Author Topic: Codex Gigas  (Read 115 times)

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Codex Gigas
« on: November 29, 2019, 01:01:37 PM »

     The Codex Gigas is the largest manuscript in history, which is why it was called Gigas. It is also known as the Devil's Bible because of a very unusual full-page portrait of the devil, and the legend surrounding its creation.
     The wooden covers are leather-clad and reinforced with metal ornaments. The book's dimensions are 92 cm high, 50 cm wide and 22 cm thick which required 160 donkey skin for its material. The book weighs almost 75 kg. It consists of 320 parchments, of which eight are missing. It is unknown who removed the pages or for what purpose, but it seems likely that they contained the Benedictine monastic rules. The author of the Code is not mentioned. Nor is his reason or purpose known. Graphic analyzes indicate that the Codex was written by a single person, who devoted 20 to 35 years of his life to create this work. The Codex was written in the Benedictine convent of Podlazice. The last registration of the Code is from 1229.


     The Code includes many religious texts. The whole Old Testament, Isidore's "Etymology" of Seville, Joseph Flavius' Antiquitates Judaicae, Prague's Bohemian Chronicle, various essays, stories and etymologies, physiology, a diary, a catalog with miracles and many other. The text is written in Latin and contains many colorful illustrations.

     A myth surrounds the Code. According to this myth, a monk was convicted and was to be buried alive. The monk asked to be released from his conviction and promised in return for one night to write a book containing all the knowledge of humanity. Near midnight, he became sure that he could not complete this task alone so he made a special prayer. Then the devil appeared and the monk sold his soul. The devil completed the manuscript and the monk added the devil's picture out of gratitude for his aid. In tests to recreate the work, it is estimated that reproducing only the calligraphy, without the illustrations or embellishments, would have taken twenty years of non-stop writing.