Codex Gigas (The Devil’s Bible) – the largest manuscript in the world

The Codex Gigas, also known as ‘The Devil’s Bible’ is the largest and probably one of the strangest manuscripts in the world.

It is so large that it is said to have taken more than 160 animal skins to make it and takes at least two people to lift it.

It measures approximately 1 metre in length.

According to legend, the medieval manuscript was made out of a pact with ‘Satan’, which is why it is sometimes referred to as the Devil’s Bible.

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Codex Gigas

It was written in Latin during the 13th century AD, and although the origin of the manuscript is unknown, a note in the manuscript states that it was written in the monastery at Sedlec in 1295.

The story behind the making of Codex Gigas (“the giant codex”) is that it was the work of one monk who was sentenced to death by being walled up alive.

Indeed, an analysis on the text does suggest that it was written by just one scribe due to the level of uniformity throughout.

The legend says that the monk produced the manuscript in just one night… “with the devil’s help.”

However, it is not known how or even where this legend started, although it is suspected that it was religiously propagated.

Stories and legends say that the Codex Gigas brought disaster or illness on whoever possessed it during its history.

Fortunately, the National Library in Stockholm, where it is currently housed, appears immune to the curse of the codex!

Codex Gigas contains a complete vulgate Latin translation of the Bible as well as five other major texts.

It begins with the Old Testament and continues with ‘Antiquities of the Jews’ by Flavius Josephus (1st century AD; ‘Encyclopedia Etymologiae’ by Isidore of Seville (6th century AD); a collection of medical works of Hippocrates, Theophilus and others; the New Testament; and ‘The Chronicle of Bohemia’ by Cosmas of Prague (1050 AD).

Smaller texts are also included in the manuscript with the most famous ones including: text on exorcism, magic formulas, a picture of the Heavenly City, and a full page illustration of the Devil.

The illustration is the reason why legend says the codex was written with the Devil’s help.

According to National Geographic, it would take one person working continuously, day and night, for five years to recreate the contents of Codex Gigas by hand (excluding the illustrations).

Therefore, realistically it would have taken at least 25 years for the scribe to create the codex from scratch.

Yet, all this time, the writing retained an incredible uniformity from start to finish.

This may be the source of the legend which says that the monk wrote it in just one day.

The manuscript is currently displayed at the National Library in Stockholm where you can also view the digital pages of the Codex.

John Black



  1. Bandini

    That has to be the least scary imagining of a devil I have ever seen! Is this all that the bad bastards of this world have to fear in the next?
    He seems to be wearing a nappy & has only four cartoon-fingers… which might explain why it makes me think of ‘Chowder’.

  2. Withnail

    Lol Bandini!
    I’d never even heard of this book before.
    There’s no getting away from the fact that many knowledgeable, intelligent people believe in the existence of the devil. I know someone who joined the Freemasons as an atheist and now believes it. He’s a millionaire by the way.

    • Bandini

      I thought in order to become a Mason it was necessary to ‘believe’ in some supreme being? Your friend must have lied on his application form (which will have stood him in good stead for his future Masoning, ho ho ho!).

      Regarding the ‘power’ of the devil, I think that is just so much bullshit… if his Brothers were so adept at harnessing the forces of evil they probably wouldn’t need to devote so much time to ensuring an endless line of recruits from local government, police, social services, journalists, business… basically anyone who could help them carve up another juicy contract between themselves without anyone noticing.

      33rd degree Masons to my mind are on a par with a Scientologist who has paid his way to the summit, or a Christian accepted into the Vatican or a made-man in the mafia: they arrive, and the ‘hidden & secret knowledge’ they receive is the rather mundane: “Look, all that hocus-pocus was just to keep the proles in place… sorry! But now that you’re here, why not enjoy yourself? We are untouchable & we can do what we want. We’ll keep it this way by helping along others who will maintain us & who will one day replace us.”

      Besides, if a devil really did exist it would be difficult to blame him for being so evil, if that was his nature. It would be like ‘hating’ one of those insects that lays its eggs inside the living body of another, only for the larvae to eat their host alive… horrible… but what choice do they have? It’s their nature.

