual
fall of Rome The fall of the Western Roman Empire (also called the fall of the Roman Empire or the fall of Rome) was the loss of central political control in the Western Roman Empire The Western Roman Empire comprises the western provinces of the Roma ...
. Fourth-century Roman soldier and historian
Ammianus Marcellinus Ammianus Marcellinus (born , died 400) was a Roman soldier This is a list of Roman army units and bureaucrats. *''Accensus'' – Light infantry men in the armies of the early Roman Republic, made up of the poorest men of the army. *''Actuarius'' ...
ended his chronology of Roman history with this battle. Despite the severe consequences for Rome, Adrianople was not nearly as productive overall for the Visigoths and their gains were short-lived. Still confined to a small and relatively impoverished province of the Empire, another Roman army was being gathered against them, an army which also had amid its ranks other disaffected Goths. Intense campaigns against the Visigoths followed their victory at Adrianople for upwards of three years. Approach routes across the Danube provinces were effectively sealed off by concerted Roman efforts, and while there was no decisive victory to claim, it was essentially a Roman triumph ending in a treaty in 382. The treaty struck with the Goths was to be the first ''foedus'' on imperial Roman soil. It required these semi-autonomous Germanic tribes to raise troops for the Roman army in exchange for arable land and freedom from Roman legal structures within the Empire.


Reign of Alaric I

The new emperor,
Theodosius I Theodosius I ( grc-gre, Θεοδόσιος ; 11 January 347 – 17 January 395), also called Theodosius the Great, was Roman emperor from 379 to 395. During his reign, he faced and overcame a war against the Goths and two civil wars, and ...

Theodosius I
, made peace with the rebels, and this peace held essentially unbroken until Theodosius died in 395. In that year, the Visigoths' most famous king,
Alaric I Alaric I (; got, 𐌰𐌻𐌰𐍂𐌴𐌹𐌺𐍃, , "ruler of all"; la, Alaricus; c. 370 – 410 AD) was the first Germanic Kingship, king of the Visigoths, from 395 to 410. He rose to leadership of the Goths who came to occupy Moesia – terr ...
, made a bid for the throne, but controversy and intrigue erupted between the East and West, as General
Stilicho Flavius Stilicho (; c. 359 – 22 August 408) was a military commander in the Roman army The Roman army (Latin language, Latin: ) was the armed forces deployed by the Romans throughout the duration of Ancient Rome, from the Roman Kingdom (to c ...

Stilicho
tried to maintain his position in the empire. Theodosius was succeeded by his incompetent sons:
Arcadius Flavius Arcadius ( grc-gre, Ἀρκάδιος, Arkádios; 1 January 377 – 1 May 408) was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of dif ...

Arcadius
in the east and Honorius in the west. In 397, Alaric was named military commander of the eastern Illyrian prefecture by Arcadius. Over the next 15 years, an uneasy peace was broken by occasional conflicts between Alaric and the powerful Germanic generals who commanded the Roman armies in the east and west, wielding the real power of the empire. Finally, after the western general Stilicho was executed by Honorius in 408 and the Roman legions massacred the families of thousands of barbarian soldiers who were trying to assimilate into the Roman empire, Alaric decided to march on Rome. After two defeats in Northern Italy and a siege of Rome ended by a negotiated pay-off, Alaric was cheated by another Roman faction. He resolved to cut the city off by capturing its port. On August 24, 410, however, Alaric's troops entered Rome through the
Salarian Gate (18th century). Image:Porta Salaria.jpg, 250px, Porta Salaria just before its demolition in 1871. Porta Salaria was a gate in the Aurelian Walls of Rome, Italy, demolished in 1921. History Porta Salaria was part of the Aurelian Walls built by emp ...
, and sacked the city. However, Rome, while still the official capital, was no longer the ''de facto'' seat of the government of the Western Roman Empire. From the late 370s up to 402,
Milan Milan (, , Milanese: ; it, Milano ) is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the List of cities in Italy, second-most populous city proper in Italy after Rome. The city proper has a population of about 1.4 million, while its ...

Milan
was the seat of government, but after the siege of Milan the Imperial Court moved to
Ravenna Ravenna ( , , also ; rgn, Ravèna) is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna The province of Ravenna ( it, provincia di Ravenna; ) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, admin ...

Ravenna
in 402. Honorius visited Rome often, and after his death in 423 the emperors resided mostly there. Rome's fall severely shook the Empire's confidence, especially in the West. Loaded with booty, Alaric and the Visigoths extracted as much as they could with the intention of leaving Italy from Basilicata to
northern Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in th ...

northern Africa
. Alaric died before the disembarkation and was buried supposedly near the ruins of Croton. He was succeeded by his wife's brother.


