Otto of Freising  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Otto of Freising (Template:Lang-la; c. 1114 – 22 September 1158) was a German churchman and chronicler. He was Otto I Bishop of Freising as from 1138. He is the author of Gesta Friderici imperatoris.

Better known is Otto's Gesta Friderici imperatoris (Deeds of Emperor Frederick), written at the request of Frederick I and prefaced by a letter from the emperor to the author. The Gesta comprises four books, the first two of which were written by Otto and the remaining two, or parts of them, by his pupil Ragewin or Rahewin. It has been argued that the third book and the early part of the fourth were also the work of Otto. Beginning with the quarrel between Pope Gregory VII and the emperor Henry IV, the first book takes the history down to the death of Conrad III in 1152. It is not confined to German affairs, as the author digresses to tell of the preaching of Bernard of Clairvaux, of his zeal against the heretics, and of the condemnation of Pierre Abélard; he also discourses on philosophy and theology. The second book opens with the election of Frederick I in 1152 and deals with the history of the first five years of his reign, especially in Italy, in some detail. From this point (1156) the work is continued by Ragewin. Otto's Latin is excellent, and in spite of a slight partiality for the Hohenstaufen, and some minor inaccuracies, the Gesta has been described as a "model of historical composition."




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