      No, the real evil in this world comes from the hands of men with free-will & conscience that willingly & knowingly choose their path. They are the ones that scare me. Behind the smokescreen of devils & hobgoblins will be found sick little humans with an eye for manipulation of the gullible & weak. The ruling-classes…

      • Jane

        Excellent post Bandini – Freemasons are just greed driven scamming business men who keep their fraudulent ways between themselves and scratch each others backs & pick out fall guys to take the rap when they are caught out. There are the lower laying Patsies who are just signed up purely to act as a front of it being a benevolent society. Those you will hear as dribbling about what a wonderful organisation it is that was set up to do good. They are just the wets who feel oh so special at being allowed to be part of the pinny wearers brigade. They probably don’t even know they are being used as they are too stupid to.
        As for the devil, I’m with you all the way there too – it’s men that cause evil and as usual they need someone else to blame so they made up this fictitious beast to pass the buck to. Obviously some take it even further than that, devil worship and all that freaky stuff.

  3. Jane

    I’m surprised you haven’t heard of it before Withnail. I thought Cult/Occult stuff was your ‘thang’.
    I suppose it’s possible that there were several people working on it who were competent in the art of forgery. With some old Harry Monk standing over them whipping them if they messed up

  4. Withnail

    I’m out and about right now but will give a proper response later (Sunday)
    You know what you’re talking about though Bandini.

  5. Jane

    Yes that might be interesting Withnail seeing as your Bro is a Freemason is he not and your ex chick is also your Solicitor according to 1 young lady on Twitter???

  6. rainbowsophie

    You’ve really hit the nail on the head there Bandini Interestingly I have also never heard of this book ! (and this from a lass who snuck into Daddies study and read the encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology at the age of 13 !!!) Am really learning something new every day here Jimmy. Thanks for that. As for the whole question of the Devil and ‘evil’ per se – I am with Bandini and firmly of the opinion that evil is propagated in the hearts and minds of man. However I have been places that just – without any knowledge of what has gone before or taken place there – exude pure evil as a palpable force. The early Christian idea of ‘The Devil’ as a single entity was surely created for the purposes of control, however it is interesting as to how many other religions either do not have a similar all encompassing figurehead of evil at all, but rather view the whole idea of good and evil as a Yin/Yang, two sides of a coin effect.
    PS. Just googled ‘The Devil’ as I wanted to understand more about where and how the concept first originated. Of all the pictures to chose, the Wikipedia entry has as it’s header photo the picture from the Codex Gigas as above There was also this take on the modern view of The Devil, which is more than a little concerning –
    “In these religions (mainly Christianity and Islam) the Devil has assumed more of a dualistic status commonly associated with heretics, infidels, and other unbelievers. As such, the Devil is seen as an allegory that represents a crisis of faith, individualism, free will, wisdom and enlightenment.”
    Now that surely is the Devil of fundamentalism. I am so glad that I do not adhere to or follow ANY religion, and am proud to be an enlightened, free thinking, individualist.

  7. Withnail

    This is still a fleeting comment,
    Jane – you think that having friends in high places is a detriment? Well, recent developments may prove interesting.
    For example, fuck them. Even my most trusted people are tied to some sort of tether. I’ve just (this second) been let down by one of them. They are more bothered by their pay checks then they are about justice. Fuck them. Do not expect any justice soon.
    Angry isn’t the word. Let down by people you put your trust in. Cunts.
    I just hope Jimmy has more luck than I’ve had.

  8. OldGit

    I remember a tag-line on another blog some years back.It went “The difference between an atheist and a satanist is that the satanist KNOWS who he’s working for”.

  9. Jane

    That is the way of the world Withnail. It ain’t what you know but who you know – my upbringing with Catholic Freemasons mafia wannabe’s taught me that from a very young age. Shame your ex didn’t manage to help you with whatever it is that has caused you hassles. But that my friend, is why I distrust the law so much, because it isn’t in favour of the little people.
    I am naturally curious & suspicious after 1 hell of a stressful year at the hands of these freaks – (& as I say, I’m not even target no.1) especially when you think Denver Elle is on the good side – do you see who she most frequently talks to? All the wrong ‘uns that have tried to make J’s life a living hell? Do you see why that is? There is a lot I would like to ask you, but I guess I can wait.

    On another note: (Sorry to post it under this article, although some might say it was devil related).

    I have just been told that Gojam was having some sort of melt down last night & was libeling J yet again – pinning the blame on J for someone else who clearly has a beef with VJ. Unfortunately the old report as spam and block players got the 3rd party suspended (as they are so fond of doing) so I didn’t see the other side of the conversations. I would imagine that there are many people, now grown men, who have a beef with the Bryn Estyn bully boy abuser. So falsely accusing J again was rather silly – even for a FAILED ex councilor with a mighty big chip on his shoulder for some unknown reason – one who incidentally obviously doesn’t mind taking anyone down with him. Bet he’s popular with his old chum 😉 The chum he has got into very hot water I imagine, the 1 I will be hoping gets the sack.

