Later additions in Codex Gigas

306r, detail

Codex Gigas contains over fifty different entries added to the manuscript subsequently.

Medieval additions

Six of the additions are medieval. One of the most interesting is a note on the paste-down of the upper cover (f. 1v), recording how in 1295 the monastery of Břemov repurchased Codex Gigas from the Cistercians of Sedlec after it had been pawned by its owners, the Benedictines of Podlažice. This note, which had long been concealed by a tipped-in piece of parchment, was uncovered by George Stephens (1813-95) in the mid-19th century.

Four other medieval additions (ff. 273r, 276r, 286r, 305v) were written, probably before the 1250s, by one and the same scribe and are of mainly religious character. 

Post-medieval additions

The post-medieval entries, ranging from 1562 to 1851, are mainly inscribed in the Calendar. The earliest records the election of Johannes III Chotovsky de Chotow as Abbot of the Broumov Monastery. The next two are obits of Johannes (f. 308r) and his brother Andreas (f. 309v). The fourth, noted down some time before 1575, tells us that Emperor Ferdinand I (1503-64) visited the monastery in 1527 en route from Wroclaw (Breslau) to Prague (bl. 304r).

The remaining additions are mostly of the I-was-here variety, i.e. various people have recorded their names in the manuscript, most often with a brief remark. Most of these entries came during the 1580s and 1590s, when the manuscript was still in Broumov, having been transferred there at the beginning of the 15th century. They refer to various churchmen, nobles or imperial officials who visited the monastery, usually while travelling between Bohemia and Silesia. One of them was Felix of Linda (-1593) of Prague, Dean of Karlstein and a canon of Olomouc (Olmutz). He stayed at Broumov in September 1582, when, the entry states, the plague was rampant in Prague (f. 309v). Felix of Linda inscribed his name once more in 1590, when visiting the monastery with a number of other people.

Another signatory was Georg Barthold Pontanus of Breitenberk (1550-1614), Bishop Suffragan and Dean of Prague and a well-known bibliophile. He stayed at the Broumov monastery in January 1592 together with Laurentius Nigrin, General and Prior of the Order of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star and with an unknown Prague cleric. Together they looked at the manuscript and signed their names in it (f. 305v).

Rudolph II

Three entries from 1594 (ff. 305r, 306r, 306v) record the conveyance of Codex Gigas to Prague when it was lent to Rudolph II (1576-1612), Emperor and King of Bohemia. The manuscript was never returned to the Broumov Monastery. While in Prague, Codex Gigas was examined by Rudolph’s secretary Jan Huberus Pontanus, who in 1597 made transcripts for the Emperor’s use (f. 306r). 

Stockholm

Codex Gigas came to Stockholm in 1649, where in May 1672 three Germans visiting the city were allowed to see it (f. 307v). Johan Elers (1730-1813), poet, topographer and Assistant Librarian of the Royal Library, entered his signature in 1752 (f. 312r). He had worked on Codex Gigas and transcribed the conjurations text which follows the picture of the Devil. The transcript is still extant.

Finally, two Czech scholars, Jan Pečírka (1818-70) and Beda Dudik (1819-90), entered their names on the last leaf of the manuscript (f. 312r). They examined Codex Gigas the mid-19th century. Dudik especially made lasting contributions to scholarship.

See the additions