HOME

TheInfoList




The Ottonian dynasty (german: Ottonen) was a
Saxon The Saxons ( la, Saxones, german: Sachsen, ang, Seaxan, osx, Sahson, nds, Sassen, nl, Saksen) were a group of early Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languag ...

Saxon
dynasty of German monarchs (919–1024), named after three of its kings and
Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as ...
s named Otto, especially its first Emperor
Otto I Otto I (23 November 912 – 7 May 973), traditionally known as Otto the Great (german: Otto der Große, it, Ottone il Grande), was East Francian king from 936 and Holy Roman Emperor from 962 until his death in 973. He was the oldest son of Henr ...

Otto I
. It is also known as the Saxon dynasty after the family's origin in the German
stem duchy A stem duchy (german: Stammesherzogtum, from '' Stamm'', meaning "tribe", in reference to the Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated wi ...
of
Saxony Saxony (german: Sachsen ; Upper Saxon Upper Saxon (german: Obersächsisch, ; ) is an East Central German East Central German (german: Ostmitteldeutsch) is the eastern, non-Franconian languages, Franconian Central German language, part o ...
. The family itself is also sometimes known as the Liudolfings (), after its earliest known member Count
Liudolf
Liudolf
(d. 866) and one of its primary leading-names. The Ottonian rulers were successors of the Germanic king Conrad I who was the only Germanic king to rule in
East Francia East Francia (Medieval Latin Medieval Latin was the form of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Ro ...
after the
Carolingian dynasty The Carolingian dynasty (known variously as the Carlovingians, Carolingus, Carolings, Karolinger or Karlings) was a Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historic ...
and before this dynasty.


Origins

In the 9th century, the Saxon count Liudolf held large estates on the
Leine The Leine (; Old Saxon Old Saxon, also known as Old Low German, was a Germanic language The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, incl ...

Leine
river west of the
Harz The Harz () is a highland area in northern Germany. It has the highest elevations for that region, and its rugged terrain extends across parts of Lower Saxony Lower Saxony (german: Niedersachsen ; nds, Neddersassen; stq, Läichsaksen) is a ...

Harz
mountain range and in the adjacent
Eichsfeld The Eichsfeld (English: ''Oak-field'') is a historical region in the southeast of the state of Lower Saxony Lower Saxony (german: Niedersachsen ; nds, Neddersassen; stq, Läichsaksen) is a German state (''Land'') situated in Northern Germany, n ...

Eichsfeld
territory of
Thuringia Thuringia (; german: Thüringen ), officially the Free State of Thuringia ( ), is a states of Germany, state of Germany. Located in central Germany, it covers , being the sixth smallest of the sixteen German States (including City States). It ...
. His ancestors probably acted as ''
ministeriales The ''ministeriales'' (singular: ''ministerialis'') were a class of people raised up from serfdom and placed in positions of power and responsibility in the High Middle Ages in the Holy Roman Empire. The word and its German translations, ''Ministe ...
'' in the Saxon stem duchy, which had been incorporated into the
Carolingian Empire The Carolingian Empire (800–888) was a large Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient nort ...
after the
Saxon Wars #REDIRECT Saxon Wars#REDIRECT Saxon Wars The Saxon Wars were the campaigns and insurrections of the thirty-three years from 772, when Charlemagne Charlemagne (; ) or Charles the Great or ''Carolus'', whence in English or in German (for ...
of
Charlemagne Charlemagne ( , ) or Charles the Great ( la, Carolus Magnus; 2 April 748 – 28 January 814) was King of the Franks The Franks—Germanic-speaking peoples that invaded the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century—were first led by i ...

