Visigoths (UK: /ˈvɪzɪˌɡɒθs/; US: /ˈvɪzɪˌɡɑːθs/;
Latin: Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi; Italian:
Visigoti) were the western branches of the nomadic tribes of Germanic
peoples referred to collectively as the Goths. These tribes
flourished and spread throughout the late
Roman Empire in Late
Antiquity, or what is known as the Migration Period. The Visigoths
emerged from earlier Gothic groups (possibly the Thervingi) who had
Roman Empire beginning in 376 and had defeated the Romans
Battle of Adrianople
Battle of Adrianople in 378. Relations between the Romans
Visigoths were variable, alternately warring with one another
and making treaties when convenient. The
Visigoths invaded Italy
Alaric I and sacked Rome in 410. After the
Rome, they began settling down, first in southern
Gaul and eventually
Spain and Portugal, where they founded the
Visigothic Kingdom and
maintained a presence from the 5th to the 8th centuries AD.
Visigoths first settled in southern
Gaul as foederati to the
Romans – a relationship 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 at Toulouse. They next
extended their authority into
Hispania at the expense of the
Vandals. In 507, however, their rule in
Gaul was ended by the Franks
under Clovis I, who defeated them in the Battle of Vouillé. After
that, the Visigoth kingdom was limited to Hispania, and they never
again held territory north of the
Pyrenees other than Septimania. A
small, 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 province of
Spania and the Kingdom of
In or around 589, the
Reccared I converted from
Arianism to Nicene Christianity, gradually adopting the culture of
their Hispano-Roman subjects. Their legal code, the Visigothic Code
(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
Councils of Toledo and the episcopacy. (Little else
is known about the Visigoths' history during the 7th century, since
records are relatively sparse.) In 711 or 712, a force of invading
Moors defeated the
Visigoths in the Battle of Guadalete. Their
king and many members of their governing elite were killed, and their
kingdom rapidly collapsed. Gothic identity survived, however,
Marca Hispanica and the Kingdom of Asturias, which had
been founded by the Visigothic nobleman
Pelagius of Asturias
Pelagius of Asturias after his
victory over the
Moors at the Battle of Covadonga.
During their governance of the Kingdom of Hispania, the Visigoths
built several churches that survive. They also left many artifacts,
which have been discovered in increasing numbers by archaeologists in
recent times. The
Treasure of Guarrazar
Treasure of Guarrazar of votive crowns and crosses
is 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. Many Visigothic names are still in
use in modern Spanish and Portuguese. 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 until the
Late Middle Ages, centuries after the demise of the kingdom.
1 Nomenclature: Vesi, Ostrogothi, Tervingi, Greuthungi
1.1 Etymology of
Tervingi and Vesi/Visigothi
2.1 Early origins
2.1.1 Contact with Rome
2.2 War with Rome (376–382)
2.3 Reign of Alaric I
2.4 Visigothic kingdom
6 External links
Nomenclature: Vesi, Ostrogothi, Tervingi, Greuthungi
Contemporaneous references to the Gothic tribes use the terms "Vesi"
(Latin for Visigoths), "Ostrogothi", "Thervingi", and "Greuthungi".
Most scholars have concluded that the terms "Vesi" and "Tervingi" were
both used to refer to one particular tribe, while the terms
"Ostrogothi" and "Greuthungi" were used to refer to another. Herwig
Wolfram points out 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
the Greuthungi", and they never pair them up in any other
combination. This conclusion is supported by Jordanes, who
identified the Visigoth (Vesi) kings from
Alaric I to
Alaric II as the
heirs of the 4th century Tervingian king Athanaric, and the Ostrogoth
Theoderic the Great
Theoderic the Great to
Theodahad as the heirs of the
Greuthungi king Ermanaric. In addition, the Notitia Dignitatum equates
the Vesi with the
Tervingi in a reference to the years 388–391.
The earliest sources for each of the four names are roughly
contemporaneous. The first recorded reference to "the Tervingi" is in
a eulogy of the emperor
Maximian (285–305), delivered in or shortly
after 291 (perhaps at
Trier on 20 April 292)[b] and traditionally
ascribed to Claudius Mamertinus.[c] It says that the "Tervingi,
another division of the Goths" (
Tervingi pars alia Gothorum), joined
Taifali to attack the
Vandals and Gepidae. (The term
"Vandals" may have been a mistaken reference to the "Victohali", since
around 360 the historian Eutropius reports that
Dacia was currently
inhabited by Taifali, Victohali, and Tervingi.)[d] The first recorded
reference to "the Greuthungi" is by Ammianus Marcellinus, writing no
earlier than 392 and perhaps later than 395, recounting the words of a
Tervingian chieftain who is attested as early as 376. The first
known use of the term "Ostrogoths" is in a document dated September
392 from Milan. (
Claudian mentions that they, together with the
Gruthungi, inhabit Phrygia.)
