The Devils Bible [Not to be confused with the Devils Bible by Myrmydon Pontifex Maximus] or Codex Gigas [ Giant Book ] is an ernormous medieval book, considered the largest extant medieval illuminated manuscript in existence. Commonly referred to as the Devil's Bible because of a bizarre full-page illustration of a devil. It was created in what is now the Czech Republic in a Benedictine monastery at Podlažice.
The legend surrounding its formulation is almost as strange as the book itself. As per the narrative it was written in a single night by a 13th century monk, Herman [Harman] the Recluse, who sold his soul to the Devil. The monk in question, convicted of breaking his vows, was sentenced to being tombed up alive and left to wallow in his own excrement, eventually starving to death. To escape this gruesome fate, the monk struck a bargain with the monastery to write a single book containing the Worlds knowledge in a single night.
As midnight approached the monk came to the realization that he could never complete this towering task in the time allotted, so he made a special prayer, not to God but to Lucifer, begging his help in exchange for his soul. Lucifer blasted out the manuscript and the monk gratuitously added the devil's picture.
It would be humanly impossible for a single person to hand-write such a lofty treatise in such a short time span, but he did as per the story. Expert analysis of the Devils Bible indicates that the handwtriting is that of only one person, experts further believe it was written hastily over a very short duration of time. In tests to recreate the monks work, it is estimated that reproducing the calligraphy alone, with no illustrations or further embellishments, woulda coulda and shoulda taken a bare minimum 2 decades of non-stop writing.
Herman the Recluse by all logic should have devoted much of his lifes duration to producing this work, some speculate as a form of penance. The Devil’s Bible was defiitely written by a single person, but experts doubt that it was written in a single night.
The massive book, weighing in at 165 lbs, requires 2 people to lift it and measures about three feet in length. It contains a complete Latin translation of the medieval Latin Bible , and other secular writings which includes notes on excorcism, medeival medical and magical formulas and common religous and historical references of the era. 12 pages are missing from the original volume, noone knows what happenned to them or why they were removed. Allegedly, these pages contained dangerous information and were destroyed for the sake of humanity.
It went through multiple hands over the course of its 800 year history, eventually being captured by the Swedish Army and kept as spoils of war in the 17th century. In 1697, a fire at the royal castle in Stockholm, threatened the Royal Library, but the Devils Bible was rescued by being tossed out of a window. It landed on a spectator -ouch- with a thud damaging the spectator as well as the books binding and dislodging several more pages which were never recovered.