Charlemagne
. Liudolf married Oda, a member of the Frankish House of
Billung The House of Billung was a dynasty of Duchy of Saxony, Saxon noblemen in the 9th through 12th centuries. The first known member of the house was Wichmann the Elder, Count Wichmann, mentioned as a Billung in 811. Oda, the wife of Count Liudolf, ...
. About 852 the couple together with Bishop
Altfrid of Hildesheim
Altfrid of Hildesheim
founded Brunshausen Abbey, which, relocated to Gandersheim, rose to a family monastery and burial ground. Liudolf already held the high social position of a Saxon ''
dux ''Dux'' (; plural: ''ducēs'') is Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the ...

dux
'', documented by the marriage of his daughter
LiutgardLuitgard is a German female name. Origin The name comes from Old High German and means " emaleguardian of the people" (German: ''Beschützerin des Volks''). This derives, in its older form, ''Liutgard'', from ''liut'' which means "people" (Mo ...
with
Louis the YoungerLouis may refer to: * Louis (given name) Louis is the French language, French form of the Old Frankish language, Old Frankish given name Clovis (given name), Chlodowig and one of two English language, English forms, the other being Lewis (given nam ...
, son of the Carolingian king
Louis the German Louis the German (c. 806/810 – 28 August 876), also known as Louis II of Germany and Louis II of East Francia , was the first king of East Francia, and ruled from 843 to 876 AD. Grandson of emperor Charlemagne and the third son of Louis the Pi ...
in 869. Liudolf's sons Bruno and
Otto the Illustrious Otto ( – 30 November 912), called the Illustrious (german: Otto der Erlauchte) by later authors, a member of the Ottonian dynasty The Ottonian dynasty (german: Ottonen) was a Saxon dynasty of German monarchs (919–1024), named after three o ...

Otto the Illustrious
ruled over large parts of Saxon
Eastphalia Eastphalia (german: Ostfalen; Eastphalian: ''Oostfalen'') is a historical region in northern Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_typ ...
, moreover, Otto acted as lay abbot of the Imperial abbey of Hersfeld with large estates in Thuringia. He married
Hedwiga Hedwiga (also known as ''Hathui''; – 24 December 903), was Duchess of Saxony This is a list of the Duchesses, Electresses and Queens of Saxony; the consorts of the Duke of Saxony and its successor states; including the Electorate of Saxony, the ...

Hedwiga
, a daughter of the
Babenberg Babenberg was a noble dynasty of Austrian margraves and dukes. Originally from Bamberg in the Duchy of Franconia (present-day Bavaria Bavaria (; German language, German and Bavarian language, Bavarian: ''Bayern'' ), officially the Free State ...
duke
Henry of FranconiaHenry (died 28 August 886) was the leading military commander of the last years of the Carolingian Empire The Carolingian Empire (800–888) was a large Franks, Frankish-dominated empire in western and central Europe during the early Middle Ages. ...
. Otto possibly accompanied King
Arnulf Arnulf is a masculine German given name Personal names in German-speaking Europe consist of one or several given names (''Vorname'', plural ''Vornamen'') and a surname (''Nachname, Familienname''). The ''Vorname'' is usually gender-specific. A ...
on his 894 campaign to
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...
; the marriage of his daughter Oda with
Zwentibold Zwentibold (''Zventibold'', ''Zwentibald'', ''Swentiboldo'', ''Sventibaldo'', ''Sanderbald''; – 13 August 900), a member of the Carolingian dynasty, was the illegitimate son of Emperor Arnulf.Collins 1999, p. 360 In 895, his father, then kin ...
, Arnulf's illegitimate son, documents the efforts of the Carolingian ruler to win the mighty Saxon dynasty over as an ally. According to the Saxon chronicler
Widukind of Corvey Widukind of Corvey (c. 925after 973) was a medieval Saxons, Saxon chronicler. His three-volume ''Res gestae saxonicae sive annalium libri tres'' is an important chronicle of 10th-century Kingdom of Germany, Germany during the rule of the Ottonian d ...
, Otto upon the death of the last Carolingian king
Louis the ChildLouis may refer to: * Louis (given name) Louis is the French language, French form of the Old Frankish language, Old Frankish given name Clovis (given name), Chlodowig and one of two English language, English forms, the other being Lewis (given nam ...

