Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 606
The law issued by King Ervig (AD 680-687) orders cases concerning Jews to be judged in the presence of a priest. The codification is known as the Lex Visigothorum (issued and revised several times between 569 and 702).
Ne iudices quicquam de perfidorum excessibus extra sacerdotum conibentiam iudicare presumant.
Iudices omnes nihil de perfidorum excessibus citra sacerdotum conibentiam iudicabunt , ne cupiditas secularium fidem nostram maculet acceptione munerum. Et tamen si, ut adsolet, presentia defuerit sacerdotum, sola potestate iudicum distringendi sunt. Sane si episcopo etiam de sede sua contigerit aut in vicino aut longe forsitan progredi, talem ex sacerdotibus pro sui vice relinquat, qui una cum iudice territorii hec instituta sine muneris acceptione perficiat.
(ed. Zeumer 1902: 453)
Let no judge presume to investigate the offences of the perfidious without the knowledge of priests
No judge shall decide a case involving the transgressions of the perfidious Jews unless a priest is present, lest, by the acceptance of a bribe, the Holy Faith of the Church be stained by avarice; but if, as is frequently the case, no priest is present, the judge is authorised to proceed without him. If, however, the bishop goes away from his see and travels whether near, or at a distance, he may leave a priest (ex sacerdotibus) to act in his stead, who will co-operate with the judge of the territory in the enforcement of these laws, without any remuneration whatever.
(trans. P.S.Scott 1910: 407)


This is one of thirty-four laws that are the original contribution of King Ervig to the codification revised during his reign. Twenty-eigth of this laws concerned Jews (Collins 2004: 236).

Place of event:

  • Iberian Peninsula

About the source:

Title: Lex Visigothorum, Liber iudiciorum, Liber iudiciorum sive Lex Visigothorum
Origin: Toledo (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
R. Collins, Visigothic Spain, 409-711, Oxford, OX, UK; Malden, MA, USA 2004.
J. Juster, "The Legal Condition of the Jews Under the Visigothic Kings Part I", Israel Law Review 11 (1976), 259-287.
J. Juster, "The Legal Condition of the Jews Under the Visigothic Kings Part II", Israel Law Review 11 (1976), 391-414.
J. Juster, "The Legal Condition of the Jews Under the Visigothic Kings Part III", Israel Law Review 11 (1976), 563-590.
K. Schäferdiek, Die Kirche in den Reichen der Westgoten und Suewen bis zur Errichtung der westgotischen katholischen Staatskirche, Berlin 1967.


Described by a title - Sacerdos/ἱερεύς
    Public law - Secular
      Relation with - Secular authority
        Relation with - Jew
          Legal practice
            Equal prerogatives of presbyters and bishops
              Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER606,