Friday, December 3, 2010

The Codex Gigas - The Devil's Bible

The Codex Gigas (English: Giant Book) is the largest extant medieval manuscript in the world. It is also known as the Devil's Bible because of a large illustration of the devil on the inside and the legend surrounding its creation. It is thought to have been created in the early 13th century in the Benedictine monastery of Podlažice in Bohemia (modern Czech Republic). It contains the Vulgate Bible as well as many historical documents all written in Latin. During the Thirty Years' War in 1648, the entire collection was taken by the Swedish army as plunder, and now it is preserved at the National Library of Sweden in Stockholm.

About half of the Codex consists of the entire Latin Bible in the Vulgate version, except for the books of Acts and Revelation, which are from a pre-Vulgate version. They are in the order Genesis-Ruth, Isaiah-Daniel, Hosea-Malachi, Job, Samuel & Kings, Psalms-Song of Solomon, Wisdom of Solomon, Wisdom of Jesus, Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Esther, Maccabees. Between the Testaments are Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews and Wars of the Jews, as well as Isidore of Seville's encyclopedia Etymologiae and medical works of Hippocrates, Theophilus, Philaretus, and Constantinus. Following a blank page, the New Testament commences with Matthew-Acts, James-Revelation, and Romans-Hebrews. Following the picture of the devil, Cosmas of Prague's Chronicle of Bohemia, a list of brothers in the Podlažice monastery, and a calendar with necrologium, magic formulae and other local records round out the codex. The entire document is written in Latin, other than Hebrew, Greek, and Slavonic alphabets on the first page.

This is a National Geographic documentary on the Codex Gigas:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

The Codex Gigas also gives detailed instructions for confronting the devil:

Please post your comments.


Post a Comment

Please use a name or a pseudonym when posting a comment.