Louis the Child
in 911 was already a candidate for the East Frankish crown, which however passed to the Franconian duke Conrad I. Upon Otto's death in 912, his son
Henry the Fowler Henry the Fowler (german: Heinrich der Vogler or '; la, Henricus Auceps) (c. 876 – 2 July 936) was the Duke of Saxony This article lists dukes, electors, and kings ruling over different territories named Saxony from the beginning of the ...

Henry the Fowler
succeeded him as
Duke of Saxony This article lists dukes, electors, and kings ruling over different territories named Saxony from the beginning of the Saxon Duchy in the 9th century to the end of the German monarchies in 1918. The electors of Saxony from John the Steadfast (o ...
. Henry had married
Matilda of Ringelheim Matilda of Ringelheim (c. 89214 March 968), also known as Saint Matilda, was a Saxon noblewoman. Due to her marriage to Henry the Fowler, Henry I in 909, she became the first Ottonian dynasty, Ottonian Queen regnant, queen. Her eldest son, Otto I ...

Matilda of Ringelheim
, a descendant of the legendary Saxon ruler
Widukind Widukind, also known as Wittekind, was a leader of the Saxons and the chief opponent of the Francia, Frankish king Charlemagne during the Saxon Wars from 777 to 785. Charlemagne ultimately prevailed, organized Old Saxony, Saxony as a Frankish pro ...

Widukind
and heiress to extended estates in
Westphalia Westphalia (; german: Westfalen ; nds, Westfalen ) is a region of northwestern Germany and one of the three historic parts of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It has an area of and 7.9 million inhabitants. The territory of the region ...

Westphalia
.


Ottonian kings and emperors

The Ottonian rulers of East Francia, the German kingdom and the Holy Roman Empire were: *
Henry the Fowler Henry the Fowler (german: Heinrich der Vogler or '; la, Henricus Auceps) (c. 876 – 2 July 936) was the Duke of Saxony This article lists dukes, electors, and kings ruling over different territories named Saxony from the beginning of the ...

Henry the Fowler
(Henry I), Duke of Saxony from 912, King of East Francia from 919 until 936 *
Otto I Otto I (23 November 912 – 7 May 973), traditionally known as Otto the Great (german: Otto der Große, it, Ottone il Grande), was East Francian king from 936 and Holy Roman Emperor from 962 until his death in 973. He was the oldest son of Henr ...

Otto I
, ''the Great'', Duke of Saxony and King of East Francia from 936, King of Italy from 951, Holy Roman Emperor from 962 until 973 *
Otto II Otto II (955 – 7 December 983), called the Red (''der. Rote''), was Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the ...

Otto II
, co-ruler from 961, Holy Roman Emperor from 967, sole ruler from 973 until 983 *
Otto III Otto III (June/July 980 – 23 January 1002) was Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator Romanorum, german: Kaiser der Römer) during the Middle Ages, and also known as ...

Otto III
, King of the Romans from 983, Holy Roman Emperor from 996 until 1002 *
Henry II Henry II may refer to: Kings *Henry II of England (1133–89), reigned from 1154 *Henry II of Jerusalem and Cyprus (1271–1324), reigned from 1285; king of Jerusalem in name only from 1291 *Henry II of Castile (1334–79), reigned 1366–67 and ...

