Codex Gigas: The Devil’s Bible

In the early 13th century, a book came into existence that mystifies the literary and theological worlds to this day. Not much is known about this manuscript called the Codex Gigas (Giant Book).  Many legends and myths have grown around its origins.  That this book has created so much speculation is not shocking.  The very appearance and content of the Codex, also called The Devil’s Bible,  are as mysterious as the quandary of its creation.  It holds the distinction of having once been regarded as the 8th Wonder of the World.

The Codex Gigas is the largest Medieval Manuscript in the world.  Bound within a leather covered wooden folder, ornamented with metal, the giant book is 92 cm (36.2in.) tall, 50 cm (19.7in.) wide and 22 cm (8.6in.) thick.  It originally contained 320 pages, however 8 were removed by unknown hands for unknown reasons.  Weighing in at an incredible 165 pounds, the vellum (calf or donkey skin) pages were created out of approximately 160 animals.

Devil_codex_Gigas

Image Courtesy of The Royal Library, National Library of Sweden (http://www.kb.se)

So, who wrote this Giant Book?  It is believed to have originated from the Benedictine monastery of Podlažice in Bohemia in what is now the Czech Republic.  Attributed to a Monk known as Herman the Recluse, the records in the codex end in the year 1229.  Legend has it that good old Herman was a monk who broke his monastic vows.  As punishment, he was sentenced to be sealed alive into the walls of the monastery.  In an effort to circumvent said sentence, Herman vowed to create a book to glorify the monastery for all time.  The book was to contain all vital human knowledge.  He promised to complete this book in one night.

He set about his task, but as the witching hour approached, Herman became convinced that his goal was unattainable.  Rather than praying to God for mercy as a good monk should, he made a plea to the fallen one himself….Satan.

Of course being the agreeable fellow that he is, Satan completed the book, and Herman showed his gratitude by adding the now infamous illustration of the Devil himself.   The Devil then possessed poor Herman, who was forced to add a number of exorcism spells within the Codex in an attempt to exorcise himself.

Legends are funny things.  It seems that the legend about Herman making a pact with the devil is more likely a mistranslation of the word inclusus, which rather than meaning “walled up alive”, more literally means choosing to live a solitary life.

Codex_Gigas_devil

The Devil says “Cheese!” on page 290 of the Codex Gigas.

  However, as experts have analyzed the book, it does appear to have been written entirely by the same hand, and is not beyond belief that perhaps Herman was commissioned to write the Codex as a form of punishment. But it certainly took him more than one night.  Scholars estimate that the book would have taken a minimum of 25-30 years to complete, including the time taken to rule the pages, write the text, and complete the illuminations and drawings.

Besides a desperate attempt at exorcising his own demon, what else did Herman put within the wooden covers of this massive tome?  Well, it contains the entire Latin Vulgate version of the Bible, except for the books of Acts and Revelation. It also contains mystical medical formulas for anything from treating fevers and epilepsy to resolving practical issues such as finding a thief.  It contains spells and incantations, as well as many other strange and bizarre inscriptions.  The above mentioned portrait of Satan is placed on a page that directly faces an illustration of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Comments

comments

35 Comments

  1. This sounds fascinating! I love this kind of stuff. As soon as I get a chance I’ll watch the whole video.

  2. Although I was raised in an amalgam of protestant Christian faiths, I’ve always had a fascination (sp?) with the fallen.

    Sometime within the next year (or two), I intend to read both “Paradise Lost” and “The Divine Comedy.”

    I’d also like to get ahold of the ancient texts that were left out of the Bible.

  3. Check out the Devil’s Bible/Codex Gigas in fiction.
    SCARS ON THE FACE OF GOD: THE DEVIL’S BIBLE, a novel by C. G. Bauer
    amazon.com, fictionwise.com, drolleriepress.com, cgbauer.net

  4. adam ashley

    my name is adam ashley and i was pazested a few days ago and i was told by the demon inside me that i need to read the codex gigas so if you would send me everything you have translated to english to my email i would be more than greatfull my email adress is ashley.adam@ymail.com. i am begging you to send me whatever you have because i need to read it for my own safty my life does depend on it

    ps if you want to send it by mail my adress is 7167 burning tree ct. mobile al. 36695
    thank you and please hurry

    • Ernesto Lynch

      Are you dead by now?

      • Katy

        That’s funny! Lol

  5. Henry mateus

    The devil’s bible is real, and there is a hell.

    All the volcanic ash that a volcano let’s out is the burn souls that the devil has placed people in the fire to burn.
    The volcano when it becomes active and let’s out this ash is to discharge from hell after a amount of pressure has build up from all the doom soul’s burn, as indicated in one of Satan’s passage of his bible.

    This bible is only but a non-complete copy of he original one, as the real bible is maid of human skin and inked in blood.

    If this bible does not carry a passage that explains this, then it’s not complete.

