History of Spain/Visigoths
The Middle Ages started in Spain with the creation of the Visigoth Kingdom in the 5th Century. It would last until 711, with the conquest of Spain by the Umayyad Caliphate. In 409, the Roman Empire was very weak and was invaded by German People from the north. Some of these people, like Vandals, Alans, Swabians and Visigoths, settled in Spain and Portugal. The Visigoths arrived to Spain from the Pyrenees and settled in the middle of the Peninsula. The Visigoths founded a kingdom, with capital in Toulouse. Later, the capital was translated to Toledo. Between the Visigoth Kings highlighted Leovigildo, Recaredo and Recesvinto, who conquered the entire Peninsula. The Visigoths divided their kingdom in five provinces (provincias in Spanish), named ducats (ducados in Spanish). The kingdom was ruled by a king and each duchy was ruled by a duke. The Visigoth Kingdom disappeared in 711, when king Rodrigo was defeated by the Muslims in the Battle of Guadalete river.
The Visigoth society was made up by nobles and farmers. The nobles had the political and military dominion, they were the owners of the lands and they had many riches. The farmers were the majority of the population. A few were the owners of their lands, but the majority tilled the lands of the nobles in exchange of food and housing. The Visigoths adopted the Latin language, the Catholic religion and Roman laws. They lived in villages and their houses were simple. Their jobs were the agriculture and animal husbandry and they were experts in the production of objects with stones and metals.
Visigothic Inheritance in Spain
The Visigoths have bequeathed to Spain their constructions and their goldsmith works. The Visigoths built simple and small romanic churches, made of stone. They produced many jewels with metals and stones.