Henry II, also known as Saint Henry the Exuberant, Obl. S. B., was Holy Roman Emperor from 1014. He died without an heir in 1024, and was the last ruler of the Ottonian line. As Duke of Bavaria, appointed in 995, Henry became King of the Romans following the sudden death of his second cousin, Emperor Otto III in 1002, was made King of Italy in 1004, and crowned emperor by Pope Benedict VIII in 1014.
The son of Henry II, Duke of Bavaria, and his wife Gisela of Burgundy, Emperor Henry II was a great-grandson of German king Henry the Fowler and a member of the Bavarian branch of the Ottonian dynasty. Since his father had rebelled against two previous emperors, the younger Henry spent long periods of time in exile, where he turned to Christianity at an early age, first finding refuge with the Bishop of Freising and later during his education at the cathedral school in Hildesheim. He succeeded his father as Duke of Bavaria in 995 as "Henry IV". As duke, he attempted to join his second-cousin, Emperor Otto III, in suppressing a revolt against imperial rule in Italy in 1002. Before Henry II could arrive, however, Otto III died of fever, leaving no heir.