Henry II
, ''the Saint'', Duke of Bavaria from 995 (as Henry IV), King of the Romans from 1002, King of Italy from 1004, Holy Roman Emperor from 1002 until 1024


Henry I

Although never Emperor, Henry the Fowler was arguably the founder of the imperial dynasty. While East Francia under the rule of the last Carolingian kings was ravaged by Hungarian invasions, he was chosen to be ''
primus inter pares ''Primus inter pares'' is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power ...
'' among the German dukes. Elected ''Rex Francorum'' in May 919, Henry abandoned the claim to dominate the whole disintegrating Carolingian Empire and, unlike his predecessor Conrad I, succeeded in gaining the support of the Franconian, Bavarian, Swabian and
Lotharingia Lotharingia (Latin: ''regnum Lotharii, regnum Lothariense, Lotharingia'', French: ''Lotharingie'', German: ''Reich des Lothar'', ''Lotharingien'', ''Mittelreich'') was a short-lived medieval successor kingdom of the Carolingian Empire The Caro ...
n dukes. In 933 he led a German army to victory over the Hungarian forces at the
Battle of Riade The Battle of Riade or Battle of Merseburg was fought between the troops of East Francia under King Henry the Fowler, Henry I and the Principality of Hungary, Magyars at an unidentified location in northern Thuringia along the river Unstrut on 1 ...
and campaigned both the land of the
Polabian Slavs Polabian ( dsb, Połobske słowjany, pl, Słowianie połabscy, cz, Polabští slované) is a collective term applied to a number of () tribes who lived along the river in what is today . The approximate territory stretched from the in the ...

Polabian Slavs
and the
Duchy of Bohemia The Duchy of Bohemia, also later referred to in English as the Czech Duchy, ( cs, České knížectví) was a monarchy and a Princes of the Holy Roman Empire, principality of the Holy Roman Empire in Central Europe during the Early Middle Ages, Ear ...
. Because he had assimilated so much power through his conquest, he was able to transfer power to his second son
Otto I Otto I (23 November 912 – 7 May 973), traditionally known as Otto the Great (german: Otto der Große, it, Ottone il Grande), was East Francian king from 936 and Holy Roman Emperor from 962 until his death in 973. He was the oldest son of Henr ...

Otto I
.


Otto I

Otto I, Duke of Saxony upon the death of his father in 936, was elected king within a few weeks. He continued the work of unifying all of the German tribes into a single kingdom, greatly expanding the powers of the king at the expense of the aristocracy. Through strategic marriages and personal appointments, he installed members of his own family to the kingdom's most important duchies. This, however, did not prevent his relatives from entering into civil war: both Otto's brother Duke and his son Duke
Liudolf of Swabia Liudolf ( – 6 September 957), a member of the Ottonian dynasty, was Duke of Swabia from 950 until 954. His rebellion in 953/54 led to a major crisis of the rising Kingdom of Germany, German kingdom. Liudolf was the only son of the Duchy of Sax ...
revolted against his rule. Otto was able to suppress their uprisings, in consequence, the various dukes, who had previously been co-equals with the king, were reduced into royal subjects under the king's authority. His decisive victory over the Magyars at the
Battle of Lechfeld The Battle of Lechfeld were a series of military engagements over the course of three days from 10–12 August 955 in which the Kingdom of Germany led by king Otto I the Great annihilated the Hungarian army led by ''horka (title), harka ''Bulcsú ...
in 955 ended the Hungarian invasions of Europe and secured his hold over his kingdom. The defeat of the
pagan Paganism (from classical Latin Classical Latin is the form of Latin language Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, includ ...
Magyars earned King Otto the reputation as the savior of
Christendom Christendom historically refers to the "Christian world": Christian state A Christian state is a country that recognizes a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on th ...
and the
epithet An epithet (, ) is a byname, or a descriptive term (word or phrase), accompanying or occurring in place of a name and having entered common usage. It has various shades of meaning when applied to seemingly real or fictitious people, divinities, ...
"the Great". He transformed the Church in Germany into a kind of
proprietary church Opening page of the ''Lorsch Codex'', detailing the Lorsch land holdings of the proprietary Lorsch AbbeyDuring the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted from the 5th to the late 15th century. It be ...
and major royal power base to which he donated charity and for the creation of which his family was responsible. By 961, Otto had conquered the
Kingdom of Italy The Kingdom of Italy ( it, Regno d'Italia) was a state that existed from 1861—when King Victor Emmanuel II en, Victor Emmanuel Mario Albert Eugene Ferdinand Thomas , house = House of Savoy, Savoy , father = Charles Albert o ...
, which was a troublesome inheritance that none wanted, and extended his kingdom's borders to the north, east, and south. In control of much of central and southern Europe, the patronage of Otto and his immediate successors caused a limited cultural renaissance of the arts and architecture. He confirmed the 754
Donation of Pepin The Donation of Pepin in 756 provided a legal basis for the creation of the Papal States The Papal States ( ; it, Stato Pontificio), officially the State of the Church ( it, Stato della Chiesa, ; la, Status Ecclesiasticus; also ') were a s ...
and, with recourse to the concept of ''
translatio imperii ''Translatio imperii'' (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power o ...

