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THE stability of the Saxon dynasty is shown in a marked degree by the way in which son succeeded father almost without question until the direct line breaks off for lack of an heir with Otto III. Otto II, who was born towards the end of 955, had been elected and twice crowned (at Aix-la-Chapelle in May 961 and at Rome on Christmas Day 967) during his father’s lifetime. When Otto the Great died in 973, he was universally accepted as his successor. It was not that there was no opposition, but the people of Germany as a whole were satisfied with the ruling family and, in cases of rebellion, were prepared to give their support to the hereditary sovereign. This fact is proved not only in the frequent Bavarian revolts in the reign of Otto II, but also and more remarkably in the attempt of the Duke of Bavaria to wrest the crown from its rightful possessor, the infant Otto III. Otto the Red is described by the chronicler Thietmar as being possessed of fine physical powers; and though at first, through lack of experience, he shunned wise counsel, chastened by troubles he set a rein upon himself and lived nobly for the rest of his days.

During the first seven years of his reign his energies were directed towards Bavaria and Lorraine. Bavaria enjoyed a position of greater independence than any of the other duchies. Its traditions were more deeply rooted; the influence of the old ducal family was stronger. It had ties closely binding it with the other southern duchy, Swabia. Burchard, Duke of Swabia, had died the year of Otto’s accession and the new king filled the vacancy by appointing Otto, the son of his half brother Liudolf, former Duke of Swabia. Duke Burchard’s widow, Hedwig, was the daughter of Judith, the widow of Henry I of Bavaria, who was always anxious to advance the interests of her family. She and her son Henry, the ruling Duke of Bavaria, resented the favor shown to Otto, son of Liudolf, and broke into open revolt. In the first struggles we may see an arrangement of parties which remained unchanged throughout the reign. On the one side stand the sons of the children of Otto the Great by his first marriage with Edith, both named Otto, the one just elected to the duchy of Swabia, the other shortly after appointed Duke of Carinthia; to this party the Emperor first turned for support. The Bavarian family, Duke Henry and his cousin Henry, son of Duke Berthold, were the leaders of the opposite faction. Later, it was openly favored by the Empress Adelaide the queen-mother, who had a somewhat natural aversion to the sons of her stepchildren, for it was these men who had headed the revolt against her husband in 955 just after and largely in consequence of her marriage. In the first rebellion in Bavaria Henry's ambition seems to have aspired to the throne. It was the more serious as he was allied with Boleslav, Duke of the Bohemians, and with Mesco, Duke of the Poles. The plot was however discovered in time; Henry and his chief adviser, Abraham, Bishop of Freising, were summoned under pain of the ban to appear before the Emperor and were imprisoned, Henry at Ingelheim, Bishop Abraham at Corvey; Judith, who was also deeply involved in the conspiracy, entered a convent at Ratisbon.

It was not until the autumn of 975 that Otto was able to take the field against Boleslav of Bohemia to punish him for his share in the Bavarian revolt. In the interval he had been called away to deal with a dangerous incursion of the Danes under Harold Bluetooth who, having crossed the frontier wall, was ravaging the country beyond the Elbe. Otto hurriedly collected an army, marched against the invaders, and drove them back to the wall. He could not pursue his success further for a formidable army of Norwegians under Jarl Hákon blocked his way. But his object was achieved. Harold opened negotiations offering all his treasure; this Otto declined and withdrew to collect a larger army, but when Harold offered not only treasure, but also a tribute and his son as a hostage, his terms were accepted. To strengthen the frontier Otto established a new fortress on the east coast of Schleswig.

Before two years had elapsed, Henry, who well merited his name ‘the Wrangler’, had escaped from his imprisonment at Ingelheim and again broke into revolt. Two brothers, Berthold and Liutpold, of the house of Babenberg, hurriedly mustered the local levies and held him in check until, at the approach of Otto himself, the rebellious duke fled to Bohemia. At an assembly of princes held at Ratisbon in July 976 Henry was deprived of his duchy, which was granted to Otto of Swabia. For the first time the two duchies were united under one ruler; but the Bavaria granted to Duke Otto was not the same Bavaria as Duke Henry had formerly held. Several important changes diminished it in extent and in power; first, Carinthia with the March of Verona was completely severed and formed into a separate duchy which was conferred on Henry, called the younger, son of the old Duke Berthold of Bavaria; secondly, the two brothers, Berthold and Liutpold, were rewarded for their fidelity to the imperial cause. Berthold was made more independent, the Nordgau of Bavaria being formed into a new margravate on the Bohemian frontier, while Liutpold was established on a firmer footing on the East March, which we now know as Austria, where his descendants flourished first as margraves and later as dukes down to the thirteenth century. Certain ecclesiastical changes were made at the same time. The Church in Bavaria was freed from the control of the duke and became directly dependent on the king; large grants were made to the bishops of Salzburg and Passau; and the bishopric of Prague, founded the previous year, was attached to the province of Mayence, thus freeing the ecclesiastical centre in Bohemia from any Bavarian influence.

