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Thursday, 4 August 2011

(Daily) Random: Codex Gigas (Giant Book)

 

While browsing the web for any mildly interesting footage of headshot carnage (see previous entry for more info) and after stumbling on a mound of nothingness, I decided it's time for more random!
And here you have it: You may have heard of this as one of the "Seven Wonders of the Medieval world" if there is this sort of list, but nevertheless, this book is nothing short of spectacular. I say book but it is in fact a medieval manuscript weighing around 75kg, composed of 310 leaves of parchment for which about 160 donkeys (or calves, the scholars are still debating this) gave their lives (even though they had no choice probably) to package into this behemoth novel.

But the interesting part is not the size of the manuscript alone. According to legend, a monk who had broken his vows and was sentenced to a "premature burial" (also known as being walled up alive) vowed to complete a manuscript that would glorify the monastery and contain all human knowledge, in a single night. As the hours passed and he realised the dificulty of his task, he called upon Lucifer to complete it for him in exchange for his soul. He thus completed it and the monk drew a picture of Lucifer in the book to honor his aid. However it is also interesting to note that the calligraphy alone would take 5 years to complete, hence making this book a great undertaking at the time. For those of you who would like to see and browse the manuscript: Digitised Codex Gigas

For anyone interested about finding out more: Wikipedia, National Geographic

And happy demon hunting!

12 comments:

  1. nice. that's a big comic book!

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  2. I love old stuff like this, big old books like this just carry an air of mystery and wonder for some reason to me.

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  3. I know what exactly what you mean. I like the fact that they've digitised and preserved it like that. I'll look around for more things similar to this codex. Thank you for joining and I hope you enjoy my future posts.

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  4. very interesting legend follows that book :D +followed

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  5. That is so cool. I love old books!

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  6. That's pretty crazy stuff there, i like these kind of legends.

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  7. Now that's one cool looking book. Followed!

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  8. Wow! A single page alone could write 4 or 5 movies!

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