Otho and Otto of Freising(En)

Otho And Otto Of Freising(en), a noted German monastic who; attained to high ecclesiastical offices, and was one of the crusaders, was a nobleman by descent. The date of his birth is not exactly known; it is supposed to be Dec. 5, 1109; some, however, put it in 1108. He was the third son of duke Leopold of Austria, and of Agnes, daughter of emperor Henry IV. In 1130 (or 1126) he joined the Cistercians, studied in Paris under Abelard, and became an adherent of Gilbert. In 1131 he was made abbot of Morimund, in Champagne, and bishop of Freising(en) in 1136. He did much towards raising the bishopric, which was at the time in a very bad condition, and was looked upon as its second founder. He had also great influence in the general affairs of the country. In 1147 he took part in the crusade with his half-brother, emperor Conrad III; was afterwards chosen by his nephew, emperor Frederick I, to negotiate between him and Henry Jasomirgott, duke of Bavaria; went as far as the Alps with the emperor in his second journey to Rome in 1158, then finally settled at Morimund, where he died, Sept. 22, 1158. He was much esteemed for his knowledge and his piety. Otho wrote, De duabus civitatibus, or De mutatione rerum (a history extending from the creation down to his own times): De gestis Friderici imperatoris (dictated to his secretary, canon Radewick of Freising, who afterwards added two sections to it). Both works were first publisher by Cuspinian, under the title Ottonis Episcopi Freysingensis Rerum ab origine mundi ad ipsius usque tempora (Strasb. 1515), and afterwards in Urstisius, Germanice hist. illustr. (Frankf. 1585 and 1670, fol.); in Tissier, Bibl. patr. Cisterc. (Par. 1669), and Radewick's continuation in Muratori, Scriptores rerum Ital. The history of Frederick I is found in Schiller, Ahg. Samnmlunng-historischer Memoiren. The first four books of this Chronicle are a mere compilation from Orosius, Eusebius, Isidore of Seville, and other previous writers; but the last three books contain much original information, especially concerning the affairs of Germany in the 10th, 11th, and l2th centuries. Otho is an impartial and trustworthy historian, and judicious for the times in which he lived. His Chronicle was continued down to the year 1210 by another Otho, Appendix Ottonis a S. Blazio a fine libri septimi Ottonis uisque ad anunum Salutis 1210. Another work of Otho of Freysingen is a treatise concerning the end of the world, according to the book of Revelations, which is generally appended to his Chronicle. See Huber, O. von Freisingen (Munich, 1847); Wiedemann, O. von Freising, sein Leben it. Wirken (Passau, 1849); Lang, Psychologischer Charakter' Otto's von Freising (Augsb. 1853); Zeitschr. f. Gesch. Wissenschaft, vol. ii (1844); Lit. Central Blatt (1856). — Pierer, Universal-Lexikon, 12:521; Herzog, Real-Encyklop.'x. 738. (J. H.W.)

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