Codex Gigas

January 19, 2017


An illuminated bible, and the largest existing medieval manuscript in the world.  It is infamous for a unique and giant picture of the devil.  The manuscript is believed to be from the early 12 century by the work of single monk over 5-12 years named Hermann the Recluse.

The legend of the codex was featured in the Black Tapes.  The story tells of a monk, so despicable that his fellow monks had sentenced him to death by bricking him up in a wall.  The monk begged for his freedom by promising to illustrate a bible that would cement the monastery’s fame.  He promised to do this in one night.  Either way, it was a ridiculous promise, but because he was such a talented illuminator, the monks took the bargain.

When the time came for the manuscript to be due, the monk was woefully behind, so he made a deal with Lucifer to help him finish the book in exchange for his soul.  Hence, it forever became known as the Devil’s Bible.

A more reliable telling of the story can be found here.


Labyrinth of Jerusalem

July 9, 2009

n. A twisted path drawn into the ground to aide in prayer and meditation.

One last word from Ariana Franklin’s Mistress of the Art of Death.  Also known as a prayer labyrinth or meditation labyrinth, a Labyrinth of Jerusalem is a popular pagan ritual adopted by the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages.  While one would focus on the following the winding path to the center, one would reflect upon God.  Without knowing its name, I walked one of these at a church in California (interesting because they supposedly have fallen out of favor in modern times).

According to Wikipedia, the most famous of these can be found at the Cathedral of Chartes and seen here.  The standard maze design, including the one I walked on as well as the Chartes, can be found here