Author Topic: Codex Gigas  (Read 26030 times)

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Offline Persephone

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Codex Gigas
« on: July 22, 2007, 03:26:37 pm »
Okej so... Finally I decided to put here this topic...
(Excuse the extralong post - do not kill me please!,  and very bad translation ;) )


:pop:
Codex Gigas alias Devil‘s Bible




   In the beginning of 13th century was in Czech Republic made a literary work known as Devil’s Bible (Djävulsbibeln in Swedish). Uknown author wrote and supplied with chromatic iluminations a huge book. Graphologists and historians agree on fact that the book is basically written by one author. For his anonymity is he called „The Great scriber“.

   According to legend – there was a monk living in monastery placed in Podlazice on the east of Czech Kingdom (Bohemia). For his sinful deed he was sentenced to immure alive. Desperately he was thinking about how to pass up the cruel punishment. And because he was a very handy scriber he proposed abbot to transribe Holi Writ as way of his penitence. The abbot was obviously a wise man and agreed with it. Monk started to write during days and nights – but soon he learned the promise is unrealizable. Be at loss he cry out devil for help. On legend say that monk panted portrait of „green devil“ as requirement (within his soul will fail to hell). Although punishmet was pardoned his life turned devil. Compunctions persecuted him and he run from place to place. After long divagate he fell down to statue of Virgin Mary and begged her for salvation. Mother of god heard him out and sent angels to manage a struggle with infernal master and get back the note (for soul) Godlike warriors vanquished and bring back the devilish document right in moment of monk’s death.
That way was his soul redemptioned and angels took his soul to heaven.

The largest manuscript in the world



   The writing is called „Book of books“ or Library in one book“. Last ages gave it superlatives as Codex giganteus, Liber pergrandis, Gigas Librorum, etc… First refrences about Devil’s Bible came from 1295 – but it’s supposed to be a half century older. Most probably it was created about 1229 in milieu of small Benedictine monastery of Podlazice near Chrudim. We don’t have any documents about author, creation and it’s reason.

The codex is contained in a wooden folder, covered with leather and ornamented with metal. At 92cm (36.2in.) tall, 50cm (19.7in.) wide and 22cm (8.6in.) thick it is the largest known medieval manuscript. It initially contained 320 vellum sheets, though eight of these pages were subsequently removed. It is unknown who removed the pages or for what purpose but it seems likely that they contained the monastic rules of the Benedictines. The codex weighs nearly 75 kg (165lbs.), the vellum used having been prepared from the skins of 160 asses. From anknown reasons someone cut out 8 pages.

What does Codex Gigas hide?

In the book isn’t typed in not only completely text of Scripture, but Cosmae Pragensis Chronica Boemorum, number of tractates, calendar with necrologues, list of Podlažice’s fraternity, magic formulas and lot of contemporary notes.
The manuscript has a rare decoration including illuminations in red, blue, yellow, green and gold.

-   Book begins with notation of three alphabet: Hebrew, Greek and Latin. Later in 14th century was wrotein also Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabet.
-   Eigen text of the book begins with Scripture – The Old Testament (it takes first 118 pages)
-   Then come after two historical works called Antiquities of the Jews, written by Josephus (Titus Flavius Josephus), who was living in Rome between 37 – 95 AD.
-   Next text construct from Etymologiae, which wrote pontiff Isidor of Seville Before his death in 636 AD.
-   Two dissertations of Galen. Discourse about human anatomy.
-   On pages 253 – 286 is written The New Testament in pre-Vulgate version.
-   Penitentiary with extended description of instructions for confessors; how large the penitence has to be for every particular sins; mention a statement of all basic priestlike nuisances. Whereas every passage begins in words: „I commit a sin…“ and ends „…therein I plead guilty.“
-   Right at page 290 lie the largest sight – There’s illustrated almost 50 cm high shape of devil. The devil is enframed with two towers. He has four fingers on every limb. Face is green with two tongues, which means doubleness of his speech. His head decorate two horns. On second page is picture of big city with spires, churches and cathedrals. Supposedly is it Jerusalem.



-   Pages coming after are darksome both outward – and content. There’s magical formulas, medical formulas, etc…
-   After this chapter, on pages 294 – 304, is written Chronicle of Bohemia by Cosmas of Prague (who was a provost of Prague’s canonry).
-   Another 8 pages, later cut out probably contained regular rules of Benedictine friary.
-   End of the Codex construct list of memebers of Podlažice’s fraternity, wrote up between 1227 – 1229.
-   The last text – Benedictine calendar completed with necrology of dead people (1635 in sum).
-   Pure ending contains listin of days, which will fall on Easter in oncoming years.

History in shortcut:

The codex was created in the Benedictine monastery of Podlažice near Chrudim, which was destroyed during the 15th century. Records in the codex end in the year 1229. The codex was later pledged to the Cistercians Sedlec monastery and then bought by the Benedictine monastery in Břevnov. From 1477-1593 it was kept in the library of a monastery in Broumov until it was taken to Prague in 1594 to form a part of the collections of Rudolf II.

