Absalon, or Axel

Absalon, or Axel archbishop of Lund, in Sweden, and primate of the kingdoms of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, was born in the island of Zealand, in 1128. After finishing his studies at Paris, he devoted himself to the priesthood, and was appointed bishop of Roeskilde in 1158. He was at the same time made prime-minister and general of the armies of Waldemar. In the latter capacity he overcame the Wends, and established Christianity there. In 1178 he was made archbishop of Lund, but still retained the see of Roeskilde, and remained in Zealand until 1191. He also quelled a rebellion in the district of Schoonen; and after Canute VI had ascended the throne he helped this prince in repulsing his rival, the Duke of Pomerania, and in conquering Mecklenbourg and Estonia. These occupations did not prevent his attending diligently to his clerical duties. In 1187 he called a national council to regulate the ceremonial of the churches. He was also a patron of the sciences and of literature. He died in the convent of Soroe in 1201. — Neander, Ch. Hist. 4, 31; Illgen, Zeitschrift, 1832, 1.

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