translatio imperii
'' in succession of
Charlemagne Charlemagne ( , ) or Charles the Great ( la, Carolus Magnus; 2 April 748 – 28 January 814) was King of the Franks The Franks—Germanic-speaking peoples that invaded the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century—were first led by i ...

Charlemagne
, proceeded to
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
to have himself crowned Holy Roman Emperor by
Pope John XII Pope John XII ( la, Ioannes XII; c. 930/93714 May 964), born Octavian, was the bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States from 16 December 955 to his death in 964. He was related to the counts of Tusculum, a powerful Roman family which had domi ...

Pope John XII
in 962. He even reached a settlement with the
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...

Byzantine
emperor
John I Tzimiskes John I Tzimiskes (; – 10 January 976) was the senior Byzantine Emperor from 11 December 969 to 10 January 976. An intuitive and successful general, he strengthened the Empire and expanded its borders during his short reign. Background ...
by marrying his son and heir
Otto II Otto II (955 – 7 December 983), called the Red (''der. Rote''), was Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the ...

Otto II
to John's niece
Theophanu Theophanu (; also ''Theophania'', ''Theophana'', or ''Theophano''; Medieval Greek ; AD 955 15 June 991) was empress of the Holy Roman Empire by marriage to Emperor Otto II, and regent of Empire during the minority of their son, Emperor Otto III ...

Theophanu
. In 968 he established the
Archbishopric of Magdeburg The Archbishopric of Magdeburg was a Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholic archdiocese (969–1552) and Prince-Bishopric, Prince-Archbishopric (1180–1680) of the Holy Roman Empire centered on the city of Magdeburg on the Elbe River. Planned sin ...
at his long-time residence.


Otto II

Co-ruler with his father since 961 and crowned emperor in 967, Otto II ascended the throne at the age of 18. By excluding the Bavarian line of Ottonians from the line of succession, he strengthened Imperial authority and secured his own son's succession to the Imperial throne. During his reign, Otto II attempted to annex the whole of Italy into the Empire, bringing him into conflict with the Byzantine emperor and with the
Saracens upright 1.5, Late 15th century German woodcut depicting Saracens Saracens () were primarily Arab Muslims, but also Turkish people, Turks, Persian people, Persians or other Muslims as referred to by Christian writers in Europe during the Middle Ag ...
of the
Fatimid Caliphate The Fatimid Caliphate ( ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْفَاطِمِيَّة , al-Ḫilāfa al-Fāṭimiyya) was an Ismaili Shia Ismāʿīlism ( ar, الإسماعيلية, ''al-ʾIsmāʿīlīyah''; fa, اسماعیلیان, ''E ...

Fatimid Caliphate
. His campaign against the Saracens ended in 982 with a disastrous defeat at the
Battle of Stilo The Battle of Stilo (also known as Cape Colonna and Crotone) was fought on 13 or 14 July 982 near Crotone Crotone (, ; nap, label= Crotonese, Cutrone or ) is a city and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a of , roughly equivalent to a ...
. Moreover, in 983 Otto II experienced a
Great Slav Rising In the Slavic revolt of 983, Polabian Slavs Polabian ( dsb, Połobske słowjany, pl, Słowianie połabscy, cz, Polabští slované) is a collective term applied to a number of () tribes who lived along the river in what is today . The a ...
against his rule. Otto II died in 983 at the age of 28 after a ten-year reign. Succeeded by his three-year-old son
Otto III Otto III (June/July 980 – 23 January 1002) was Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator Romanorum, german: Kaiser der Römer) during the Middle Ages, and also known as ...

