Liuvigild bigraphy, stories - Monarchs

Liuvigild : biography

525 - 586

Liuvigild, Leuvigild, Leovigild (Gothic: Liubagilds), or Leovigildo (Spanish and Portuguese) was a Visigothic King of Hispania and Septimania from 568 to April 21, 586. From 585 he was also king of Galicia. Known for his Codex Revisus or Code of Leovigild, a unifying law allowing equal rights between the Visigothic and Hispano-Roman population, his kingdom covered most of modern Spain down to Toledo. He was born circa 525.

Hermenegild's revolt

The Visigoths were still a military aristocracy and kings had to be formally ratified by the nobility. Visigoths and their Ibero-Roman subjects were still separated by religion and by distinct law codes. Liuvigild modified the old Code of Euric which governed the Goths and created his own Codex Revisus. He also repealed old Roman laws dating back to the late 4th century forbidding intermarriage between Visigoths and Ibero-Romans.Strategies of Distinction: Construction of Ethnic Communities, 300-800 (Transformation of the Roman World) by Walter Pohl, ISBN ISBN 90-04-10846-7 (p.153)

Liuvigild further secured a peaceful succession, a perennial Visigothic issue, by associating his two sons, Hermenegild and Reccared, with himself in the kingly office and placing certain regions under their regencies. Hermenegild, the elder, was married to Inguthis, daughter of the Frankish King Sigibert I.

In 582 Liuvigild captured Mérida, which had been under the political control of its popular bishop Masona since the early 570s. Masona was soon after exiled for three years, possibly in the context of the rebellion of Hermenegild.

Hermenegild had converted to Orthodox Christianity, persuaded by his Frankish wife Ingunthis and Leander, bishop of Seville. After his father, who considered this conversion treason, insisted on appointing Arians as bishops, Baetica in 583 revolted under the leadership of Hermenegild, who was supported by the orthodox bishops. When the Byzantines failed to aid the revolt, Liuvigild besieged and took Seville and banished his son to Valencia, where he was murdered by Liuvigild's agents. Leander of Seville was also banished and later canonized as a saint. Ingunthis was delivered to the Eastern Emperor Tiberius II Constantine and was last heard of in Africa. These events are described in vivid details by Pope Gregory I (Dialogi, III, 31). After this rebellion, Liuvigild reportedly demanded that his Roman subjects convert to Arianism.

Later years

Liuvigild went on to subdue the Basques. In the north Liuvigild took advantage of internecine friction among Suebi factions in dispute over a succession and, in 584, he defeated the Suebic kingdom in the great battle of Braga George Washington Greene, History and geography of the middle age for colleges and schools, New-York, 1851 and added the kingdom to his crowns. By the end of his reign, only the Basque lands and two small territories of the Byzantine Empire made up the non-Visigothic parts of Iberia.

Liuvigild's last year was troubled by open war with the Franks along his northernmost borders. But overall, Liuvigild was one of the more effective Visigothic kings of Hispania, the restorer of Visigothic unity, ruling from his capital newly established at Toledo, where he settled toward the end of his reign. (From this, the Iberian Visigothic monarchy is sometimes called the "Kingdom of Toledo"). Isidore of Seville records that he ruled for eighteen years and died a natural death in Toledo "in the era 624 (586)".Historia de regibus Gothorum, Vandalorum et Suevorum, 51-52.

The Visigoths in Hispania considered themselves the heirs of western Roman imperial power, not its enemies. Until Liuvigild's reign, the Visigoths minted coins that imitated the imperial coinage of Byzantium which circulated from Byzantine possessions in Baetica. From the reign of Liuvigild onwards, however, the Visigothic kingdom issued coarse coinage of its own designs. While facing the rebellion in southern Hispania, Liuvigild struck an issue of tremisses with a cross on steps on the reverse, a design that had been introduced for the very first time on Byzantine solidi by Emperor Tiberius II (578–582).

Living octopus

Living octopus

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