Wolfram notes 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. As an example of this geographical naming practice,
Wolfram cites an account by
Zosimus of a group of people living north
Danube who called themselves "the Scythians" but were called
"the Greutungi" by members of a different tribe living north of the
Ister. Wolfram believes that the people
Zosimus describes were
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. The last indication that the
Goths whose king reigned at
Toulouse thought of themselves as "Vesi" is found in a panegyric on
Sidonius Apollinaris dated 1 January 456.
Most recent scholars (notably Peter Heather) have concluded that
Visigothic group identity emerged only within the Roman Empire.
Roger Collins 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
(Wolfram's "federate armies") under
Alaric I in the eastern Balkans,
since they had become a multi ethnic group and could no longer claim
to be exclusively Tervingian.
The term "Visigoth" was an invention of the 6th century. Cassiodorus,
a Roman in the service of Theodoric the Great, invented the term
"Visigothic" to match that of "Ostrogothic", terms he thought of as
signifying "western Goths" and "eastern Goths" respectively. The
western–eastern division was a simplification (and a literary
device) of 6th century historians; political realities were more
Cassiodorus used the term "Goths" to refer only
to the Ostrogoths, whom he served, and reserved the geographical term
"Visigoths" for the Gallo-Spanish Goths. This usage, however, was
adopted by the
Visigoths themselves in their communications with the
Byzantine Empire and was still in use in the 7th century.
Other names for other Gothic divisions abounded. A "Germanic"
Byzantine or Italian author referred to one of the two peoples as the
Valagothi, meaning "Roman Goths", and in 469 the
Visigoths were called
the "Alaric Goths".
Tervingi and Vesi/Visigothi
Tervingi may mean "forest people". This is supported by
evidence that geographic descriptors were commonly used to distinguish
people living north of the
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
Greuthungi than the late 3rd century. That the
Tervingi has pre-Pontic, possibly Scandinavian, origins still has
Visigoths are called Wesi or Wisi by Trebellius Pollio, Claudian,
and Sidonius Apollinaris. The word is Gothic for "good", implying
the "good or worthy people", related to Gothic iusiza "better" and
a reflex of Indo-European *wesu "good", akin to Welsh gwiw
"excellent", Greek eus "good",
Sanskrit vásu-ş "id.". Jordanes
relates the tribe's name to a river, though this is most likely a folk
etymology or legend like his similar story about the Greuthung
Migrations of the main column of the Visigoths
Visigoths emerged from the Gothic tribes, most likely a derivative
name for the Gutones, a people believed to have their origins in
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
Franks and Alamanni. 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.
Long struggles between the neighboring Vandili and
Lugii people with
Goths may have contributed to their earlier exodus into mainland
Europe. The vast majority of them settled between the Oder and 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. Unfortunately 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
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 3rd
century AD, they were "the most formidable military power beyond the
Contact with Rome
Pietroasele Treasure discovered in Romania, attributed to the
Throughout the third and fourth 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
Danube into the Roman province of Moesia, pillaging and
exacting payment through hostage taking. During that same year
consequent the war with the Persians in 238,
Goths also appear in the
Roman armies of Gordian III. When subsidies to 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
Balkans and deeper into Anatolia. 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 fell to the
Goths in 256, the
Goths were further emboldened. Sometime between
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, 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)
Main article: Gothic War (376–382)
Goths remained in
Dacia until 376, when one of their leaders,
Fritigern, appealed to the Roman emperor
Valens to be allowed to
settle with his people on the south bank of the Danube. Here, they
hoped to find refuge from the Huns.
Valens permitted this, as he
saw in them "a splendid recruiting ground for his army". However,
a famine broke out and Rome was unwilling to supply them with either
the food they were promised or the land. Generally, the
abused by the Romans, who began forcing the now starving
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
Battle of Adrianople
Battle of Adrianople in 378 was the decisive moment of the war.
The Roman forces were slaughtered and the Emperor
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. Fourth-century Roman soldier and historian, Ammianus
Marcellinus, ended his chronology of Roman history with this
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.[e]
Reign of Alaric I
An illustration of Alaric entering
Athens in 395
Main article: Alaric I
The new emperor, 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, took the throne.
