Emperor Otto I, the Great

[Emperor Otto I, the Great]
Profile

Roman emperor, German king, and successor of Henry I; crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle. Directing his efforts towards the establishment of a strong central power, he finally triumphed over the particularism of the nobles, thus preparing for a reorganization of the constitution, and extending his influence over France, Burgundy, and Italy, then in a demoralized condition. His victory at Lechfelde in 955 saved Germany from the Hungarian peril. To secure his power he planned an alliance between the Church and State, the spiritual hierarchy to be merely a branch of the royal service; this however necessitated control of the papacy, which he secured by going to the aid of the unworthy John XII, and was crowned emperor at Rome on 2 February 962. He conflrmed the privileges granted to the Church by the Carlovingians and arranged that kings should not be consecrated, before swearing allegiance to the German ruler. When John turned against Otto, the latter set up an anti-pope, Leo VIII, and made the Romans swear never to elect a pope without his or his son’s approval.

Born

Died