Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Codex Gigas

In English, Giant Book; common term meaning, the Devil's Bible. Uh huh, I said it, DEVIL's BIBLE. And I'm serious. My mom went to see an small lecture at the Kungliga Biblioteket (King's Library or Royal Library) here in Stockholm. She brought home this pamphlet, and I've got to say I'm totally intrigued:

"Written in early 13th century ... in Bohemia ... the [pages are] the skins of 160 asses [(and they mean donkey's)]. It is called the Devil's Bible after the impressive picture of the potentate on the folio ... [(I'll try to upload picture later)] ... According to legend the scribe was a monk who had been confined to his cell for some breach of monastic discipline and who, by way of penance, finished the manuscript in one single night with the aid of the Devil whom he summoned to help him."

I'm all, holy CRAP! They USED ASS SKIN!!! jk From the wording it is difficult to tell if the penance was summoning the devil or confining and writing the manuscript. Interestingly, the Imperial Treasury in Prague acquired the manuscript ca. 1594. The Swedes pillaged Prague after conquering the city in 1648. The army removed the Djävulsbiblen to Stockholm presenting the Giant Book to the Royal Library the following year.

Leave it to a bunch of pagans turned lutherans to acquire something this cool. Apparently the thing is so big one man cannot move it. The pages are like a meter by a meter, then bound for proper manuscript style of the time. The book itself is apparently enormous. I think I'm going to have to go and see it. Ass skin ... lol, I wonder if it was ass's ass ... lol. Sorry I had to put that in there somewhere.


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