Boleslav of Bohemia had been a principal accessory to the Bavarian revolts; the campaign of 975 had been without result, so in 977 Otto again took the field against him. Though he himself was successful, his nephew, Duke Otto, in command of an army of Bavarians, met with a disaster. One evening his men were peacefully bathing in the river near Pilsen, when they were surprised by a body of Bohemians who slew many of them and captured much booty. Eventually, however, Boleslav was brought to submission and did homage to the Emperor at Magdeburg (Easter 978). A year later a successful campaign compelled Mesco, Duke of the Poles, to submit to the imperial authority. But while the Emperor was engaged in the punitive expedition in Bohemia, a fresh conspiracy of an alarming nature was set on foot in Bavaria. Henry of Carinthia, and Henry, Bishop of Augsburg, allied themselves with Henry, the deposed Duke of Bavaria. Even the Church wavered in its loyalty. Nevertheless, in the ‘War of the Three Henries’ as it was called, Otto was entirely successful. Accompanied by Duke Otto he advanced against the rebels, whom he found in possession of Passau. By means of a bridge of boats he closely invested the town and soon brought it to surrender (September 977). At the Easter Court (978) held at Magdeburg judgment was given against the conspirators. The two dukes were sentenced to banishment, and Henry of Carinthia also suffered the loss of his recently acquired duchy, which was conferred upon Otto the son of Conrad of Lorraine. The Bishop of Augsburg was delivered over to the custody of the Abbot of Werden where he remained till, on the intervention of Duke Otto and the clergy of his diocese, he was granted his liberty (July). The repeated rebellions in Bavaria occasioned a marked change in the character of the duchy. Its traditions, its independent position, its ruling family were crushed. Henceforth Bavaria like the other duchies takes its place in the national system of Otto the Great. It was also in consequence of the new appointments in Bavaria and of the elevation of the two Ottos to the ducal dignity that the Empress Adelaide who had, in the first years of the reign, exercised considerable influence over her son, now withdrew from court to her native Burgundy. Her place of influence in Otto’s councils was afterwards taken by the Empress Theophano.


Otto II and Lorraine 

Lorraine had from the beginning of the reign been a source of trouble to Otto. The lower province, after the death of Duke Godfrey in Italy, had fallen under the direct government of the king. In January 974 Reginar and Lambert, the sons of the banished Count Reginar of Hainault, had attempted to regain their father's possessions and fortified Boussu on the river Haine. Otto advanced into Lorraine, burnt the stronghold, and captured the garrison; but he allowed the brothers to escape. Two years later they reappeared in alliance with Charles, the brother of Lothair, King of France, and Otto, son of the Count of Vermandois. The revolt was, however, suppressed by Godfrey, whom the Emperor had set over the county of Hainault. The next year the troublesome sons of Reginar were reinstated in their paternal inheritance of Hainault, and their ally in the recent rebellion, Charles, the brother of the King of France, was invested with the duchy of Lower Lorraine.

