(fl.mid-12th cent.-early 13th cent.) Danish historian. Little is known of Saxo's life except that he was a Zealander from a family of warriors and probably served as clerk to the archbishop of Lund. His 16-volume Gesta Danorum ("Story of the Danes") is the first important work on the history of Denmark and the first Danish contribution to world literature. A panorama of his country's antiquity and traditions, it inspired many 19th-cent. Danish Romantic poets and was the original source of the story of W. Shakespeare's Hamlet. Saxo's brilliant, ornate Latin earned him the name "Grammaticus" in the 14th cent.