This history of Spain in the period between the end of Roman rule and the time of the Arab conquest challenges many traditional assumptions about the history of this period. * Presents original theories about how the Visigothic kingdom was governed, about law in the kingdom, about the Arab conquest, and about the rise of Spain as an intellectual force. * Takes account of new documentary evidence, the latest archaeological findings, and the controversies that these have generated. * Combines chronological and thematic approaches to the period. * A historiographical introduction looks at the current state of research on the history and archaeology of the Visigothic kingdom.