A lot has been researched and written on this book, but the facts will really never be known. What is known is that the book was written by a single scribe around the 13th century in Bohemia (modern day Czech Republic. The folk lore is that a monk was sentenced to death Edgar Allen Poe style by being walled up alive behind a cement wall brick-by-brick — apparently that really happened. The monk pleaded for his life and made a deal with the church that he would write the most holy of holy books in one night, and if he did so, they would have to agree to let him live.
The story goes that the church agreed and this crazed monk wrote feverishly through the night until around midnight when he realized he could never finish it on his own and so, spat on the cross and made a deal with the Devil and by morning, the Codex Gigas was ready.
The book itself is about the size of a suitcase.
It is written in Latin and as far as I know has never been translated into English. The research I’ve done states that it begins with a transcription of the original Bible and then goes into a book of spells and chants with the most notable pages hosting a picture of a droll looking devil on the right and a coded text for heaven on the left.
It is highly unlikely that it was written in one night, but has been proven that is was written by a single scribe and probably took around 25 to 30 years to write. Most researchers agree that it was a monk called Herman the Recluse who was sworn to isolation as his penance.
A word to the wise, however, if you have a chance to own this book, don’t: it seems to have been cursed from its earliest years where the monastery that originally kept it failed and had to sell it to an emperor known as The Mad Alchemist (Rudolf II) who went Bible crazy and lost his thrown.
Today this mysterious book sits in the National Library of Sweden. And I for one, have no intentions on visiting it.
Call me cautious.