Charles, however, entertained no fraternal feelings for his brother; indeed, Otto’s object in granting him the duchy seems to have been a desire to gain an ally in the all too probable event of his coming to blows with the King of France. This appointment, therefore, together with the slight shown to the Empress Adelaide, whose daughter Emma by her first marriage with Lothar of Italy was now Queen of France, provided ample pretext for Lothair to try to regain Lorraine for the West Frankish crown. So long as a Caroling occupied the Western throne, there was a party in Lorraine ready to transfer their allegiance to him. With so large an army that “their erect spears appeared more like a grove of trees than arms”, Lothair marched against Aix-la-Chapelle. When news of the French advance was brought to Otto he refused to believe it possible. Convinced of the truth only when the enemy were at the very gates of the town, he and his wife were compelled to make a hasty retreat to Cologne, leaving the old Carolingian capital in the hands of the enemy. Lothair sacked the palace and reversed the position of the brazen eagle set up on its summit by Charles the Greats. (According to Richer, the eagle was set up by Charles the Great facing the west, signifying that the Emperor was lord of the West Franks as well as the East Franks, and King Lothair turned it to the S.E. indicating that the West Frankish king was lord over Germany. But Thietmar says the opposite: “It was the custom of all who possessed this place to turn it -the eagle- towards their country”; that is, if it pointed east it indicated that the German king was lord of Aix-la-Chapelle). He then returned to his own dominions. Otto did not permit this extraordinary piece of audacity to remain long unpunished. With a large army he crossed the frontier in October, while the French king retreated before him to Étampes. Otto sacked the royal manor of Attigny, passed unchecked through Rheims and Soissons, plundered the palace of Compiegne and eventually appeared on the heights of Montmartre above Paris. But as a fresh army was mustering to resist him, he contented himself with ravaging the country round and then withdrew to Germany. The French army harassed the rear of the retreating army and even fought a slight engagement on the banks of the Aisne. In the next year Lothair involved himself in a local dispute in Flanders, but finally sought an interview with the Emperor at Margut on the Chiers (980), where he agreed to abandon all claim to Lorraine.

During the first seven years of his reign Otto had been fairly successful. He had settled the troubles with which he was confronted in Bavaria at the outset of his reign; he had maintained his position in Lorraine in the face of repeated rebellions and attempts of Lothair to recover it for the West Frankish crown; he had subdued the Danes, the Bohemians, and the Poles. Under his rule the work of conversion of the heathen races on the eastern frontier made rapid progress. Bishoprics were established for Bohemia at Prague, for Moravia at Olmütz and for Denmark at Odense on the island of Fyn. Even the Hungarians, in spite of intermittent warfare in which Liutpold succeeded in extending the East March as far as the Wienerwald, were inclined to be on better terms with Germany and permitted Bishop Pilgrim of Passau to pursue his missionary labors among the heathen Magyars.

The affairs of Germany were at last sufficiently settled to justify the Emperor’s absence in Italy. In November 980 he crossed the Alps accompanied by his wife, his infant son (Otto III was born in July 980), and his nephew Otto of Swabia.

The disastrous end of Otto’s Italian campaign of 980-983 led to revolts all along the German frontier, accompanied by a heathen reaction. Duke Bernard of Saxony on his way to the diet of Verona (983) was summoned back by the news that Svein who had deposed his father, Harold Bluetooth, had overrun the Danish March. The Lusatians broke into rebellion, destroyed the churches of Havelberg and Brandenburg and put many Christians to the sword. Hamburg was plundered and burnt by the Obotrites, Zeitz by an army of Bohemians. The faith of Christ and St Peter, says Thietmar, was forsaken for the worship of demons. A combined movement of the Saxon princes under the Margrave Dietrich, the Archbishop of Magdeburg and the Bishop of Halberstadt succeeded in checking the advance in a battle fought at Belkesheim, just west of the Elbe, but they failed to re­establish German influence or Christianity among the heathen tribes. The work of Otto the Great, carried on so successfully in the earlier years of his son's reign, received a blow from which it did not recover for more than a century.

It only remains to notice the complete reversal of German policy which is marked by the diet held at Verona in June 983. The death of Otto, Duke of Swabia and Bavaria, at Lucca on his way back to Germany necessitated a new arrangement for the southern duchies. His death, combined with the disasters in Germany and Italy, involved the ruin of the party represented by the descendants of Otto the Great’s first marriage, the two Duke Ottos, and the ascendancy of what we may call the Adelaide party. The Emperor was not strong enough to stand against the powerful influences of his mother. Not only did he make her regent in Italy, but further he deposed Otto of Carinthia from his duchy which, reunited with Bavaria, he gave to Henry the Younger. The unfortunate Otto was therefore kept from his duchy through no fault of his own, until Otto III, taking advantage of another vacancy in 995, reinstated him in his former dignity. Swabia was granted to Conrad of the Franconian family. At the same diet the infant son of the Emperor was chosen as the successor to the throne.

Misfortune and the Italian climate combined to ruin the Emperor’s health. After a short illness he died at Rome on 7 December 983 in his twenty-eighth year and was buried in the church of St Peter.