Otto III
as king, his sudden death plunged the Ottonian dynasty into crisis. During her regency for Otto III, the Byzantine princess Theophanu abandoned her late husband's imperialistic policy and devoted herself entirely to furthering her own agenda in Italy.


Otto III

When Otto III came of age, he concentrated on securing the rule in the Italian domains, installing his confidants and
Gerbert of Aurillac Pope Sylvester II ( – 12 May 1003), originally known as Gerbert of Aurillac, was a French-born scholar and teacher who served as the bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christia ...

Gerbert of Aurillac
as Popes. In 1000 he made a pilgrimage to the
Congress of Gniezno The Congress of Gniezno ( pl, Zjazd gnieźnieński, german: Akt von Gnesen or ''Gnesener Übereinkunft'') was an amicable meeting between the Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), off ...
in
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...
, establishing the
Archdiocese of Gniezno The Archdiocese of Gniezno ( la, Archidioecesis Gnesnensis, pl, Archidiecezja Gnieźnieńska) is the oldest Latin Church, Latin Catholic Church, Catholic archdiocese in Poland, located in the city of Gniezno.Piast The Piast dynasty was the first historical ruling dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the u ...
ruler
Bolesław I the Brave Bolesław the Brave ( pl, Bolesław Chrobry , cs, Boleslav Chrabrý; 967 – 17 June 1025), less often List of people known as "the Great", known as Bolesław the Great ( pl, Bolesław Wielki), was Duke of Poland from 992 to 1025, and the first K ...
. Expelled from Rome in 1001, Otto III died at age 21 the next year, without an opportunity to reconquer the city.


Henry II

The childless Otto III was succeeded by Henry II, a son of Duke and his wife
Gisela of Burgundy Gisela of Burgundy (c.  955 – 21 July 1007), a member of the royal Elder House of Welf, was List of Bavarian consorts, Duchess of Bavaria from about 972 to 976 and again from 985 to 995, by her marriage with Duke Henry II, Duke of Bavaria, Henry ...
, thereby a member of the Bavarian line of the Ottonians. Duke of Bavaria since 995, he was crowned king on 7 June 1002. Henry II spent the first years of his rule consolidating his political power on the borders of the German kingdom. He waged several campaigns against Bolesław I of Poland and then moved successfully to Italy where he was crowned emperor by
Pope Benedict VIII Pope Benedict VIII ( la, Benedictus VIII; c. 980 – 9 April 1024) was the bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States from 18 May 1012 until his death. He was born Theophylact to the noble family of the counts of Tusculum. Unusually for a medie ...

Pope Benedict VIII
on 14 February 1014. He reinforced his rule by endowing and founding numerous dioceses, such as the
Bishopric of Bamberg The Prince-Bishopric of Bamberg (german: Hochstift Bamberg) was an ecclesiastical State of the Holy Roman Empire. It goes back to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bamberg, Roman Catholic Diocese of Bamberg established at the 1007 synod in Frank ...
in 1007, intertwining the secular and ecclesiastical authority over the Empire. Henry II was
canonised Canonization is the declaration of a deceased person as an officially recognized saint, specifically, the official act of a Christianity, Christian communion declaring a person worthy of Cult (religious practice), public cult and entering his o ...
by
Pope Eugene III Pope Eugene III ( la, Eugenius III; c. 1080 – 8 July 1153), born Bernardo Pignatelli, or possibly Paganelli, called Bernardo da Pisa, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 15 February 1145 to his death in 1153. He w ...

