Sunday, February 07, 2016

Codex Gigas Images Online

The Devil
Codex Gigas, otherwise known as the “Devil’s Bible” is considered the largest Medieval Latin codex. Its pages are 35 inches tall and 19 inches wide and contains the complete Bible along with several other works from Josephus and others meant to illuminate the Bible. The name “Devil’s Bible” comes from the picture of the Devil found on f. 290r. As the official website explains:
The portrait was intended to remind the viewer of sin and evil. It is opposite a page with a representation of the Heavenly City and the two pages were deliberately planned to show the advantages of a good life and the disadvantages of a bad one.
The website has lots of useful information and includes all the photos here. There are some impressive initial letters (e.g., Mark’s Gospel) and other decorations throughout. Interestingly, the only human represented appears to be Josephus. You can download high resolution images from Wikimedia Commons here.

Update: there’s more good info linked in Tommy’s post from 2007.

The beginning of Mark’s Gospel


  1. But . . .
    hasn't Codex Gigas been online for, like, nine years?

  2. I tried looking to see how long the images had been online but the only date I found on the website was 2015. Oh well, a codex this big deserves another post.

  3. Nice photo. There seems to be something wrong with that first verse though.

  4. What would be wrong with "Inicium evangelii Iesu Christi filii Dei"? You will see an oversized "I", some nomina sacra, the not unusual spelling "Inicium", and the reading "filii Dei" which you may or may not like.