Visigothic Kingdom

The Visigothic Kingdom was a Western European power in the 5th to 8th centuries, created first in Gaul, when the Romans lost their control of the western half of their empire and then in Hispania until 711. For a brief period, the Visigoths controlled the strongest kingdom in Western Europe. In response to the invasion of
Roman Hispania
Roman Hispania
of 409 by the
Vandals The Vandals were a Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mentioned by Graeco-Roman authors. They are also ...
,
Alans The Alans or Alāns (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of th ...

Alans
and
Suebi The Suebi (or Suebians, also spelled Suevi, Suavi) were a large group of Germanic peoples originally from the Elbe river region in what is now Germany and Czechia, the Czech Republic. In the early Roman era they included many peoples with their ow ...
, Honorius, the emperor in the West, enlisted the aid of the Visigoths to regain control of the territory. From 408 to 410 the Visigoths caused so much damage to Rome and the immediate periphery that nearly a decade later, the provinces in and around the city were only able to contribute one-seventh of their previous tax shares. In 418, Honorius rewarded his Visigothic federates by giving them land in
Gallia Aquitania Gallia Aquitania ( , ), also known as Aquitaine Aquitaine ( , , ; oc, Aquitània ; eu, Akitania; Poitevin-Saintongeais: ''Aguiéne''), archaic Guyenne or Guienne ( oc, Guiana), is a historical region of southwestern France France ...
on which to settle after they had attacked the four tribes—Sueves, Asding and Siling Vandals, as well as Alans—who had crossed the Rhine near Mainz the last day of 409 and eventually were invited into Spain by a Roman usurper in the Fall of 409 (the latter two tribes were devastated). This was probably done under ''hospitalitas'', the rules for billeting army soldiers. The settlement formed the nucleus of the future Visigothic kingdom that would eventually expand across the
Pyrenees The Pyrenees (; es, Pirineos ; french: Pyrénées ; ca, Pirineus ; eu, Pirinioak ; oc, Pirenèus ; an, Pirineus) is a mountain range straddling the border of France and Spain. It extends nearly from its union with the Cantabrian Mountains to ...

Pyrenees
and onto the Iberian peninsula. That Visigothic settlement proved paramount to Europe's future as had it not been for the Visigothic warriors who fought side by side with the Roman troops under general
Flavius Aetius Flavius Aetius (spelled also Aëtius; ; c. 391 – 454) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened t ...
, it is perhaps possible that
Attila Attila (; ), frequently called Attila the Hun, was the ruler of the Huns The Huns were a nomadic people who lived in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Eastern Europe between the 4th and 6th century AD. According to European tradition, ...

Attila
would have seized control of Gaul, rather than the Romans being able to retain dominance. The Visigoths' second great king,
Euric Euric (Gothic Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and languages *Goths or Gothic people, the ethnonym of a group of East Germanic tribes **Gothic language, an extinct East Germanic language spoken by the Goths **Crimean Gothic, the Gothic l ...
, unified the various quarreling factions among the Visigoths and, in 475, concluded the peace treaty with the emperor
Julius Nepos Julius Nepos ( 430 – 480 AD) was ''de jure'' and ''de facto'' Roman emperor of the Western Roman Empire, West from 474 to 475 and then only ''de jure'' until his death in 480. Born to a distinguished family, he succeeded his uncle, Marcellinus ( ...

Julius Nepos
. In the treaty the emperor was called a friend (''amicus'') to the Visigoths, while requiring them to address him as lord (''dominus''). Though the emperor did not legally recognize Gothic sovereignty, according to some views under this treaty the Visigothic kingdom became an independent kingdom. Between 471 and 476, Euric captured most of southern Gaul. According to historian J. B. Bury, Euric was probably the "greatest of the Visigothic kings" for he managed to secure territorial gains denied to his predecessors and even acquired access to the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
. At his death, the Visigoths were the most powerful of the successor states to the Western Roman Empire and were at the very height of their power. Not only had Euric secured significant territory, he and his son,
Alaric II Alaric II ( got, 𐌰𐌻𐌰𐍂𐌴𐌹𐌺𐍃, , "ruler of all"; la, Alaricus; August 507) was the in 484–507. He succeeded his father as king of the in on 28 December 484; he was the great-grandson of the more famous , who sacked Rom ...
, who succeeded him, adopted Roman administrative and bureaucratic governance, including Rome's tax gathering policies and legal codes. At this point, the Visigoths were also the dominant power in the
Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese language, Aragonese and Occitan language, Occitan: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península Eibérica * eu, Iberiar penintsula also known as Iberia, is a peni ...

Iberian Peninsula
, quickly crushing the
Alans The Alans or Alāns (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of th ...

Alans
and forcing the
Vandals The Vandals were a Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mentioned by Graeco-Roman authors. They are also ...
into
north Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in th ...

north Africa
. By 500, the Visigothic Kingdom, centred at
Toulouse Toulouse ( , ; oc, Tolosa ) is the prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area ...

