1902 Encyclopedia > Otho II

Otho II
Holy Roman Emperor
(955-983)




OTHO II. (955-983), Holy Roman emperor, son of Otho I. and Adelaide, was born in 955. In the lifetime of his father he was twice crowned, in 961 as king of Germany, and in 967 (at Rome) as emperor. He became sole ruler after the death of Otho I. in 973. Early in his reign he had to suppress a great conspiracy organized by his cousin, Duke Henry of Bavaria; and at the same timg he was repeatedly attacked by Harold, king of the Danes. In 978, when his authority had been in some measure re-established, he was confronted by a new danger, for Lothair, king of France, suddenly invaded Lorraine. Otho hastily assembled an army, drove Lothair from Lorraine, and pushed on to Paris, which he unsuccessfully besieged. In the treaty by which peace was concluded, France formally recognized the right of Germany to Lorraine. Otho next went to restore order in Rome, from which Pope Benedict VII. had been expelled by Crescentius. In southern Italy Otho (who, in virtue of his wife, Theophano, claimed Apulia and Calabria) waged war with the Saracens, and defeated them in a great battle. On the 13th July 982, however, he himself was defeated, and was very nearly taken prisoner. At a diet in Verona, attended by German and Italian princes, his son Otho, three years of age, was chosen to be his suc-cessor, and arrangements were made for a new campaign in the south. On the 7th December 983 Otho II. died, leaving the empire in a state of confusion, the Danes and the Wends, encouraged by his defeat, having risen against German supremacy. Although warlike and impetuous, Otho II. was a man of refined and scholarly tastes, which had been carefully cultivated by his mother.

See Giesebrecht, Geschichte der deutschen Kaiserzeit.






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