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The Magdeburger Reiter: a tinted sandstone equestrian monument, c. 1240, traditionally intended as a portrait of Otto I (detail), Magdeburg

Otto I the Great (23 November 912 in Wallhausen – 7 May 973 in Memleben), son of Henry I the Fowler and Matilda of Ringelheim, was Duke of Saxony, King of Germany, King of Italy, and "the first of the Germans to be called the emperor of Italy" according to Arnulf of Milan.[1] While Charlemagne had been crowned emperor in 800, his empire had been divided amongst his grandsons, and following the assassination of Berengar of Friuli in 924, the imperial title had lain vacant for nearly forty years. On 2 February 962, Otto was crowned Emperor of what would later become the Holy Roman Empire.


Early reign

Married to Eadgyth of England in 929, Otto succeeded his father as king of the Saxons in 936.[2]

He arranged for his coronation to be held in Charlemagne's former capital, Aachen, where he was anointed by Hildebert archbishop of Mainz, primate of the German church. According to the Saxon historian Widukind of Corvey, at his coronation banquet he had the four other dukes of the empire, those of Franconia, Swabia, Bavaria and Lorraine, act as his personal attendants: Arnulf I of Bavaria as marshal (or stablemaster), Herman I, Duke of Swabia as cupbearer, Eberhard III of Franconia as steward (or seneschal), and Gilbert of Lorraine as Chamberlain.[3] From the outset of his reign he signalled that he was the successor to Charlemagne, whose last heirs in East Francia had died out in 911, and that he had the German church, with its powerful bishops and abbots, behind him. However, the Neustrian reign (West Francia), had been and still was under the rule of the Carolingian dynasty.

Otto intended to dominate the church and use that sole unifying institution in the German lands in order to establish an institution of theocratic imperial power.[citation needed] The Church offered wealth, military manpower and its monopoly on literacy. For his part the Emperor offered protection against the nobles, the promise of endowments, and an avenue to power as his ministeriales.

In 938, a rich vein of silver was discovered at the Rammelsberg in Saxony. This mineral wealth helped fund Otto's activities throughout his reign; indeed, it would provide much of Europe's silver, copper, and lead for the next two hundred years.[citation needed]

Otto's early reign was marked by a series of ducal revolts. In 938, Eberhard, the new duke of Bavaria, refused to pay Otto homage. Otto responded with two campaigns in 938, during spring and fall, defeating Eberhard and banishing him. Berthold, Arnulf's brother, formerly duke of Carinthia became new duke of Bavaria.

After the death of Siegfried, Count of Merseburg in 937, Thankmar claimed Merseburg. Otto, however, appointed Gero, Siegfried's brother, as count of Merseburg. During this dispute, Eberhard of Franconia and Wichmann the Elder revolted against Otto and Thankmar joined them. Thankmar and Eberhard of Franconia captured Belecke on the Möhne.[citation needed] Wichmann the Elder was reconciled with Otto and the revolt in Saxony broke down.[citation needed] The fortress of Eresburg was besieged and occupied by imperial army and Thankmar was killed by Maginzo at the altar of the church of Saint Peter.[citation needed] Eberhard of Franconia was briefly imprisoned at Hildesheim, but was released and entered into a compact with Henry, Otto's younger brother.[4]

The Rebellion of the Dukes

The revolt continued when Gilbert, the duke of Lorraine, swore fealty to King Louis IV of France. Louis IV of France, in the hope of attaching Lorraine once more to the West Frankish dominions, joined forces with Duke Gilbert. Otto allied with Louis' chief antagonists Hugh the Great, Herbert II, Count of Vermandois, William I, Duke of Normandy and Arnulf I, Count of Flanders.[5] Henry liberated Merseburg then marched to join Gilbert in Lorraine. Otto, besieged them in the castle of Chevremont near Liege, but he was forced to set out against Louis IV of France, who had occupied Verdun. Otto, subsequently drove Louis back to his capital at Laon.