  6. Daniel

    Well…
    Look it: http://www.wdl.org/pt/item/3042/pages.html#volume/1/page/1

    The demon’s picture is in the page 577. This book is in Latin, but its a bible with the new and old testment.

  7. Konosuke Saikee

    First of all let us remain rational…we should as human try to derive facts from this reality (i’m christian by the way..) are these myths?(not the book, I know it’s real) Was the story about the challenge of the monk real? If so, did he really meet the devil ,a believer, what probility if so? Could he have lost his faith to such a point? a lot to think..huh?. Well I like thinking meta…Secondly, is it possible for a human to write a manuscrite of such volume in one single..2 possibilities arises or even 3 ..one could say..this is really the work of the devil..2nd flaws and lies were passed down in history..3rd a possibility it was something else ..a factor G(too complex to derive though)
    Of courses bearing the evidence of theological aspects being described in the book reveals us the degree of the handcraft, the complexity of chaining lines goes on but the more it goes down the more consistent the structure of his words should be and the more obvious the weak spot become..I’m sure this book even if not decribe as so is both lie and truth..I’ll find out

  8. Mike

    This is just a question, not trying to offend, but, why can people take somethings as simple fact, virgin birth,ressurection etc…, but the speed a book was written is worth debate. Not saying this myth is true, I just wonder how someone can accept certain myths as fact, but question other myths equally strange or less?

    have a great day people

  9. peruanoloco92

    I THINK WE ARE DICOVERING 2 MUCH ABOUT THE PAST..
    MAYBE THATS WHAT IS GONNA KILL US..

  10. Cassie

    Some people are retarted….Just because this book has a certain picture in it does NOT prove that the devil wrote the book, perhaps we should use some common sence in saying that these things were some of the “common knowledge’ of the day, that someone just wanted to write down the history of all the things they knew or believed. All of this other crap about it is stupid. I’m not saying that God and the devil don’t exist because I am a big believer in the Lord Almighty and that one day he will come for his followers, I’m saying that don’t you think that if it was something like that that God wouldn’t have let us find it? Why find this and not the ten commandments or the ark of the covenant??? I beleive we only find what God allows us too and that he will only revel these things in his time NOT ours and that people need to quit reading crap itno these things that there is no proof of.

  11. Anonymous

    This book is real i have seen it. However it is just that. A very old book with bible quotes, remedies and so on. The only devilish part is the pic of the “devil” which on the other page next to it is a heaven like structure. Showing heaven and hell.

  12. Is it possible that the devil wrote this book? I seriously doubt it. IT IS possible that someone under demonic influence could have written the book. Is the devil egotistic? Yes. Is he arrogant? Of course! Would he possess some one for 25-30 years just to write a book? No. But could he send a minion to do it and relay messages? OF COURSE! Does this mean it is plausible the devil wrote the book through someone else? Sure why not.

  13. altagracia.

    i believe that its called the devil’s bible to scare those who read it into thinking its bad. so yea it had a pic of the devil on but you can’t just look at things as it is, you have to find the meaning behind it, back then when monks wrote the bible by hands they were given a certain way on how to write it. i believe that this one monk decided to do things differently,i don’t believe the legend is true. to me it doesn’t seem logical i think the real thing that we should be more interested about are the stories with in it. what if in this book all of lives secrets are there. we have been made to believe that spells and witchcraft and stuff like that are evil.. if u ever get a chance to look up some of that stuff u’d find out that the word witch means wise women, who were able to see past what normal people could see. if u look at a man back then who was able to see the future u would say he was a prophet but if it was a women she would be considered a witch. we’ve lived in that influence in this whole good vs evil thing yet no one can actually describe what true evil is. so what if this book had all these answer’s. and what if back then the monks didn’t want this book to be found knowing that everything in this book is a contradiction to what we know and live for today?

  14. It is a very controversial book, indeed. I have watched part of the video. How they scrutinized each and every detail to entail and find out who the culprit/writer could be & I can see it was not easy. The deduction from many, to a single monk–from many reason down to one, you would really understand that the monk was indeed very observant, creative and in a great longing to free himself from the punishment. For me, the monk felt that he is on a journey of discoveries, leading him to understand more the evil side. No one can really be sure if these medications & incantations found in the book was just a pigment of a playful imagination gathered from observations/experiences or was the monk an actual witness of the the devil’s power. Who knows..yet it survived. The monk might have gained the idea of writing a different kind of bible because he had seen the great power, God’s bible had on it’s believers. Believing that his work would do the same, thinking that the book would carry with it his monastery’s name was more than enough innovation to spend your entire life making it.

