Absalon or Axel (c. 1128 – 21 March 1201) was a Danish archbishop and statesman, who was the Bishop of Roskilde from 1158 to 1192 and Archbishop of Lund from 1178 until his death. He was the foremost politician and churchfather of Denmark in the second half of the 12th century, and was the closest advisor of King Valdemar I of Denmark. He was a key figure in the Danish policies of territorial expansion in the Baltic Sea, Europeanization in close relationship with the Holy See, and reform in the relation between the Church and the public. He combined the ideals of Gregorian Reform ideals with loyal support of a strong monarchical power.
Absalon was born into the powerful Hvide clan, and owned great land possessions. He endowed several church institutions, most prominently his family's Sorø Abbey. He was granted lands by the crown, and built the first fortification of the city that evolved into modern-day Copenhagen. His titles were passed on to his nephews Anders Sunesen and Peder Sunesen. He died in 1201, and was interred at Sorø Abbey.
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... Saxo Grammaticus' Gesta Danorum was not finished until after the death of Absalon, but Absalon was one of the chief heroic figures of the chronicle, which was to be the main source of knowledge ... Absalon left a legacy as the foremost politician and churchfather of Denmark in the 12th century ... Absalon was equally great as churchman, statesman and warrior ...