Otto then besieged Duke of Franconia in the fortress of Breisach on the Rhine. During this time, Frederick, Archbishop of Mainz joined his forces with Henry and Gilbert against Otto. Otto’s army, commanded by Konrad Kurzbold, count of Niederlahngau, and his cousin Udo, count of Wetterau and Rheingau, met the rebel dukes' army at Andernach. Eberhard was slain in the fight and Gilbert drowned in the Rhine. Henry fled to France, and Otto responded by supporting Hugh the Great in his campaign against the French crown. In 941, Otto and Henry were reconciled through the efforts of their mother, and the next year Otto withdrew from France after Louis recognized his suzerainty over Lorraine. Later when Otto was at war against the Slavic tribes Henry conspired with Frederick, Archbishop of Mainz, to assassinate him during the celebration of Easter at Quedlinburg. But the plot was discovered and Henry fled, but was later pardoned by Otto.

To prevent further revolts, Otto arranged for all the important duchies in the German kingdom to be held by close family members. He kept the vacant duchy of Franconia as a fiefdom, while in 944 he bestowed the duchy of Lorraine upon Conrad the Red, nephew of Conrad I, who later married his daughter Liutgarde.With death of Duke Berthold in 947 his duchy of Bavaria passed to the king's own brother Henry. Meanwhile, he arranged for his son Liutdolf to marry Ida, the daughter of Duke Herman of Swabia, and to inherit that duchy when Herman died in 947. A similar arrangement led to Henry becoming duke of Bavaria in 949.

War on the eastern frontier

The death of Henry the Fowler, was a signal for the Slavic tribes to rebel against imperial power. In 936 the Redarii revolted, but were again reduced to submission by Hermann Billung. In 937 Otto, defeated Hungarian raids into Saxony.[citation needed] When Otto was in war with his vassals, the Hungarian made new raids into Germany, but they suffered two bloody defeats in the Harz Mountains, near Stetternburg and in the Dromling.[citation needed] In 944, the Hungarians invaded the empire, but were defeated in Carinthia by Duke Berthold. In 950, Henry defeated the Hungarians that invaded Bavaria.[citation needed] Otto in 950 made an expedition into Bohemia and was recognized as overlord by Duke Boleslaus I of Bohemia.[citation needed]

In the summer of 940, Otto I entered France to punish Louis for his interference in Lorraine. He forced Louis back to the Seine and made him sign a treaty with Burgundy. In 942, a compact was concluded between Otto and Louis at Vouzieres.[citation needed] In the late summer of 946, Otto again invaded France, but had limited success. Laon, Rheims, and Senlis were all besieged, but only Rheims was captured. The two kings then made a plundering raid into Normandy, but were unsuccessful and Otto made his way back to Germany.[6]

Campaigns in Italy and eastern Europe

Manuscript depiction (c. 1200) of Otto I accepting the surrender of Berengar of Ivrea; header reads Otto I Theutonicorum rex ("Otto the First, King of the Germans").

Meanwhile, Italy had fallen into political chaos. On the death (950), possibly by poisoning, of Lothair of Arles, the Italian throne was inherited by a woman, Adelaide of Italy, the respective daughter, daughter-in-law, and widow of the last three kings of Italy. A local noble, Berengar of Ivrea, declared himself king of Italy, abducted Adelaide, and tried to legitimize his reign by forcing Adelaide to marry his son Adalbert. However, Adelaide escaped to Canossa and requested German intervention. Luidolf and Henry independently invaded northern Italy to take advantage of the situation, but in 951 Otto frustrated his son's and his brother's ambitions by invading Italy himself. He received the homage of the Italian nobility, assumed the title "King of the Lombards" and in 952 forced Berengar and Adalbert to pay homage, allowing them to rule Italy as his vassals. Having been widowed since 946, he married Adelaide himself.

