History

Around 900, East Francia, saw the reemergence of autonomous stem duchies (Franconia, Bavaria, Swabia, Saxony and Lotharingia). After the Carolingian king Louis the Child died without issue in 911, East Francia did not turn to the Carolingian ruler of West Francia to take over the realm but instead elected one of the dukes, Conrad of Franconia, as Rex Francorum Orientalum. On his deathbed, Conrad yielded the crown to his main rival, Henry the Fowler of Saxony (r. 91936), who was elected king at the Diet of Fritzlar in 919. Henry reached a truce with the raiding Magyars, and in 933 he won a first victory against them in the Battle of Riade. The Holy Roman Empire from 962 to 1806 Henry died in 936, but his descendants, the Liudolfing (or Ottonian) dynasty, would continue to rule the Eastern kingdom for roughly a century. Upon Henry the Fowler's death Henry's designated successor, Otto, Henry's own son, was elected King in Aachen in 936. He overcame a series of revolts from an elder brother and from several dukes. After that, the king managed to control the appointment of dukes and often also employed bishops in administrative affairs. The Kingdom had no permanent capital city. Kings traveled between residences (called Kaiserpfalz) to discharge affairs. However, each king preferred certain places; in Otto's case, this was the city of Magdeburg. Kingship continued to be transferred by election, but Kings often had their sons elected during their lifetime, enabling them to keep the crown for their families. This only changed after the end of the Salian dynasty in the 12th century. In 955, Otto won a decisive victory over the Magyars in the Battle of Lechfeld. In 951, Otto came to the aid of Adelaide, the widowed queen of Italy, defeating her enemies, marrying her, and taking control over Italy. In 962, Otto was crowned Emperor by Pope John XII. From then on, the affairs of the German kingdom were intertwined with those of Italy and the Papacy. Otto's coronation as Emperor made the German kings successors to the Empire of Charlemagne, which through translatio imperii, also made them successors to Ancient Rome. Additionally, in 963, Otto deposed the current pope John XII and chose Pope Leo VIII as the new pope (although John XII and Leo VIII both claimed the papacy until 964, when John XII died). The Holy Roman Empire in 1000 This also renewed the conflict with the Eastern Emperor in Constantinople, especially after Otto's son Otto II (r. 96783) adopted the designation imperator Romanorum. Still, Otto formed marital ties with the east when he married the Byzantine princess Theophanu. Their son, Otto III, focused his attention on Italy and Rome and employed widespread diplomacy but died young in 1002, to be succeeded by his cousin Henry II, who focused on Germany. In 996 Gregory V became the first German Pope, appointed by his cousin Otto III, whom he shortly after crowned Holy Roman Emperor. A foreign pope and foreign papal officers were seen with suspicion by Roman nobles, who were led by Crescentius II to revolt. Otto III's former mentor Antipope John XVI briefly held Rome, until the Holy Roman Emperor seized the city. Henry II died in 1024, and, Conrad II, first of the Salian Dynasty, was elected king only after some debate among dukes and nobles, which would eventually develop into the collegiate of Electors.


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