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Ottonian dynasty: Map


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Depiction of the Ottonian family tree in a 12th century manuscript.
The Ottonian dynasty was a dynasty of Germanic Kings (919-1024), named after its first emperor but also known as the Saxon dynasty after the family's origin. The family itself is also sometimes known as the Liudolfings, after its earliest known member Liudolf and one of its primary leading-names. The Ottonian rulers are also regarded as the first dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire, as successors of the Frankish Carolingian dynasty and Charlemagne, who is commonly viewed as the founder of the Holy Roman Empire.
Ottonian family tree

Ruling in Germany and the Holy Roman Empire

Although never Emperor, Henry I the Fowler, Duke of Saxony, was arguably the founder of this imperial dynasty, since his election as German king made it possible for his son, Otto the Great to take on the imperium. Since Otto I most of the German kings were also crowned Holy Roman Emperor. Under the reign of the Ottonian rulers, the kingdom of the Eastern Franks finally became Germanymarker with the conclusion of the unification of the duchies of Lorraine, Saxony, Franconia, Swabia, Thuringiamarker and Bavariamarker into one empire. Also the union of Germany with the Holy Roman Empire, which dominated the German history until 1806, began with the coronation of Otto I the Great in Rome in 962. But the projected restoration of the Roman Empire failed already under Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor.

After the extinction of the Ottonian dynasty with the death of Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor in 1024 the crown passed to the Salian dynasty. Luitgard, a daughter of Emperor Otto I had married the Salian Duke Conrad the Red of Lorraine. His great-grandson was Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor.

Ottonian Kings and Emperors:

Some other famous members of the Liudolfing or Ottonian House:

See also


  • Karl Leyser, "Ottonian Government" The English Historical Review 96.381 (October 1981), pp 721-753.

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