On the end of the Thirty Years' War in the year 1648, the entire collection was taken by the Swedish army as plunder. Since 1649 the manuscript has been kept in the Swedish Royal Library in Stockholm - http://www.kb.se/Hs/Eng/djavueng.htm. The site of its creation is marked by a maquette in the town museum of Chrást.
(Ähm, I was lazy to translate the extended version from Czech, so I stole this short from Wiki...)
 :pop:


After long long time, is Codex Gigas returning to Prague.  From 20th September 2007 till 6th January 2008 will be exhibited in Prague, National Library - Clementinum.
And I would like to invite to this exhibition everyone from NTSMS, who's interested in.

And also - I promise a little sightseeing trip via Praha... within the exhibiton...
 :blush:

« Last Edit: July 23, 2007, 08:34:46 am by Praha »
But then again, who does.

Offline Elena

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Re: Codex Gigas
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2007, 05:14:30 pm »
Wow, sounds interessting!
Life it what happens while you wait for your dreams
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Offline The One

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Re: Codex Gigas
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2007, 05:32:34 pm »
I wanna go, I wanna go! :wOOt:
I'll see if I can take one big European tour in my Winter vacation.
"All men are intellectuals, but not all men in society have the function of intellectuals" -Antonio Gramsci

Offline Lucy

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Re: Codex Gigas
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2007, 08:41:17 am »
Thank you so much for this impressive reading and the invitation!

Amazing! :wOOt:

As a great fan of old books I wish I could go.

By the way, I'm impressed by the legend too: who of us could save his or her life nowadays by writing an - even unique - manuscript?

Offline VladH

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Re: Codex Gigas
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2007, 08:44:41 am »
Thanks for invitation :)

I'm really interested in old books... I have small collection of late XIX early XX century botanical books, and XIX century french cuissine  ^_^

But older ones no.... not now... maybe later if I will be ever able to afford buing unique manuscripts :unsure:
The Longships are coming...

Offline Persephone

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Re: Codex Gigas
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2007, 09:12:40 am »

I'm really interested in old books... I have small collection of late XIX early XX century botanical books, and XIX century french cuissine  ^_^


Interesting You mentions this kind of books. Because nowadays has National library a big problem... especially about this kind of books - The Library has hundreds of books from XIX or XX - lot of them about botany. But they are made from bad paper and all of them are step by step crumbling away. Very fast. They have only one "scanner" and "scanning" every books takes very long time. With the number of creckily books it will last for 453 years... but they have ultimate 30 years to make a digital version otherwise - the treasure of book - the informations will be forever lost. Government didn't want to free money from budget. Because they need one milliard. So... they will not do it. And the books... will end in thrascan.  :bawl: I am very sad about it...
But then again, who does.

Offline VladH

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Re: Codex Gigas
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2007, 10:17:53 am »
If they want to throw them off after.... I can take care about them... our precious... our own...  :unsure:
The Longships are coming...

Offline Persephone

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Re: Codex Gigas
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2007, 10:33:56 am »
:( jo jo... If I will get to University next year... I want - I would like to write up (in conjuction with National Library) a petition for grant to EU... someone must try to do it... maybe they will free money. They already helped us in Phare programme... but I do not have needed informations and so on... but I hope I will get the informations next year or another one and then make the petition.

We must save this historical treasure! Take care of them...
But then again, who does.

Offline Persephone

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Re: Codex Gigas
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2007, 07:41:46 pm »
For fans of old books and so on...
Voynich manuscript outlook

File: http://www.zshare.net/download/3319600f1870cc/

And also this link:
http://mat.sg1.cz/download/liederhandschrift.zip

(password by PM)
« Last Edit: August 26, 2007, 08:47:53 am by Praha »
But then again, who does.

Offline Persephone

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Re: Codex Gigas
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2007, 07:36:51 pm »
Okey so - as I can see, I am posting here just for myself... :)

but if someone was interested yet... here are some demo versions (for full versions is regestering and payment needed... so only demos for guests)
manuscriptorium.com
But then again, who does.

Offline Agnes

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Re: Codex Gigas
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2007, 09:15:21 pm »
hehe *from old books* with yellow pages I have only *Also Sprach Zarathustra* in Polish ;]

Offline Persephone

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Re: Codex Gigas
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2007, 09:31:13 pm »
It's called "Tak pravil Zarathustra" in Czech language. I haven't read it yet. But the book awaits for me this year. (:
But then again, who does.

