Free Online Bible Library | Otto of Freising

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Otto of Freising

c.1111-1158. Bishop of Freising. Maternal grandson of Emperor Henry IV and son of Margrave Leopold III of Austria, Otto moved in imperial circles all his life. Supported by a benefice near Vienna, he studied in Paris, perhaps with Hugh of St.-Victor, Gilbert de la Porrée, and Abelard. He entered the Cistercian monastery of Morimund, became abbot there about 1137, and a year later was consecrated as bishop of Freising, Bavaria. In this capacity Otto instituted diocesan reforms, chartered several monasteries, stimulated study of Aristotle among German contemporaries, and joined Conrad III, a stepbrother, in the Second Crusade, 1147-48. His interpretive rather than factual chronicle of world history, Historia de duabus civitatibus (1143-46) modified Augustine's thesis in Civitas Dei. Otto began a contemporary history of Frederick Barbarossa, but died before its completion.