Devil's Bible


The Codex Gigas (or Devil´s Bible) is a large 13th-century manuscript from Bohemia, one of the historical Czech lands. Renowned for its size and its striking full-page rendition of the devil (found on page 577), it contains a number of parts: the Old and New Testaments, two works of Josephus Flavius, Isidore of Seville's Etymologies, the standard textbook for teaching medicine in the Middle Ages known as Ars medicinae (The art of medicine), the 12th-century Chronica Boëmorum (Chronicle of the Bohemians) of Cosmas of Prague, and a calendar. Of special interest are the sections that testify to the Bohemian origin of the manuscript and its eventful history. At the end of the 16th century, the Codex was incorporated into the collections of Habsburg ruler Rudolph II. During the Swedish siege of Prague at the end of the Thirty Years’ War (1648), the manuscript was taken as war booty and transferred to Stockholm.

Last updated: March 23, 2017