  15. carie5150

    i believe this book is the end product of a monks punishments through many years. their punishments were to write scriptures while in isolation. every time the codex is referred to, it name is followed with ‘devils bible’. is the purpose of this to taint the reality of what the codex may really be? could this be a copy of the ‘real’ bible by way of a monks scripture-punishment? is the vatican behind the intentional demonization of the codex? and if so, is it merely to maintain some sense of control over the masses by editing the codex down to the ‘bible’ used today? the 8 pages missing, where abouts in the codex were they pulled from? the documentary was silly and contridicted itself over and over. also it was decieving in the fact that it tried to attach some curse to the codex. the king that fell into depression and reclusive bi-polaristic actions had nothing to do with the codex. it was stated in the piece that he suffered from melancholy early in childhood; so how is that due to bad luck from the codex? it doesn’t.

  16. jemol

    i want this book i need it i really and throughly love this

  17. jemol

    last night in my dream i saw that book.i even felt a demon over me i could not go back to bed.today i kept hearing voices telling me to find my destiny.please…….anyone………… please could u guys help me and explain to me whats going on,i need to know my mom said that my dad is dead because of this book.if there is anything you guys know please send it to me in my email.it is jemolfreestyler@hotmail.com.

  18. =)

    @ jemol…your screwed!!!!! jk

  19. Health = 13

    —Freedom—

  20. frankbrown

    I have found the eight missing pages from The Codex Gigas. If you wish to read them please email me at frbrn171@yahoo.com.

  21. nameless

    I saw the Nat Geo thing tonight. There was no translation of anything in the book! There was no ‘meat’ at all in the pablum that was offered, over and over, in that child’s entertainment of a ‘show’! It was a ‘show’ (que eerie music), entertainment and not science.
    It was disappointing.
    I didnt want to hear what the spooky narrator and the occassional commentator/expert had to say; I wanted to hear what the ‘devil’ had to say! What could they have been afraid of? That they (the Xtians) would lose converts to a superior philosophy? Hmmmm?

  22. :/

    Im trying to find to find some information about The Devils Bible. But everything ive found so far is comfusing, i need someone, who isnt going to be a negative nelly about it to explain to me, What The Devils bible is, what it says, who made it, why, and the fokelore behind it. If you have any info, message me at lucky7335@hotmail.com

    Thank you.

  23. psycho

    The devil is real… I know, I dated his daughter.

  24. c

    islam is the only way because the christians have too many mistakes in the bibble and a lot of betrayers that we dont even know and etc………. if u realize that the devil is real then why are we still making jokes about it we have proof that he is real so wait when the day will come and we will see how funny it will be when we are hiding behind rocks crying for murcy too god read the koran and u will understand a lot of christians have embraced the islam , islam is peace itself people have ruined because of the holocaust when the jews went to palistine and kicked out the moslims thats the first reason the second reason for the economic plan in europe (rothchilds) are also behind the holocaust so why manny people still dont getting it that a muslim image is ruined and destroyed for always because of the propaganda and lies from world war 2 and now the terrorist movies

    • Delores Newman

      The problem I have with your way of life is your so-called honor killings and the beheading of Christians and sending children and women in as human bombs to kill more innocent people. Why don’t your imam use their selves if it is such an hour to do so. I would truly like to have this explained to me, because I cannot fanthom doing this to my children. I have other questions but this is a start. Thank you.

  25. SAHEED PIERZ

    Yea,though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,Iwill fear no evil:for thou art with me;thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.May MY FATHER JESUS CHRIST THAT DWELLS UP IN HEAVEN HAVE MERCY UPON YOUR LOST SOULS,AMEN

  26. Toby

    Good and bad both exist, its up to each one of us to choose what we wish to do…

  27. Interesting stuff indeed. I just wish people would be a little less childish and stop jumping the gun when it comes to the books origins. x

  28. Marley Hatchet

    A lot of you seem to be delusional morons. This book primarily contains information about botany, alchemy, medicine, etc etc. There is nothing evil about a medieval monk copying down a bunch of information into a giant manuscript; it was what they spent the majority of their lives doing. There is nothing questionable about its origins, so stop living in a fantasy land.

  29. Shaun Toxican Raptonian

    Interesting that Abaddons work is considered to be mephis mmmhhh to all of u choose ur fates carefully we watch over u and u still say god with the miracles…..he is not around and he has not been here eva since the bloodshot of evelym hehehe now u resort to unlogical answers to everything serve us and ur afterlife shall be as glorious beyond as time itself am i real u will decide Reign of The Shauns….@facebook.com Shaun Toxican Raptonian

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ’0 which is not a hashcash value.

  30. anna ali

    im amazed by da souls crushing in da hands of satan himself, he was once taken off the heaven for a human and now da humans wanna restore is propaganda.
    if God did not exist tell me how lucifer did, as if there is no God who threw him out of the heaven to turn into a devil.
    first kindly be mature enough to understand than grab da hold on things like this.

  31. matt

    i want to read it

  32. OLÁ ! Gostaria de saber sobre aquilo que muitos não entendem e poucos sabem que existe. quero expandir minha mente…OK

    Admin translation: HELLO! I wonder about what many do not understand and few know exists. I want to expand my mind

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