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Goths and Romans in the leges visigothorum

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the convention of describing the western Goths as Visigoths is maintained, but that gens and its kings identified themselves simply as Goths. The oldest completely preserved edition of the Visigothic Code dates from ad 654.8 This includes many older laws, but some of these have certainly been edited, and a good deal of the legislation of the earlier kings is likely to have been omitted as no longer relevant. The Leges Visigothorum therefore represents the condition of Spain not when the Goths first entered the country in the fifth century, but more than two hundred years later. The Goths could appropriate a great deal of Roman culture without feeling that they had become Romans. Roman culture became Gothic culture. So it came about that a mixture of historical facts and of legends about the Goths has helped to shape Spanish identity until today.

Keywords:Arab Conquest; Isidore of Seville; Leges Visigothorum; Romans; Spain; Visigothic kingdom



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