A book curse was a widely employed method of discouraging the theft of manuscripts during the medieval period. The use of book curses dates back much further, to pre-Christian times, when the wrath of gods was invoked to protect books and scrolls.
The earliest known book curse can be traced to King of Assyria from 668 to 627 BCE. In the middle ages, many of these curses promised harsh repercussions would be inflicted on anyone who appropriated the work from its proper owner. Like this:
“If anyone take away this book, let him die the death; let him be fried in a pan; let the falling sickness and fever seize him; let him be broken on the wheel, and hanged. Amen.”
Some books we today have a better understanding over, some books are claims we can’t prove or disprove. And some, we don’t understand at all.
The Voynich manuscript is an illustrated codex hand-written in an unknown writing system. The vellum on which it is written has been carbon-dated to the early 15th century and may have been composed during the Renaissance in Italy. Some of the pages are also missing. making it difficult to decipher. It is also a theory that it’s made as a hoax, just a joke.
It is a weir thing with weird stuff in it. Weird, naked women running around, botanical works and the likes.
And just as with any thing we don’t understand, the rumors of it being cursed and containing information not meant for us, spreads.
The Untitled Grimoires
Cursed books turns out to be very expensive. And this one was sold for $13,865. These grimoires was handwritten in a spiral notebook in the 60’s. The author was high priestess Persephone Adrastea Eirene. But let us hope that the buyer were not scared for any curse. In the book it is written, both in English and in Theban (the ancient alphabeth modern Wiccans use).
“To those not of the craft – the reading of this book is forbidden! Proceed no further or justice will exact a swift and terrible retribution – and you will surely suffer at the hand of the craft.”
The Codex Gigas – The Devil’s Bible
It is also known as the Devil’s Bible because of a very unusual full-page portrait of the devil, and the legend surrounding its creation.
It is the largest extant medieval illuminated manuscript in the world and tests to recreate the work, it is estimated that reproducing only the calligraphy, without the illustrations or embellishments, would have taken twenty years of non-stop writing.
According to legend, the Codex was created by Herman the Recluse. The legend goes there was a scribe monk who broke his monastic vows and was sentenced to be walled up alive.
In order to avoid this harsh penalty he promised to create in one night a book to glorify the monastery forever, including all human knowledge. Near midnight, he became sure that he could not complete this task alone so he made a special prayer, not addressed to God but to the fallen angel Lucifer, asking him to help him finish the book in exchange for his soul. The devil completed the manuscript and the monk added the devil’s picture out of gratitude for his aid.
The Orphan’s Story – Historia del Huérfano
It took four hundred years after it was written to it got published. The Orphan’s Story, charts the progress of a 14-year-old Spaniard who leaves Granada and heads to the Americas to seek his fortune.
When academic Belinda Palacios started working on the story she was warned about the curse that was over the book.
“When I started working on it, a lot of people told me that the book was cursed and that people who start working on it die I laughed it off but I was a bit apprehensive at the same time. It’s taken a while because the people who have worked on it have died – one from a strange disease, one in a car accident and another of something else.”
But so far, it looks like Palacios is safe, even after spending two years translating the old book.
The Book of Soyga
The Book of Soyga, also titled Aldaraia, is a 16th-century Latin book on magic, one copy of which was owned by the Elizabethan scholar John Dee. After Dee’s death, the book was thought lost until 1994, when two manuscripts were located in the British Library. In addition to that, the book is also thought to be extremely cursed.
Dee’s friend and fellow occultist, Edward Kelley, are said to have summoned the archangel Uriel and questioned him about the meaning of the final 36 pages of the book they were unable to decipher. This was just something they did, all in the queen’s favor.
The angel, who spoke through Kelley, claimed that the book was created when Adam entered Paradise. It could only be properly interpreted by Archangel Michael himself. Also, the angel stated that the book was cursed: anyone who deciphers the meaning of the coded tables would inevitably die two and a half years later.
As soon as it was announced that the Book of Sogya was found in the British library, cryptographers tried to decipher the meaning of its final 36 pages. It wasn’t until 2006, when historian and cryptographer Jim Reeds, gave an algorithm for solving the encrypted tables
He found that it had incantations and instructions on magic, astrology, demonology, lists of conjunctions, lunar mansions, and names and genealogies of angels.
And as far as we know, Jim Reeds is alive and well.
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