When Adelaide bore a son, Liudolf feared for his position as Otto's heir. In 953 he rebelled in league with Conrad, Duke of Lorraine and the Archbishop of Mainz. While Otto was initially successful in reasserting his authority in Lorraine, he was captured while attacking Mainz, and by the next year, the rebellion had spread throughout the kingdom. However, Conrad and Liudolf erred by allying themselves with the Magyars. Extensive Magyar raids in southern Germany in 954 compelled the German nobles to reunite, and at the Diet of Auerstadt, Conrad and Luitdolf were stripped of their titles and Otto's authority reestablished. In 955, Otto cemented his authority by routing Magyar forces at the Battle of Lechfeld (10 August 955) and the Obodrites at the Battle of Recknitz (16 October 955).

The Ottonian system

The Holy Roman Empire at Otto's death.
Mgft. = march/margraviate
Hzt. = duchy
Kgr. = kingdom

As a key element of his domestic policy, Otto sought to strengthen ecclesiastical authorities, chiefly bishops and abbots, at the expense of the secular nobility who threatened his own power. To control the forces that the Church represented, Otto made consistent use of three institutions. One was the royal investiture of bishops and abbots with the symbols of their offices, both spiritual, for Otto was the anointed King of the Germans, and temporal, in which Otto secured his bishops and abbots as his vassals through a commendation ceremony. "Under these conditions clerical election became a mere formality in the Ottonian empire, and the king filled up the ranks of the episcopate with his own relatives and with his loyal chancery clerks, who were also appointed to head the great monasteries" (Cantor, 1994 p. 213). The second institution was more securely established in Ottonian territories, that of the proprietary churches (Eigenkirchen; in English law the right of "advowson"). In German law, any structure built on land owned by a lord belonged to that lord, unless a charter had very specifically conveyed away those rights. Otto and his chancery aggressively reclaimed proprietary rights over many landed churches and abbeys. The third instrument of Ottonian power was the system of the advocatus (German Vogt). The advocatus was a secular manager of ecclesiastical estates, who was entitled to a certain share of the agricultural produce and other revenues and was responsible for safety and good order. Unlike countships, which quickly became hereditary, the Vogt performed the duties of a West Frankish bailli and held his position solely at the continued will of the emperor whom he served.

Otto endowed the bishoprics and abbeys with large tracts of land, over which secular authorities had neither the power of taxation nor legal jurisdiction. In an extreme example, when Conrad the Red was stripped of his ducal title in Lorraine, Otto appointed his brother Bruno – already the Archbishop of Cologne – as the new duke of Lorraine. In the lands Otto conquered from the Wends and other Slavic peoples on his eastern borders, he founded several new bishoprics.

Because Otto personally appointed the bishops and abbots, these reforms strengthened his central authority, and the upper ranks of the German church functioned in some respect as an arm of the imperial bureaucracy. Conflict over these powerful bishoprics between Otto's successors and the growing power of the Papacy during the Gregorian Reforms would eventually lead to the Investiture Conflict and the undoing of central authority in Germany in the 11th century.


The Ottonian Renaissance

A limited renaissance of the arts and architecture depended on court patronage of Otto and his immediate successors. The "Ottonian Renaissance" was manifest in some revived cathedral schools, such as that of Bruno I, Archbishop of Cologne, and in the production of illuminated manuscripts, the major art form of the age, from a handful of elite scriptoria, such as that at Quedlinburg Abbey, founded by Otto in 936. The Imperial abbeys and the Imperial court became the centers of religious and spiritual life, led by the example of women of the royal family. Scandalized by the state of the liturgy in Rome, Otto commissioned the first ever Pontifical Book, a liturgical book containing both prayers and ritual instruction. The compilation of the Romano-Germanic Pontifical, as it is now called, was overseen by Archbishop William of Mainz.

