The Legend of the Devil's Bible (Codex Gigas)
The Devil's Bible
The proper name of the Devil's Bible is the Codex Gigas. In Latin, Codex Gigas translates to "big book" and the Devil's Bible certainly is very large. It's so big that it cannot be carried by just one person. It weighs over a hundred pounds and is more than three feet long. The book is the largest manuscript written during Medieval times. The Codex Gigas is like no other text that has ever been created. It has been a great mystery, has brought about much fear, and has been desired by many.
The Holy Bible is in the Devil's Bible
The Devils Bible is kept in Sweden, but originates from the Czech Republic. It is believed to be a powerfully written piece of work. Some believe that Satan himself is the inspiration of this writing. Inside, there is a nearly 3 foot tall, full page portrait of the Devil. This is a unique picture and no one knows who created it or where it came from. In addition to the text and the portrait of Satan, the Devil's Bible contains many other images. The book is full of images placed near the edges of the pages. The entire New and Old Testament of the Holy Bible are contained in the pages of this book. It also contains all manner of incantations and spells. The Devil's Bible contains many things that would otherwise never appear in the same text as the Holy Bible. It is an amazing book that has brought forth many questions and much mystery.
Something of a Mystery
The Devil's Bible was written by just one person. His name was Herman, the Recluse. Legend says that Herman the Recluse wrote the Devil's Bible in just one night, but it is much more likely it took most of his life. There is nothing left out and no mistakes have ever been found in the book. To write such a book would have been a huge undertaking, especially in those days. It is still a mystery as to exactly how this was accomplished.
The people who discovered the Devil's Bible believed that it was written by a condemned monk who had sold his soul to the Devil. The monk was said to have been from a monastery in Bohemia. Apparently, the monk was in jail and had been sentenced to death. He pleaded for his life and attempted to bargain with the elders who wished to put him to death.
Monks lived by very strict codes of conduct. They practiced horrible self-abusive activities and would often deprive themselves of food or sleep. Punishments were even worse. A guilty monk could be placed in solitary confinement and starved to death. Herman the Recluse did not want to die, so he negotiated a deal with the Elders. He promised them that he would write a book. A book that contained the entire Bible and the whole of Human knowledge. He swore he would do it in just one night, if they would spare his life. If he was not successful, they could kill him without objection. The Elders thought this would be impossible, so they accepted the deal. According to the legend, Herman the Recluse faced being buried alive inside a wall, if he did not complete his task. That was to be the way of his death sentence. He obviously would have tried to avoid that fate if at all possible. He worked feverishly until his hands were bleeding. Very late into the night he believed that he could not carry on. He gave up, could not do it, so he asked for help from none other than Satan. According to the legend, Satan answered. Apparently, Satan guided the hand of Herman the Recluse. This is how the Devil's Bible was completed by just one man in just one night. This is the only book in history credited to the Devil. This is the legend of how the Codex Gigas came to be.
Bad Luck Follows Owners
It seems that everyone who had this book experienced disaster in one form or another. As if life during those days was not hard enough, having possession of the Devil's Bible seems to have only made things worse. It's been passed from hand to hand, and bad luck seems to accompany its journey. The Devil's Bible gained such a reputation of bad luck that a group of monks decided to bury it near a cemetery. Soon after burying it near the cemetery, the Black Plague struck. Tens of thousands of people ended up in that cemetery. It became completely full and even overflowing. So many people died that there was just no where left to put the bodies. The monks believed the plague was because of the Devil's Bible. They were so concerned by this that they ordered the book to be dug up and removed completely. They relocated it to a chapel that was decorated hideously with nothing but bones, Human bones. Everything in this bone chapel was made of or decorated with bones. It even had a chandelier made completely of Human bones. Such a place must have seemed totally appropriate for the Devil's Bible.
A King and a Kingdom Ruined
Another story was of a king named Rudolf. King Rudolf collected anything dealing with the Occult that he could get his hands on. As a result of his love for the Occult, King Rudolf went to great lengths to acquire the Devil's Bible. After much effort, he finally did get the Codex Gigas into his possession. It was not very long before he became very depressed and paranoid. King Rudolf never left the castle again and his entire kingdom went to ruin. He lost everyone who ever supported him. It was so bad that eventually even his very own family turned against him. They banished him from the entire kingdom. King Rudolf died alone without even one child to become heir to the throne. Nothing remained of him or his kingdom. Was his demise the direct result of possessing the Devil's Bible? Some people think so.
The Queen Dropped Everything and Ran Away
Later, a queen owned the book. Her name was Christina. Queen Christina was raised as a boy. She did not accept the title of Queen, but preferred to be addressed as King.
When she received the Codex Gigas, she had it placed in the castle library. She was very fond of it and had the book listed as her most valuable manuscript. Not long after the Devil's Bible was in her possession, she ran away to Rome and converted to Catholicism. Her most valuable book was left behind and she never wanted anything else to do with it.
When that castle caught fire, the Devil's Bible was tossed out a window in an attempt to save it. Maybe everyone would have been better off if they would have just let it burn, but then we would not have this amazing book if that had happened, now would we?
Experts have examined the Codex Gigas and have found some answers to many of the questions surrounding it. Experts say that monks would have blended their own inks using either metal shavings or insects. They concluded that the ink in the Devils Bible was made from insects. The unique mixture of the ink used to create the Devil's Bible suggests that the book was penned by just one author. This conclusion can be made because each author would have a slightly different mixture. If all ink samples show identical mixtures then the ink was made by the same person. Upon examination of the giant picture of Satan, it was, according to experts, created by an amateur. They concluded that the picture brings together descriptions of Satan from many other writings. It seems that a massive combining of many descriptions of the Devil were used to create the image. It seems clear that the image is inspired by Pagan beliefs and ancient evil gods. Whoever created that image must have had a detailed knowledge of the Occult. The experts all agree that the Devil's Bible really was created by just one person, but not in just one night. It took an entire lifetime to create this book. The experts have concluded that the pages are made of animal skin. Variations in the appearance of the pages are the result of UV rays from the Sun striking the pages. They concluded from this information that the page with the image of Satan had been open for the longest period of time. The hand writing analysis has shown consistent writing throughout the text. This analysis gives further credibility to the idea that one person did indeed write the whole book.
The experts have made it clear. The Devil's Bible was written by the monk named Herman the Recluse, and they figure it took him most of his life. Nothing else has ever been found to be written by him. It seems like an impossible task, but somehow he did it. The book is absolutely perfect with no flaws of any kind. It is beautiful and exquisite, frightening and alluring. It was a huge undertaking for anyone to have ever done this. Something must have drove him to it, maybe he really was facing death. In those days there were no computers or typewriters, no voice to text applications. There was just ink made from bugs and an extremely difficult pen to use. They did not have a readily available stack of white paper, they used animal skin. How do you think they got that? Certainly not as easy as going by the store to pick up some printer paper by any means. It seems impossible, but here we have it. The Devil's Bible is said to be the only book in history written by Satan. It seems there must have been something powerful motivating this monk named Herman. Surely, this is one of the most interesting books ever written.