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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

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 Carolingian dynasty and Charlemagne, who is commonly viewed as the original founder of a new (Frankish) 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 Germany with the conclusion of the unification of the duchies of Lorraine, Saxony, Franconia, Swabia, Thuringia and Bavaria 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:

Henry I the Fowler, King of the Germans and Duke of Saxony, died 936
Otto I the Great, Holy Roman Emperor and Duke of Saxony, died 973
Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor, died 983
Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor, died 1002
Saint Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor, died 1024
Liudolf, Count of Saxony, died 864/866
Saint Altfrid, Bishop of Hildesheim, died 874
Brun, Duke of Saxony, died 880
Otto the Illustrious, Duke of Saxony, died 912
Gerberge of Saxony, died 954
Henry I, Duke of Bavaria, died 955
Liudolf, Duke of Swabia, died 957
Hedwige of Saxony, died 965
Bruno I, Archbishop of Cologne and Duke of Lotharingia, died 965
William, Archbishop of Mainz, died 968
Mathilda, Abbess of Quedlinburg
Otto, Duke of Swabia and Bavaria, died 982
Henry II, Duke of Bavaria, the Wrangler, died 995
Bruno, Bishop of Augsburg, died 1029

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