Otto, Count of Ballenstedt

Otto, Count of Ballenstedt, called Otto the Rich (c. 1070 – 9 February 1123), was the first Ascanian prince to call himself count of Anhalt, and was also briefly named duke of Saxony. He was the father of Albert the Bear,[1] who later conquered Brandenburg from the Slavs and called himself its first margrave.

Otto, Count of Ballenstedt
Bornc.  1070
Died(1123-02-09)9 February 1123
Noble familyHouse of Ascania
Spouse(s)Eilika of Saxony
IssueAlbert the Bear
Adelaide of Ballenstedt
FatherAdalbert II, Count of Ballenstedt
MotherAdelaide of Weimar-Orlamünde

Otto was the eldest son of Adalbert II, Count of Ballenstedt and Adelaide of Weimar-Orlamünde, daughter of Otto I, Margrave of Meissen.[1] After the death of his father-in-law, Magnus, Duke of Saxony, in 1106, Otto inherited a significant part of Magnus' properties, and hoped to succeed him as duke. However, Lothar of Supplinburg was named duke in his stead.[2] In 1112, after Lothar had been banned, Otto was appointed duke of Saxony by Emperor Henry V; but in the same year, he came into a dispute with the emperor and was stripped of his ducal title. He now allied himself with Lothar, and helped Lothar defeat Hoyer I, Count of Mansfeld, who had been named duke of Saxony by the Emperor, in 1115.

Otto conquered the areas around Zerbst and Salzwedel from Slavs, and maintained Lothar's support once Lothar became king in 1125. He also claimed the County of Weimar-Orlamünde, of which his mother was the heir.


Otto married Eilika, the daughter of Magnus, Duke of Saxony, before 1095.[2] They had the following children:


  1. ^ a b Loud & Schenk 2017, p. xxvi.
  2. ^ a b Fuhrmann 1995, p. 99.


  • Fuhrmann, Horst (1995). Germany in the High Middle Ages: C.1050-1200. Translated by Reuter, Timothy. Cambridge University Press.
  • Loud, Graham A.; Schenk, Jochen, eds. (2017). The Origins of the German Principalities, 1100-1350: Essays by German Historians. Routledge.