Imperial title

Grave of Otto I in Magdeburg

In the early 960s, Italy was again in political turmoil, and when Berengar occupied the northern Papal States, Pope John XII asked Otto for assistance. Otto returned to Italy and on 2 February 962, the pope crowned him emperor. See Translatio imperii. Ten days later, the pope and emperor ratified the Diploma Ottonianum, under which the emperor became the guarantor of the independence of the papal states. This was the first effective guarantee of such protection since the Carolingian Empire. After Otto left Rome and reconquered the Papal States from Berengar, however, John became fearful of the emperor's power and sent envoys to the Magyars and the Byzantine Empire to form a league against Otto. In November 963, Otto returned to Rome and convened a synod of bishops that deposed John and crowned Leo VIII, at that time a layman, as pope. When the emperor left Rome, however, civil war broke out in the city between supporters of the emperor and of John. John returned to power amidst great bloodshed and excommunicated those who had deposed him, forcing Otto to return to Rome a third time in July 964 to depose Pope Benedict V (John having died two months earlier). On this occasion, Otto extracted from the citizens of Rome a promise not to elect a pope without imperial approval.

Otto unsuccessfully campaigned in southern Italy on several occasions from 966 to 972. In 967, he gave the duchy of Spoleto to Pandulf Ironhead, prince of Benevento and Capua, a powerful ally in the Mezzogiorno. In the next year (968) Otto left the siege of Bari in the charge of Pandulf, but the allied duke was captured in the battle of Bovino by the Byzantines. In 972, the Byzantine emperor John I Tzimisces recognized Otto's imperial title and agreed to a marriage between Otto's son and heir Otto II and his niece Theophanu. Pandulf was released from captivity.

After his death in 973 he was buried next to his first wife Edith of Wessex in the Cathedral of Magdeburg.



Emperor Otto I was selected as the main motif for a high value commemorative coin, the €100 Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire commemorative coin, minted in 2008 by Austria. The obverse shows the Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire. The reverse shows Emperor Otto I with old St. Peter's Basilica in Rome in the background, where his coronation took place.

Otto I was related to every other king of Germany.


  1. ^ Arnulf,Liber gestorum recentium, I.7.
  2. ^ The ethnonyms for this period are highly political . Cf. (Zeller 2006).
  3. ^ Widukind of Corvey, Res gestae saxonicum Book 2, chapter 2: duces vero ministrabant. Lothariorum dux Isilberhtus, ad cuius potestatem locus ille pertinebat, omnia procurabat; Evurhardus mensae preerat, Herimannus Franco pincernis, Arnulfus equestri ordini et eligendis locandisque castris preerat; Sigifridus vero, Saxonum optimus et a rege secundus, gener quondam regis, tunc vero affinitate coniunctus, eo tempore procurabat Saxoniam, ne qua hostium interim irruptio accidisset, nutriensque iuniorem Heinricum secum tenuit. Bibliotheca Augustana.
  4. ^ Holland T. (2009) Millennium. London. Abacus. Page 59.
  5. ^ Gwatkin ,The Cambridge Medieval History: Volume III. p 189
  6. ^ Gwatkin ,The Cambridge Medieval History: Volume III.p 193


  • Charter given by Emperor Otto for the monastery Hilwartshausen showing the Emperor's seal, 12.2.960. Taken from the collections of the Lichtbildarchiv älterer Originalurkunden at Marburg University
  • Gwatkin, H. M., Whitney, J. P. (ed) et al. The Cambridge Medieval History: Volume III. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1926.
  • Menzel , W. Germany from the Earliest Period . Vol I
  • Zeller, Bernhard (2006), "Liudolfinger als fränkische Könige? Überlegungen zur sogennante Continuatio Reginonis", in Corradini, Richard, Text & identities in the early middle ages, Denkschriften (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Philosophisch-Historische Klasse), 344. Band . Forschungen zur Geschichte des Mittelalters, 12, Wien: Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, pp. 137-151, ISBN 9783700137474 

