The Da Vinci Code

Factual Guide to The Da Vinci Code

"FACT:   All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate."

There are many claims found within the pages of Dan Brown's bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code, but the above claim is easily the most controversial — because it just isn't true. Even leaving the speculative theories aside, many "descriptions" of art, documents and rituals are simply inaccurate. The "FACT" statement therefore creates a false sense of trust in what the novel's authoritative characters have to say about history, art and religion. (See Facts, Errors: So What? for more on this.)

Our Factual Guide to The Da Vinci Code is a resource for exploring many of the fascinating topics raised in The Da Vinci Code novel and film. We hope it will be useful both to those who might be troubled or influenced by the novel's dramatic religious claims as well as those who simply say, "Wow, really?" when coming across an intriguing statement. This Da Vinci Code guide does not seek to defend traditional Christian beliefs, insult Dan Brown and his book, nor give undue credence to exciting theories. We simply provide the facts, evidence and resources to those who are interested, so you can draw your own informed conclusions. It's fascinating stuff — enjoy your exploration!

General Information on The Da Vinci Code

List of Facts, Fiction and Errors in The Da Vinci Code
A simple list of what's true and not true in The Da Vinci Code, with links to more information. The best place to start.
Fact, Fiction, Errors: Who Cares?
Some brief reasons why bother sorting facts from errors, since it is just a fictional novel. Includes quotes from various authors, including us.
Dan BrownAbout Dan Brown
A brief biography of the man behind the bestselling book, including his comments on The Da Vinci Code.
Bart EhrmanGuide to Experts and Authors
Reference guide to "who's-who" of experts, non-experts and authors related to The Da Vinci Code - both the sources for the novel and the authors who have responded to the novel.

Art, Symbols, Numbers

The Louvre Pyramids
Does the glass pyramid really have 666 window panes? Could the inverted pyramid be a "chalice" symbol?
Leonardo da Vinci Self PortraitAbout Leonardo da Vinci
Was Leonardo a "flamboyant homosexual"? Did Leonardo exhume corpses and worship the sacred feminine? Are there hidden messages in his paintings?
Virgin of the RocksLeonardo da Vinci Gallery
Examine and enjoy high-resolution images of the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, the two Virgin of the Rocks, sketches of war machines and other Leonardo da Vinci works.
Mona LisaMona Lisa
Learn the history of Mona Lisa, what makes it so special, and theories about the lady's identity and the portrait's meaning.
The Last SupperThe Last Supper
Learn more about this masterpiece, why it is so famous, and its possible hidden symbolism. See what experts have to say about the feminine figure next to Jesus and the lack of a chalice.
The Da Vinci Code Locations (offsite)
Information on the locations featured in The Da Vinci Code, from Westminster Abbey to the Temple Church to Chateau Villette, with interactive maps.
The Pentagram, Pentacle and Venus
Information from reliable sources on the history and meaning of the pentagram, whether the shape is traced by Venus, and what this has to do with the Olympics.
Phi, the Divine ProportionThe Divine Proportion (Phi)
Does this really exist? What is the history and basics of this idea? Is it a religion thing, a math thing, or both?

Ancient Documents and Scriptures

Dead Sea Scrolls and The Da Vinci Code The Dead Sea Scrolls
Learn more about these recently discovered documents, their contents, and their significance for Jewish and Christian history.
Nag Hammadi Library and The Da Vinci Code
Nag Hammadi Library & Gnostic Gospels
Learn more about these documents and what they tell us about the historical Jesus.
BibleThe Making of the New Testament
Who decided which books made it into the Bible, and when? What was the criteria? Were some books deliberately destroyed or suppressed?

Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Christian History

Jesus: Married, with Children?
Was Jesus married, or likely to have been married? What's the evidence for his marriage to Mary Magdalene? What would it mean for the Christian faith if Jesus had been married and fathered a child?
Mary Magdalene in the Ancient Texts
Read for yourself what the Bible and the Gnostic Gospels have to say about Mary Magdalene, then consider some comments from scholars.
Mary Magdalene as Prostitute/Saint
When and why did the confusion with Mary and the prostitute happen? Was it a deliberate smear campaign? What does the Vatican say today? Was she revered as a saint in history?
Christianity and Paganism
Similarities, differences and connections between Christianity and earlier pagan religions such as Isis worship, mystery religions, and Christmas.
Divinity of Jesus and Da Vinci CodeThe Divinity of Jesus
Did a close vote at the Council of Nicea establish the divinity of Jesus? If not, when was this idea first introduced? Did Jesus' first followers regard him as just a prophet?
Council of Nicea and Da Vinci CodeThe Council of Nicea
Explore the historical record of this council and what it decided on the divinity of Jesus and the books of the Bible.
Constantine and The Da Vinci CodeConstantine the Great
Constantine's relationship with Christianity and paganism, role in the Council of Nicea, and deathbed baptism.

Secret Societies and Rituals

Priory of Sion
Is this a real secret society or a hoax? What is the evidence for it?
Opus Dei
The history, practices and controversy of this Catholic sect, including their reaction to The Da Vinci Code.
Knights Templar and The Da Vinci CodeKnights Templar
Learn more about the history, practices and demise of this religious-military order.
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