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Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor

Otto I the Great (912 - May 7, 973), son of Henry I the Fowler, king of the Germans, and Matilda of Ringelheim, was Duke of Saxony, King of Germany and arguably the first Holy Roman Emperor.

Succeeding his father as king in 936, Otto defeated the Magyars in 955 at the Battle of Lechfeld near Augsburg, halting their advance in central Europe. In 963, Otto defeated Mieszko I, duke of Poland and compelled him to pay tribute.

On February 2, 962 Pope John XII crowned Otto Emperor. Though the term "Holy Roman Empire" was not used for more than 200 years afterwards, Otto is sometimes considered its founder, and is counted as the first in a succession of emperors of various dynasties which ended only in 1806. (Note: Charlemagne was crowned Emperor in 800, reviving the idea of a western Roman Emperor, so is also seen by some as the first Holy Roman Emperor. He was followed by a number of Carolingian Emperors. Otto began the association between the title of Emperor and the German kingship.)

His younger brother was Archbishop Bruno I of Cologne.

Preceded by:
Henry I the Fowler (as king of Germany)
Holy Roman Emperors Succeeded by:
Otto II (as king of Germany)