King Otto GERMANY, III
- Born: Jul 980, , Saxony, Germany
- Died: 21 Jan 1002, Viterbo, , Italy
Other names for Otto were GERMANY King and Otho II.
Ancestral File Number: 8HR7-XG.
King of GERMANY Reigned 983-1002, HOLY ROMAN Emperor 996-1002.
Wall Chart of World History, Edward Hull, 1988, Studio Editions, Germany 983: "Otho III, King of Germany 983-1002, Son of Otho II, Poisoned..."
The New Columbia Encyclopedia, 1975, p2030, Otto III: "Born 980, Died 1002, Holy Roman Emperor (996-1002) and German King (983-1002), son of Holy Roman Emperor Otto II and the Byzantine princess Theophano. On Otto's accession Henry the Wrangler, the deposed Duke of Baviaria, attempted to become his guardian and then to obtain the crown, but the plot was frustrated and Henry was forced to abandon it, although he was restored in Bavaria. Instead, Theophano was regent until her death in 991 and Otto's grandmother Adelaide succeeded her until 994.Otto established his cousin Bruno in the vacant papacy as Gregory V (996) and restored him (998) after his expulsion by a Roman revolt. After Gregory's death (999), Otto installed his tutor Gerbert of Aurillac as pope (Sylvester II). His pilgrimage (1000) to the grave of his friend St Adalbert gave him the opportunity to strengthen the influence of his `ecclesiastical empire' against Germany's eastern neighbors. Possessed of brilliant talents and remarkably well educated, Otto III was alternately swayed by extreme asceticism and by ideas of his high position as the scion of both the Western and the Eastern imperial houses. In 998 he settled in Rome, hoping to make this the seat of his empire which would include German, Italian, and Slavic lands. He tried unsuccessfully to establish a permanent imperial administration. In 1001 discontented Romans rioted and forced Otto to flee the city. He was planning to attack Rome when he died. Otto was succeeded by Henry II,son of Henry the Wrangler."
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1981, Micropaedia, Vol VII, p626, Otto III: "Born July 980, Died 23 Jan 1002 near Viterbo Italy, German King and Holy Roman Emperor who planned to recreate the glory and power of the ancient Roman Empire in a universal Chtriatian state governed from Rome, in which the pope would be subordinate to the emperor in religious as well as in secular affairs.
"Son of the Holy Roman emperor Otto II and Empress Theophano, Otto III was elected German king in June 983 and crowned at Aachen in December, shortly after his father's death. But the child king was seized by Henry II the Quarrelsome, the deposed Duke of Bavaria, in an attempt to secure the regency, if not the throne, for himself. In May 984, however, Henry was forced by the imperial diet to turn the child over to his mother, who served as regent until her death in 991; Otto's grandmother, the dowager Empress Adelaide, assumed the regency until the King came of age in 994.
"In 996 heeding an appeal by Pope John XV for help in putting down a rebellion led by the Roman noble Crescentius II, Otto crossed the Alps. Declared King of Lombardy at Pavia, he reached Rome after the Pope's death, whereupon he secured the election of his 23-year-old cousin, Bruno of Carinthia, as Gregory V, the first German Pope. Gregory,who crowned Otto emperor on May 21, 996, was driven from Rome after the Emperor's return to Germany by Crescentius, who then installed John XVI as Pope. The Emperor marched back into Italy in late 997; taking Rome in February 998, he executed Crescentius, deposed John, and reinstated Gregory.
"Otto then proceeded to make Rome his official residence and the adminis- trative centre of the empire. Instituting elaborate Byzantine court ceremonies and reviving ancient Roman custons, he assumed the titles `the servant of Jesus Christ,' `the servant of the apostles,' and `emperor of the world' and saw himself as the leader of world Christianity. When Gregory V died (999), Otto had the Frenchman Gerbert of Aurillac, his former tutor who agreed with his concept of a theocratic emperor, installed as Pope Sylvester II.
"In 1000 Otto made a pilgrimage to the tomb of the mystical Archbishop Adelbert of Prague at Gniezno, which he established as the archbishopric ofPoland. When in January 1001 Tibur, Italy, rebelled against Otto, he laid siege to the town, forced its surrender, and pardoned its inhabitants. Angered by this action, the Romans, who wanted the rival town destroyed, rebelled against the Emperor (Feb 1001) and besieged his palace. After placating the rebels momentarily, Otto withdrew to the monastery of St Apollinaris, near Ravenna, to do penance. Unable to regain control of the imperial city, he requested military support from his [third] cousin Henry III of Bavaria [son of Henry the Quarrelsome], who was to succeed him as German King and later as Emperor. Shortly before the Bavarian troops arrived at his headquarters Otto died."
The Story of Civilization, Will Durant, Vol IV, The Age of Faith, Bk IV, The Dark Ages, Ch XX, The Rise of The North, Sec VI, Germany, p512: "...Otto III (983-1002) was then a boy of three; his mother Theophano and his grandmother Adelaide ruled as regents for eight years. Theophano, in her eighteen years of influence, brought something of Byzantine refinement to the German court, and stimulated the Ottonian renaissance in letters and arts.
"At the age of sixteen (996) Otto III began to rule in his own name. Influenced by Gerbert and other Churchmen, he proposed to make Rome his capital, and unite all Christendom under a restored RomanEmpire, ruled jointly by emperor and pope. The nobles and populace of Rome and Lombardy interpreted the plan as a conspiracy to establish a German-Byzantine rule over Italy; they resisted Otto, and established a `Roman Republic'; Otto suppressed it, and executed its leader Crescentius. In 999 he made Gerbert Pope; but the twenty-two years of Otto's life, and the four years of Gerbert papacy, proved too brief for the implementation of his policy. Half a saint but in some measure a man, Otto fell in love with Stephania, widow of Crescentius; she consented to be his mistress and poisoner; the young king feeling death in his veins, became a weeping penitent, and died at Viterbo at the age of twenty-two."
Ancestral File Ver 4.13 8HR7-XG Otto III Emperor of the HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE [KING OF THE GERMANS] Born Jul980 Saxony Germany Died 21 Jan 1002.