Athanagild (əthănˈəgĭld) [key], d. 567, Visigothic king of Spain (554–67). Having deposed his predecessor, Agila, with the aid of an army sent by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, he ceded a large portion of S Spain to the Byzantines and was unable to prevent them from further extending their territory. Although throughout his rule he had to fight the Byzantines, the Franks, and the Basques, Athanagild strengthened his kingdom internally by conciliating the Catholics, whom his Arian predecessors had oppressed. His court at Toledo was famed for its splendor. Athanagild was the father of the Frankish queens Brunhilda and Galswintha. He was succeeded by his brothers Liuva and Leovigild.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.