November 21, 2004
Reading more about the Da Vinci Code

I recently finished Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code. It seems like literally everyone is reading it on the London Tube these days, but if you haven't yet heard about it, it's a quite entertaining "historical mystery" novel.

As many other bloggers have pointed out, it's not all about historical facts nor is the book exceptionally well-written. That said, it's a great, reasonably quick read with plently of thought-inducing material about the role of the Church in the early shaping of Christianity, secret societies and more. Definitely a worthwhile read.

Having finished the book, I'm keen on further exploring what's a fact and what's fiction and learning more about symbology and early religious history. The author himself has a resouce listing on his homepages, citing his sources and further reading. Searching on Amazon and Google also reveals that a raft of authors have tagged on to the Da Vinci hype and there is a pile of books providing more or less factual background information to the original plot line.

My question to you, honoured reader, is for your advice on where to go next from this rather comprehensive listing of information - what is scientific, what is mumbo-jumbo? Which of the authors are authros, which are 'authors' providing only a single-sided view?

If you're out looking for more information too, check out these online sources:

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Well, daVinci is known to have had exceptional
visual abilities, but his knowledge of physics is
less than imposing. The age did not have much
understanding of energy and force, movement and
accelleration etc. Clearly one would kille oneself
trying to fly with daVinci wings! But maybe he just
entertained himself with daydreams?

So I cannot really help you more than you have
helped yourself so far: There is much fiction here.

But thank you for a nice description of the book.

Posted by: Donald on November 21, 2004 04:41 PM

Personally I would avoid any book whose title contains the words "The da Vinci Code"; it seems that the original bestseller has spawned a whole industry of books claiming to provide the "hidden secrets" of da Vinci, the knight's templars etc., etc.

I recommend "Holy Blood, Holy Grail", as it's kind of a classic and a pretty entertaining read. Don't take anything you read in there at face value, though.

Also, if you're interested in the early christian church and its relation with the gnostic movement I'd recommend Elaine Pagels' "The Gnostic Gospels". A scholarly book, but very well-written and entertaining.

Posted by: Fredrik on November 21, 2004 05:44 PM

I've now read three of the guides available and find Bart Ehrman's the best. If you want to choose an unbiased and scholarly guide to the issues raised in the novel, choose Ehrman's.

Did any of you see this page where the guy is presenting himself as the Grand Master of the Priory of Sion? It's at:

Gus Traupmann

Posted by: Gus Traupmann on November 24, 2004 05:43 PM

I am the author of Secrets of the Magdalene Scrolls. I was two-thirds completed with the manuscript when I first heard of Dan Brown and The DaVinci Code. I did not read it until my manuscript was finished. My book is also fiction and I chose to write it as that because from my research, it wouldn't sell as non-fiction. By using fiction as a mode of information, I was able to write about information that would be believable.
I have an extensive bibliography in the back of the book and I also have footnotes throughout documenting various subjects. I am now into my second printing and have a website I invite you to visit.

Posted by: Bettye Johnson on July 21, 2005 09:33 PM

If you're interested in the historical inaccuracies of the book, there's a good review reprinted in my blog.

Posted by: Toledotastic on July 31, 2005 10:51 AM


I would like to generate some discussion on the topic of The Holy Grail.

I cordially invite you to drop by my blog and comment.
If you feel my thoughts are worthy to share, please pass it on.

Thanks, from me and all the women of the world,

Kelley Bell

Posted by: Kelley bell on August 24, 2005 06:43 PM

I was wondering if anyone could help me figure out the artist of the illustration on page 134 of the illustrated version of the book. I realize this request is out of sequence with the other thoughts posted above , but any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Posted by: Joseph on November 30, 2005 08:25 AM

I am the author of "Seed of the Dogwood Tree" which was released a couple of years before "The DaVinci Code". It is a story within a story about decoding the intent of some of the organizations that DaVinci worked with and delivering a fictional account of what may result from their efforts. It is fictional but if you like Mystery, Fiction, Folk Lore, History, Templar legend, Crusader legend, End-time Prophecy? Then you'll love "Seed of the Dogwood Tree".

