Saxo Grammaticus săk´sō grəmăt´ĭkəs [key]
, c.1150–c.1220, the first important Danish historian. He was in the service of Absalon
, archbishop of Lund, at whose suggestion Saxo wrote the Gesta Danorum
(or Historia Danica
). The first nine books, translated (1893, repr. 1967) Danish History,
are mostly composed of oral tradition and legends concerning the early Danes, including the story of Hamlet. The remaining seven books, dealing more with contemporary events, are an extremely valuable source for Danish history. The cognomen grammaticus
[learned] was probably bestowed on Saxo after his death.
See R. G. Latham, Two Dissertations on the Hamlet of Saxo Grammaticus and Shakespear (1872, repr. 1973).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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