Otho II, a German emperor, son of the preceding, born in 955, died in Rome, Dec. 7, 983. He was crowned king of Rome during the lifetime of his father (961). He ruled Germany for a time under the guardianship of his mother, but finally retired from court, and a civil war sprang up, in which he was opposed by his cousin Henry, duke of Bavaria, assisted by Ilarald, king of Denmark, and others. Otho defeated Henry in 977, and gave Bavaria to his nephew Otho, duke of Swabia. The French king Lothaire having invaded Lorraine in 978 and taken Aix-la-Chapelle, Otho collected an army, drove back the invaders, and in the pursuit overran Champagne and marched to Paris, a suburb of which he burned. Civil war having broken out in Rome, he crossed the Alps in 980, repressed the dissensions there, and then marched into lower Italy with the intention of wresting from the Greeks Apulia and Calabria. For a time he was successful, and took Naples, Salerno, and in 982 Taranto; but on July 13 of that year he was defeated at Basantello in Calabria by the Greeks, who had called to their aid the Saracens of Italy. Otho himself narrowly escaped.
While meditating another expedition he died.