Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Dark Legend Of The Devil’s Bible


The Codex Gigas, or Devil’s Bible, a massive and mysterious text from the Middle Ages, is believed by many to have been conjured by the Devil himself, reports Elisabeth Tilstra at The Lineup:

Housed within the National Library of Sweden in Stockholm is a mysterious religious text with a wicked reputation.
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Maquette of the Codex Gigas, originally from Podlažice Monastery. Photo: Josef Hron (CC)

The Codex Gigas is believed to be the largest surviving medieval manuscript in the world. Contained within its pages are numerous Christian writings – including a complete version of the Vulgate Bible, which later became the Catholic Church’s official Latin translation.
The book’s most intriguing entry, however, is a menacing full-page color illustration of the Devil. It is this drawing that earned the text its nickname of the Devil’s Bible – and convinced many that its pages are cursed by the sinister power of the dark prince.


Historians believe the text originated in the Benedictine monastery of Podlažice, Czech Republic in the early 13th century. It measures 36 inches tall by 20 inches wide and is nearly 9 inches thick, requiring two people to lift all 165 pounds of its leather binding, metal trim, and vellum pages. Its name means “Giant Book” in Latin, yet much of the manuscript’s mystique lies in the legend of its creation.


The ancient tale tells of a monk from the Middle Ages who, after breaking his monastic vows, was sentenced to the particularly cruel death of being walled up alive. In a desperate attempt to avoid his harsh punishment, the monk promised to write – in a single night – a book that glorified the monastery and contained all human knowledge…

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