Otto II. (HRR)

Emperor Otto II. (Fragment “registrum gregorii”, around 983)

Otto II. (* 955; † 7. December 983 in Rome) was duke of Saxonia and emperor of the holy Roman realm of 973 - 983.

It was the son emperor Ottos I. and its third Mrs. Adelheid von Burgund.

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its grandfather and its father had already carried out there the king coronation/culmination andrecognition by the powerful ones of the realm, could Otto were already during lifetimes of its father Otto I. in May 961 to the king of the eastFrankish realm to be selected and in Aachen crowned. Although at this time only 6 years old, became ittransfer the realm during the Rome travel of its father under the line of his uncle archbishop Bruno of Cologne and his half brother archbishop William from Mainz. Only it became few years later to 25. December 967 of Pope Johannes presenceits father to the Mitkaiser crowned. By expansion of the realm of Otto conflicted father with the eastRoman realm, then became as reconciliation to 14. April 972 the wedding of Otto II. with the niece of the Byzantine emperor Theophanu celebrated, nowalso to carry was allowed the title of the empress.

After the death of Otto I. in the year 973 Otto II. transferred. the regency, which by the regular encroachments on the part of its cousin Heinrich of Bavaria, called the Zänker was overshadowed. This became finallyin the year 976 for set off avowedly and Bavaria was transferred to the duke from Swabia. At the same time Otto II. separated. Kärnten from its possessions, increased it to the duchy and belehnte the Babenberger Liutpold and Berthold of pig ford thereby. Followed this eventthe so-called rebellion of the three Heinriche (Heinrich of the Zänker, Heinrich of Kärnten and bishop Heinrich of Augsburg), which were banished after their subjecting from the realm. The duchy Kärnten became Otto von Worms, Sohn Konrad of the red one and thatLiudgard, daughter of Otto I. and half sister of Otto II., hand over.

In the north the realm in the conflict with the Danes was under king Harald blue tooth.

At the realm meeting in Dortmund 978 Otto II. left. its campaign against France decide. Still inAutumn of the same yearly was begun the war enterprise. In May 980 it came to eventful fights to the peace treaty with Lothar of France into Margut sur Chiers. Lothar did thereby without Lorraine.

Otto II. supported Pope Benedikt VII.and helped to be thisTo recover papacy. In the future Otto undertook II. a campaign against the Islamic Sarazenen in South Italies. The campaign ended in a devastating defeat in the battle at the Cap Colonna in Kalabrien in the year 982 and weakened its reputation in the realm.Nevertheless it knew its son Otto III. already at the age from three years to the Mitkönig to select leave.

Through a large Slawenaufstand in the year 983 the ostelbische area was lost and to the destroyed Missionierungspläne Otto.

Otto II. still died in the sameYear, probably at the overdose of an exhausting means, which to it against malaria one had given, in Rome and is buried as an only medieval emperor in the Peter cathedral.


Otto II. and Theophanu had four children:


although Otto II. in earlier time in thatScience of history frequently as a weak king was represented, who failed because of the Italy politics, arises on closer inspection a more differentiated picture.

Its influence on the papacy did not experience a restriction and also to the Byzantine emperor could by his Mrs. Theophanu good relationsare developed. By the admission of the old Roman emperor title Romanorum Imperator Augustus the Kaisertum even experienced a revaluation. Also, he could solve the problems with its opponents, everything in front Heinrich the Zänker and strengthen its rule, so that his son stillduring lifetimes to the king to be selected could.

If it would not have died unexpectedly at the age of 28 years, it would have the military defeats in the last years of its regency to possibly make up for and as worthy successors of its father history entercan.


  • Bernd gumption Mueller/Stefan Weinfurter (Hrsg.): The German rulers of the Middle Ages, historical one of haven advice of Heinrich I. to Maximilian I., Publishing house C.H. Beck: Munich 2003, 624 S., 5. Fig., 3 maps and 7 family trees.
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Otto I.
List of the Roman-German rulers successor
Otto III.


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