Theodosius was succeeded by his incapable sons:
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
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, to
plunder its riches in the sack of Rome. However, Rome, still the
capital officially, was no longer the effective seat of the government
of the Western Roman Empire. From the late 370s up to 402,
the seat of government, but after the siege of
Milan the Imperial
Court moved to
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. Alaric died before the disembarkation and was buried
supposedly near the ruins of Croton. He was succeeded by his wife’s
Main article: Visigothic Kingdom
Europe at the fall of the Western
Roman Empire in 476 AD
Visigothic Kingdom was a Western European power in the 5th to 7th
centuries, created in
Gaul when the Romans lost their control of the
western half of their empire. For a brief period, the Visigoths
controlled the strongest kingdom in Western Europe. In response to
the invasion of Roman
Hispania of 409 by the Vandals,
Alans and Suebi,
Honorius, the emperor in the West, enlisted the aid of the Visigoths
to regain control of the territory. Between 408–410 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
Gallia Aquitania on which to settle after they had attacked the
four tribes - Sueves, Asding and Siling Vandala and
Alans - who had
crossed the Rhine near Mainze the last day of 409 and eventually were
Spain by a Roman usurper in the Fall of 409 (the later
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 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, it is
perhaps possible that
Attila would have seized control of Gaul, rather
than the Romans being able to retain dominance.
The Visigoths' second great king, Euric, unified the various
quarreling factions among the
Visigoths and, in 475, forced the Roman
government to grant them full independence. According to historian J.
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. At his death, the
Visigoths were the most powerful of the successor states to the
Roman Empire and were at the very height of their power.
Greatest extent of the Visigothic kingdom of
Toulouse in orange dark
and light, c. 500
At this point, the
Visigoths were also the dominant power in the
Iberian Peninsula, quickly crushing the
Alans and forcing the Vandals
into north Africa. By 500, the Visigothic Kingdom, centred at
Toulouse, controlled Aquitania and
Gallia Narbonensis and most of
Hispania with the exception of the Kingdom of the
Suebi in the
northwest and small areas controlled by the
Cantabrians. 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
Clovis I defeated the
Visigoths in the
Battle of Vouillé
Battle of Vouillé and wrested
control of Aquitaine. King
Alaric II was killed in battle.
After Alaric's death, Visigothic nobles spirited his heir, the
child-king Amalaric, first to 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, then inland and
south to Toledo. From 511 to 526, the
Visigoths were ruled by
Theoderic the Great
Theoderic the Great of the
Ostrogoths as de jure regent for the young
Amalaric. Then in 526,
Amalaric reigned independently for five
years. Following Amalaric's assassination in 531, another
Ostrogothic ruler, Theudis took his place.
Sometime in 549, the Visigoth
Athanagild sought military assistance
Justinian I and while this aide helped
Athanagild win his wars,
the Romans had much more in mind. Granada and southernmost Baetica
were lost to representatives of the
Byzantine Empire (to form the
province of Spania) 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. Imperial Roman armies took advantage of Visigothic
rivalries and established a government at Córdoba.
Hispania and its regional divisions in 700, before the
The last Arian Visigothic king, Liuvigild, 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, which
Suintila recovered in 624. The kingdom survived until 711,
Roderic (Rodrigo) was killed while opposing an invasion from
the south by the
Umayyad Caliphate in the Battle of Guadalete. This
marked the beginning of the Umayyad conquest of Hispania, when most of
Spain came under Islamic rule in the early 8th century.
A Visigothic nobleman, Pelayo, is credited with beginning the
Reconquista of Iberia in 718, when he defeated the Umayyad
forces in the
Battle of Covadonga
Battle of Covadonga and established the Kingdom of
Asturias in the northern part of the peninsula. Other Visigoths
who refused to adopt the Muslim faith or live under their rule, fled
north to the kingdom of the Franks, and
Visigoths played key roles in
the empire of
Charlemagne a few generations later. In the early years
of the Emirate of Córdoba, a group of
Visigoths who remained under
Muslim dominance constituted the personal bodyguard of the Emir,
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,
though perhaps Iruña-Veleia), Luceo, and Olite. There is also a
possible fifth city ascribed to them by a later Arabic source: Baiyara
(perhaps modern Montoro). All of these cities were founded for
military purposes and three of them in celebration of victory. Oddly
enough, despite that the
Visigoths reigned in
Spain for upwards of 250
years, there are a only few remnants of the
Gothic language borrowed
into Spanish.[f][g]. The
Visigoths as heirs of the Roman empire
lost their language and got intermarriaged with the Hispano-Roman
population. The Visigothic kingdom was the origin of the Spanish
Visigothic art and architecture
Visigothic art and architecture and Visigothic script
Belt buckle. Gilt and silvered bronze and glass paste, Visigothic
Aquitaine, 6th century. Found in 1868 in the Visigothic necropolis of
Tressan, Hérault, Languedoc (Musée national du Moyen Âge)
Visigothic Code of Law (forum judicum), which had been part of
aristocratic oral tradition, was set in writing in the early 7th
century— and survives in two separate codices preserved at el
Escorial. It goes into more detail than a modern constitution commonly
does and reveals a great deal about Visigothic social structure.