Pope Eugene III
in 1146. As his marriage with
Cunigunde of Luxembourg Cunigunde of Luxembourg, Order of St. Benedict, OSB ( 975 – 3 March 1040), also called Cunegundes, Cunegunda, and Cunegonda and, in Latin, Cunegundis or Kinigundis, was Empress of the Holy Roman Empire by marriage to Holy Roman Emperor Henry II, ...
remained childless, the Ottonian dynasty became extinct with the death of Henry II in 1024. The crown passed to
Conrad II Conrad II ( – 4 June 1039), also known as and , was Emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the fema ...

Conrad II
of the
Salian dynasty The Salian dynasty or Salic dynasty (german: Salier) was a dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) i ...
, great-grandson of Liutgarde, a daughter of Otto I, and the Salian duke Conrad the Red of Lorraine. When King
Rudolph III of Burgundy Rudolph III (called "the Idle" (french: Rodolphe le Fainéant, german: Rudolf der Faule) or "the Pious" (''le Pieux''); – 6 September 1032) was King of Burgundy The following is a list of the kings of the two kingdoms of Burgundy Kingdom o ...
died without heirs on 2 February 1032, Conrad II successfully claimed also this kingship on the basis of an inheritance Emperor Henry II had extorted from the former in 1006, having invaded
Burgundy Burgundy (; french: link=no, Bourgogne ) is a historical territory and a former administrative region Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organizati ...
to enforce his claim after Rudolph attempted to renounce it in 1016.


Ottonian rulership

Historians have written extensively about how the Ottonian kings and emperors ruled their lands. For some historians, following in the wake of Karl Leyser, Ottonian government was primarily conducted through oral and ritual means, in which the written word took a back seat. Other historians, such as David Bachrach, have argued strongly for the continuing use of writing in administering the Ottonians' far-flung lands. Attention has recently focused on how the rulers took advantage of their royal estates, known as the fisc.


Family tree


, - , , - , style="text-align:left;", ---- Notes:
''For further detailed dynastic relationships, see also :Family tree of the German monarchs''.


Other notable members

* , Count of Saxony, died 864/866 * Saint Altfrid, Bishop of Hildesheim, died 874 *
Otto the Illustrious Otto ( – 30 November 912), called the Illustrious (german: Otto der Erlauchte) by later authors, a member of the Ottonian dynasty The Ottonian dynasty (german: Ottonen) was a Saxon dynasty of German monarchs (919–1024), named after three o ...
, Duke of Saxony, died 912 *
Gerberga of Saxony Gerberga of Saxony (c. 913 – 5 May 968/9 or 984?) was a French queen who ruled as regent A regent (from the Latin : ruling, governing) is a person appointed to govern a state ''pro tempore'' (Latin Language, Latin: 'for the time being') beca ...
, died 954 *
Henry I, Duke of Bavaria Henry I (919/921 – 1 November 955), a member of the German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also ...

