Sunday, May 16, 2010
The Devil's Bible
This thingy caught my attention when it was mentioned on television in UM library few months back, and I went back and searched high and low for it, only to find out that the Devil's Bible is not exactly what I thought it is~~
It is also called Codex Gigas (The Giant Book), and as the name suggest, it is the largest religious manuscript in the world o.O
So why do we call it The Devil's Bible?
Actually this book is just a typical bible, but it was said to be inspired by the Devil himself. It was said that the book, 92cm tall, 50 cm wide and 22 cm thick, was written by a monk in a single night, and the feat was made possible by a pact with the Devil.
Why would anyone want to make a deal with the Devil? Well it was said that the monk was sentenced to be walled up alive after breaking his monastic vows, and so he promised to create in a single night a book that would glorify the monastery forever.
Near midnight he became sure that he could not complete this task alone, so he made a special prayer, not addressed to God but to the fallen archangel Lucifer, asking him to help him finish the book in exchange for his soul. The devil completed the manuscript and the monk added the devil's picture out of gratitude for his aid
In truth, however, it is estimated to have taken 20 or more years to complete the work.
The codex was believed to be created by Herman the Recluse in the Benedictine monastery of Podlažice near Chrudim, which was destroyed during the 15th century. Records in the codex end in the year 1229. Now it is preserved at the National Library of Sweden in Stockholm.
Devil's Bible facts:
1)The 310 parchment leaves (620 pages) of the Devil's Bible are made of vellum, from the processed skins of 160 animals, most probably donkeys. Some pages of the Devil's Bible are thought to have been removed, and no one knows what happened to them.
2)The entire Devil's Bible is written in Latin. The calligraphy is lavishly luminated throughout.
3)Including its wooden case, which is ornamented with metal, the Devil's Bible is so heavy (about 165 pounds or 75 KG) that it requires at least two adults to carry it.
4)The portrait of the devil faces a picture of the "City of Heaven," the only other image in the Devil's Bible. Some scholars believe that the picture of Heaven negates the portrait of the devil. Others have noted that no people can be seen in the City of Heaven.
5)Also in the Devil's Bible is the "encyclopedia" by St. Isidore, who, more than a millennium after he lived, is regarded as the patron saint of the Internet. Isidore's Etymologiae was an attempt to record all universal knowledge of his time, the 7th Century.