The Empire c. 962


Map Code: Ax01499

Like Charlemagne, Otto the Great was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in middle age, after serving a long and turbulent military apprenticeship. On becoming king of Germany (936), he was quickly embroiled in a ducal rebellion, and forced to crush a French attempt to seize Lotharingia. He waged repeated camapigns to subdue the Slavs to the east, carving out Marches governed by loyal lieutenants to complete the pacification. His decisive victory at Lechfeld (955) ended the era of Magyar raids. Otto waged three campaigns in Italy: during the second Pope John XII crowned him Holy Roman Emperor. When the pope reconsidered and sought to oust Otto with Byzantine and Hungarian support, Otto deposed him and appointed his own pope. Now reigning from Italy, Otto forged a dynastic alliance with the Byzantines. By his death (973), he was supreme and unchallenged in the heart of Europe.

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