Isidore of Seville and the Liber Iudiciorum

The Struggle for the Past in the Visigothic Kingdom


Isidore of Seville and the “Liber Iudiciorum” establishes a novel framework for re-interpreting the Liber Iudiciorum (LI), the law-code issued in Toledo by the Visigothic king Recceswinth (649/653-672) in 654. The LI was a manifestation of a vibrant dialectical situation, particularly between two networks of authority, Isidore-Seville and Toledo-Agali, a defining characteristic of the discourse coloring the fabric of writing in Hispania, c. 600-660. To more fully imagine the meaning, significance and purposes of the LI, this book elicits this cooperative competition through a series of four case-studies on writing in the period. In addition to offering an alternative historiography for the LI, this book expands the corpus of “Visigothic Literature” and introduces what the author refers to as “Gothstalgie.”

See inside the book.

Prices from (excl. VAT):

Add to Cart
Michael J. Kelly lectures history, critical theory, and the philosophy of history at Binghamton University (SUNY) and is Director of Networks and Neighbours and Gracchi Books ( He edited Theories of History: History Read Across the Humanities (Bloomsbury, 2018), with Arthur Rose.
1 Introduction: the Isidore-Moment, the Liber Iudiciorum, and the Schools Thesis
 1 A Brief History and Introduction to Seventh-Century Hispania
 2 The Isidore-Moment and the Liber Iudiciorum
 3 The “Schools” – Hasta Siempre, Bishop Isidore

2 In the Beginning: The History of the Historiography of Isidore
 1 Introduction
 2 The Historiography of Isidore
 3 The Representations
 4 Other Contemporary Historical Representations of Isidore
 5 Conclusion

3 Origins and Histories: Creating New Chains of Signification
 1 Introduction
 2 Isidore’s Literature of the Past
 3 Isidore’s [Use, Abuse and Philosophy of] History
 4 Conversion and the Locating of Seville
 5 The Goths in Isidore-Seville’s Historical Representations
 6 Conclusion

4 The Historical Lacunae and Damnatio[nes] Memoriae of the Hispana
 1 Introduction
 2 The Hispana
 3 The Example of Gundemar and his Council (610)
 4 The Example of the Third Council of Seville (624)

5 Pinnacle and Twilight: The Liber Iudiciorum and the “Historical” Fulfillment of the Isidore-Moment
 1 Introduction
 2 What Is the Liber Iudiciorum?
 3 Interlude: Short Historical Background
 4 The Structure of the Liber Iudiciorum, and Its Meaning
 5 Constituent Influence of the School of Isidore-Seville
 6 Conclusion


Appendix: Julian of Toledo Not an Agalian
Anyone interested in the period of Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages and the history (and history-writing), law, and literature of the post-Roman world, the Mediterranean, and the Iberian Peninsula.