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THEOPHANO (c. 956-991), wife of the Roman emperor Otto II., was a daughter of the Eastern emperor Romanus II., and passed her early years amid the tragic and changing fortunes which beset the court of Constantinople. Otto the Great having procured her betrothal to his son Otto II., she was married to him and crowned empress at Rome by Pope John XIII. on the 14th of April 972. In return for costly gifts brought by her to her husband, she was granted extensive estates in all parts of the empire. She appears to have been a woman of great beauty and considerable intelligence, and after the death of Otto the Great in 973 gradually superseded his widow Adelaide as the chief adviser of the new emperor, whom she accompanied on several military expeditions. She introduced many Byzantine customs into the German court. After the death of Otto in December 983 she returned to Germany, which she governed with conspicuous success in the name of her son, Otto III. In 989 she visited Rome, where she exercised as imperatrix the imperial prerogatives, and probably compelled the Romans to swear to acknowledge her son. Theophano died at Nimwegen on the 15th of June 991, and was buried in the church of St Pantal6on at Cologne.

See J. Moltmann, Theophano, die Gemahlin Ottos II. in ihrer Bedeutungfiir die Politik Ottos I. und Ottos II. (Gottingen, 1878).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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