In 996 Emperor Otto III gave the bishopric of Freising (Bavaria) thirty royal hides of land (the equivalent of some 1000 hectares) in Neuhofen on the Ybbs, together with all that belonged to that land, including woodland, game reserves and honey-producing flora. This much can be gleaned from the imperial document if its content is considered as being confined to the transfer of property.
In actual fact, as far as both its form and its historical setting are concerned, this imperial diploma harbours a wealth information, and it has provoked much lively discussion among historians.
About the name Ostarrichi
Literally the word Ostarrichi means "Ostland" (eastern lands), a term that was once used to denote several regions of varying size. But there are also assumptions that the name Ostarrichi was derived from the Celtic spring god "Ostara". Towards the end of the 10th century, however, it came to signify only the narrow stretch of land located to the south of the Danube between the Enns and Traisen rivers. Ostland or plaga orientalis, terra orientalis, regio orientalis, are all names used in earlier centuries to denote the Carolingian borderland, although this had also embraced Pannonia and what today are the provinces of Styria and Carinthia. When Pannonia was lost to the Avars at the beginning of the 10th century and Carinthia became an independent duchy, all that remained of the plaga orientalis was the narrow strip of territory referred to earlier.
Inasmuch as the Ostarrichi diploma records this fact it is a document of fundamental importance. How typical the name Ostarrichi was for its t imes was borne out by the fact that it was used again only two years later in an imperial diploma dated 998.