Friday, January 25, 2013

Codex Gigas

My amazing husband, who is far more scholarly than I could ever hope to be, sent me a link to some images of the Codex Gigas aka "The Devil's Bible" the other day.  Codex Gigas, Latin for "Large book" lives up to its name being 890 mm tall by 490 mm wide, (35.04 Inches by 19.29 inches) and 310 parchment leaves thick.  That's nearly 3 feet tall by 1.5 feet wide.  Closed!  Just imagine how huge this thing is when open.  It is probably the biggest European Medieval manuscript to have survived.

There are many interesting stories about it, since it is said to have been created by one single man.  There is a legend that it was a monk who sold his soul to the devil and created this piece in one night after doing so.  Much of this has to do with the huge page donning an image of the devil.

It's an utterly fascinating book.  I urge you to watch this National Geographic piece on it if you are at all interested in manuscript arts.  You can also browse images of the manuscript at the National Library of Sweden.