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The Da Vinci Code is a mystery/detective novel by American author Dan Brown, published in 2003 by Doubleday.

The novel has helped perpetuate popular interest in speculation concerning the Holy Grail legend and the role of Mary Magdalene in the history of Christianity. According to the premise of the novel, the Vatican knows it is living a lie, but continues to do so to keep itself in power.

This book concerns the attempts of Robert Langdon, Professor of Religious Symbology at Harvard University, to solve the murder of renowned curator Jacques Saunière (see Bérenger Saunière) of the Louvre Museum in Paris. The title of the novel refers, among other things, to the fact that Saunière's body is found in the Denon Wing of the Louvre naked and posed like Leonardo da Vinci's famous drawing, the Vitruvian Man, with a cryptic message written beside his body and a Pentagram drawn on his stomach in his own blood.

These are the principal characters that drive the plot of the story. It seems to be Dan Brown's style that many have names that are puns, anagrams or hidden clues:

As explained by Leigh Teabing to Sophie Neveu, the figure at the right hand of Jesus is supposedly not the apostle John, but Mary Magdalene. According to the book Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus Christ and was in fact pregnant with his child when Jesus was crucified. The absence of a chalice in the painting supposedly indicates that Leonardo knew that Mary Magdalene was actually the Holy Grail (the bearer of Jesus' blood). This is said to be reinforced by the letter "V" that is created with the bodily positions of Jesus and Mary, as "V" is the symbol for the sacred feminine. The apparent absence of the "Apostle John", under this interpretation, is explained by identifying John as "the Disciple Jesus loved", allegedly code for Mary Magdalene (see also Second Apocalypse of James). The book also notes that the color scheme of their garments are inverted: Jesus wears a red blouse with royal blue cape; John/Mary wears a royal blue blouse with red cape — perhaps symbolizing two bonded halves of marriage. Also, if you move John/Mary to Jesus's right, you will see his head fits perfectly onto Jesus' shoulder as if to lay her head on his shoulder.