Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 200
The inheritance law concerning clerics, monks and nuns. Codification known as Lex Visigothorum (issued and re-edited several times between AD 569 and 702).
De hereditate clericorum et monacorum.
Clerici vel monaci sive sanctimoniales, qui usque ad septimum gradum non relinquerint heredes et sic moriuntur, ut nihil de suis facultatibus ordinent ecclesia sivi, cui servierunt, eorum substantiam vindicabit.
(ed. K. Zeumer 1905: 177-178)
On inheritance from clerics and monks.
If clerics, monks or nuns have left no heir up to the seventh degree [of kinship] and die without dispositions concerning their estate, it will be wholly inherited by the Church which they served.
(trans. M. Szada)


This law can be already found in the Code of Euric (see [199]). The law appears to be drawn from the Codex Theodosianus V.3.1 [2086], where also the monasteries are mentioned as potential recipients of inheritances. Here monasteries are omitted. According to Schaferdiek (1967: 16) the Code of Euric (and the first redaction of Lex Visigothorum too) primarly concerned the Arian Church and  the omission of monasteries can suggest that Arian monasticism was strictly linked to the bishop, and that there were no monasteries in the Arian Church (Heil 2014: 280-281).

Place of event:

  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Gaul

About the source:

Title: Lex Visigothorum, Liber iudiciorum, Liber iudiciorum sive Lex Visigothorum
Origin: Iberian Peninsula
Denomination: Arian, Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Lex Visigothorum is a codification of law first composed during the reign of King Leovigild (569-586) on the basis of the Code of Euric, but the basis of all extant manuscripts is its revised version from the reign of King Reccesvinth (649-672). The codification was also enlarged in the times of kings Ervig (680-687) and Ecgica (687-702).
K. Zeumer ed., Liber iudiciorum sive lex Visigothorum, Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Leges nationum Germanicarum 1, Hannover, Leipzig 1902, 33-456.
The Visigothic Code (Forum Judicum), trans. S.P. Scott, Boston 1910
U. Heil, "The Homoians in Gaul," in G.M. Berndt, R. Steinacher (eds.), Arianism: Roman Heresy and Barbarian Creed, Farnham 2014, 270-296
Leges Visigothorum in: Bibliotheca legum regni Francorum manuscripta,  Karl Ubl (Ed.) assisted by Dominik Trump and Daniela Schulz, Cologne 2012. URL:
K. Schäferdiek, Die Kirche in den Reichen der Westgoten und Suewen bis zur Errichtung der westgotischen katholischen Staatskirche, Berlin 1967


Religious grouping (other than Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian) - Arian
    Described by a title - Clericus
      Private law - Secular
        Economic status and activity - Inheritance
          Relation with - Children
            Relation with - Other relative
              Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER200,