The Book of Satan

The mystery of the Codex Gigas manuscript

Talking about mysteries can’t escape the emergence of legends that allows us to learn from the past. Word of mouth can spread a legend, so it becomes a kind of folklore, or it can also become a myth. A little much. We must often hear stories about certain legends, both from home and abroad.

A legend needs certain proof that corroborates the legend. No wonder then that many people are researching a legend based on the relics of the past. One of them is through a manuscript. Manuscripts are considered accurate evidence to be examined to determine past events.

The existence of manuscripts can be traced further. It can be seen from what the material was made of, how it is in it, what letters are used, and so on. From there, the researchers were able to deduce when the manuscript was made, where it was made, and what it wanted to convey from the manuscript.

One manuscript that is now well preserved as national property in Sweden is the Codex Gigas. The Codex Gigas may not be very familiar to our ears. Although it is still a question of the facts, the book dubbed the devil’s book is still an interesting topic to discuss.

When all religions have scripture, the existence of the Codex Gigas interferes with the values held by a man. Besides its creepy content for daring to create illustrations about the devil, it is said to have also been made with the help of the devil. It is said that it was made in the 13th century in the monastery of Podlažice, Bohemia, which is within Czech territory.

“Final Battle of the Thirty Years’ War” by Steve and Sara is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

History of Codex Gigas

Based on the story in circulation, Herman the Recluse created Codex Gigas. He was a monk whose church was destroyed in the Bohemian war. They sentenced him to death by being locked up alive. It was during his confinement that he wrote a manuscript of Codex Gigas that contained 620 pages and measured 1 meter.

A study predicts that the Codex Gigas has been kept since 1295 in a monastery in the Bohemia region. In 1954, Rudolf II brought the book to Prague. In July Swedish soldiers discovered 1648 Codex Gigas in the battle of “Thirty Years War” while looting Prague.

They then store the Codex Gigas in the Swedish Library. Until now, the book was well stored in the National Library of Sweden and can be enjoyed both physically and digitally. Are you interested in reading it?

Content in Codex Gigas

The Codex Gigas contains many things, but most of them contain the Vulgate version of the Bible in Latin, except the Book of Acts and Revelation to John from the pre-Vulgate version. All stories are sorted exactly. Some are still written in Hebrew, some are written in Latin, Greek, and Slavic.

The inside of the Codex is divided into several sections. Besides the Latin version of the Bible, there is also Jewish history, earth creation theory including illustrations of heaven and earth. There is not enough there. In it also discusses general prayers, strange formulas, magical spells until details about bleakness. So not all of these books are about the devil.

To complete the story, there is also an illustration of the events written in the Codex Gigas. The ink used is not very much, using only red, blue, yellow, green, and gold colors. Its uniform illustrations assume that the book was made in a short time.

Gigas Codex Creation Legend

Herman the Recluse who was touted as the creator of the Codex Gigas was once a monk. He was convicted of breaking the promise of a monk’s speech rules, so he was punished by being locked alive inside a wall. The reason he created the Codex was to glorify the name of his monastery and that he would do it in one night.

Based on legend, he struggled to finish the book in one night so had to sell himself to Lucifer. As a thank you, he incorporated an illustration of the devil into his book.

Although the content involving demons, the inquisition does not give a prohibition on researching Codex Gigas. Even many experts learn about the book. Finally came the conclusion that it took 20 years to complete with the illustration, and it took 5 years to complete the text only.

Physical Size of Codex Gigas

As a manuscript written in ancient times, Codex Gigas is said to require 160 donkey skins to create 310 pages of writing and drawings (minus the last 10 pages lost today). For its length, it is almost 1 meter wide with a width of 22 cm and a weight of 74.8 kg.

The enormous size of the Codex Gigas made it the largest ancient manuscript ever in the world. With such size and weight, it makes little sense not to be created in such a short period and circumstances that are not supportive? However, his name is also a mystery, often absurd.

“Codex Gigas (portrait of the devil)” by Kungliga biblioteket is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Illustration of the Devil in the Codex Gigas

Codex Gigas becomes creepy not only because of the devil’s story in it but also because it includes illustrations. One of the most famous is the illustration of the devil raising his hand. It was drawn face to face with an illustration of a heavenly city. It depicts the devil as a giant creature, as the embodiment of a creature from hell.

Satanic illustrations are nothing new in a manuscript. Many other manuscripts describe it in the same way, it’s just that this version of Codex Gigas was made in a gigantic form. Besides, it depicts the devil with gold ornaments that were then associated with luxury. In other words, the devil is said to be the king in hell.

Across from the devil’s illustration, there is an urban illustration called a heavenly city. There are many poles bordered by orange walls. And the walls stand next to the illustrations of the devil. It can be translated as human hope with a beautiful city or paradise while the devil waits for it on the other side.

The Lost 10-Page Codex Gigas Legend

Ancient manuscripts will usually be kept whole because they are necessary to be translated in full about their content, purpose, and when they were made. Losing 10 pages of Codex Gigas is unfortunate for many. Although most of it is creepy, it is very important to look at the book in its entirety.

A myth states that 10 pages in the Codex Gigas were deliberately omitted. The most gruesome part of the book is said to be in the 10 pages. In order not to happen terrible things, then the page was omitted so we can only see the physical evidence of Codex Gigas with 310 pages.

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