Otto III, then three years old, was being crowned at the Christmas festival at Aix-la-Chapelle when news arrived of his father’s death at Rome. The question of the regency at once arose. It would, according to German practice, fall to Henry the Wrangler, the deposed and imprisoned Duke of Bavaria, but Byzantine custom favored the Empress Mother and it was not likely that Theophano would allow her claim to be lightly passed over. Henry, who was immediately set at liberty by the Bishop of Utrecht, took prompt action. Moreover, it soon became evident that he was aiming not at the regency but at the crown. He hurried to Cologne and before his opponents had time to consider the situation, he had taken the young Otto out of the hands of Archbishop Willigis of Mainz. Though he won the support of the powerful Archbishops of Cologne, Treves and Magdeburg and the Bishop of Mainz, yet a strong party in Lorraine collected to withstand him. The strength of this party lay in the influential family of Godfrey, the Count of Hainault and Verdun. His son Adalbero was Bishop of Verdun, his brother, also Adalbero, was Archbishop of Rheims. With the arch­bishop worked the most remarkable man of the tenth century, Gerbert of Aurillac. In 983 Otto II had made him abbot of the Lombard monastery of Bobbio, but disgusted at the lack of discipline of the monks, he had just returned to resume his former work of Scholasticus at the cathedral school of Rheims. From his correspondence for these years we can gather how indefatigably he labored in the interests of the young Otto.

The situation was rendered more complex by the unexpected appearance of Lothair as a candidate for the regency. Perhaps his real motive was to induce Henry to give up Lorraine in return for the abandonment of his claim, which, being upheld by the Lotharingian aristocracy, by his brother Charles, and by Hugh Capet, was sufficiently formidable to cause alarm. Soon he actually made this proposal to Henry and entered into a secret compact with him, by which he agreed to support the duke's claim to the throne in return for the duchy. The Lotharingian nobles, alienated by the altered circumstances, at once prepared to resist Lothair’s attempt to occupy the duchy. Verdun fell before the French attack (March 984) and Godfrey, who bravely defended it, was captured. The stout resistance of Godfrey’s sons, Herman and Adalbero, prevented Lothair from making further progress, and the hostility of Hugh Capet made it necessary for him to turn his attention to his own kingdom. With the departure of the King of France, the centre of action shifted to the east. In Saxony Henry’s efforts met with no success. Though he had himself proclaimed king by his supporters at the Easter festival at Quedlinburg, where he received oaths of fealty from the princes of the Bohemians, Poles and Obotrites, he was formally renounced by an assembly of Saxon princes. Loyal to the representative of the Saxon dynasty, they even prepared to resist the usurper with arms. Failing to reconcile them, though succeeding in staving of a war by a truce, Henry withdrew to his old duchy of Bavaria, where he found himself firmly withstood by his cousin Henry the Younger.

Lothair had made no headway in Lorraine. The loyalty of the Saxons and the energy of Conrad of Swabia and Willigis of Mainz, the leaders of Otto’s party, prevented Henry from gaining ground in the other duchies; he was in no position to attempt to win the crown by force of arms. Driven by pressure of circumstances he submitted his claim to a diet of German princes. The assembly which met at Bürstadt near Worms decided unanimously in favor of the young Otto. Henry engaged to deliver the boy to the care of his mother and grandmother at a diet to be held at Rara (perhaps Rohr, near Meiningen) on 29 June. In the interval Henry, supported by Boleslav, prince of the Bohemians, tried his fortunes in Thuringia but with similar lack of success. At the diet of Rara, on the guarantee that he would be compensated with Bavaria, Henry handed over the young king to the charge of Theophano and Adelaide, who had been summoned from Italy. Henry the Younger made some show of resistance at being ousted from his duchy of Bavaria, but a final pacification took place early in the year 985 at Frankfort. Henry was re-established in Bavaria and his cousin was forced to content himself with Carinthia and the March of Verona, now again formed into a separate duchy. At first Theophano and Adelaide acted as joint regents, but the influence of the former soon became predominant. In the administration of the kingdom she was assisted by Willigis, Archbishop of Mainz, who took charge of affairs in Germany during her absence in Italy in 989. The minority fell at a critical time. The death of King Lothair of France in 986, followed a year later by the death of his son, Louis V, without an heir, plunged France into a civil war, during which the opposing parties of Hugh Capet and Charles of Lower Lorraine, the representative of the Carolingian house, each sought to win the help of the regents of Germany. Theophano succeeded in maintaining a neutral attitude; but the dynastic question was no sooner settled in favor of Hugh, than another hot dispute broke out as the result of the decision of the synod held at the monastery of St Basle de Verzy near Rheims (June 991). The Arch­bishop Arnulf of Rheims, the natural son of Lothair, was deposed from his see and Gerbert was appointed in his place. Germany was again called upon to play a part in the affairs of France. A synod of German bishops held at Ingelheim in 994 declared against the decisions of St Basle. The controversy dragged on until 998, when Otto solved the problem by making Gerbert Archbishop of Ravenna, thus leaving Rheims in undisputed possession of Arnulf.