Further reading

  • Schneidmüller, Bernd. "Otto I." In Die deutschen Herrscher des Mittelalters. Historische Porträts von Heinrich I bis Maximilian I (919–1519), ed. Bernd Schneidmüller and Stefan Weinfurter. Munich, 2003. 35–61. ISBN 3-406-50958-4.
  • Laudage, Johannes. Otto der Große: (912–973). Eine Biographie. Regensburg, 2001. ISBN 3-7917-1750-2.
  • Althoff, Gerd. "Otto I. der Große." In Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) 19. Berlin, 1999. 656–60. Available here
  • Althoff, Gerd and Hagen Keller. Heinrich I. und Otto der Grosse: Neubeginn auf karolingischem Erbe. Göttingen, 1985.
  • Hiller, Helmut. Otto der Große und seine Zeit. Munich, 1980. ISBN 3-471-77847-0.
  • Wies, Ernst W. Otto der Große. Kämpfer und Beter. 3d ed. Esslingen and Munich, 1998. ISBN 3-7628-0483-4.
  • Wikisource-logo.svg "Otto I". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911. 
Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor
Born: 936 Died: 973
German royalty
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Henry I
King of Germany
Succeeded by
Otto II
Title last held by
Berengar of Friuli
Holy Roman Emperor
Preceded by
Berengar II
King of Italy
Preceded by
Henry I
Duke of Saxony
Succeeded by

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

OTTO I. (912-973), surnamed the Great, Roman emperor, eldest son of King Henry I. the Fowler by his second wife Matilda, said to be a. descendant of the Saxon hero Widukind, was born on the 23rd of November 912. Little is known of his early years, but he probably shared in some of his father's campaigns. In 929 he married Edith, daughter of Edward the Elder, king of the English, and sister of the reigning sovereign ZEthelstan. It is said that Matilda wished her second son Henry to succeed his father, as this prince, unlike his elder brother, was born the son of a king. However this may be, Henry named Otto his successor, and after his death in July 936 Otto was chosen German king and crowned by Hildebert, archbishop of Mainz. This ceremony, according to the historian Widukind, was followed by a banquet at which the new king was waited upon by the dukes of Lorraine, Bavaria, Franconia and Swabia. Otto soon showed his intention of breaking with the policy of his father, who had been content with a nominal superiority over the duchies; in 937 he punished Eberhard, duke of Franconia, for an alleged infringement of the royal authority; and in 938 deposed Eberhard, who had recently become duke of Bavaria. During these years the Bohemians and other Slavonic tribes ravaged the eastern frontier of Germany, but although one expedition against them was led by the king in person, the defence of this district was left principally to agents. Trouble soon arose in Saxony, probably owing to Otto's refusal to give certain lands to his half-brother, Thankmar, who, although the king's senior, had been passed over in the succession as illegitimate. Thankmar, aided by an influential Saxon noble named Wichmann, and by Eberhard of Franconia, seized the fortress of Eresburg and took Otto's brother Henry prisoner; but soon afterwards he was defeated by the king and killed whilst taking sanctuary. The other conspirators were pardoned, but in 939 a fresh revolt broke out under the leadership of Henry, and Giselbert, duke, of Lorraine. Otto gained a victory near Xanten, which was followed by the surrender of the fortresses held by his brother's adherents in Saxony, but the rebels, joined by Eberhard of Franconia and Archbishop Frederick of Mainz continued the struggle, and Giselbert of Lorraine transferred his allegiance to Louis IV., king of France. Otto's precarious position was saved by a victory near Andernach when Eberhard was killed, and Giselbert drowned in the subsequent flight. Henry took refuge with Louis of France, but was soon restored to favour and entrusted with the duchy of Lorraine, where, however, he was unable to restore order. Otto therefore crossed the Rhine and deprived his brother of authority. Henry then became involved in a plot to murder the king, which was discovered in time, and the good offices of his mother secured for him a pardon at Christmas 941. The deaths of Giselbert of Lorraine and of Eberhard of Franconia, quickly followed by those of two other dukes, enabled Otto to unite the stem-duchies more closely with the royal house. In 944 Lorraine was given to Conrad, surnamed the Red, who in 947 married the king's daughter Liutgard; Franconia was retained by Otto in his own hands; Henry married a daughter of Arnulf, duke of Bavaria, and received that duchy in 947; and Swabia came in 949 to the king's son Ludolf, who had married Ida, a daughter of the late duke, Hermann. During these years the tribes living between the Elbe and the Oder were made tributary, bishoprics were founded in this district, and in 950 the king himself marched against the Bohemians and reduced them to dependence. Strife between Otto and Louis IV. of France had arisen when the French king sought to obtain authority over Lorraine and aided the German rebels in 939; but after the German king had undertaken an expedition into France, peace was made in 942. Afterwards, when Louis became a prisoner in the hands of his powerful vassal Hugh the Great, duke of France, Otto attacked the duke, who, like the king, was his brother-in-law, captured Reims, and negotiated a peace between the two princes; and in subsequent struggles between them his authority was several times invoked.

