Duke of Saxony's Oldest Son Otto Coronated as King Otto I of Germany Hot

Duke of Saxony's Oldest Son Otto Coronated as King Otto I of Germany

Empire of Otto I the Great, C. 973 CE

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Otto, the oldest son of the Duke of Saxony, is coronated as King Otto I of Germany in the Aachen Cathedral. He is Saxon by birth, but he appears at his coronation in Frankish dress.

Both his dress and his choice of Aachen, the seat of Charlemagne's power, are designed to help him link his rule to the Carolingian dynasty. Even though that family had died out in 911, Otto I will claim to be Charlemagne's only true successor.

Whereas his father, Henry, had refused a church anointment and ruled as a first among equals, Otto I accepts church anointment and exercises absolute power as someone who has been granted by God a divine right to rule.

As king of Germany, Otto will exercise sole rule over united Germanic tribes at the expense of his brothers. It had been tradition that all the sons of a king receive a portion of his lands, and this break with tradition is difficult for all the nobility to accept, not just Otto's brothers.

Another tradition Otto breaks with is the appointment of people to powerful positions based on their personal loyalty to him, not based on their family connections. Because he is an absolute ruler who has to fear rebellion, he will make loyalty the most important quality a person can exhibit.

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