Page 1202


with a large army, defeated Berengar, captured the cities of Verona, Pavia, and Milan,

married Adelheid, and assumed the title of

king of Italy. Berengar was permitted to

retain the crown of Lombardy on condition

of surrendering the country from Venice to


Soon after this event another revolt, headed

by the princes Rudolf of Suabia and Conrad

of Lorraine, broke out in Italy. For nearly

four years the country was plunged into civil

war. At length the rebellious princes permitted the Hungarians to pass unopposed

through their provinces to the end that the

invaders might fall upon the Emperor. This

action aroused the Teutonic spirit against the

rebels, and the revolt was brought to an end

in the year 954.

The Hungarians, however, were not yet

conquered. In 955 they returned to the

attack, but were defeated by Otho in a

great battle near Augsburg. So signal was

the overthrow of the barbarians that but

few of them escaped to their own country.

Nor did they ever afterwards dare to renew the conflict. In a short time Prince

Henry of Bavaria died, as did also Rudolf,

son of Otho. Civil war came to an end in


In the lull that ensued Otho found

opportunity to gratify his ambition by a

coronation at Rome. Pope John XII, then

a youth but seven years of age, officiated

at the ceremony, and the title of Roman

Emperor was again borne by a prince of


It was not long, however, until the

boy Pope repented of his action and would

fain destroy the traditional rights which he

had conferred on Otho at the coronation.

He sought to stir up the whole world against

him. He wrote to the Emperor of the East

to aid him in deposing Otho from power.

He incited all Italy to revolt, and tried to

induce the Hungarians and the Saracens of

Corsica to make war on the Germans. The

Emperor, however, met the emergency with

great boldness. He marched into Italy,

captured Rome, deposed the Pope, drove

Berengar into exile, reduced the country

to quiet, and in 965 returned in triumph to

Aix la Chapelle.

The ambition of Otho was greatly inflamed by these successes. He began to neglect the real interests of the German people

for the fictitious splendors of a court. He

demanded as wife for his son Otho the Princess Theophania, daughter of the Emperor

of the East; and when the latter was reluctant to comply, the German sovereign

attempted to overthrow the Byzantine rule

in Italy.

Theophania was at length given to the

Prince Otho, and was sent to the German

capital in the year 972. In the following

year the successes of the Emperor were

duly celebrated at a great Easter festival

in the city of Quedlinburg. No pageant so

splendid had been witnessed since the days

of Charlemagne. The dukes and counts of

the Empire, the kings of Bohemia and Poland, ambassadors from the Emperor of the

East, from the Caliph of Cordova, and from

the kings of Bulgaria, Russia, Denmark,

and Hungaria were present at the fete.

Soon afterwards the Emperor, foreseeing

his end, retired to Memleben, in Thuringia,

and there was presently stricken with apoplexy. He lingered for a brief season, died

sitting in his chair, and was buried in Magdeburg.

Having thus traced the history of Germany from the accession of the Carlovingian

line to the death of Otho the Great, it will

be appropriate to turn to another field of

observation. The consolidation of the English Heptarchy and the growth of a regular

monarchy on the ruins of the Saxon states

of Britain may now well claim our attention. It is only necessary, before concluding the present chapter, to remark that, as

will have already been observed by the careful reader, the history of Italy, the third

of the Carlovingian kingdoms, during the

ninth and tenth centuries is so intimately

involved with that of Germany and France

that a separate sketch from the Italian

point of view is altogether superfluous.

As a matter of fact, Italy had already become-as she was destined to remain-an

appendage of the greater states north of the

Alps, and her local annals during this, the

epoch of her ruin and decay, are devoid

alike of interest and instruction. In the

following Book the history of France will be

resumed with the triumph of the House of

Capet, and that of Germany with the accession of Otho II.