Our Family History and Ancestry

Our family Histories

Emperor Otto I 'The Great', Holy Roman Emperor[1]

Male 912 - 973  (60 years)


Personal Information    |    Media    |    Sources    |    All

  • Name Otto I 'The Great'  
    Title Emperor 
    Suffix Holy Roman Emperor 
    Born 23 Nov 912  Europe Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Name Othon Ier De Germanie  [2
    Occupation Empereur  [2
    Occupation From 939 to 973  [3
    King of Germany 
    Occupation From 2 Jul 962 to 7 May 973  [3
    Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire 
    _AMTID 330126063276:1030:114017017 
    _UID E155A33CA44247B7AB4B2263148102DAE58D 
    Died 7 May 973  Memleben, Deutschland Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Notes 
    • The eldest son of Emperor Heinrich the Fowler and Matilda von Ringelheim,his younger years were disturbed by quarrels between his parents. Hismother wanted their seven years' younger son, also named Heinrich,acknowledged as Heinrich the Fowler's heir. However, when Heinrich theFowler died in 936, it was still Otto who, at the age of twenty-four,succeeded. As in his younger years he preferred to be away from hismother, he did so by accompanying his father who was subduing the tribesin Bavaria and Suabia. This avoidance of his mother was made even easierwhen, at the age of seventeen, he married Eadgyth, a daughter of theEnglish king, Edward the Elder. However, his mother's thoroughlyreligious education had left its mark as not only would he hardly evermiss mass but also founded several convents. As well, he consideredhimself master of the church and not it's servant. Otto never learned toread or write, which in later life he resented and tried to remedy. Hedid learn a little French but not enough to speak it and he had noknowledge of Latin at all. However, he was very intelligent and had botha very good memory and judgement of men. He loved hunting and ridingwild horses yet was reserved, calm and dignified. On the other hand hehad sudden bursts of temper which he would quickly forget, though thepeople concerned did not. Consequently, he was more respected thanloved. At his coronation in 936 by Hildebert, Archbishop of Mayence, hemade it clear that he intended to be an absolute ruler. To emphasizethis he made the Dukes of Bavaria, Suabia, Franconia and Lorraine waitupon him at the banquet following the coronation. Some of these Dukesresented this and revolted. Amongst the rebels were Otto's half-brother,Thankmar, as well as the resentful younger brother, Heinrich. Heinrichwas joined by Giselbert, Duke of Lorraine, and marched towards theRhine. Although Otto was greatly outnumbered, he was a clever strategistand so was victorious. Superstition also played a role in his victory ashe carried a "Holy Lance". Further victories were won with this "HolyLance" so that his brother Heinrich fled to the court of King Louis IVof France. As Otto wanted peace and not revenge, after a period hesought the friendship of the defeated dukes. His brother was forgiven,made Duke of Bavaria, and so became Otto's loyal follower. To pacify theDuke of Suabia, he arranged the marriage of his son, Liudolf, to Ida,daughter of Hermann I of Suabia, while the Duke of Lorraine was replacedby Otto's supporter, Conrad the Red. With peace now within the empire,he wanted to "secure" the borders at the eastern front. His first stepwas the conquest of Bohemia and then inflicting devastation on the Slavsliving beyond the Elbe and Oder. While establishing himself in the east,trouble was caused by King Louis IV of France who wanted to regainLorraine. Otto, believing in family ties, was furious with his Frenchbrother-in-law and so marched into France. The defeated Louis IVwithdrew into France only to be defeated again by Hugues the Great.However, Hugues the Great was also a brother-in-law, and, sick of familysquabbles, Otto defeated him as well. Having secured the westernborders, Otto was next invited to interfere in Italy. The Italian ruler,Lothar, had died and his position was taken by the cruel andunscrupulous Berengar II of Ivrea. Berengar tried to seize the dowry ofLothar's widow, the beautiful Aelis (or Adela‹de). Although she escaped,she was still in danger and so asked for the protection of Otto. Comingwith an army to Lombardy, he forced Berengar to acknowledge him as theoverlord of Italy, and assumed the title of King of Italy. Then, as hewas a widower, he married Aelis with whom he had fallen in love.Although he hoped to remain in Italy to make sure of its becoming partof the Empire, he was nevertheless forced to return to Germany when hisson, Liudolf, revolted out of fear for possible sons Otto might fatherby Aelis. Liudolf was joined by the Archbishop of Mayence and, to add tothe troubles, the Magyars then attacked Bavaria. While reasserting hisauthority in Germany, the Duke of Lorraine, who acted as hisrepresentative in Lombardy, joined Berengar against him. In 961 thedebauched pope John XII appealed to Otto to get rid of Berengar, so Ottoreturned to Italy and Berengar was forced to acknowledge Otto'ssupremacy. On 31 January 962 in Rome's St. Peter's, Otto was thencrowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope John XII. Consequently, Otto was nowsecular master of Europe as well as head of the church, as he forcedPope John XII to swear allegiance to him. By doing so, the pope becameOtto's vassal. When Pope John XII then made it clear that he regrettedthis action, Otto deposed and replaced him with Pope Leo VIII. Havingsettled his affairs in Italy, he returned to Germany; but in 965 PopeLeo VIII suddenly died and the clergy wanted to elect his successorwithout Otto's consent. Consequently, Otto returned to Italy andappointed the Bishop of Narni as Pope John XIII. However, the Romansthen drove John XIII into exile; but in 966, Otto in turn forced theRomans to accept John XIII. Otto then left Italy for the last time andhis last years saw peace prevail in Europe. He died on 6 May 973 and wasburied in the Cathedral of Magdeburg which he had built.
    Person ID I4920  Work in progress june2018
    Last Modified 27 Jun 2010 

    Father Henry I DE SAXE, king of east Francia,   b. 2 Jul 876, Memleben, Burgenlandkreis, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Jul 936, Memleben, Burgenlandkreis, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 60 years) 
    Mother Saint Mathilde VON RINGELHEIM, Queen of Germany,   b. 14 Mar 895, Ringelheim, Goslar, Hannover, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 May 968, Memleben, Burgenlandkreis, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years) 
    Married 909  Nordhausen, Nordhausen, Thüringen, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F2359  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Aelis DE BOURGOGNE,   b. Abt 931, Europe Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Dec 999, Alsace, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 68 years) 
    Married Oct 951  [1
    Children 
     1. Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor,   b. 955, Europe Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Dec 983, Roma, Italy Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 28 years)
    Last Modified 30 Jun 2018 
    Family ID F2769  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Married 929  [2
    • Fin Mariage : 946
    Children 
     1. Richilde DE GERMANIE,   b. Abt 945,   d. Abt 1020  (Age ~ 75 years)
    Last Modified 30 Jun 2018 
    Family ID F2771  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart