He early made himself known as a poet, especially by glorifying the exploits of the contemporary Norse kings and earls; at the same time he was a learned lawyer, and from 1215 became the lOgsiigumaar, or president of the legislative assembly and supreme court of Iceland.
Simultaneously, on the commission of the pope, Raphael decorated the Vatican with frescoes glorifying the Church and the papacy.
His guiding principle in treating both of the history and of the present condition of the church was - that Christianity has room for the various tendencies of human nature, and aims at permeating and glorifying them all; that according to the divine plan these various tendencies are to occur successively and simultaneously and to counterbalance each other, so that the freedom and variety of the development of the spiritual life ought not to be forced into a single dogmatic form" (Otto Pfleiderer, Development of Theology, p. 280).
Of his lost works the most important was the Historia Gothorum, written with the object of glorifying the Gothic royal house and proving that the Goths and Romans had long been connected by ties of friendship. It was published during the reign of Athalaric, and appears to have brought the history down to the death of Theodoric. His chief authority for Gothic history and legend was Ablavius (Ablabius).
In it were found the winged lions, now in the British Museum, the fine series of sculptured bas-reliefs glorifying the deeds of Assur-nasir-pal in war and peace, and the large collection of bronze vessels and implements, numbering over 200 pieces; (b) the Central palace, in the interior of the mound, toward its southern end, erected by Shalmaneser II.