The Da Vinci Code

One of the most widely-known contemporary works of fiction that are a part of the mythology surrounding Leonardo da Vinci is the Da Vinci Code, a novel written by Dan Brown, and later made into a world-famous blockbuster movie.

The plot of The Da Vinci Code involves murder, mystery puzzle-solving, and various conspiracies between secret (and not-so-secret) societies that implicate the Roman Catholic Church, a (real-world) conservative Catholic organization known as the Opus Dei, as well as the Knights Templar and the origin of Christianity and the life of Jesus Christ. It is one among many pieces of fiction based on Holy Grail mythology. The novel is highly critical of the Catholic Church and seems to call into question traditional teachings of Christianity such as the celibacy of Jesus Christ and the role of Mary Magdalen in Christ’s life and in early Christianity.

Much of the plot is driven by solutions to various puzzles and mind-boggling problems, such as mysterious inscriptions and symbols, to be solved by the protagonist Prof. Robert Langdon, Harvard “symbologist.”

The extremely popular novel, which has also been controversial both due to its criticism of the Catholic Church as well as because of historical and factual inaccuracies, was turned into a movie of the same title in 2006, starring famous actor Tom Hanks, who also plays the lead role in Dan Brown’s newest film adaptation, Angels and Demons, released in 2009.