Toulouse
, controlled Aquitania and
Gallia Narbonensis Gallia Narbonensis can be seen in the south of modern-day France as a Roman province. Gallia Narbonensis (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin wa ...
and most of Hispania with the exception of the
Kingdom of the Suebi The Kingdom of the Suebi ( la, Regnum Suevorum), also called the Kingdom of Gallæcia ( la, Regnum Gallæciae) or Suebi Kingdom of Gallæcia ( la, Gallaecia suevorum regnum), was a Germanic peoples, Germanic Migration period, post-Roman kingdom t ...
in the northwest and small areas controlled by the
Basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southern Europe Southern Europe is the southern region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of ...
and
Cantabri The Cantabri ( grc-gre, Καντάβροι, ''Kantabroi'') or Ancient Cantabrians, were a pre-Ancient Rome, Roman people and large tribal federation that lived in the northern coastal region of ancient Iberia in the second half of the first millen ...
ans. Any survey of western Europe taken during this moment would have led one to conclude that the very future of Europe itself "depended on the Visigoths". However, in 507, the Franks under Clovis I defeated the Visigoths in the
Battle of Vouillé The Battle of Vouillé (from Latin ''Campus Vogladensis'') was fought in the northern marches In Middle Ages, medieval Europe, a march or mark was, in broad terms, any kind of borderland, as opposed to a national "heartland". More specifically, a ...
and wrested control of Aquitaine. King Alaric II was killed in battle. French national myths romanticize this moment as the time when a previously divided Gaul morphed into the united kingdom of
Francia Francia, also called the Kingdom of the Franks ( la, Regnum Francorum), Frankish Kingdom, Frankland or Frankish Empire, was the largest History of the Roman Empire, post-Roman barbarian kingdom in Western Europe. It was ruled by the Franks du ...

Francia
under Clovis. Visigothic power throughout Gaul was not lost in its entirety due to the support from the powerful Ostrogothic king in Italy,
Theodoric the Great Theodoric (or Theoderic) the Great (454 – 30 August 526), also called Theodoric the Amal ( la, Flāvius Theoderīcus; el, Θευδέριχος, Theuderichos), was king of the Ostrogoths (471–526), and ruler of the independent Ostrogothic Kin ...
, whose forces pushed Clovis I and his armies out of Visigothic territories. Theodoric the Great's assistance was not some expression of ethnic altruism, but formed part of his plan to extend his power across Spain and its associated lands. After Alaric II's death, Visigothic nobles spirited his heir, the child-king
Amalaric Amalaric ( got, *Amalareiks; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River ...

Amalaric
, first to
Narbonne Narbonne (, also , ; oc, Narbona ; la, Narbo ; Late Latin:) is a commune in France, commune in southern France in the Occitanie Regions of France, region. It lies from Paris in the Aude Departments of France, department, of which it is a Subpr ...

Narbonne
, which was the last Gothic outpost in Gaul, and further across the Pyrenees into Hispania. The center of Visigothic rule shifted first to
Barcelona Barcelona ( , , ) is a city on the coast of northeastern Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within ci ...

Barcelona
, then inland and south to
Toledo Toledo most commonly refers to: * Toledo, Spain, a city in Spain * Province of Toledo, Spain * Toledo, Ohio, a city in the United States Toledo may also refer to: Places Belize * Toledo District * Toledo Settlement Bolivia * Toledo, Oruro ...
. From 511 to 526, the Visigoths were ruled by Theoderic the Great of the Ostrogoths as ''de jure'' regent for the young Amalaric. Theodoric's death in 526, however, enabled the Visigoths to restore their royal line and re-partition the Visigothic kingdom through Amalaric, who incidentally, was more than just Alaric II's son; he was also the grandson of Theodoric the Great through his daughter Theodegotho. Amalaric reigned independently for five years. Following Amalaric's assassination in 531, another Ostrogothic ruler, Theudis took his place. For the next seventeen years, Theudis held the Visigothic throne. Sometime in 549, the Visigoth
Athanagild Athanagild ( 517 – December 567) was Visigothic The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people who, along with the Ostrogoths, constituted the two major political entities of the Goths withi ...
sought military assistance from Justinian I and while this aide helped Athanagild win his wars, the Romans had much more in mind. Granada and southernmost
Baetica Hispania Baetica, often abbreviated Baetica, was one of three Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provinciae'') were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Roman Italy that were controlled by the Roman ...

