The Da Vinci Code is a best-selling novel by the American author Dan Brown published in 2003. The novel, which takes its title from a famous manuscript by the legendary artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci, is a thriller that draws on a number of conspiracy theories about the Catholic Church and Mary Magdalene in particular. Several successful novels and popular Hollywood movies, such Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and the Last Temptation of Christ, had already dealt with most of the pseudohistorical documents or legendary themes referred to by Brown, such as the Holy Grail story, the vicissitudes of the Templar Order, the Priory of Sion-a well-known modern hoax-and Jesus’ possible marriage.

The novel proposes an alternate reading of Western history by ...

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