The Da Vinci Code

by Dan Brown

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What historical facts did Dan Brown use in The Da Vinci Code?

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As a writer of fiction, Dan Brown took many liberties when composing The Da Vinci Code. Indeed, the book has been criticized for its numerous fabrications and inaccuracies. However, there are still some elements that are grounded in historical facts. Let's take a look at some of these.

Leonardo Da Vinci did, in fact, write in code at times. As described in the book, it is known that he sometimes wrote in reverse script that could be read accurately using a mirror. While Dan Brown invents the content of these coded messages, the fact that Da Vinci hid his notes this way is based on historical truth.

The Da Vinci Code discusses the existence of Gnostic Gospels, which were written by early Christian sects and were not included in the New Testament. The book accurately describes some of the teachings and beliefs found in these texts. In particular, the Gospel of Philip describes a close relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. It is also true that the early Catholic church suppressed many of these gospels.

While the book's portrayal of the Priory of Sion as a centuries-old secret society with ties to famous historical figures is inaccurate, there was a real-life Priory of Sion that was founded in France in 1956. However, it was not the ancient and influential organization described in the book.

The Da Vinci Code also discusses The First Council of Nicaea where the divine nature of Jesus was decided upon. The book implies that there were more dissenting opinions at the council than the official historical vote claims. Although The Da Vinci Code states that the vote was very close, the actual outcome was overwhelmingly in favor of Jesus' divinity. However, it is likely that many of the bishops at the council may have cast their votes as they did primarily to curry favor with Emperor Constantine and may have had private misgivings.

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