Baetica
were lost to representatives of the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
(to form the province of
Spania Spania ( la, Provincia Spaniae) was a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative unit ...
) who had been invited in to help settle this Visigothic dynastic struggle, but who stayed on, as a hoped-for spearhead to a "Reconquest" of the far west envisaged by emperor
Justinian I Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός ; 48214 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Byzantine emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation o ...
. Imperial Roman armies took advantage of Visigothic rivalries and established a government at Córdoba. The last Arian Visigothic king,
Liuvigild Liuvigild, Leuvigild, Leovigild, or ''Leovigildo'' ( Spanish and Portuguese), ( 519 – 21 April 586) was a Visigothic The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people who, along with the Ostrog ...
, conquered most of the northern regions (Cantabria) in 574, the Suevic kingdom in 584, and regained part of the southern areas lost to the
Byzantines
Byzantines
, which King
Suintila Suintila, or ''Suinthila'', ''Swinthila'', ''Svinthila''; (ca. 588 – 633/635) was Visigothic The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people who, along with the Ostrogoths, constituted the two ...
recovered in 624. Suintila reigned until 631. Only one historical source was written between the years 625 through 711, which comes from Julian of Toledo and only deals with the years 672 and 673. Wamba was the king of the Visigoths from 672 to 680. During his reign, the Visigothic kingdom encompassed all of Hispania and part of southern Gaul known as
Septimania 300px, Septimania in 537 Septimania (french: Septimanie ; oc, Septimània ; ca, Septimània ) is a historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything ...
. Wamba was succeeded by King Ervig, whose rule lasted until 687. Collins observes that "Ervig proclaimed Egica as his chosen successor" on 14 November 687. In 700, Egica's son Wittiza followed him on the throne according to the ''Chronica Regum Visigothorum''. The kingdom survived until 711, when King
Roderic Roderic (also spelled Ruderic, Roderik, Roderich, or Roderick; Spanish language, Spanish and pt, Rodrigo, ar, translit=Ludharīq, لذريق; died 711) was the Visigoths, Visigothic king in Hispania between 710 and 711. He is well-known as "the ...
(Rodrigo) was killed while opposing an invasion from the south by the
Umayyad Caliphate The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under th ...
in the
Battle of Guadalete The Battle of Guadalete was fought in 711 at an unidentified location between the Christian Visigoths The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people who, along with the Ostrogoths, constitute ...
. This marked the beginning of the
Umayyad conquest of Hispania The Umayyad conquest of Hispania, also known as the Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula or the Umayyad conquest of the Visigothic Kingdom, was the initial expansion of the Umayyad Caliphate The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar ...
, when most of Spain came under
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
ic rule in the early 8th century. A Visigothic nobleman,
Pelayo
Pelayo
, is credited with beginning the Christian ''
Reconquista The ' (Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portug ...

Reconquista
'' of Iberia in 718, when he defeated the Umayyad forces in the
Battle of Covadonga The Battle of Covadonga was a battle that took place in 718 or 722 between the army of Pelagius the Visigoth and the army of the Umayyad Caliphate The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة ...
and established the
Kingdom of Asturias The Kingdom of Asturias ( la, Asturum Regnum; ast, Reinu d'Asturies) was a kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese Aragonese or Aragones may refer to: * Something related to Aragon, an autonomous commun ...
in the northern part of the peninsula. According to Joseph F. O'Callaghan, the remnants of the Hispano-Gothic aristocracy still played an important role in the society of Hispania. At the end of Visigothic rule, the assimilation of Hispano-Romans and Visigoths was occurring at a fast pace. Their nobility had begun to think of themselves as constituting one people, the ''gens Gothorum'' or the ''Hispani''. An unknown number of them fled and took refuge in Asturias or Septimania. In Asturias they supported Pelagius's uprising, and joining with the indigenous leaders, formed a new aristocracy. The population of the mountain region consisted of native
Astures The Astures or Asturs, also named Astyrs, were the Hispano-Celtic language, Hispano-Celtic inhabitants of the northwest area of Hispania that now comprises almost the entire modern autonomous community of Principality of Asturias, the modern prov ...

Astures
,
Galicians Galicians ( gl, galegos, es, gallegos) are a Celtic- Romance ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups such as a ...
,
Cantabri The Cantabri ( grc-gre, Καντάβροι, ''Kantabroi'') or Ancient Cantabrians, were a pre-Ancient Rome, Roman people and large tribal federation that lived in the northern coastal region of ancient Iberia in the second half of the first millen ...
,
Basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southern Europe Southern Europe is the southern region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of ...
and other groups unassimilated into Hispano-Gothic society. Other Visigoths who refused to adopt the Muslim faith or live under their rule, fled north to the kingdom of the
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the . Later the term was associated with Germanic dynasties within the ...

Franks
, and Visigoths played key roles in the empire of
Charlemagne Charlemagne ( , ) or Charles the Great ( la, Carolus Magnus; 2 April 748 – 28 January 814) was King of the Franks The Franks—Germanic-speaking peoples that invaded the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century—were first led by i ...

Charlemagne
a few generations later. In the early years of the
Emirate of Córdoba The Emirate of Córdoba ( ar, إمارة قرطبة, ) was a Middle Ages, Medieval Emirate, Islamic kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula. Its founding in the mid eighth century would mark the beginning of seven hundred years of Muslim rule in what i ...
, a group of Visigoths who remained under Muslim dominance constituted the personal bodyguard of the
Emir Emir (; ar, أمير ' ), sometimes Romanization of Arabic, transliterated amir, amier, or ameer, is a word of Arabic language, Arabic origin that can refer to a male monarch, aristocratic, aristocrat, holder of high-ranking military or politic ...