Still more serious was the general state of unrest on the Eastern frontier. During the years 985-987 there was continual fighting against the Wends and Bohemians. With the help of Mesco, Duke of the Poles, Meissen was recovered for the Margrave Eckhard. When in 990 a war broke out between the Poles and Bohemians Theophano supported Mesco while Boleslav was allied with the Lusatians. The Bohemians, fearing to engage with the Germans, treated for peace. The Saxons acted as mediators but barely escaped destruction through the treachery of the barbarians. It was Boleslav, and not their ally Mesco, who enabled the Saxon army to escape in safety to Magdeburg. On 15 June 991 Theophano died. Adelaide, who now returned from Italy and undertook the regency, had neither the energy nor the statesmanlike qualities of the younger Empress, and the weakness of her rule soon became apparent in the frontier warfare. Brandenburg in 991 became the centre of operations. The young king captured it with the help of Mesco, but no sooner was his back turned than it was reconquered for the Lusatians by a Saxon named Kiso. Otto renewed the attack in the following year with the help of Henry of Bavaria and Boleslav of Bohemia; Boleslav, who had succeeded his father Mesco as prince of the Poles, being threatened with a war with the Russians, was unable to accompany the king in person but sent troops to his assistance. But not till the spring of 993 was the fortress recovered, and then not by the ineffectual efforts of his motley army, but by the same means as it was lost, the treachery of Kiso. His faithless conduct brought on an attack of the Lusatians; they fell upon and scattered an army sent to Kiso’s support under the Margrave Eckhard of Meissen. However, when the king took the field himself they were quickly dispersed. A brief notice of the Quedlinburg annalist informs us of a general rising of the Wends: “All the Slavs except the Sorbs revolted from the Saxons” (994). After a short campaign in the following year Otto seems to have patched up some kind of a truce, and restored order sufficient to permit him to leave Germany, and fulfill his cherished wish of visiting Italy.

Unfortunately the disturbances were not confined to the eastern frontier. In 991 the Northmen, taking advantage of the internal weakness of Germany, renewed their piratical descents on the Frisian coast. In 994 they actually sailed up the river Elbe and carried their devastations into Saxony. In an engagement fought at Stade a small band of Saxons was defeated and their leaders were captured. While the Saxon chiefs lay bound hand and foot on the ships, the Northmen ravaged the country at will. Of the captives, some were ransomed, the Margrave Siegfried effected his escape by making his capturers intoxicated, the remainder, after shameful mutilation, were cast, more dead than alive, upon the shore. The pirates renewed their inroads in the next year, but the defensive measures taken by Bishop Bernward of Hildesheim successfully checked their aggressions.

Our brief summary of the events of the frontier campaigns illustrates the difficulties of the situation in Germany; it shows how fatal and how lasting had been the effects of Otto II’s Italian policy, how unwise the high imperial aims of Otto III. Fortunately for the regents the southern duchies had given no trouble since the baffled attempt of Henry the Wrangler to obtain the crown for himself. Changes however had taken place in their administration. On the death of Henry the Younger in 989 Carinthia and the March of Verona had been re-attached to the duchy of Bavaria. But when Henry the Wrangler died in 995, they did not pass with Bavaria to his son Henry, afterwards the Emperor Henry II, but were restored to Otto, the son of Conrad the Red.

Otto’s first object was to visit Italy. He had taken the government into his own hands in 994 when he was fourteen years of age, but owing to the unsettled state of Germany it was not until 996 that he was able to achieve his purpose. It was after his return from his first expedition across the Alps that he began to develop that ambitious and somewhat fantastic policy, for which perhaps he has been too severely censured. It must be remembered that from his earliest boyhood he had come under the influence of foreigners. The blame must rest equally on all those who had charge of his education. His mother, the Empress Theophano, and his tutor John, Abbot of the monastery of Nonantula, a Calabrian by birth, had taught him Latin and Greek, taught him to despise “Saxon rusticity” and to prefer “our Greek subtility”. They had also made him familiar with the elaborate ceremonial of the Byzantine court. His intimacy with Gerbert, when he was still at an impressionable age, had molded him into the ideals of the Roman Empire.

