The Visigothic Kingdom was a kingdom that occupied what is now southwestern France and the Iberian Peninsula from the fifth to the eighth centuries AD. One of the Germanic successor states to the Western Roman Empire, it was originally created by the settlement of the Visigoths under King Wallia in the province of Aquitaine in southwest France by the Roman government and then extended by conquest over all of the Iberian Peninsula. The Kingdom maintained independence from the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire, the attempts of which to re-establish Roman authority in Iberia were only partially successful and short-lived. By the early sixth century, the Kingdom's territory in Gaul had been lost to the Franks, save the narrow coastal strip of Septimania, but the Visigoth control of Iberia was secured by the end of that century with the submission of the Suebi and the Basques. The ethnic distinction between the indigenous Hispano-Roman population and the Visigoths had largely disappeared by this time (the Gothic language lost its last and probably already declining function as a church language when the Visigoths converted to Catholicism in 589). Liber Iudiciorum (completed in 654) abolished the old tradition of having different laws for Romans and for Visigoths. Most of the Visigothic Kingdom was conquered by Islamic troops from Morocco in 711 AD, with only the northern reaches of Spain remaining in Christian hands. These gave birth to the medieval Kingdom of Asturias when a local landlord called Pelayo, most likely of Gothic origin, was elected Princeps by the Astures.
The Visigoths and their early kings were Arian Christians and came into conflict with the Catholic Church, but after they converted to Nicene Christianity, the Church exerted an enormous influence on secular affairs through the Councils of Toledo. The Visigoths also developed the highly influential legislation in Western Europe, the Liber Iudiciorum, which formed the basis for Spanish law throughout the Middle Ages.
Read more about Visigothic Kingdom: Visigothic Settlements, Founding of Cities, See Also
Famous quotes containing the word kingdom:
“... what a family is without a steward, a ship without a pilot, a flock without a shepherd, a body without a head, the same, I think, is a kingdom without the health and safety of a good monarch.”
—Elizabeth I (15331603)