The Da Vinci Code begins with the death of the Louvre curator, murdered by a man in search of key to the location of the Holy Grail. When the curator's body is found in the pose of the Vitruvian Man, the police call for a professor named Robert Langdon. In describing Langdon, the narrator states, "As someone who had spent his life exploring the hidden interconnectivity of disparate emblems and ideologies, Langdon viewed the world as a web of profoundly intertwined histories and events" (15). However, Langdon is not present to analyze the codes, but because the curator wrote on the museum floor to "find Robert Langdon" in his dying moments.
Sophie Neveu, a cryptographer, appears at the murder scene as well, and she secretly tells Langdon that he is a suspect. She explains that she is the granddaughter of the curator, and she knows that her grandfather meant for Langdon to decipher the code, not that he was the murderer. The two escape the police with the discovery that the keystone is in a safety deposit box. There they find a hand-held vault, locked by a combination and equipped with a vial of vinegar which will dissolve the message if the container is forced open.
Langdon and Neveu visit Langdon's friend, Sir Leigh Teabing, an expert in the Holy Grail. Teabing tells them the legend of the Holy Grail, and his belief that it is the tomb of Jesus Christ's wife rather than a cup. The three of them flee the country in Teabing's plane, in which they discover the combination to open the vault. Inside is another, along with a riddle which leads the group to Westminster Abbey. There, the identity of the man for which the curator's murderer works, the Teacher, is revealed. At gunpoint, Langdon destroys the contents of the vault in front of the Teacher, after secretly removing the message. The police arrive and the Teacher is arrested, and Sophie and Langdon are free to follow the final clues to the guardians of the Holy Grail.
At his home, Teabing tells Sophie and Langdon what he believes the Holy Grail to be, a twist to the common belief. Teabing explains the possibility in saying, "History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books- books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe" (256).
Do you agree with this statement?
How does that change what we should believe?