Otto IV


Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

Otto IV

, Holy Roman emperor
Otto IV, 1175?–1218, Holy Roman emperor (1209–15) and German king, son of Henry the Lion, duke of Saxony. He was brought up at the court of his uncle King Richard I of England, who secured his election (1198) as antiking to Philip of Swabia after the death of Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI. Civil war in Germany ensued. The murder of Philip (June, 1208), who had just been recognized by Pope Innocent III as king, although not Otto's work, revived his cause; he won over the princes by submitting to a new election (Nov., 1208). By the charter of Speyer (Mar., 1209), Otto confirmed his earlier acknowledgment (1201) of the papacy's rights to the Papal States and his promise of aid in upholding papal suzerainty over Sicily. He also conceded the freedom of episcopal elections and the unrestricted right of appeal to the pope. However, no sooner was he crowned emperor (Oct., 1209) at Rome than he reverted to the Hohenstaufen policy of dominance over Italy. He seized (1210) the lands left to the church by Matilda of Tuscany. Only when he invaded Apulia and prepared to attack Sicily, however, did Innocent III excommunicate him (1210). Prompted by the pope and by King Philip II of France, some of the German nobles revolted and elected the Hohenstaufen, Frederick of Sicily (later Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II), as king. In the ensuing war Otto was supported by the nobles of the Lower Rhine and of the northeast, as well as by his uncle King John of England, but he was defeated (1214) at Bouvines by Philip II of France. The pope declared him deposed in 1215.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Rather than confront the all-too-fresh ignominies of military surrender, German occupation, and French collaboration, the self-professed royalist appeals time and again to the France of the Capetian kings and their inaugural triumph over the German emperor Otto IV. Indeed, Mathieu's "sovereign" indifference to the present is a point positively stressed by Tapie, who claims the painter "interests himself so little in current events that he is quite capable of making long trips through the most beautiful countryside without even seeing a thing" and "has lived every instant of more than six months in the tumult aroused by Bouvines and by his work." (14)
He later received an appointment from the Holy Roman emperor Otto IV as marshal of the kingdom of Arles, and he appears to have remained in the imperial service until Otto's death in 1218.
Gervase's claim to fame rests upon the Otia imperialia , dedicated to Otto IV. The work was still in progress in 1215 and cannot have been presented to the emperor until near the end of his life.