War of the Three Henries (977–978)

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The War of the Three Henries was a brief rebellion of three German leaders, all called Henry, against the Holy Roman Emperor Otto II in 977. While Otto was campaigning against Boleslaus II of Bohemia, a conspiracy arose in Bavaria. The conspirators—Henry I, Bishop of Augsburg; Henry II, Duke of Bavaria, called the Wrangler, who was recently deposed; and Henry I, Duke of Carinthia — even had the support of the Church. Otto, allied with Otto I, Duke of Swabia and Bavaria, marched first on Passau, held by the rebels. In September, the town surrendered due to his siege tactics, which included a bridge of boats. At the Easter court of 978, at Magdeburg, the three insurrectionists were punished. Both dukes were banished and Henry of Carinthia lost his duchy to Otto, son of Conrad the Red, Duke of Lorraine. The bishop was imprisoned until July. The chief result of the conflict was the complete subjection of Bavaria: henceforth it was no longer the indisputably greatest of the stem duchies.