The Codex Gigas
Also known as the Devils Bible, the Codex is the largest manuscript in the world, written in the 13th century in Latin, it is 1 meter in length, 165 lbs, and takes two people to lift. It currently resides in the National Library of Stockholm.
The Legend of It’s Creation
- According to myth, the Codex was written by a monk who was sentences to death for breaking his vows. He made a pact with the Devil to write it in one night, with the Devils help, in order to prove to his monastery that he was worthy.
- Besides this myth, nothing is known about the books creator.
- Half of the Codex is simply just a translation of the Old Testament and the New Testament.
- The two are separated by a copy of Josephus’ two histories of the Jews (antiquities of the jews) as well as De Bello Iudaico’s Encyclopedic Etymologae.
- It also contains eight medical writings by Hippocrates and other important figures of the time
- The Chronicle of Bohemia by Cosmas of Prague also takes up a large portion of the book.
- Smaller texts include texts on exorcisms, magic formulas, a picture of the Heavenly City, and a full page depiction of the Devil (both pictured above).
- The last fourteen pages are a Calender
Odd Facts about the Codex
- After being studied over and over, it’s practically perfect, without any typo’s despite being hand-written.
- Based on the handwriting, the book was written by one person.
- According to experts, even with strict devotion and every day writing, the Codex would have taken 25-30 years to finish.
- Despite this, the handwriting virtually doesn’t change from front to finish, almost like it was written in one day.
- The ink, made from insects, also virtually doesn’t change throughout the book despite the fact it should have (as bugs change from season to season and year to year, and ink doesn’t stay)
- In the picture of the City of Heaven, no people can be seen in the city.
- The pages surrounding the Portrait of the Devil are darker than the other pages of the book.
- Leaders of the catholic church admit to having no record of both the spells and the exorcisms listed in the book.
The Curse of the Codex
- According to legend, sorrow and tragedy befalls people who have owned the Codex in the past.
- Myths of previous owners include a monastery that contracted one of the worst cases of the bubonic plague after receiving the book, and the castle where the book was being held burning down, the book being thrown out a window in order to be saved from the flames.
- However, nothing has happened to the library it is currently being held.
If you want to know more, a documentary about the book called The Devils Bible, is on Netflix!