Under the auspices of Archbishop Absalon the monks of Sorb began to compile the annals of Denmark, and at the end of the 12th century Svend Aagesen, a cleric of Lund, compiled from Icelandic sources and oral tradition his Compendiosa historic regum Daniae.
As the archpastor of Denmark Absalon also rendered his country inestimable services, building churches and monasteries, introducing the religious orders, founding schools and doing his utmost to promote civilization and enlightenment.
From Arkona Absalon proceeded by sea to Garz, in south Rugen, the political capital of the Wends, and an all but impregnable stronghold.
The third archbishop of Lund was Absalon (1128-1201), Denmark's first great statesman, who so materially assisted Valdemar I.
The same year (1158) which saw Valdemar ascend the Danish throne saw Absalon elected bishop of Roskilde.
They founded the monastery of Sord as a civilizing centre, and after giving Absalon the rudiments of a sound education at home, which included not only book-lore but every manly and martial exercise, they sent him to the university of Paris.
Both Absalon and Valdemar narrowly escaped assassination at the hands of their treacherous host on this occasion, but at length escaped to Jutland, whither Sweyn followed them, but was defeated and slain at the battle of Grathe Heath.
Henceforth Absalon was the chief counsellor of Valdemar, and the promoter of that imperial policy which, for three generations, was to give Denmark the dominion of the Baltic. Briefly, it was Absalon's intention to clear the northern sea of the Wendish pirates, who inhabited that portion of the Baltic littoral which we now call Pomerania, and ravaged the Danish coasts so unmercifully that at the accession of Valdemar one-third of the realm of Denmark lay wasted and depopulated.
The very existence of Denmark demanded the suppression and conversion of these stiff-necked pagan freebooters, and to this double task Absalon devoted the best part of his life.