Saxo Grammaticus (* 1140, † 1220 ) was a Danish historian and clergyman. He wrote from 1185 on the initiative of Bishop Absalon's a 16 -volume history of Denmark in Latin that. Gesta Danorum ( Deeds of the Danes ) It is the earliest and most important Danish historical work and at the same time an instrument of national identification.
Because of its no longer common in the Middle Ages ground, correct Latin Saxo was nicknamed " Grammaticus ". The older research went a long time assumed that Saxo had recourse, at least in the first nine books of his work mainly on Sagenhaftes from the Norse sagas and heroic songs: Repeats occur gods, especially Odin, so that the Gesta Danorum primarily as a supplement the Edda was seen. More recently, however, tends increasingly of the opinion that Saxo from the third book reflects the latest actual history, though not always untendenziös and not without "explain" him incomprehensible developments through the intervention of the gods.
William Shakespeare drew from the reported in the Gesta Danorum saga of Amletus when he designed the tragedy Hamlet, perhaps without knowing it, because it was aware of the substance by precursor pieces of Thomas Kyd and François de Belle Forest. In fact, the material in his time was not unknown, so that Shakespeare may have known a copy of the Gesta Danorum.
The Gesta Danorum also included an early formation of the legend of the apple shot, which eventually applied in the legend of William Tell, and thus also in their design by Friedrich Schiller. The plant is completely preserved in a single printing, Paris 1514.