The Codex Gigas is the largest existing medieval manuscript in the world. It can be found in Washington State University, and was donated by collector Robert Shields (1918 – 2007).
The Codex is 92cm (36in) tall by 51cm (20in) wide, 23cm (9in) thick and weighs approximately 75kg; 160 donkey hides were required to make its 310 parchment sheet pages.
According to the legend surrounding the Codex’s creation, In the early 13th century in the Benedictine Monastery of Podlazice in Bohemia, a scribe known as Herman the Recluse was condemned to be immured (walled up alive) for breaking his vows. After pleading for his life, Herman was spared by the Abbott on the unfair condition that he wrote down all of humanity’s knowledge in one night. Herman wrote frantically, but at midnight admitted defeat and prayed for help from the Devil – and by morning the work was complete. The work became known as Codex Gigas or “The Devil’s Bible” – although a more academic view is the name comes from the full-page illustration of the Devil found in the Codex.