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The Da Vinci Code is a 2003 mystery-detective novel by Dan Brown. It follows symbologist Robert Langdon and cryptologist Sophie Neveu after a murder in the Louvre Museum in Paris, when they become involved in a battle between the Priory of Sion and Opus Dei over the possibility of Jesus Christ having been a companion to Mary Magdalene. The title of the novel refers, among other things, to the finding of the first murder victim in the Grand Gallery of the Louvre, naked and posed similar to Leonardo da Vinci's famous drawing, the Vitruvian Man, with a cryptic message written beside his body and a pentacle drawn on his chest in his own blood.The novel explores an alternative religious history, whose central plot point is that the Merovingian kings of France were descended from the bloodline of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene, ideas derived from Clive Prince's The Templar Revelation (1997) and books by Margaret Starbird. The book also refers to The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (1982) though Dan Brown has stated that it was not used as research material.

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