The Purposely Cut Pages From 'The Devil's Bible' May Outline An Unspeakable Ritual

The Codex Gigas is one of the most mysterious manuscripts from history. Written by an unknown author, the text is rife with occult legends, and the physical volume is so large that it needs to be held open by two people. It feels as though the book wasn't fashioned for human hands, so where did the Codex Gigas come from? 

Some say that the text was authored by the Devil, who even etched a self-portrait on one of the pages. Others attest that the Codex was the work of a singular monk, though many believe that he made a pact with Satan to complete his work. While the text is markedly chilling, one of the lesser known facts about the Codex Gigas is that 10-12 of the original pages are now missing. Allegedly, these pages contain information so dangerous that they had to be destroyed for the sake of humanity. 


  • Legend Has It That The Book Was Created By A Monk Who Sold His Soul To The Devil

    Legend Has It That The Book Was Created By A Monk Who Sold His Soul To The Devil
    Photo: Michał Elwiro Andriolli / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    According to legend, the Codex Gigas was created in the 13th century by Herman the Recluse, an accursed monk who made a pact with the Devil. Prior to the book's conception, Herman had committed a great sin, and his abbot decided that he should be walled up and left to starve to death as punishment. In an effort to save his own life, the monk promised to write a massive codex that would exalt the monastery, with the catch that he would be released after the text's completion. The abbot agreed, and Herman was given a year to carry out the task. 

    Herman immediately got to work, and toiled endlessly for months, but still he was nowhere near done. A text this large could easily take three decades to write out by hand; one year was simply not enough time. Despondent, Herman turned to Lucifer the night before the book was supposed to be completed. The Devil agreed to help the monk finish the codex, but Herman was forced to pledge his eternal soul to Satan in exchange. A bargain was struck, the codex was completed overnight, and Herman was forgiven and granted his freedom.

  • The Codex Contains The Christian Bible, But Also Magic Spells And Ritual Instructions

    The Codex Gigas contains the Vulgate translation of the Christian Bible (the principle Latin translation of the text), but that only comprises half of the massive book. The tome also contains four more books: two of Josephus Flavius’s writings on the history of Judaism, an encyclopedia called Etymologiae, and a medical text by Constantine the African.While the Codex is primarily written in Latin, it also contains a plethora of other alphabets, such as Hebrew and Slavic.

    The original parts of the Codex are considerably darker than these extracts; notably, there’s a treatise on confession and sin followed by full-page illustrations of Heaven and the Devil. After that comes several pages dedicated to conjurations and magic spells, which are believed to be part of an exorcism ritual. Scholars suggest that these instructionals were used to banish evil from people who were suffering from sickness.

  • The Text's Missing Pages Are Rumored To Be Too Dangerous For Humanity

    The Text's Missing Pages Are Rumored To Be Too Dangerous For Humanity
    Photo: Erasmus New Testament / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

    While the Codex Gigas sits at a sprawling 310 pages, the tome originally contained somewhere between 320 and 322 pages. Interestingly, the sections that are missing from the book didn’t simply fall out, as archivists have noted that the pages were intentionally cut from the binding

    This discovery has led to endless speculation about the content of the lost passages. Scholars believe that some of the pages listed the rules for the monastery where the book was originally kept, but they also note that those rules would only have comprised two pages at most. 

    Some believe that the pages were destroyed because their content was deemed far too dangerous, while others think they were stolen for a secret, evil purpose. In the work of fiction The Devil’s Prayer, the pages contain the titular prayer, and reciting it brings forth the unimaginable horrors of the apocalypse. 

  • Some Call The Text 'The Devil’s Bible' Because It Contains A Huge Illustration Of Satan

    Some Call The Text 'The Devil’s Bible' Because It Contains A Huge Illustration Of Satan
    Photo: Herman the Recluse / Wikimedia / Public Domain

    One of the most astounding features of the Codex Gigas is the two-page spread that contains huge illustrations of a Godly city (which potentially depicts either Heaven or Jerusalem) and the Devil himself. 

    The illustration of the Devil has razor-sharp, blood-red claws on his hands and feet, massive horns, and a forked tongue. His size easily exceeds multiple levels of the Godly city, which perhaps symbolically represents the Devil’s power. Some people believe that this drawing served as the inspiration for the text's colloquial name, "The Devil's Bible," though others attest that the title comes from Satan's alleged involvement in the work's creation. 

  • The Book's Pages Are Made From The Hides Of Hundreds Of Animals

    The Book's Pages Are Made From The Hides Of Hundreds Of Animals
    Photo: National Library of Sweden / Wikimedia Commons / No Copyright Restrictions

    The Codex Gigas is a massive book, and it weighs a ton. More accurately, it weighs a back-breaking 165 lbs; a reasonable weight for an adult human. The book is so huge that it can only be read if two people hold it in tandem. 

    The materials used to construct the tome accounts for the 300-page book's alarming mass. The Codex is bound with wood plates that are covered in leather, with brass fittings installed to keep the pages together. While the cover is by no means light, the biggest contributors to the book's weight are the pages themselves. Rather than paper, the pages are made of fine vellum, which is traditionally created using calfskin. 

    It’s estimated that the 300+ pages required the skins of 160 animals, which some speculate came from goats, calves, donkeys, or perhaps a mixture of all three.

  • When The Codex Was Saved From A Fire, It Injured A Bystander In The Process

    When The Codex Was Saved From A Fire, It Injured A Bystander In The Process
    Photo: Joseph à Montalegre / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    The Thirty Years' War is one of the deadliest religious strifes in European history. The conflict was sparked by a divide between Catholics and Protestants, and one of the main players was Sweden, who sided with the Protestants.

    At the conclusion of the war in 1648, Sweden stormed Prague, the capital of Bohemia (now the Western Czech Republic), and looted the city's treasures. Among the spoils of war was the Codex Gigaswhich was brought back to Stockholm Castle in Sweden. 

    Fast forward to 1697, at which point the book was resting in the castle’s massive library. That year, the building suddenly caught fire, and the head librarian later estimated that 3/4 of the books there were destroyed.

    To save the books, people started tossing them out of the castle's windows, including the 165-pound Codex Gigas. According to vicar Johann Erichsons, the massive book landed on a person outside and injured them, probably grievously.