    And as I know king of the gonads will be watching, Hi Gonad! By the way, verbal = slander written = libel and clutching at straws are we? Because everything I have said is true, unlike you Mr pretend anti CSA supporter extremely bad blogger. You seem a little stressed old bean, well a lot stressed actually, how many people have you had a pop at lately who seem to be seeing through you like a pane of glass? MANY! Something on your mind, some BIG worries perhaps? After what YOU have done, I do hope so! You disgust me to the core! J is way more of a man than you can ever dream of being. Maybe that’s why you are acting like such a spoiled jealous brat? Who knows?

    I have also been informed that a certain liar has deleted all tweets after Dec and before Nov and MANY in between – bit of a pointless exercise when we (& the Police) already have them all – DOH!! Well I knew it was chip thick, but well, it’s stupidity never ceases to amaze me.
    If a certain young lady on Twitter was telling the truth, it won’t be just Mr Liar who finds himself in schtook – but at least no babies or kids will be anywhere near 2 abusers in the future, which is the best we can all hope for.

    I don’t think J has owt to fret about – the evidence is indisputable – the relentless abuse, attacks, blogs, taunting about Broadmoor, his medication and all the rest of it from day dot – clearly a certain rat was out to do harm with his well connected media friends from the start. Not what you would expect from a genuine anti CSA supporter who blogs about how CSA wrecks peoples lives and causes mental illness in many. But then again, he isn’t a genuine anti CSA supporter, nor has he ever been. Plenty of witnesses who witnessed all this too.

    I think the waiting is the hardest part, but I feel sure it will be well worth it – especially so that no one ever has to suffer at the hands of these con men ever again. ‘The Tortoise, VJ1 – some people really ought to be a bit more careful of who they champion – but then some people knew exactly who they were getting involved in their little scam and perhaps purposely chose these liars. Never will this bunch get away with it again and that is my main hope.

    I very much look forward to the day when J can concentrate on his research and writing and doesn’t constantly feel under attack by truly horrible people (putting up blogs about how not everyone is a nasty person doesn’t absolve you or mean that you are not a total rotter does it? Though I think some numb nut perceives it to be the case – utter lemon!) & I will rest easy no longer feeling the need to worry about who will be trying to put my friend in hospital next – some people sure get a kick out of doing downright nasty things and this bunch have been full on in trying to silence him, or to discredit him or to make him ill. I’ll leave you to wonder why this bunch would do that, but I think it’s pretty obvious.

    As for Gojeys friend Cahalan – good mate and business associate of the fixer isn’t he? Did he try to swindle info out of someone else then? Because Gojam seems to be stating that he saw through some other person who has been giving his little lying con man partner in slime some stick, but then Gojam is falsely accusing that person of being you, so perhaps he means you? If that’s the case, how could Cahalan see through someone who’s story is 100% true, verified as 100% true by all the Authorities involved and is not in dispute at all?? Oh dear, he does seem to be lashing out and flipping out like a man with some heavy woes on his mind. All his own work and very much deserved. Better keep that blood pressure in check, stress can be a real killer. 😉

  10. Withnail

    Just a quick one (again – sorry)

    Jane, I don’t think Denver Elle is a ‘good guy’. I was just updating J with some of the twitter insanity.

    You’re right about Gojam. He’s finished now. No one trusts him anymore. Of course, Outlaw spotted this before anyone else. As usual.

    Oh and Jane please keep the personal stuff off of here. I get enough crap as it is.

  11. Jane

    What can I say? What took you so long, it was as plain as the nose on your face? Right in front of your eyes day in, day out.
    J had Gojam pegged from day dot – they tried to blind side him but alas, they failed dismally.
    If you have the legal back up, why worry? If you get stalked you can sort it right? But then if you go around calling ‘celebs’ naughty words, I guess you haven’t got much come back have you? If I sussed who you were, stands to reason others did or am I just psychic? Hmmmm.
    I have just been corrected about something Twitter related: The disappearing tweets – apparently it’s something to do with Twitter removing them whilst they investigate complaints.
    But then I never went on twitter to read pages of small print that they don’t appear to abide by anyway, I was badgered on there by well meaning friends and strangers to help people with their ESA related woes. Novelty dogs head slippers was the reason I thought ay up – trouble at mill.

    • Twitter is their Religion. What I remember from an early age about religion is “it’s the last resort for people who lack the ability to think for themselves”.

      Or something like that.

      Sums up Twitter and those who use it religiously… perfectly

  12. Jane

    That’s similar to the line I said to my RE: teacher that got me put into double art.
    But that is exactly what it is, it is also a spy glass for those who make a sly living manipulating those who suck it all up.