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RECCARED °, Visigothic king of Spain (586–601). He succeeded his father Leovigild and shortly thereafter converted from Arianism to orthodox Christianity. This conversion was followed in 589 by the Third Council of Toledo, where it was decreed that all Arians must become orthodox. His preoccupation with religious matters seems to have led Reccared to reaffirm and modify existing anti-Jewish legislation. He forbade Jews to own Christian slaves and decreed that if a Jew circumcised a Christian slave, the latter was to be set free and the owner was himself to be enslaved. Jews were further forbidden to have Christian wives or mistresses and any children born from such a union were to be baptized. This is the earliest example of compulsory conversion of Jews in Visigothic Spain. Aside from the enactment requiring the forced baptism of offspring from mixed marriages, Reccared's legislation did not go beyond that which had existed under his Arian predecessors. In fact the punishment for converting one's own slaves was reduced from death to slavery. Like his predecessors, moreover, Reccared was lax in enforcing the anti-Jewish laws. Not only did Jews continue to own and trade Christian slaves, but the pope felt compelled to indicate his wrath at this state of affairs. This had little effect, however, and the Jews seem to have been little bothered by Reccared's legislation against them.


S. Katz, Jews in the Visigothic and Frankish Kingdoms of Spain and Gaul (1937), index; B. Blumenkranz, Juifs et Chrétiens dans le monde occidental, 430–1096 (1960), index; E.A. Thompson, The Goths in Spain (1969).

[Bernard Bachrach]