Amalaric II, King of the Visigoths
Chrothieldis (Clotilde) MEROVING
(Abt 507-531)
Leodegild, King of the Visigoths
(Abt 527-586)
Reccared I, King of the Visigoths
(Abt 544-601)


Family Links

1. Bauda

  • Liuva II, King of the Visigoths
2. Unknown

Reccared I, King of the Visigoths

  • Born: Abt 544, Spain
  • Married (2): 594
  • Died: Jun 601

  Orthographic variation: Recaredo

  Research Notes:

The Iohannis Abbatis Biclarensis Chronica names "duosque filios suos ex amissa coniuge Hermenegildem et Reccaredum" when recording that their father associated them in his rule in 573. Herimannus records "Richaredus filius eius [=Levigildus rex Gothorum]" succeeding his father. He expelled a Frankish invasion from Narbonne in 585.

He was elected to succeed his father in 586 as RECAREDO I King of the Visigoths. The Iohannis Abbatis Biclarensis Chronica records that "filius eius Reccaredus" succeeded his father in 586. Isidore of Seville records that "his son Recared" was crowned king after Leovigildo died "in the era 624 (586)". He converted to Catholicism in [Feb/Mar] 587, his example being followed by many Arian bishops and members of the Visigothic nobility. He consecrated Toledo Cathedral, and summoned the third council of Toledo which adopted Catholicism as the official faith of the kingdom in 589. He brought bishops into his consultative royal council. He ordered the burning of all Arian books written in the Visigothic script.

Isidore of Seville records that he ruled for fifteen years and died "peacefully" in Toledo "in the era 639 (601)". The Chronica Regum Visigotthorum records that “Reccardus” reigned for 15 years, six months, ten days. 1


When King Leovigild died, within a few weeks of April 21, 586, bishop Leander was swift to return to Toledo. The new king had been associated with his father in ruling the kingdom and was acclaimed king by the Visigothic nobles without opposition.

In January 587, Reccared renounced Arianism for Catholicism, the single great event of his reign and the turning point for Visigothic Hispania. Most Arian nobles and ecclesiastics followed his example, certainly those around him at Toledo, but there were Arian uprisings, notably in Septimania, his northernmost province, beyond the Pyrenees, where the leader of opposition was the Arian bishop Athaloc, who had the reputation among his Catholic enemies of being virtually a second Arius. Among the secular leaders of the Septimanian insurrection, the counts Granista and Wildigern appealed to Guntram of Burgundy, who saw his opportunity and sent his dux Desiderius. Reccared's army defeated the Arian insurgents and their Catholic allies with great slaughter, Desiderius himself being slain.

The next conspiracy broke out in the west, Lusitania, headed by Sunna, the Arian bishop of Mérida, and count Seggo. Claudius, Reccared's dux Lusitaniae, put down the rising, Sunna being banished to Mauritania and Seggo retiring to Gallaecia.

In the later part of 588 a third conspiracy was headed by the Arian bishop Uldila and the queen dowager Goiswintha, but they were detected, and the bishop was banished.

The Third Council of Toledo, organized by St. Leander but convened in the king's name in May 589, set the tone for the new Catholic kingdom. The public confession of the king, read aloud by a notary, reveals by the emphatic clarity of its theological points and its quotations of scripture that it was ghost-written for the king. Bishop Leander also delivered the triumphant closing sermon, which his brother Isidore entitled Homilia de triumpho ecclesiae ob conversionem Gothorum a homily upon the "triumph of the Church upon the conversion of the Goths". The text of the homily survives. Leander and the Catholic bishops immediately instituted the program of forced conversion of Jews and extirpation of the remains of Arianism as heresy. Catholic history traditionally imputes these persecutions to the Visigothic kings. When, after Reccared's reign, at a synod held at Toledo in 633, the bishops took upon themselves the nobles' right to select a king from among the royal family, the transfer of power was complete. By this time the remaining ethnic distinction between the increasingly Romanized Visigoths and their Hispano-Roman subjects had all but disappeared (the Gothic language lost its last and probably already declining function as a church language with the extirpation of Arianism, and dress & funerary customs also cease to be distinguishing features in ca. 570/580)....

The information for the rest of Reccared's reign is scanty. John of Biclaro, Reccared's contemporary, ends his account with the Third Council of Toledo. Isidore of Seville, bishop Leander's brother, praises his peaceful government, clemency, and generosity: standard encomia. He returned various properties, even some private ones, that had been confiscated by his father, and founded many churches and monasteries. Pope Gregory, writing to Reccared in Aug. 599 (Epp. ix. 61, 121), extols him for embracing the true faith and inducing his people to do so, and notably for refusing the bribes offered by Jews to procure the repeal of a law against them. He sent Reccared a piece of the True Cross, some fragments of the chains of St. Peter, and some hairs of St. John the Baptist.

Reccared died a natural death at Toledo and was succeeded by his youthful son Liuva II. 2

  Marriage Information:

Reccared married Bauda. (Bauda died on 8 May 589/94.)

  Marriage Information:

Reccared also married . . . . . . .


1 Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, Medlands, Recaredo.

2 Wikipedia article, Reccared I, citing sources.

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