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Suintila (Gothic: Swinþila), or Swinthila, Svinthila; (ca. 588 – 633/635) was Visigothic King of Hispania, Septimania and Galicia from 621 to 631. There was a new peace in the Kingdom of the Visigoths. As a direct result, by 624 the king was able to retake those lands that had been under the control of Byzantium. He was a son of Reccared I and wife Bado, and a brother of the general Geila.
On the linguistic front, it was around Suintila’s time that a secondary form of the word Hispania was growing in usage: Spania, from which the modern name of Spain originated.[a] According to Isidore of Seville, who died in 636, it was with the Visigothic domination of Hispania that the idea of a peninsular unity was sought, and the phrase mater Spania (‘mother Hispania’) was first used. Up to that date, it had been the word Hispania that designated all of the lands in the Iberian peninsula. In his Historia de regibus Gothorum, Vandalorum et Suevorum, Isidore describes Suintila as the first king of totius Spaniae. In the prologue to this work, De laude Spaniae (‘About Hispania’s Pride’), the country is dealt with as a Gothic nation.
Marriage and issue
He married Theodora, born ca. 590, daughter of the first marriage of his brother-in-law, King Sisebut. Their issue included:
- Liuvigoto, born circa 620, who married Erwig
- Ricimer (ca. 610 – 631)
- Before the emergence of the modern country of Spain (beginning with the union of Castile and Aragon in 1492), the Latin word Hispania, in any of the Iberian Romance languages, either in singular or plural forms (in English: Spain or Spains), was used to refer to the whole of the Iberian Peninsula, and not exclusively, as in modern usage, to the country of Spain, thus excluding Portugal.
- (Spanish) Coins of King Suintila
|King of the Visigoths