Emir
, al-Haras. During their long reign in Spain, the Visigoths were responsible for the only new cities founded in Western Europe between the 5th and 8th centuries. It is certain (through contemporary Spanish accounts) that they founded four: Reccopolis, Victoriacum (modern
Vitoria-Gasteiz es, vitoriano, vitoriana, , population_density_km2 = auto , blank_name_sec1 = Official language(s) , blank_info_sec1 = Spanish, Basque , timezone = CET CET or cet may refer to: Places * Cet, Albania * Cet, sta ...
, though perhaps
Iruña-Veleia Veleia was a Roman Empire, Roman town in Hispania, now located in the Basque Country (autonomous community), Basque Autonomous Community, Spain. The site is located in the municipality of Iruña de Oca, 10 kilometers west of Vitoria (Spain), ...
), Luceo and
Olite Olite (''Erriberri'' in Basque language) is a town and Municipalities of Spain, municipality located in the Comarca de Tafalla comarca, Merindad de Olite merindad, in Navarre, Spain. History According to Saint Isidore of Seville, Isidore of Sevil ...
. There is also a possible 5th city ascribed to them by a later Arabic source: ''Baiyara'' (perhaps modern
Montoro
Montoro
). All of these cities were founded for military purposes and three of them in celebration of victory. Despite the fact that the Visigoths reigned in Spain for upwards of 250 years, there are few remnants of the Gothic language borrowed into Spanish. The Visigoths as heirs of the Roman empire lost their language and intermarried with the Hispano-Roman population of Spain.


Genetics

A genetic study published in ''
Science Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is a discovery as well as an invention. ...
'' in March 2019 examined the remains of eight Visigoths buried at Pla de l'Horta in the 6th century. These individuals displayed genetic links to northern and
central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the of Eurasia, it shares the continental landmass of with both ...

central Europe
.


Culture


Law

The Visigothic Code of Law (
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...
: ''Forum Iudicum),'' also called ''Liber Iudiciorum'' ( English: Book of the Judges) and ''Lex Visigothorum'' (English: Law of the Visigoths), is a set of laws first promulgated by king
Chindasuinth Chindasuinth (also spelled Chindaswinth, Chindaswind, Chindasuinto, Chindasvindo, or Khindaswinth (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originall ...

Chindasuinth
(642–653 AD) which had been part of
aristocratic Aristocracy ( grc-gre, ἀριστοκρατία , from 'excellent', and , 'rule') is a form of government that places strength in the hands of a small, privileged ruling class, the aristocrats. The term derives from the Greek ''aristokrat ...
oral tradition, was set in writing in the year 654 and survives in two separate
codices The codex (plural codices () was the historical ancestor of the modern book. Instead of being composed of sheets of paper, it used sheets of vellum, papyrus, or other materials. The term ''codex'' is often used for ancient manuscript books, wit ...
preserved at
el Escorial El Escorial, or the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial ( es, Monasterio y Sitio de El Escorial en Madrid), or Monasterio del Escorial (), is a historical residence of the King of Spain , coatofarms = Coat of Arms of Spanish Mon ...

el Escorial
(Spain). It goes into more detail than a modern constitution commonly does and reveals a great deal about Visigothic social structure. The code abolished the old tradition of having different laws for Romans (''leges romanae'') and Visigoths (''leges barbarorum''), and under which all the subjects of the Visigothic kingdom ceased being ''romani'' and ''gothi'' and instead became ''hispani''. All the kingdom's subjects were under the same jurisdiction, which eliminated social and legal differences and facilitated greater assimilation of the various population groups. The Visigothic Code marks the transition from
Roman law Roman law is the law, legal system of ancient Rome, including the legal developments spanning over a thousand years of jurisprudence, from the Twelve Tables (c. 449 BC), to the ''Corpus Juris Civilis'' (AD 529) ordered by Eastern Roman emperor J ...
to
Germanic law Early Germanic law was the form of law followed by the early Germanic peoples The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe and Scandinavia. Since the 19th century, they have traditionally been defined by the us ...
. One of the greatest contributions of the Visigoths to
family law Family law (also called matrimonial law or the ''law of domestic relations'') is an area of the that deals with matters and . Overview Subjects that commonly fall under a nation's body of family law include: * , s, and s: ** Entry into legall ...
was their protection of the property rights of married women, which was continued by
Spanish law The Law of Spain is the legislation in force in the Spain, Kingdom of Spain, which is understood to mean Spanish territory, Spanish waters, consulates and embassies, and ships flying the Spanish flag in international waters. It is also applicable to ...
and ultimately evolved into the
community property Community property (United States) also called Community of Property (South Africa) is a marital property regime Matrimonial regimes, or marital property systems, are systems of property ownership between spouses providing for the creation or absen ...
system now in force throughout the majority of western Europe.


