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Otto was a hereditary king, who gained much power militarily. Otto I was the son of Henry the Fowler, and inherited the Kingdom of East Francia (Germany) when Henry died.

Rich silver mines were developed in Saxony at the time Otto was king, and this provided him with the money he needed to build up his military.

Various subject dukes rebelled against Henry, and he was able to defeat them and strengthen himself in the process. These rebellions included alliances with Louis IV of France, but Louis was also defeated. In addition, there were rebellions by tribes in the East, but these were also defeated.

When Adelaide of Italy inherited the throne of that country, she was abducted by Berengar of Ivrea, who took the throne and tried to marry Adelaide to his son. She escaped and requested German aid. In the confusion that followed, Otto invaded Italy, took the throne himself, and married Adelaide. He also returned territory of the Papal States that had been occupied by Berengar to the pope, who crowned him Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

Otto also made donations to the Church and fostered architecture and the arts, introducing a period called the Ottonian Renaissance.

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Q: How did otto the great become king?
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