Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Devil's Bible

Codex Gigas (Giant Book) or The Devil's Bible

(89,5 x 49 cm, weighs 75 kg), contains the Old and New Testaments in pre-Vulgate Latin translations, Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae, Josephus' History of the Jews in a Latin translation, the Chronicle of Bohemia, written by Cosmas of Prague, etc. The manuscript was written in the early 13th century in the Benedictine monastery of Podlazice in Bohemia, the vellum used having been prepared from the skins of 160 asses. It is called the Devil's Bible after the impressive picture of that potentate. According to legend the scribe was a monk who had been confined to his cell for some breach of monastic discipline and who, by way of penance, finished the manuscript in one single night with the aid of the Devil whom he had summoned to help him. In 1594 the manuscript was acquired by the Imperial Treasury in Prague. When the Swedish army conquered the city in 1648, it was brought to Sweden and presented to the KB the following year.

from The European Digital Library Treasures - The European Library

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