Henry I, Duke of Bavaria
, died 955 *
Liudolf, Duke of Swabia Liudolf ( – 6 September 957), a member of the Ottonian dynasty, was Duke of Swabia from 950 until 954. His rebellion in 953/54 led to a major crisis of the rising Kingdom of Germany, German kingdom. Liudolf was the only son of the Duchy of Sax ...
, died 957 *
Hedwige of Saxony Hedwige of Saxony (also ''Hedwig'', german: Hadwig von Sachsen; – after 958), a member of the Ottonian dynasty The Ottonian dynasty (german: Ottonen) was a Saxons, Saxon dynasty of List of German monarchs, German monarchs (919–1024), n ...
, died 965 *
Bruno I, Archbishop of Cologne Bruno the Great (german: Brun(o) von Sachsen, "Bruno of Saxony Saxony (german: Sachsen ; hsb, Sakska), officially the Free State of Saxony (German: , Upper Sorbian: ), is a landlocked state of Germany ) , image_map = , map_capt ...
and Duke of Lotharingia, died 965 *
William, Archbishop of Mainz William (929 – 2 March 968) was Archbishop of Mainz from 17 December 954 until his death. He was the son of the Emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ruler of an e ...
, died 968 *
Mathilde, Abbess of Essen Mathilde (also Mahthild or Matilda; 949 – 5 November 1011) was Abbess of Essen Abbey from 973 to her death. She was one of the most important abbesses in the history of Essen. She was responsible for the abbey, for its buildings, its precious re ...
, 973-1011 *
Matilda, Abbess of Quedlinburg Matilda (December 955 – 999), also known as Mathilda and Mathilde, was a German regent, and the first Princess-Abbess of Quedlinburg This is a list of princess-abbesses of Quedlinburg Abbey Quedlinburg Abbey (german: Stift Quedlinburg or ) was a ...
, died 999 *
Adelheid I, Abbess of Quedlinburg Adelaide I (german: Adelheid; 973/74 – 14 January 1044 or 1045), a member of the royal Ottonian dynasty was the second List of princess-abbesses of Quedlinburg, Princess-abbess of Quedlinburg from 999, and Gernrode Abbey, Abbess of Gernrode f ...
, died 1044 *
Matilda of Germany, Countess Palatine of Lotharingia Matilda of Germany or ''Matilde of Saxony'' (Summer 979 - November 1025, Echtz) was the third daughter of Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor Otto II (955 – December 7, 983), called the Red (''Rufus''), was Holy Roman Emperor from 973 until his death ...
, 979-1025 * Otto, Duke of Swabia and Bavaria, died 982 *
Henry II, Duke of Bavaria Henry II (951 – 28 August 995), called the Wrangler or the Quarrelsome (german: Heinrich der Zänker), a member of the Kingdom of Germany, German royal Ottonian dynasty, was List of rulers of Bavaria, Duke of Bavaria from 955 to 976 and agai ...

Henry II, Duke of Bavaria
, the Wrangler, died 995 * Bruno, Bishop of Augsburg, died 1029


See also

*
Ottonian Renaissance The Ottonian Renaissance was a renaissance of Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle ...
*
Ottonian art Ottonian art is a style (visual arts), style in Pre-Romanesque art, pre-romanesque German art, covering also some works from the Low Countries, northern Italy and eastern France. It was named by the art historian Hubert Janitschek after the Ottoni ...
*
Ottonian architecture Ottonian architecture is an architectural style which evolved during the reign of Emperor Otto the Great Otto I (23 November 912 – 7 May 973), traditionally known as Otto the Great (german: Otto der Große, it, Ottone il Grande), was Germa ...
*
Concordat of Worms The Investiture Controversy, also called Investiture Contest, was a conflict between church and state in medieval Europe over the ability to choose and install bishops (investiture) and abbots of monasteries and the pope himself. A series of po ...


References

*Karl Leyser, "Ottonian Government" ''The English Historical Review'' 96.381 (October 1981), pp 721–753. *Middleton, John. World Monarchies and Dynasties, Taylor and Francis, 2004. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/asulib-ebooks/reader.action?docID=3569202 *Bachrach, D. S. (2011). Early Ottonian Warfare: The Perspective from Corvey. ''Journal of Military History'', ''75''(2), 393–409. *Leyser, K., & American Council of Learned Societies. (1979). Rule and conflict in an early medieval society Ottonian Saxony (ACLS Humanities E-Book). London: Arnold. {{Authority control
Ottonian The Ottonian dynasty (german: Ottonen) was a Saxon The Saxons ( la, Saxones, german: Sachsen, ang, Seaxan, osx, Sahson, nds, Sassen, nl, Saksen) were a group of early Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguist ...
German noble families Noble families of the Holy Roman Empire German kings 919 establishments 1020s disestablishments in the Holy Roman Empire 1029 disestablishments in Europe