NameLeovigild of Spain King of Visigoths
Birthabt 527, Spain
DeathApr 586, Toledo, Spain
MotherClotilda Princess of Franks (~507-~531)
Misc. Notes
Also spelled LIUVIGILD, Spanish LEOVIGILDO, the last Arian ruler in Visigothic Spain, who did much to restore the extent and power of the Visigothic kingdom.

Brother of King Athanagild (d. 567), Leovigild succeeded (568) to that part of the Visigothic kingdom that lay south of the Pyrenees. Another brother, Liuva, ruled in Septimania, but after his death (572) Leovigild became sole king. Throughout his reign he was constantly at war. He took (569) Leon and Zamora from the Suebi in the northwest and Córdoba (571-572) from the Greeks in the south. One of Leovigild's sons, Hermenegild, married Ingund, daughter of Brunhild and of the Frankish king Sigebert, and was converted by her to Catholicism. He received support from his father's enemies, and Leovigild had to fight on all fronts. Leovigild defeated the Suebi, ultimately annexing their kingdom, and after a two-year siege he wrested Seville from the Byzantines (581-583). Hermenegild was executed in 585, his wife fleeing to Africa. On a pretext of avenging her treatment, the Frankish kings Childebert II and Guntram attacked Septimania and sent a fleet to help the Suebi; they were repulsed by Leovigild. At his death he was succeeded by his remaining son Reccared.

Visigothic king of Spain (568–86), brother and successor of Athanagild. He was joint ruler to 573 with his brother Liuva. He reorganized the administration and assumed a royal pomp that imitated that of the Byzantine court. Leovigild was constantly at war with the Byzantines in S Spain and the Suevi in the north. When these enemies supported the revolt of his son Hermenegild, who had converted from Arianism to Catholicism, he finally annexed (584–85) the kingdom of the Suevi. Hermenegild was put to death. At the end of Leovigild's reign the only non-Visigothic parts of Spain were two small territories of the Byzantine Empire. Leovigild made important additions to the Visigothic laws (see Germanic laws). His son Recared succeeded him.

Leovigild, who reigned from 573 to 586 subdued the Suebi, the Byzantines and the Northern independent tribes, but he failed to achieve the country's religious unification. His son Hermenigild, a convert to Catholicism, led a subversive revolt of Romanized Spanish citizens in the Baetica region (Western Andalusia).
Hermenegild was captured and executed. Leovigild's son, Recared, succeeded him on the throne. Influenced by Leandro, Archbishop of Seville, Recared and his noblemen converted to Catholicism, thereby paving the way for the religious unity of the country (587). Two years later, the Third Church Council held at Toledo proclaimed Catholicism the official religion of the Visigothic Kingdom. Thenceforth, the Church was to exert a powerful influence on all aspects of social life
ChildrenHermenegild II (~563-586)
 Reccared I (<567-601)
Last Modified 18 Oct 1999Created 4 Sep 2012 using Reunion for Macintosh