Mysteries of Devil’s Bible


At times mythology is more interesting than true facts. According to a legend in the 13th century in the present day country of Czech Republic a monk was condemned to be walled alive in a room of the monastery where he resided. The monk had violated some regulations and committed serious crimes.

Devil’s Bible or Codex Gigas

To get a retrieve from death he made a deal with the superiors. He promised to create a copy of Bible written by hand within one night. This was an astonishing task and the monks believed it could not be completed. So they approved. They decided that the monk would be set free if the task was accomplished. The monk set upon his task. Into his task he realised no matter how hard he tried the Bible could not be copied before morning. Around midnight the monk made a pact with the devil (the Prince of Darkness). He promised that if the task was completed devil could not only have his soul but a large and horrifying portrait of the devil will be included in the Bible.

Devil’s Bible is the largest surviving Medieval Manuscript

The devil agreed and the following morning when the other monks entered they found a massive book in the room. They inspected the book carefully and it contained all contents of Bible as promised. So the monk was released. This book came to be known as Codex Gigas (Giant Book) or the Devil’s Bible. The monastery soon became a site for pilgrimage. Scholars analysing the book claim that it is 36 inches tall, 20 inches wide and nine inches thick. The book weighs 160 pounds and holds the title for largest medieval manuscript known till date. The pages of this book are made of donkey skin.

Devil’s Image is found in the Book

But the Devil’s Bible very mysteriously is incomplete. Some pages of this book are missing. Some scholars feel these missing pages contained some information that would be too sinister to reveal. The book contains Testaments of the Bible, medical texts, ancient encyclopaedia and a calendar. The threads of this legend are contained within the book; there is a large portrait of the devil in the book. Scholars believe that instead of one night the book might have been compiled in 20 years.

The book remained at the monastery till 1594 after which it was presented to the Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolf II. It remained with the emperor till 1648. It was taken away by the victorious Swedes to Stockholm. When a fire broke out in the Swedish Royal Library in 1697 the book was thrown out of the upper story window to save it. Some of the pages got loose and were lost in the process.

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