This article discusses the evolution of local government in the aftermath of the Roman empire and throughout the Visigothic kingdom of Toledo. According to current scholarly interpretations, the demise of curial government led to the rule by bishops and counts of the cities, who represented the local community and the king. This article suggests that local, civic government constituted a third actor in the institutional life of cities. Traces of this government appear in references to office holders such as the defensor civitatis and tax collectors, and even in informal assemblies of notables, which evolved from the late imperial government by notables. The monarchy itself encouraged this tripartite organization as an as it were system of check and balances, to prevent one institutional actor to prevail over the others.