One of the greatest contributions of the
Visigoths to family law was
their protection of the property rights of married women, which was
continued by Spanish law and ultimately evolved into the community
property system now in force throughout the majority of western
Before the Middle Ages, the Visigoths, as well as other Germanic
peoples, followed what is now referred to as Germanic paganism.
Germanic peoples were slowly converted to
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, and
Christianized while they
were still outside the bounds of the Roman Empire; however, they
Arianism rather than to the Nicean ("Catholic") version
followed by most Romans, who considered them heretics. The
Visigothic leadership maintained its
Arianism up until at least the
reign of King Liuvigild.
Capital from the Visigothic church of San Pedro de la Nave, province
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.[h] Sources
indicate that the Iberian
Visigoths maintained their Christian
Arianism until 589 when Recarred I converted to Catholicism.
Visigoths took over Spain,
Jews constituted a large and very
ancient proportion of the population. Many were farmers, but they
worked in a wide range of occupations, and were a major component of
the urbanized population of the larger towns particularly of eastern
Spain. During the period in which the
Visigoths adhered to Arianism,
the situation of the
Jews seems to have remained relatively good.
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
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.
Catholic conversion across Visigothic society reduced much of the
friction between their people and the native Spanish population.
One chief purpose of this conversion was to unify the realm under the
Church, and one of the key complaints of the Church had long been that
Jews had too much status, prosperity and influence. Local nobles
relied on their Jewish and non-Jewish sectors of the population to
enhance the local economy and the noble's independent power.
Visigothic political structure had traditionally given extensive
powers to local nobles (who even elected their kings), so the king was
in many ways merely 'the first amongst equals,' and central authority
was weak. The status of the
Jews therefore impacted both symbolically
and politically on local aristocrats. Almost immediately, therefore,
King Reccared convened the first Council of Toledo to settle religious
disputations related to the conversion from
Catholicism. The discriminatory laws passed at this Council seem
not to have been well nor universally enforced, however, as indicated
by several more
Councils of Toledo
Councils of Toledo that were held in subsequent years
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,
with a decree ordering the forced conversion of all
Jews in Spain.
However, even this apparently achieved only partial success: similar
decrees were repeated with increasing irritation and effect by later
kings, as central power was consolidated. These laws either decreed
the forcible baptism of the
Jews or forbade circumcision, Jewish rites
and observance of the Sabbath and festivals. Throughout the seventh
Jews were flogged, executed, 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 torment for
Spanish Jewry, which was only ended by the Muslim conquest.[i]
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, the bishops increased in power, until,
Fourth Council of Toledo in 633, they took upon themselves the
right that the nobles had previously had to select a king from among
the royal family. This was the same synod that declared that all Jews
must be baptised. 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
Spain from the beginning of the 8th century,
their Gothic identity faded.
In the eighth through 11th centuries, the muwallad clan of the Banu
Qasi claimed descent from the Visigothic Count Cassius.
^ The first R is held at the Musée de Cluny, Paris
^ Guizot, I, 357.
^ Genethl. Max. 17, 1.
^ Vékony, 156, citing Eutropius, Brev., 8, 2, 2.
^ Other sources dispute the contents of the supposed "treaty" and
claim it was a Gothic surrender.
^ The Words such as: werra > guerra (war), falda > falda (skirt)
and skankjan > escanciar (to pour out); See: La época visigoda
Susana Rodríguez Rosique (spanish) in Cervantes Virtual. Accessed 15
^ The linguistic remnants of the Gothic people in
Spain are sparse. A
few place names and a mere handful of well-known "Spanish" first
names, such as Alfonso, Fernando, Gonzalo, Elvira, and Rodrigo are of
Germanic (Visigothic) origin.
^ At least one high-ranking Visigoth, Zerezindo, dux of Baetica, was a
Catholic in the mid-6th century.