Religion

Before the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, the Visigoths, as well as other Germanic peoples, followed what is now referred to as
Germanic paganism Germanic paganism included various religious Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the ...
. While the Germanic peoples were slowly converted to
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
by varying means, many elements of the pre-Christian culture and indigenous beliefs remained firmly in place after the conversion process, particularly in the more rural and distant regions. The Visigoths,
Ostrogoths The Ostrogoths ( la, Ostrogothi, Austrogothi) were a Roman-era Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mention ...
and
Vandals The Vandals were a Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mentioned by Graeco-Roman authors. They are also ...
were Christianized while they were still outside the bounds of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
; however, they converted to
Arianism Arianism is a Christological doctrine first attributed to Arius Arius (; grc-koi, Ἄρειος, ; 250 or 256–336) was a Cyrenaic The Cyrenaics or Kyrenaics ( grc, Κυρηναϊκοί; ''Kyrēnaïkoí'') were a sensual hedonist Greek ...
rather than to the Nicene version (Trinitarianism) followed by most Romans, who considered them
heretics Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization. The term is usually used in reference to violations of important religio ...
. There was a religious gulf between the Visigoths, who had for a long time adhered to Arianism, and their Catholic subjects in Hispania. There were also deep sectarian splits among the Catholic population of the peninsula which contributed to the toleration of the Arian Visigoths on the peninsula. The Visigoths scorned to interfere among Catholics but were interested in decorum and public order. King
Liuvigild Liuvigild, Leuvigild, Leovigild, or ''Leovigildo'' ( Spanish and Portuguese), ( 519 – 21 April 586) was a Visigothic The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people who, along with the Ostrog ...
(568–586), attempted to restore political unity between the Visigothic-Arian elite and the Hispano-Roman Nicene Catholic population through a doctrinal settlement of compromise on matters of faith, but this failed. Sources indicate that the Iberian Visigoths maintained their Christian Arianism, especially the Visigothic elite until the end of Liuvigild's reign. When Reccared I converted to Catholicism, he sought to unify the kingdom under a single faith. While the Visigoths retained their Arian faith, the
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), ...

Jews
were well tolerated. Previous Roman and Byzantine law determined their status, and it already sharply discriminated against them, but royal jurisdiction was in any case quite limited: local lords and populations related to Jews as they saw fit. We read of rabbis being asked by non-Jews to bless their fields, for example. Historian Jane Gerber relates that some of the Jews "held ranking posts in the government or the army; others were recruited and organized for garrison service; still others continued to hold senatorial rank". In general, then, they were well respected and well treated by the Visigothic kings, that is, until their transition from Arianism to Catholicism. Conversion to Catholicism across Visigothic society reduced much of the friction between the Visigoths and the Hispano-Roman population. However, the Visigothic conversion negatively impacted the Jews, who came under scrutiny for their religious practices. King Reccared convened the Third Council of Toledo to settle religious disputations related to the religious conversion from Arianism to Catholicism. The discriminatory laws passed at this Council seem not to have been universally enforced, however, as indicated by several more Councils of Toledo that repeated these laws and extended their stringency. These entered canon law and became legal precedents in other parts of Europe as well. The culmination of this process occurred under King Sisibut, who officially decreed a forced Christian conversion upon all Jews residing in Spain. This mandate apparently achieved only partial success: similar decrees were repeated by later kings as central power was consolidated. These laws either prescribed forcible baptism of the Jews or forbade circumcision, Jewish rites, and the observance of the Sabbath and other festivals. Throughout the 7th century the Jews were persecuted for religious reasons, had their property confiscated, were subjected to ruinous taxes, forbidden to trade and, at times, dragged to the baptismal font. Many were obliged to accept Christianity but continued privately to observe the Jewish religion and practices. The decree of 613 set off a century of difficulty for Spanish Jewry, which was only ended by the Muslim conquest. The political aspects of the imposition of Church power cannot be ignored in these matters. With the conversion of the Visigothic kings to
Chalcedonian Christianity Chalcedonian Christianity refers to the branch of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus ...
, the bishops increased their power, until, at the Fourth Council of Toledo in 633, they selected a king from among the royal family, a practice previously reserved for nobles. This was the same synod that spoke out against those who had been baptized but had relapsed into Judaism. As far as the Visigoths were concerned, the time for religious pluralism "was past". By the end of the 7th century, Catholic conversion made the Visigoths less distinguishable from the indigenous Roman citizens of the Iberian peninsula; when the last Visigothic strongholds fell to the Muslim armies, whose subsequent invasions transformed Spain from the beginning of the 8th century, their Gothic identity faded. In the eighth through 11th centuries, the ''
muwalladThe ''Muladi'' ( es, muladí, , pl. ; pt, muladi, , pl. ; ca, muladita, or , , pl. or ; ar, مولد, trans. ''muwallad'', pl. , ''muwalladūn'' or , ''muwalladīn'') were Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam, a Mo ...
'' clan of the
Banu Qasi The Banu Qasi, Banu Kasi, Beni Casi ( ar, بني قسي or بنو قسي, meaning "sons" or "heirs of Cassius") or Banu Musa were a Muwallad dynasty that in the 9th century ruled the Upper March, a frontier territory of the Umayyads, Um ...
claimed descent from the Visigothic
Count CassiusCount Cassius (floruit, fl. 8th century A.D.), also called "Count Casius" ( es, Casio; ar, قَسِيّ قُومِس, links=no, "Qasīy Qūmis"), was a Hispano-Roman or Visigothic nobleman who founded the Banu Qasi dynasty. His actual existence has ...
.