Offline Agnes

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Re: Codex Gigas
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2007, 09:38:47 pm »
here..in poland it's called "Tako rzecze Zaratustra" ;) it waits for me also ;)

Offline Loke

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Re: Codex Gigas
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2007, 05:25:00 pm »


  In spanish is "Asi hablo Zaratustra"  (you see yoiui are not alone my dearest hehe)

   yo yo yo
Scripta Manet

Offline Persephone

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Re: Codex Gigas
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2007, 07:24:56 pm »
Dear ones, here You can see a digital version of Codex Gigas at Kungl. biblioteket... If anyone cares (:

Codex Gigas
But then again, who does.

Offline Lucy

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Re: Codex Gigas
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2007, 07:42:58 pm »
Thank You! :wOOt:

Whoa, that devil is... scary... :afaid:

Offline Loke

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Re: Codex Gigas
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2007, 11:55:22 pm »

  Cool . i ll make my show about this book on Monday the 1st Thx luv!!!


   yo yo yo
Scripta Manet

Offline Persephone

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Re: Codex Gigas
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2007, 06:18:38 pm »
I booked ticket for 25th October for the exhibition.  ::)
But then again, who does.

Offline Persephone

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Re: Codex Gigas
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2007, 07:17:42 pm »
So here I am again...
Today I was at the exhibition of Codex Gigas. It was fantastic...  :wub:
The safety device are pretty strict - more strict than I thought. Codex is in some safety vault, opened on page with City of God and Devil. It's really huge manuscript - it's longer than my arm-span  :blink: In the room with safety vault could be only 10 persons for 10 minutes.
Many other pages were on the photos in second part of exhibition.
I have never been to Clementinum (The National Library) before. Now I had a chance to find out how many treasure are hidden in our Library. There was exhibited much more illuminations. Mostly "Czech" and German but of course they are written in German and Latin.

I got much information there, for example that the man who led Swedish army sent by Queen Christina in Thirty Years' war, was general Hans Christoph Königsmark (Iohannes Christophorvs Königsmarcvs). And the Prauge was assaulted by Swedes on 26th July of 1648.
I also find out that Codex Gigas was found as interesting thing very early. It became subject of interest already in 15th century. Many German and Czech scholars wrote essays about Codex.
In one part of exhibition was explained how was made paper for manuscripts and how did they do the illuminations.

I am very glad that Swedish Kungliga Biblioteket lent us the Codex for these 4 months. The Manuscript was taken from Czech Republic by Swedish army. Now it has returned back home for a while - it was taken from Sweden by Czech army. So there's more than meets the eye ;)
One small step for me - one giant leap for culture and international relations between Czechs and Swedes.

And one little riddle for those who can speak Latin:

"Noverint universi hoc scriptum inspecturi, quod venerabilis pater et dominus Bavarus divina miseracione abbas monasterii Brevnoviensis, necon eiusdem loci fere fundator, sacerdos viscera gerens compassiva tam propter divinam recompensam, tam eciam reverendi domii Gregorii sacrosancte Pragensis ecclesie pontificis magnam peticionem librum pergrrandem, qui dici potest de septem mirabilibus mundi propter sui immensitatem, continentem in se novum et vetus testamentum, necon partem omnium septem arcium lberalium, Iosephum, chronicam et regulam sancti patris nostri Benedicti, necon kalendarium, quem fratres de Podlasic ob nimiam domus sue egestatem fratribus de Sedlic obligaverunt; sed cum iam prefatus liber fere perditus fuerat et ab ordine perpetue alienatus, nos vero volentes satisfacere precibus prefati antistitis, hunc librum redeminus ab abbacia Sedlicensi ex permissione monasterii Podlasicensis, quorum proprietas fuerat, nolentes eum ab ordine alienari, dantes pro eo pecuniam par(a)tam pro domo nostro Brevnov perpetuo habendum et utifruendum, superaddentes pecuniam super estimacionem valoris libri supradicti. Acta sunt hec anno domini millesimo ducentesimo nonagesimo quinto, abbacie vero nostre anno quarto."


And at last - when I was looking at the page with City of God I tried to count the towers. If I am not right, there are 18 towers - 6 of them are blue, 6 are green and last 6 are white. Do you think that the number has some intention? Any ideas about number 18 and colours?
I have only a few information: for example if we unscramble 18 to 3x6 we'll get three geometric displays like 3 hexagons - Star of David. The numeral value of name David is also 18  :blink:
At the other hand the Christian scholars adverted to fact, that number 18 generate numbers 10 - number of  commandment and 8 - symbol of resurrection. Maybe this has to symbolize a transit from Old Testament to New Testament?
« Last Edit: October 25, 2007, 09:30:03 pm by Pragensia »
But then again, who does.

Offline The One

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Re: Codex Gigas
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2007, 12:53:03 am »
Seems like the exhibition was fairly good.

...About 18... You're starting to scare me...
Oh and you forgot, 11 for the Qliphoth, 7 as the lukcy number. :lol3:
"All men are intellectuals, but not all men in society have the function of intellectuals" -Antonio Gramsci