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Votive crown of Recceswinth, as found in the treasure of Guarrazar

Recceswinth[1], also known as Reccesuinth, Recceswint, Reccaswinth, Recesvinto (Spanish, Galician and Portuguese), Recceswinthus, Reccesvinthus, and Recesvindus (Latin), (? – 1 September 672) was the Visigothic King of Hispania, Septimania and Galicia in 649–672. He ruled jointly with his father Chindaswinth until his father's death in 653.

Under Recceswinth, the Visigothic Kingdom enjoyed unbroken peace for 19 years (653–672) — except for a brief rebellion of the Vascons, led by a Gothic noble named Froya. During the rebellion, the Vascons penetrated as far as Saragossa, and committed great atrocities until Froya was captured and put to death.[2]

Beginning in 654, Recceswinth was responsible for the promulgation of a law code to replace the Breviary of Alaric; he placed a Visigothic common law over both Goths and Hispano-Romans in the kingdom. This Liber Judiciorum showed little Germanic influence, adhering more closely to the old Roman laws.[citation needed]

Illustration of Recceswinth at Biblioteca Nacional de España, Madrid

In his general law code of 654, he outlawed a set of essential Jewish practices, including male circumcision, dietary laws (kashrut), marriage laws and ceremonies, and the celebration of Passover.[3]

Moreover, the church councils in the capital became the most powerful force in the government and the bishops were the primary support of the monarchy. Will Durant wrote in The Age of Faith: "By their superior education and organization they dominated the nobles who sat with them in the ruling councils of Toledo; and though the king's authority was theoretically absolute, and he chose the bishops, these councils elected him, and exacted pledges of policy in advance."[citation needed]

Recceswinth died in 672, just before the first Arab raid of Baetica.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ It is spelled Recceswinth in the Encyclopædia Britannica, vol. 7, p. 328: "Liber Judiciorum". Chicago, 1989.
  2. ^ Henry Bradley, The story of the Goths: from the earliest times to the end of the Gothic dominion in Spain, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1903.
  3. ^ John Edwards, The Spain of the Catholic Monarchs, 1474-1520 (Wiley-Blackwell, 2000), p. 72.
  4. ^ Karen Eva Carr, Vandals to Visigoths: rural settlement patterns in early Medieval Spain (University of Michigan Press, 2002), p. 33.

External linksEdit

Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of the Visigoths
with Chindaswinth (649–653)
Succeeded by