Architecture

During their governance of Hispania, the Visigoths built several churches in the
basilica In Ancient Roman architecture, a basilica is a large public building with multiple functions, typically built alongside the town's Forum (Roman), forum. The basilica was in the Latin West equivalent to a stoa in the Greek East. The building ...

basilica
l or
cruciform Cruciform is a term for physical manifestations resembling a common cross A cross is a geometrical figure consisting of two intersecting lines or bars, usually perpendicular to each other. The lines usually run vertically and horizontally. ...

cruciform
style that survive, including the churches of
San Pedro de la Nave San Pedro de la Nave ("St. Peter of the Nave") is an Early Middle Ages, Early Medieval church in the province of Zamora, Spain. It is in the locality of El Campillo (Zamora), El Campillo in the municipal unit of San Pedro de la Nave-Almendra. It was ...
in El Campillo, Santa María de Melque in San Martín de Montalbán, Santa Lucía del Trampal in Alcuéscar, Santa Comba in Bande, and Santa María de Lara in Quintanilla de las Viñas. The Visigothic
crypt A crypt (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in r ...

crypt
(the Crypt of San Antolín) in the
Palencia Cathedral Palencia Cathedral (''Catedral de Palencia'') is a Roman Catholic Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rom ...
is a Visigothic chapel from the mid-7th century, built during the reign of Wamba to preserve the remains of the martyr
Saint Antoninus of Pamiers Saint Antoninus of Pamiers (french: Saint Antonin, oc, Sant Antoní, and es, San Antolín) was an early Christian missionary A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to promote their faith or perform ministries of servi ...
, a Visigothic-Gallic nobleman brought from Narbonne to Visigothic Hispania in 672 or 673 by Wamba himself. These are the only remains of the Visigothic cathedral of Palencia. Reccopolis, located near the tiny modern village of Zorita de los Canes in the
province of Guadalajara Guadalajara () is a provinces of Spain, province of Spain, belonging to the autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community of Castilla–La Mancha. As of 2013 it had a population of 257,723 people. The population of the province has grown ...
, Castile-La Mancha, Spain, is an archaeological site of one of at least four cities founded in
Hispania Hispania ( ; ) was the Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter in the New Testame ...

Hispania
by the Visigoths. It is the only city in Western Europe to have been founded between the 5th and 8th centuries. The city's construction was ordered by the Visigothic king
Liuvigild Liuvigild, Leuvigild, Leovigild, or ''Leovigildo'' ( Spanish and Portuguese), ( 519 – 21 April 586) was a Visigothic The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people who, along with the Ostrog ...
to honor his son
Reccared Reccared I (or Recared; la, Reccaredus; es, Recaredo; 559 – December 601 AD; reigned 586–601) was Visigothic King of the King of the Romans (variant used in the early modern period) File:Nezahualpiltzintli.jpg">Aztec King Nezah ...
and to serve as Reccared's seat as co-king in the Visigothic province of
Celtiberia The Celtiberians were a group of Celts and Celticisation, Celticized peoples inhabiting an area in the central-northeastern Iberian Peninsula during the final centuries BC. They were explicitly mentioned as being Celts by several classic authors ...
, to the west of
Carpetania Carpetania was an ancient region of what is today Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_a ...
, where the main capital, Toledo, lay.


