Page 1201

1201 THE AGE OF CHARLEMAGNE-SUCCESSORS OF CHARLEMAGNE.

the king's arms abroad, a civil feud of serious

proportions disturbed the peace of the kingdom. Eberhard and Thankmar, the son

of a divorced wife of Henry the Fowler,

and therefore half-brother to Otho, con

spired with Giselbert, duke of Lorraine, to

achieve independence in their respective

provinces. The Saxon nobles, also, were

offended because of the preeminence of the

king's favorite general, Count Hermann, and

joined the insubordinate dukes. The situation portended great peril to the king; but

the conspirators failed to act in concert,

and Otho was victorious. Thankmar was

killed and Eberhard obliged to put himself at the mercy of his sovereign. Mean-

while, however, the king's younger brother,

Henry, had been tempted into sedition, and

the revolt suddenly broke out anew. This

time the insurgents were headed by Giselbert,

Eberhard, and Prince Henry. Otho again

took the field and marched to the Rhine; but

while part of his forces were on one side of

the river and part on the other, he was attacked by the rebel dukes. For the time it

seemed that every thing was lost. But Otho

exhibited the greatest heroism; his men fallied to the charge, and the insurgent army

was annihilated.

Now it was that the defeated princes

sought aid of Louis d'Outremer of France.

Nor was the petition refused. A. French

army penetrated Alsatia. All of the territory west of the Rhine was overrun. The

fate of the Emperor again hung in the balance, but his courage was equal to the occasion. Marching to the frontier, he gained

the day in several minor engagements, and

finally won a great victory in the battle of

Andernach. Eberhard was slain and Giselbert drowned in the river. The French fled

towards Paris, whither they were pursued by

Otho; but the fortifications of the city bade

defiance to the Germans. Negotiations were

presently opened between the two monarchs, and a definitive treaty was made, by

which Lorraine was assigned to the Emperor

and the other boundaries reestablished as

before.

Otho again showed his magnanimity by pardoning his brother Henry. The prince was

sent to be governor of Lorraine; out unable

to defend himself in the position to which he

had been assigned, he entered into a plot with the archbishop of Mayence to assassinate the

Emperor. But their treason was discovered,

and the conspirators, with the exception of

Henry, were put to death. The prince himself was thrown into prison; but having at

length made his escape, he was a third time

pardoned by Otho.

Meanwhile the German dominion was

firmly established beyond the Elbe. The

Slavonian and Wendic tribes were beaten

back into remoter territories. The Emperor

himself made an expedition against Harold

the Blue-tooth, king of Denmark; and marching to the land's-end of Jutland, threw his

spear into the sea as a token of his dominion

even to the brine of the North.

In the year 946 Emperor Otho was called

upon by Louis, king of France, to assist him

in that war which he was then waging with

Hugh the Great and the barons. The two

monarchs were brothers-in-law, and this

affinity, together with the natural interest of

the German ruler in seeing the ambitions

of the nobles curtailed, led him to accept

the invitation. He marched an army of

thirty-two thousand men into Normandy; but

no great success attended the movements

of the allied monarchs, and Count Hugh

held out several years before he was brought

to submission.

In the mean time, a complication had

arisen in Italy which drew the Emperor's

attention. After the times of Charlemagne,

that unfortunate country had been left to

the mercy of the winds. The Saracens,

Greeks, Normans, and Hungarians had assailed. the Italian coasts at will. Neither

the impotent Pope nor the shadowy Roman Emperor beyond the mountains was

able to afford relief. In this condition of

affairs, Berengar, duke of Friuli, one of

those strong and turbulent spirits that arise

from ' the great deep in times of anarchy,

had himself proclaimed king of Italy. He

demanded in marriage the Princess Adelheid, sister of Conrad of Burgundy. But

she refused to accept so rough a lord, and

was thrown into prison. She managed from

thence to send a message to Otho, who at

once conceived the double project of liberating the princess and claiming her for him-

self. For his English queen, Edith, was now

dead. The Emperor accordingly crossed the Alps