In 945 Berengar I., margrave of Ivrea, left the court of Otto and returned to Italy, where he soon obtained a mastery over the country. After the death in 950 of Lothair, king of Italy, Berengar sought the hand of his widow Adelaide for his son Adalbert; and Henry of Bavaria and Ludolf of Swabia had already been meddling independently of each other in the affairs of northern Italy. In response to an appeal from Adelaide, Otto crossed the Alps in 951. He assumed the title of king of the Lombards, and having been a widower since 946, married Adelaide and negotiated with pope Agapetus II. about his reception in Rome. The influence of Alberic, prince and senator of the Romans, prevented the pope returning a favourable answer to the king's request. But when Otto returned to Germany in 952 he was followed by Berengar, who did homage for Italy at Augsburg. The chief advisers of Otto at this time were his wife and his brother Henry. Henry's influence seems to have been resented by Ludolf, who in 946 had been formally designated as his father's successor. When Adelaide bore a son, and a report gained currency that Otto intended to make this child his heir, Ludolf rose in revolt and was joined by Conrad of Lorraine and Frederick of Mainz. Otto fell into the power of the rebels at Mainz and was compelled to agree to demands made by them, which, however, he promptly revoked on his return to Saxony. Ludolf and Conrad were declared deposed, and in 953 war broke out in Lorraine and Swabia, and afterwards in Saxony and Bavaria. Otto failed to take Mainz and Augsburg; but an attempt on the part of Conrad and Ludolf to gain support from the Magyars, who had seized the opportunity to invade Bavaria, alienated many of their supporters. Otto's brother Bruno, archbishop of Cologne, was successful in restoring the royal authority in Lorraine, so that when Conrad and Frederick soon afterwards submitted to Otto, the struggle was confined to Bavaria. Ludolf was not long in following the example of Conrad; and with the capture of Regensburg in 955 the rising ended. Conrad and Ludolf retained their estates, but their duchies were not restored to them. Meanwhile the Magyars had renewed their ravages and were attacking Augsburg. Otto marched against them, and in a battle fought on the Lechfeld on the 10th of August 955 the king's troops gained a brilliant victory which completely freed Germany from these invaders; while in the same year Otto also defeated the Sla y s who had been ravaging the Saxon frontier.

