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The Da Vinci Code (2003) - Dan Brown

Related: bestseller - detective fiction - 2003 - mystery - Christianity

Most interesting themes of the film: mortification of the flesh by Silas - Silas speaks Latin with Aringarosa - Mary Magdalene as wife of Jesus - Holy Grail is Magdalene's sarcophagus - Council of Nicaea [May 2006]

The Da Vinci Code (2003) - Dan Brown [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]


The Da Vinci Code is a novel written by American author Dan Brown and published in 2003 by Random House (ISBN 0385504209). It is a worldwide bestseller with over 44 million copies sold. Combining the detective thriller and conspiracy theory genres, the novel has helped spur widespread popular interest in certain theories concerning the legend of the Holy Grail and the role of Mary Magdalene in the history of Christianity—theories that Christians typically consider to be heretical. It is a sequel to Brown's 2000 novel Angels and Demons.

While the novel claims to contain elements of historical truth within its fictional framework, the book has attracted a large amount of criticism, including at least ten other books written to debunk its various claims.

Random House republished the novel as a "Special Illustrated Edition" in November 2004. The new edition contains over 160 illustrative images interspersed with the text. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Da_Vinci_Code [Apr 2005]

Constantine I

Constantine I is best remembered in modern times for the Edict of Milan in 313 and the Council of Nicaea in 325, which fully legalized Christianity in the Empire, for the first time; these actions are considered major factors in the spreading of the religion. His reputation as the "first Christian Emperor" has been promulgated by manyh historians [...]; although there has been debate over the veracity of his faith because he was baptized only on his death bed. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_I_%28emperor%29 [May 2006]

Council of Nicaea (325)

The First Council of Nicaea, convoked by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in 325, was the first conference of bishops of the Christian Church. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea [May 2006]

During this council, it was discussed whether Jesus was a mere mortal or a godlike figure.

Opus Dei

The Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, commonly known as Opus Dei (Latin for "The Work of God") or the Work, is an international prelature of the Roman Catholic Church, comprising ordinary lay people and secular priests headed by a prelate, whose mission contributes to spreading the Catholic teaching that everyone is called to become a saint and an apostle of Jesus Christ, and that ordinary life is a path to sanctity. Founded in 1928 by a Roman Catholic priest, St. Josemaría Escrivá, Opus Dei was established as a personal prelature by Pope John Paul II in 1982 through the Apostolic Constitution Ut Sit, making it an integral part of the Church's institutional structure. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opus_Dei

Opus Dei members are advocates of mortification of the flesh.

Holy Grail

In Christian mythology, the Holy Grail was the dish, plate, bowl, glass, cup or vessel used by Jesus at the Last Supper, said to possess miraculous powers. The connection of Joseph of Arimathea with the Grail legend dates from Robert de Boron's Joseph d'Arimathie (late twelfth century) in which Joseph receives the Grail from an apparition of Jesus and sends it with his followers to Great Britain; building upon this theme, later writers recounted how Joseph used the Grail to catch Christ's blood while interring him and that in Britain he founded a line of guardians to keep it safe. The quest for the Holy Grail makes up an important segment of the Arthurian cycle, appearing first in works by Chrétien de Troyes. The legend may combine Christian lore with a Celtic myth of a cauldron endowed with special powers.

Dan Brown's bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code is based on the idea that the real Grail is not a cup but the earthly remains of Mary Magdalene (again cast as Jesus' wife), plus a set of ancient documents telling the "true" story of Jesus, his teachings and descendants. In Brown's novel, it is hinted that the Grail was long buried beneath Rosslyn Chapel, but in recent decades its guardians had it relocated to a secret chamber embedded in the floor beneath the Inverted Pyramid near the Louvre Museum. Of course the latter location, like Rosslyn Chapel, has never been mentioned in real Grail lore. Yet such was the public interest in even a fictionalized Grail that for a while, the museum roped off the exact location mentioned by Brown, lest visitors inflict any damage in a more or less serious attempt to access the supposed hidden chamber. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Grail [May 2006]

Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene is described, both in the canonical New Testament and in the New Testament apocrypha, as a devoted disciple of Jesus. She is considered by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Anglican churches to be a saint, with a feast day of July 22, and was particularly special to the Gnostics. Her name means "Mary of Magdala", Magdala being a town on the western shore of the Lake of Tiberias. The life of the historical Mary is a subject of ongoing debate.

The idea that Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus was popularized by books like the pseudo-historical Holy Blood, Holy Grail (1982) and The Da Vinci Code (2003), a novel heavily influenced by the former book. These assertions have found no acceptance from scholarly circles.

The Australian scholar Barbara Thiering claims that a full account of the marriage and children of Jesus and Mary Magdalene can be derived from the New Testament by use of the pesher technique. However, neither her method nor her findings have found acceptance among scholars. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Magdalene [May 2006]

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