Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 626
The Visigothic law imposes punishments on persons who remove a debtor from the church without the consent of a priest. The codification is known as the Lex Visigothorum (issued and revised several times between 569 and 702).
De damno hominem ab ecclesiam abstrahentis.
Si quis de altaribus servum suum aut debitorem , non traditum sibi a sacerdote vel ab ecclesie custodibus, violenter abstraxerit, si onestioris loci persona est, ubi primum iudici de eo fuerit relatum, altario, cui iniuriosus fuit, cogatur exolvere solidos C, inferioris loci persona det solidos XXX. Quod si non habuerit, unde conponat, correptus a iudice in conventu C flagella suscipiat. Dominus vero servum, sive creditor debitorem recipiat excusatum.
(ed. Zeumer 1902: 380)
Concerning the penalty for removing a man from a church by force.
If anyone removes by force his slave or a debtor from a church or altar where he sought sanctuary, without the consent of a priest or of some other ecclesiastic who is in charge of said church, as soon as the fact has been brought to the notice of the judge, the offender, if he is a person of high rank, shall be compelled to pay a hundred solidi to the church which sustained the injury. A person of inferior station shall pay thirty solidi, and if he does not have the means to do so, he shall be arrested by the judge, and receive a hundred lashes in public. The master shall then regain possession of his slave, and the debtor shall be surrendered to his creditor.
(trans. by S.P.Scott 1910: 331-332)

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 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
K. Schäferdiek, Die Kirche in den Reichen der Westgoten und Suewen bis zur Errichtung der westgotischen katholischen Staatskirche, Berlin 1967.


Functions within the Church - Parish presbyter
    Described by a title - Sacerdos/ἱερεύς
      Ecclesiastical administration - Administering Church property
        Public law - Secular
          Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER626,