About this time the king seems to have perceived the necessity of living and ruling in closer union with the church, a change of policy due perhaps to the influence of his brother Bruno, or forced upon him when his plans for uniting the duchies with the royal house brought rebellion in their train. Lands and privileges were granted to prelates, additional bishoprics were founded, and some years later Magdeburg was made the seat of an archbishop. In 960 Otto was invited to come to Italy by Pope John XII., who was hard pressed by Berengar, and he began to make preparations for the journey. As Ludolf had died in 957 and Otto, his only son by Adelaide, had been chosen king at Worms, the government was entrusted to Bruno of Cologne, and Archbishop William of Mainz, a natural son of the king. Reaching Pavia at Christmas 961, the king promised to defend and respect the church. He then proceeded to Rome, where he was crowned emperor on the 2nd of February 962. After the ceremony he confirmed the rights and privileges which had been conferred on the papacy, while the Romans promised obedience, and Pope John took an oath of fidelity to the emperor. But as he did not long observe his oath he was deposed at a synod held in St Peter's, after Otto had compelled the Romans to swear they would elect no pope without the imperial consent; and a nominee of the emperor, who took the name of Leo VIII., was chosen in his stead. A pestilence drove Otto to Germany in 965, and finding the Romans again in arms on his return in 966, he allowed his soldiers to sack the city, and severely punished the leaders of the rebellion. His next move was against the Greeks and Saracens of southern Italy, but seeking to attain his objects by negotiation, sent Liudprand, bishop of Cremona, to the eastern emperor Nicephorus II. to arrange for a marriage treaty between the two empires. Nicephorus refused to admit the validity of Otto's title, and the bishop was roughly repulsed; but the succeeding emperor, John Zimisces, was more reasonable, and Theophano, daughter of the emperor Romanus II., was married to the younger Otto in 972. The same year witnessed the restoration of peace in Italy and the return of the emperor to Germany, where he received the homage of the rulers of Poland, Bohemia and Denmark; but he died suddenly at Memleben on the 7th of May 973, and was buried at Magdeburg.

Otto was a man of untiring perseverance and relentless energy, with a high idea of his position. His policy was to crush all tendencies to independence in Germany, and this led him to grant the stem-duchies to his relatives, and afterwards to ally himself with the church. Indeed the necessity for obtaining complete control over the church was one reason which induced him to obtain the imperial crown. By this step the pope became his vassal, and a divided allegiance was rendered impossible for the German clergy. The Roman empire of the German nation was indeed less universal and less theocratic under Otto, its restorer, than under Charlemagne, but what it lacked in splendour it gained in stability. His object was not to make the state religious but the church political, and the clergy must first be officials of the king, and secondly members of an ecclesiastical order. He shared the piety and superstition of the age, and did much for the spread of Christianity. Although himself a stranger to letters he welcomed scholars to his court and eagerly seconded the efforts of his brother Bruno to encourage learning; and while he neither feared nor shirked battle, he was always ready to secure his ends by peaceable means. Otto was of tall and commanding presence, and although subject to violent bursts of passion, was liberal to his friends and just to his enemies.


See Widukind, Res gestae Saxonicae; Liudprand of Cremona, Historia Ottonis; Flodoard of Rheims, Annales; Hrotsuit of Gandersheim, Carmen de gestis Oddonis - all in the Monumenta Germaniae historica. Scriptores, Bdnde iii. and iv. (Hanover and Berlin, 1826 fol.); Die Urkunden des Kaisers Ottos I., edited by Th. von Sickel in the Monumenta Germaniae historica. Diplomata (Hanover, 1879); W. von Giesebrecht, Geschichte der deutschen Kaiserzeit (Leipzig, 1881); R. Kopke and E. Dummler, Jahrbacher des deutschen Reichs unter Otto I. (Leipzig, 1876); Th. von Sickel, Das Privilegium Otto I. far die riimische Kirche (Innsbruck, 1883); H. von Sybel, Die deutsche Nation and das Kaiserreich (Dusseldorf, 1862); O. von Wydenbrugk, Die deutsche Nation and das Kaiserreich (Munich, 1862); J. Ficker, Das deutsche Kaiserreich in seinen universalen and nationalen Beziehungen (Innsbruck, 1861); and Deutsches Konigthum and Kaiserthum (Innsbruck, 1862); G. Maurenbrecher, "Die Kaiserpolitik Otto I." in the Historische Zeitschrift (Munich, 1859); G. Waitz, Deutsche Verfassungsgeschichte (Kiel, 1844); J. Ficker, Forschungen zur Reichsand Rechtsgeschichte Italiens (Innsbruck, 1868-1874); F. Fischer, Ober Ottos I. Zug in die Lombardei vom Jahre 951 (Eisenberg, 1891); and K. Kotler, Die Ungarnschlacht auf dem Lechfelde (Augsburg, 1884).

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