He was now in 996 Holy Roman Emperor, and the title had for him a greater meaning than for his predecessors. The legend on one of his seals, renovatio imperii Romanorum, shows clearly that he realized that he was making a change in the imperial position. The change is most apparent in the ordering of the institution where the business of the Empire was transacted, the imperial chancery. Otto the Great had not revived the system which had prevailed under the Carolingians of treating Italy as a part of the Empire under the same administrative machinery. He had established a separate chancery for Italy. Germany and Italy were to be two distinct governments under one ruler. When a vacancy occurred in 994 in the chancellorship of Italy, Otto had appointed his chaplain Heribert. On the death of the German chancellor, Hildibald of Worms, in 998, Heribert was placed at the head of the German chancery also. Otto had departed from the system established by his grandfather and, working on a definite plan, he returned to the Carolingian tradition of a combined chancery for the whole Empire. The two titular heads, the arch-chancellors of Germany, and Italy, remained, but their offices were sinecures; the business of the Empire was done by a single chancellor in a single chancery. Equally significant is Otto’s choice of counselors. He completely emancipated himself from the control of those men who had conducted the administration during his minority. Willigis of MayenceHildibald of Worms were replaced by an entirely new body of men. With the exception of the chancellor Heribert, who was appointed Archbishop of Cologne in 999, the men who exercised the most influence at court were foreigners. Gerbert of Aurillac, Marquess Hugh of Tuscany, Peter, Bishop of Como, the arch-chancellor of Italy, form the Emperor’s intimate circle of advisers.

The reverential, though perhaps over inquisitive, visit of the Emperor to the tomb of Charles the Great at Aix-la-Chapelle in the year 1000 is symbolic of his attitude and policy. The famous story of the opening of the tomb is recorded by the chronicler of the monastery of Novalesa in Lombardy, who, though writing more than half a century later, gives his information on the authority of Otto, Count of Lomello, who is said to have been present on the occasion. “We entered in”, he said, “unto Charles. He was not lying down, as is the manner with the bodies of other dead men, but sat on a certain chair as though he lived. He was crowned with a golden crown, and held a scepter in his hands, the same being covered with gloves, through which the nails had grown and pierced. And above him was a tabernacle compact of brass and marble exceedingly. Now when we were come in unto the tomb, we brake and made straightway an opening in it. And when we entered into it, we perceived a vehement savor. So we did worship forthwith to him with bended thighs and knees; and straightway Otto the Emperor clad him with white raiment, and pared his nails, and made good all that was lacking about him. But none of his members had corrupted and fallen away, except a little piece of the end of his nose, which he caused at once to be restored with gold; and he took from his mouth one tooth, and built the tabernacle again and departed”.

The Emperor’s genuine aim was to unite the interests of Germany and Italy. The appointments of his cousin Bruno (Gregory V) in 996 and of Gerbert (Silvester II) in 999 to the papal chair were intended to advance this end. But this policy in reality amounted to a neglect of Germany. Since 996 he had spent only a few months on German soil. It is not surprising, therefore, that he was regarded with distrust. The older generation of German prelates had their grievance; they disliked his close connection with the Papacy, they had been ousted from their former influential positions by foreigners and they resented it. Otto's premature death alone prevented an open outbreak in Germany. He himself realized that he had set his ambitions too high, that he had sacrificed Germany without gaining any material compensation. “Are you not my Romans?"” he is reported to have said in bitter reproach. "For you I have left my country and my kindred. For love of you I have abandoned my Saxons, and all the Germans, my own blood...I have adopted you as sons, I have preferred you to all. For your sake I have brought upon myself the envy and hatred of all. And now you have cast out your father. You have encompassed my servants with a cruel death, you have closed your gates against me”. These are the words of a disappointed man. He died in his twenty-second year at Paterno on 24 January 1002 from an attack of the small­pox. It was his wish that he should be buried in the Carolingian capital. After fighting a way through the lines of the hostile Romans, his followers succeeded in bringing his body safely to Aix-la-Chapelle, where it was buried in the centre of the choir of the church of St Mary.