Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 627
The law issued by King Reccared (586-601) orders priests to inform the king about the misconduct of judges and tax collectors. The codification is known as the Lex Visigothorum (issued and re-edited several times between 569 and 702).
Ut nullus ex his, qui populorum accipiunt potestatem et curam, quoscumque de populis aut in sumtibus aut indictionibus inquietare pertemtet.
[...] Et quia, dum regali cura actores nostrarum perquireremus provinciarum, conperimus, quod numerarii vel defensores annua vice mutentur, qua de causa detrimentum nostris non ambigimus populis evenire, ideoque iubemus, ut numerarius vel defensor, qui electus ab episcopis vel populis fuerit, conmissum peragat officium; ita tamen, ut, dum numerarius vel defensor ordinatur, nullum beneficium iudici dare debeat, nec iudex presuinat ab eis aliquid accipere vel exigere. Quod si quis iudicum hanc nostram transcenderit constitutionem, honore privatus decem libras auri fisco nostro coactus exolvat. Sacerdotes vero, quos divina  obtestatione conmonemus, si excessus iudicum aut actorum scierint et ad nostram non retulerint agnitionem , noverint se concilii iudicio esse plectendos, et detrimenta, que pauperes eorum silentio pertulerint, ex eorum rebus illis esse restituenda.
(ed. K. Zeumer 1905: 407-408)
No official, invested with power over the people and supervision over their acts, shall subject them to unnecessary expense, or other impositions.
[...] In order that proper supervision may be exercised over the royal officials in charge of our domains, we have agreed that the tax collectors and defensores shall be changed every year; and, as we are well aware that in consequence of this much injury results to our people, we hereby decree that any tax collector or defensor, who has been elected by the bishops or the people, shall serve the full term for which he was chosen. Where any tax collector or defensor has been appointed, he shall not give any favours to the judge, nor shall the judge presume to accept or exact anything from him. If any judge should violate this law, he shall be deprived of his office, and shall be compelled to pay ten pounds of gold to the royal treasury. Should the priests, whom we address with God as our witnesses, learn of any misconduct of judges, or of other officials, and not bring it to our notice, they shall be liable to the sentence imposed by the council, and shall be compelled to make reparation from their own property for such losses as the poor may have suffered through their silence.
(trans. S.P. Scott 1910: 360-361, slightly changed)


Reccared was a Visgothic king from 586 to 601. Law 2 was included in the codification both in the Reccesvinth's and Ervig's revisions.

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 - Sacerdos/ἱερεύς
    Public law - Secular
      Economic status and activity - Indication of wealth
        Relation with - Monarch and royal/imperial family
          Relation with - Secular authority
            Administration of justice - Secular
              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, ER627,