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Codex Gigas - Bracket - 07-05-2010 10:29 PM

The Codex Gigas, literally translated from Latin meaning "Giant Book", (also known as the Devil's Bible) is the largest medieval manuscript in the world, thought to have been created in the early 13th century in the Benedictine monastery of PodlaĹžice in Bohemia. It is 36.2 inches tall, 19.7 inches wide and 8.6 inches thick with 320 vellum pages (though eight of these were subsequently removed) and weighs in at 165 pounds. The original manuscript is kept in a climate controlled store room at the National Library in Stockholm and is not on display for the general public.

[Image: Devil_codex_Gigas.jpg]

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The Codex includes the entire Latin Vulgate version of the Bible. It also includes Isidore of Seville's encyclopedia Etymologiae, two historical works by Flavius Josephus, local history of Bohemia, various essays (from history, etymology and physiology) and a calendar with necrologium (a list of people with the days of their deaths or dates of remembrance). There are also some short texts in the manuscript. The first is a work on penitence. The second, after the Devil portrait (seen below), is on exorcising demons. The entire document is written in Latin and has a unified look, as the nature of the writing is unchanged throughout which possibly indicates that the whole book was written by one person and took up to, and possibly over, 20 years to complete. Modern studies in linguistics suggests the monk was in total solitary confinement, possibly self imposed. No other work of his has been identified and where he was trained is unknown.

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Legend says that the author was a monk who broke his monastic vows and was sentenced to be walled up alive. In order to evade this harsh penalty he promised to create in one single night a book to glorify the monastery forever, including all human knowledge. Near midnight he became sure that he could not complete this task alone, so he made a special prayer, not to God but to the Devil, asking him to help him finish the book in exchange for his soul. The devil completed the codex and the monk added the devil's picture out of gratitude. It is also speculated that the inscription of various exorcism spells is the monk trying to exorcise Satan out by himself.

[Image: Codex_Gigas_devil.jpg]

All the texts in the manuscript were of great importance to monastic life. The work was compiled in a time of change, the beginning of the seventh century, when the Catholic Church in Spain had defeated Arianism, the version of Christianity embraced by the Visigoths, though it was subsequently banned by the Inguisition. The main purpose of much of the codex was, by investigating the beginning of words, to answer the question of the origin and genesis of the entire universe in all its forms, all human activity included. The past in all its variation was to be made visible. In essence, it was created to contain all known human knowledge. But for what purpose is not truely known.


RE: Codex Gigas - howoldami - 07-05-2010 10:44 PM

That's some pretty interesting stuff, I'm going to have to look into that some more. Much thanks Smile


RE: Codex Gigas - Bracket - 07-05-2010 10:46 PM

(07-05-2010 10:44 PM)howoldami Wrote:  That's some pretty interesting stuff, I'm going to have to look into that some more. Much thanks Smile

Yeah, i found it interesting too. It makes me think of HP Lovecraft's Necronomicon.


RE: Codex Gigas - scarygirl67 - 07-06-2010 06:54 AM

That is exactly what I was thinking. I wonder if he was inspired by it when he created the Necronomicon.

This is really interesting stuff Bracket...thanks for posting it!


RE: Codex Gigas - 1TxLady - 07-06-2010 07:44 AM

Thanks for the post, Bracket .. i watched a docu on this a while back .. forget whether it was on Discovery or the History Channel. Really interesting stuff... I thought then as I do now ... hardly could the monk have written it in one night.


RE: Codex Gigas - Bracket - 07-06-2010 11:28 AM

Oh, one thing i forgot to mention is that, in the first pic, the page on the left is a painting of the "City of Heaven".


RE: Codex Gigas - UglyNRude - 07-06-2010 11:33 AM

(07-06-2010 11:28 AM)Bracket Wrote:  Oh, one thing i forgot to mention is that, in the first pic, the page on the left is a painting of the "City of Heaven".

They've changed it alot since that was drawn, modernized, building taller buildings to accommodate the over crowding.


RE: Codex Gigas - Bracket - 07-06-2010 11:36 AM

(07-06-2010 11:33 AM)UglyNRude Wrote:  
(07-06-2010 11:28 AM)Bracket Wrote:  Oh, one thing i forgot to mention is that, in the first pic, the page on the left is a painting of the "City of Heaven".

They've changed it alot since that was drawn, modernized, building taller buildings to accommodate the over crowding.

Yet the lines are always hell. Blueud


RE: Codex Gigas - Bracket - 07-10-2010 11:21 AM

(07-06-2010 06:54 AM)scarygirl67 Wrote:  That is exactly what I was thinking. I wonder if he was inspired by it when he created the Necronomicon.

This is really interesting stuff Bracket...thanks for posting it!

I actually think he was influenced by fictional grimoire created by fellow writers like Clark Ashton Smith's Book of Eibon, Robert Bloch's De Vermis Mysteriis and Robert E. Howard's Unaussprechlichen Kulten.
(07-06-2010 07:44 AM)1TxLady Wrote:  Thanks for the post, Bracket .. i watched a docu on this a while back .. forget whether it was on Discovery or the History Channel. Really interesting stuff... I thought then as I do now ... hardly could the monk have written it in one night.

Yeah, i think that was National Geographic.

They say it's 20 years worth of writing. They don't say how long it actually took. Blueud


RE: Codex Gigas - 1TxLady - 07-10-2010 12:57 PM

Yes, but as you posted and as the docu I watched told ...it was supposedly written in one night because he sold his soul to the Satan in return for the creating the Giga.

The monks must have banded together on this tale........ unless it is true, that is... hmmmmm