The Codex Gigas

The Codex Gigas is a giant Medieval Bible. It is known for being the largest existent Medieval manuscript in the world! It also contains a full-page drawing of the devil which it is famous for also. It has historical texts alongside the Bible part of it too. It is made of 310 leaves of vellum (animal skin used as paper) and weighs 165 pounds! It was probably created in the early 13th century in a monastery in Bohemia which is the modern Czech Republic. The Codex Gigas has many illustrations and was thought to be written by one scribe alone!

The manuscript includes illuminations in red, blue, yellow, green and gold. Capital letters are elaborately illuminated, frequently across the entire page. The codex has a unified look as the nature of the writing is unchanged throughout, showing no signs of age, disease or mood on the part of the scribe. This may have led to the belief that the whole book was written in a very short time (see Legend), but scientists are starting to believe and research the theory that it took over 20 years to complete. (Wikipedia)

It is currently in the National Museum of Sweden in Stockholm. There was a Medieval legend that the monk that created it broke his monastic vows and to avoid punishment, he promised to make the Codex in one night. In the legend, the devil helps him, and he drew the devil picture in gratitude. Talk about an all-nighter! Codex Gigas means “giant book”!



About History Is Interesting

I like ancient and medieval history!
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