^ Cf. the extensive accounts of Visigothic Jewish history by Heinrich
Graetz, History of the Jews, Vol. 3 (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication
Society of America, 1956 reprint ), pp. 43–52 (on Sisibut, pp.
47–49); Salo W. Baron, A Social and Religious History of the Jews,
Vol. 3 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1957), pp. 33–46 (on
Sisibut pp. 37–38); N. Roth, Jews,
Visigoths and Muslims in Medieval
Spain: Cooperation and Conflict (Leiden: Brill, 1994), pp. 7–40; Ram
Ben-Shalom, "Medieval Jewry in Christendom," in M. Goodman, J. Cohen
and D. Sorkin, The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies (Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 2002), p. 156.
^ "Pair of Eagle Fibula". Walters Art Museum.
^ a b Waldman & Mason 2006, p. 843.
^ Heather 1998, pp. 52–57, 300–301.
^ Waldman & Mason 2006, pp. 843–844.
^ Claude 1998, pp. 119–120.
^ a b c d e Wolfram 1988, p. 24.
^ a b c d e f g Wolfram 1988, p. 25.
^ Heather 1998, pp. 300–301.
^ Wolfram 1988, p. 387, fn52.
^ a b Wolfram 1988, p. 387, fn57.
^ Heather 1998, pp. 52–57, 130–178, 302–309.
^ Collins 2004, pp. 22–24.
^ a b c Wolfram 1988, p. 26.
^ Wolfram 1988, pp. 387–388, fn58.
^ a b Wolfram 1988, p. 387, fn58.
^ Stevenson 1899, p. 36, fn15.
^ Wolfram 1997, p. 39–40.
^ Todd 2000, p. 149.
^ a b Waldman & Mason 2006, p. 844.
^ Wolfram 1997, p. 42–43.
^ Todd 2000, pp. 149–150.
^ Wolfram 1988, pp. 42–55.
^ Odobescu 1889, p. 1-100.
^ Georgescu 1991, p. 11.
^ a b Todd 2000, p. 150.
^ Todd 2000, pp. 150–151.
^ Todd 2000, p. 151.
^ Todd 2000, p. 152.
^ Waldman & Mason 2006, pp. 844–845.
^ Fuller 1998, p. 55.
^ a b Waldman & Mason 2006, p. 845.
^ Durant 1950, p. 24.
^ Durant 1950, pp. 24–25.
^ Sarris 2002, p. 36.
^ Halsall 2007, pp. 178–179.
^ Halsall 2007, p. 179.
^ Katz 1955, pp. 88–89.
^ Todd 2000, p. 154.
^ Halsall 2007, pp. 179–180.
^ Halsall 2007, pp. 180–181.
^ Burns 2003, pp. 322, 374.
^ Frassetto 2003, pp. 204–205.
^ Halsall 2007, pp. 214–217.
^ Collins 1999, pp. 63–65.
^ Williams 2004, p. 51.
^ Heather 2005, p. 434.
^ Sivan 1987, pp. 759–772.
^ Burns 2003, p. 382.
^ Bury 2000, pp. 211–212.
^ a b Waldman & Mason 2006, p. 846.
^ a b c Carr 2004, p. 421.
^ Todd 2000, p. 165.
^ Bury 2000, p. 213.
^ Wolfram 1988, pp. 243–245.
^ Wolfram 1988, p. 245.
^ Roberts 1997, pp. 82–85.
^ Roberts 1997, p. 82.
^ Collins 2000, pp. 51–53.
^ Arce 1999, p. 4.
^ Roberts 1997, pp. 96–100.
^ Williams 2004, p. 60.
^ Wolf 2014, pp. 14–15.
^ Ostler 2006, p. 307.
^ Todd 2000, p. 175.
^ Collins 2004, pp. 6–8.
^ Coolidge 2011, pp. 17–25.
^ Wolfram 1997, pp. 58, 66, 72–74.
^ James 2009, pp. 215–225.
^ Wolfram 1997, pp. 75–79.
^ Wolfram 1997, pp. 265–269.
^ Mathisen & Sivan 1999, p. 40.
^ Graetz 1894, p. 44.
^ Gerber 1992, p. 9.
^ Roth 1994, pp. 35–40.
^ Waldman & Mason 2006, p. 847.
^ Collins 1999, pp. 211–212.
^ Collins 2000, p. 60.
^ Gonzalez-Salinero 1999, pp. 140–147.
^ Lim 1999, pp. 209–210.
^ Collins 2000, pp. 60–62.
^ Fletcher 2006, p. 45.
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