Berengar II of Italy

Berengar II
Otto I Manuscriptum Mediolanense c 1200.jpg
Berengar bows to King Otto, Manuscriptum Mediolanense, c. 1200
King of Italy
PredecessorLothair II
SuccessorOtto I
Margrave of Ivrea
PredecessorAdalbert I
SuccessorAdalbert II
Bornc. 900
Died4 August 966
Bamberg Castle,
March of the Nordgau,
Kingdom of Germany
SpouseWilla of Tuscany
IssueAdalbert of Italy
Guy of Ivrea
Conrad of Ivrea
Rozala of Italy
FatherAdalbert I of Ivrea
MotherGisela of Friuli

Berengar II (c. 900 – 4 August 966) was the King of Italy from 950 until his deposition in 961. He was a scion of the Anscarid and Unruoching dynasties, and was named after his maternal grandfather, Berengar I. He succeeded his father as Margrave of Ivrea around 923 (whence he is often known as Berengar of Ivrea), and after 940 led the aristocratic opposition to Kings Hugh and Lothair II. In 950 he succeeded the latter and had his son, Adalbert crowned as his co-ruler. In 952 he recognised the suzerainty of Otto I of Germany, but he later joined a revolt against him. In 960 he invaded the Papal States, and the next year his kingdom was conquered by Otto. Berengar remained at large until his surrender in 964. He died imprisoned in Germany two years later.

Ruling Ivrea (923–50)

Berengar was a son of Margrave Adalbert I of Ivrea and his wife Gisela of Friuli, daughter of the Unruoching king Berengar I of Italy. He succeeded his father as margrave about 923 and married Willa, daughter of the Bosonid margrave Boso of Tuscany and niece of King Hugh of Italy. The chronicler Liutprand of Cremona, raised at Berengar's court at Pavia, gives several particularly vivid accounts of her character.[1]

About 940 Berengar led a revolt of Italian nobles against the rule of his uncle. To evade an assault by Hugh's liensmen, he, forewarned by the king's young son Lothair, had to flee to the court of King Otto I of Germany. Otto avoided taking sides; nevertheless, in 945 Berengar was able to return to Italy with hired troops, welcomed by the local nobility. Hugh was defeated and retired to Arles, and he was nominally succeeded by Lothair. From the time of Berengar's successful uprising, all real power and patronage in the Kingdom of Italy was concentrated in his hands, with Hugh's son Lothair as titular king. Lothair's brief reign ended upon his early death in 950, presumably poisoned.