Goldsmithery

In Spain, an important collection of Visigothic metalwork was found in Guadamur, in the
Province of Toledo Toledo is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire's territ ...
, known as the
Treasure of Guarrazar Location of Guadamur. The Treasure of Guarrazar, Guadamur, Province of Toledo Toledo is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', ...
. This
archeological Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better understanding of it. The technique h ...
find is composed of twenty-six
votive crown A votive crown is a votive offering Bronze animal statuettes from Olympia, votive offerings, 8th–7th century BC. A votive offering or votive deposit is one or more objects displayed or deposited, without the intention of recovery or use, ...

votive crown
s and gold
cross A cross is a geometrical figure consisting of two intersecting lines or bars, usually perpendicular to each other. The lines usually run vertically and horizontally. A cross of oblique lines, in the shape of the Latin letter X, is also termed a s ...

cross
es from the royal workshop in Toledo, with signs of Byzantine influence. According to Spanish archaeologists, this treasure represents the high point of Visigothic goldsmithery. The two most important votive crowns are those of
Recceswinth Recceswinth, also known as Reccesuinth, Recceswint, Reccaswinth (English), Recesvinto ( Spanish, Galician and Portuguese), Rekkeswint ( German), Réceswinthe (French), Recceswinthus, Reccesvinthus, and Recesvindus (Latin Latin (, or , ) is ...
and of
Suintila Suintila, or ''Suinthila'', ''Swinthila'', ''Svinthila''; (ca. 588 – 633/635) was Visigothic The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people who, along with the Ostrogoths, constituted the two ...
, displayed in the National Archaeological Museum of Madrid; both are made of gold, encrusted with sapphires, pearls and other precious stones. Suintila's crown was stolen in 1921 and never recovered. There are several other small crowns and many votive crosses in the treasure. These findings, along with others from some neighbouring sites and with the archaeological excavation of the Spanish Ministry of Public Works and the Royal Spanish Academy of History (April 1859), formed a group consisting of: *
National Archaeological Museum of Spain The National Archaeological Museum ( es, Museo Arqueológico Nacional; MAN) is a museum in Madrid Madrid (, ) is the capital and most-populous city of Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = B ...
: six crowns, five crosses, a pendant and remnants of foil and channels (almost all of gold). *
Royal Palace of Madrid The Royal Palace of Madrid ( es, Palacio Real de Madrid) is the official residence of the Spanish royal family#REDIRECT Spanish royal family The House of Borbón-Anjou, or simply House of Borbón ( es, Casa de Borbón), is the reigning royal h ...

Royal Palace of Madrid
: a crown and a gold cross and a stone engraved with the Annunciation. A crown and other fragments of a tiller with a crystal ball were stolen from the Royal Palace of Madrid in 1921 and its whereabouts are still unknown. *
National Museum of the Middle Ages
National Museum of the Middle Ages
,
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents , in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, Paris ha ...

Paris
: three crowns, two crosses, links and gold pendants. The aquiliform (eagle-shaped)
fibulae The fibula or calf bone is a leg bone A bone is a Stiffness, rigid tissue (anatomy), tissue that constitutes part of the vertebrate skeleton in animals. Bones protect the various organs of the body, produce red blood cell, red and white bloo ...
that have been discovered in
necropolis A necropolis (plural necropolises, necropoles, necropoleis, necropoli) is a large, designed cemetery A cemetery, burial ground or graveyard is a place where the remains of dead people are burial, buried or otherwise interred. The word ''cem ...

necropolis
es such as Duratón, Madrona or Castiltierra (cities of
Segovia Segovia (, also , ) is a city in the autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community of Castile and León, Spain. It is the capital and most populated municipality of the Province of Segovia. Segovia is in the Inner Plateau, near the norther ...

Segovia
), are an unmistakable example of the Visigothic presence in Spain. These fibulae were used individually or in pairs, as clasps or pins in gold, bronze and glass to join clothes, showing the work of the goldsmiths of Visigothic Hispania. The Visigothic belt buckles, a symbol of rank and status characteristic of Visigothic women's clothing, are also notable as works of goldsmithery. Some pieces contain exceptional Byzantine-style
lapis lazuli Lapis lazuli (; ), or lapis for short, is a deep-blue metamorphic rock , a type of metamorphic rock Metamorphic rocks arise from the transformation of existing rock (geology), rock to new types of rock, in a process called metamorphism up ...

lapis lazuli
inlays and are generally rectangular in shape, with copper alloy, garnets and glass.


See also

* Romano-Germanic culture *
Thiufa The ''thiufa'' was the highest division of the Visigothic The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people who, along with the Ostrogoths, constituted the two major political entities of the Got ...
*
Goths The Goths ( got, 𐌲𐌿𐍄𐌸𐌹𐌿𐌳𐌰, translit=''Gutþiuda''; la, Gothi) were a Germanic people who played a major role in the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the emergence of medieval Europe. In his book ''Getica'' (c. 551), ...
*
Visigothic kingdom The Visigothic Kingdom, officially the Kingdom of the Goths ( la, Regnum Gothorum), was a kingdom that occupied what is now southwestern France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a ...

Visigothic kingdom
*
Visigothic art and architecture The Visigoths entered Hispania (modern Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem ...


References


Notes


Citations


Bibliography

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links


''Lex Visigothorum''Visigothic SymposiaNational Archaeological Museum-Museo Arqueológico Nacional of Spain
{{authority control Early Germanic peoples Iron Age peoples of Europe 5th century in sub-Roman Gaul History of Asturias