In 960 Otto gave to a trusted relative Hermann, afterwards called Billung, certain duties and privileges on the eastern frontier, and from time to time appointed him as his representative in Saxony.
During the century which followed the death of Hermann Billung, there had been constant warfare with the Slays, but although the emperors had often taken the field, the Saxons had been driven back to the Elbe, which was at this time their eastern boundary.
Bernard, whose paternal grandmother, Eilicke, was a daughter of Magnus Billung, took a prominent part in German affairs, but lost Lauenburg which was seized by Waldemar II., king of Denmark.
(c. 1100-1170), margrave of Brandenburg, surnamed THE Bear, was the only son of Otto the Rich, count of Ballenstedt, and Eilika, daughter of Magnus Billung, duke of Saxony.
Margrave Billung, who looked after th Abotrites on the lower Elbe, was less fortunate, mainly becaus of the neighborhood of the Danes, who, after the death of King Henry, often attacked the hated Germans, but some progress was made in bringing this district under German influence.
Even Saxony, his native duchy and the chief source of his strength, was given to Margrave Billung, whose family kept it for many years.
Much of the work effected by the margraves Hermann Billung and Gero was undone, and nearly two centuries passed before they were driven back to the position which they had perforce occupied under Otto the Great.
One of the most ardent of these enemies was Lothair of Supplinburg, whom Henry himself had made duke of Saxony upon the extinction of the~ Billung family in 1106.