Codex Gigas -The Devil's Bible returns to Prague

180pxdevil_mediumThe Codex Gigas, one of the most precious books of the world and the largest manuscript in the Medieval times, returns to Prague, it's orginal home, on loan from Sweden. The book is often called the Devil’s Bible because of a large drawing of a devil on the inside.

According to legend, the book was written at the turn of the 12th and 13th century in Benedictine monastery of Podlazice near Chrudim by a monk who had been confined to his cell for some breach of monastic discipline. The monk, by way of penance, promised to write the largest book ever in one day to avoid being walled up as punishment. He finished the manuscript in one single night with the aid of the Devil whom he had summoned to help him. To show his gratitude he drew the devil on page 290 on the manuscript.

The Codex is 1 meter long and 50 centimeters wide and it weights 75 kilograms. In 1594 the manuscript was acquired by the Imperial Treasury in Prague. When the Swedish army conquered the city in 1648, it was brought to Sweden and presented to the Swedish Royal Library the following year.