Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 522
Canon 1 of the Seventh Council of Toledo (Iberian Peninsula, AD 646) imposes punishments on treasonous clerics.
Canon 1
The canon refers to laymen and clerics who go abroad and conspire there against the Visigothic  king. It is decided that those traitors and their associates shall be deposed from their office in the Church and excommunicated. They can only receive communion on their deathbeds if they lived a life of penance. If a bishop gives them communion earlier, even if he acts at the behest of the king, he shall be demoted and excommunicated himself. The property of the excommunicated traitor can be confiscated and the king can only slightly mitigate the punishment so that the person in question receives back no more than a twentieth of his property. If a cleric is involved in the conspiracy to overthrow a legitimate king, he shall be excommunicated. But if this usurper wins and hinders the excommunication of his clerical adherents, they will nevertheless be punished with a great anathema (superior anathema) that will take effect immediately after the king's death. The third section of the canon concerns the laity and the possibility of pardon.
(eds. Martínez Díez, Rodríguez 1992: 338-347)


Canon 1 continues the tradition of political legislation of the previous council of Toledo, but here emphasis is on the conspirators working abroad (Collins 2004: 83-84). This was connected with the political persecutions led by Chindaswinth against some members of the nobility (see Fredegar IV, 82: "When he dethroned Tulga he had him tonsured; and then, having made sure of his power throughout the Spanish kingdom and knowing the Gothic weakness for dethroning their kings (for he had often been involved with them in such conspiracies), he ordered the killing, one by one, of all those whom he knew to have been compromised in rebellion against kings who had been dethroned. Others he condemned to exile, and gave their wives, daughters and inherited possession to his followers." trans. Wallace-Hadrill 1981: 70). Some of them most probably fled the kingdom.
In the section about confiscation of property the canon makes allusion to the secular law issued by Chindaswinth probably in the same year and included in the Lex Visigothorum (II, 1, 8, ed. K. Zeumer 1902: 53-57; about this codification see discussion about the source in [200]).

Place of event:

  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Toledo

About the source:

Title: Seventh Council of Toledo, Concilium Toletanum septimum a. 646, Concilium VII Toletanum, Concilium Toletanum VII
Origin: Toledo (Iberian Peninsula)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
The Seventh Council of Toledo assembled in October AD 646 during the reign of King Chindaswinth (642-653) and was attended by thirty bishops.
G. Martínez Díez, F. Rodríguez eds., La colección canónica Hispana, Monumenta Hispaniae sacra. Serie canónica 5, Madrid 1992.
R. Collins, Visigothic Spain, 409-711, Oxford, OX, UK; Malden, MA, USA 2004.
J.M. Wallace-Hadrill ed., Fredegarii chronicorum liber quartus cum continuationibus, Westport, Conn 1981.
K. Zeumer ed., Liber iudiciorum sive lex Visigothorum, Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Leges nationum Germanicarum 1, Hannover, Leipzig 1902, 33-456.


Travel and change of residence
    Described by a title - Clericus
      Public law - Ecclesiastical
          Relation with - Monarch and royal/imperial family
            Relation with - Noble
              Administration of justice - Ecclesiastical
                Administration of justice - Secular
                  Administration of justice - Excommunication/Anathema
                    Administration of justice - Demotion
                      Administration of justice - Exile
                        Administration of justice - Financial punishment
                          Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER522,