Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 554
The law issued by King Reccesvinth (ca 649-672) forbids clerics and public officials to tolerate Jews practising their religion. The codification known as the Lex Visigothorum (issued and revised several times between 569 and 702).
The first section of the law justifies the necessity of the new regulations against the Jews.
[...] Ne ergo quibuscumque adinventionibus calliditas Iudeorum, indesinenti persequenda conatu, subrepat obtate profana iura licentie, hoc providenter legis huius decernitur sanctione, ut nullus de religiosis cuius cumque hordinis vel honoris seu de palatii mediocribus adque primis vel ex omnibus cuiuslibet qualitatis aut generis a principum vel quarumcumque potestatum aut obtineat
aut subrepat animis, Iudeos sive non baptizatos in sue observationis detestanda fide et consuetudine permanere, sive eos, qui baptizati sunt, ad perfidiam ritumve pristinum quandoque redire. Nullus sub patrocinii nomine hos pro sue pravitatis licentia conetur in quippiam defensare. Nullus quocumque argumento aut factione illis hanc defensionem conetur inpendere, per quam liceat eis obvia sancte fidei et christiano contraria cultui palam aut occulte aliquatenus adtemtare, nequiter proferre vel tangere. Quod si quispiam hec presumserit temerare, si episcopus fuerit aut etiam ex ceteris clericis adque religiosis vel certe ex cunctis laicis quisque deprehensus extiterit, a conventu catholicorum seclusus, excomunicatione ecclesiastica feriatur et quarte partis omnium bonorum suorum amissione multabitur, que fisco non dubie quamtotius conectetur. [...]
There follows the closing sentence with reference to the previous law of the King Sisebut (XII.2.14).
(ed. K. Zeumer 1905: 423-424)
The first section of the law justifies the necessity of the new regulations against the Jews.
[...] Therefore, lest the slyness of the Jews, having gained freedom by secular laws, creep up pursuing some machinations with unstoppable efforts, we decree providently with this law that no religious person of whatever order or honour, no one from the palace, whether he is first- or middle-rank, no one of any class or origin, no ruler or other person of any authority shall tolerate in his heart that the Jews or other non-baptized persons remain in their detestable faith or custom, or that those already baptized go back to the perfidy of their former religion. No one will try to defend them or their freedom to practise their depravity under the pretext of patronage. No one will try to put up a defence for them, lest they be allowed to try and manage to do openly or secretly wicked things that are contrary to the Christian cult and to the holy faith. If a bishop, or a cleric, or a religious person, or a layperson has the temerity to do that, and is caught, he shall be excluded from the community of the Catholics, he will be punished with ecclesiastical excommunication and the fourth part of his property will be confiscated and rendered wholly to the fisc. [...]
There follows the closing sentence with reference to the previous law of the King Sisebut (XII.2.14).
(trans. M. Szada)


Recceswinth was a Visgothic king from 649 (together with his father Chindaswinth who died in 653) to 672. Law 18 was included in the codification both in Recceswinth's and Ervig's revisions.
The law makes an allusion to Canon 5 of the Eigth Council of Toledo (653).

Place of event:

  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Gaul

About the source:

Title: Lex Visigothorum, Liber iudiciorum, Liber iudiciorum sive Lex Visigothorum
Origin: Iberian Peninsula
Denomination: 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 origin of all extant manuscripts is its revised version from the reign of King Recceswinth (649-672). The codification was also enlarged in the times of King 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
Leges Visigothorum in: Bibliotheca legum regni Francorum manuscripta,  Karl Ubl (Ed.) assisted by Dominik Trump and Daniela Schulz, Cologne 2012. URL:


Described by a title - Clericus
    Public law - Secular
      Relation with - Jew
        Administration of justice - Excommunication/Anathema
          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, ER554,