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Codex Gigas, the Devilʹs Bible

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Codex Gigas, the Devilʹs Bible

On the occasion of the exhibition of the largest known medieval manuscript Codex Gigas in Prague the Czech National library issued a publication that illuminates the meaning, content, form and formation of this notable illustrated codex, that is almost a meter long, from the early 12th century Czechia. Professional articles in the publication exceed the focus on merely the so called “Devil’s Bible” (namely, the codex carries a whole-page painting of the devil), and so expand the circle of readers to all, who – be it of curiosity or due to professional or study reasons – are interested in medieval codices, their purposes, authors, types of their manufacturing and painting, their readers, the medieval culture, and along with readers the medieval libraries as well as the price of library materials of the time. The price wasn’t small: Codex Gigas was taken as a spoil of war by the Swedes in the 17th century during the Thirty Years’ War. “The giant codex” is therefore preserved today by the Swedish National Library, while its description and the explanation of its secrets has been taken care of by the Czechs. (KKH)

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