Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 616
The Visigothic law mentions manumissions made in the presence of a priest. The codification is known as the Lex Visigothorum (issued and revised several times between AD 569 and 702).
Quare data libertas debeat revocari.
Qui servo suo vel ancille libertatem donaverit, et presente sacerdote vel aliis duobus aut tribus testibus hoc factum esse constiterit, huiusmodi libertatem revocare non liceat, excepto si manumissori eum, qui manumissus est, iniuriosum aut contumeliosum vel accusatorem aut criminatorem esse constiterit; pro quibus iniuriis data libertas poterit revocari. Si vero ipse, qui manumisit, dicat, quod sub alio placito eum libertaverit, testes, qui presentes fuerint, ante iudicem ipsum placitum dicere non graventur; et postmodum, quod placitum fuerat, stare iubemus.
(ed. Zeumer 1902: 237-238)
For what reasons freedom, once given, shall be revoked.
If anyone emancipates a male or female slave, and it is proved that this has been done in the presence of a priest or two or three witnesses, thus granted liberty cannot be revoked except if a manumitted person inflicts some injury on his former master, or is insolent to him, or accuses him of a crime, for such offences, his freedom may be revoked. But if the master says that he liberated the slave under certain conditions, the witnesses who were present shall testify concerning the terms of the contract, and, afterwards, judgement shall be rendered according to the terms of the contract.
(trans. by M. Szada)


The law in this form comes from the redaction of King Reccesvinth. It was reformulated in the codification of King Ervig, but as the beginning, which mentions a priest, remains there unaltered, only the first version of this law is inserted into the database.

Place of event:

  • Iberian Peninsula

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 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
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 - Sacerdos/ἱερεύς
    Private law - Secular
      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, ER616,