On a student excavation at the Mendips mines of Somerset England, Michael Sinclair, a young archaeology student, and his best friend Bruce Plantard have made an astounding discovery. They have found a journal containing the writings of the first Baldwin King of Jerusalem. Studying these documents, they believe they have found clues to the location of additional archaeological treasures hidden at Mendip mines of Somerset England. Financed by Bruce’s uncle Edmond, the two boys mount a secret expedition back to Mendips. There, using the Baldwin papers and additional documents provided by the enigmatic Uncle Edmond, they discover a secret chamber containing, what they believe to be, the one true cross and jars containing, what they believe to be, the blood of Christ. This begins an adventure that leads us through a fascinating montage of religious fact and lore, history and legends, science, and science fiction blended into a compelling story of discovery, salvation, murder, intrigue and secret societies. It portrays how the world, as we know it, might end.

People are talking:

Greg Cicio's The Seed of the Dogwood Tree is easily the single finest Christian archaeological mystery thriller to hit the market in quite some time
...Jason Price Everett Circle Magazine

Mr. Cicio's characters are very well defined, even the most evil ones are quite credible. The conspiracy plot is plausible, especially in the light of some recent events. "The Seed of the Dogwood Tree" is an interesting novel.
4 ˝ chalices out of 5. ...Johana Smith GWO Reviewers

Seed of the Dogwood Tree is a very fascinating and unique book. The author uses skill and imagination to create a very compelling plot. This book will keep the reader turning the pages. The story is well developed and the book is well written. We look forward to the next book by Greg Cicio....Nancy Eaton

...You'll hold your breath waiting to find out as all leads to a climax that you will not soon forget. Is it the story of the beginning, or the story of the end? This is the thought that you will ponder after reading this excellent novel by Greg Cicio. A very good read! ...Shirley Johnson Denise's Pieces

...In the realm of 'end-times' novels, Seed of the Dogwood Tree works in that it offers a unique twist to the story - author Cicio offers a fascinating fictional account with the cloning and genetic angles... a dramatic faith thriller ...Kathryn Lively

At first it sounds like the sort of tale that might feature Indiana Jones but think again – this novel has more twists and turns than a switchback. Blending elements of science, religion and legend together like the strands of a tapestry...Rachel A Hyde

“Do you like Mystery, Fiction, Folk Lore, History, Templar legend, Crusader legend, End-time Prophesy? Then you'll love ‘Seed of the Dogwood Tree’." This is how the author describes the novel on his website, but I must agree. Seed of the Dogwood Tree blends religious conspiracy theories with science fiction and ends up with one interesting and fast paced apocalyptic novel. ...Su Terry Metapsychology online imaginative tale which incorporates ancient superstition, folklore, and biblical prophecy. ...Michael Thal

"Seed of the Dogwood Tree" is a compelling tale that challenges the imagination and stimulates the thought process. You'll remember this book long after you've finished reading it. ...Mary Davidson -Freelance Reporter

"It's a thought provoking fantasy shrouded with ancient truths" ...Jim Kirby

"If you are looking for a book to read this summer I highly recommend The Seed of the Dogwood Tree. Greg Cicio has the unique talent to blend the sciences of today with the lore of yesterday into a very entertaining story. The characters are real, modern and believable. I was easily able to put myself into the lead character's position and identify with him." ...Guy Yasika

"Greg Cicio masterfully weaves theology, science, history and historical prophecy into a spell binding portrayal of the end of time as we know it. Once you pick up this book, it is impossible to put down as we each know and can relate to at least one character in the story. The book is a work of fiction, but it has the twist in that each and every element has a certain ring of truth. When you finally finish the book, you take a deep breath and say 'wow' is THIS really how it all ends. Very believable and enjoyable story. Follow this author.....if this is just the beginning of his writing career he has a long and glorious future ahead of him." ...Virginia Tadrzynski

"Couldn't put it down. From conspiracy theory to Sci-fi to end-time prophesy, the book has it all. I know it's fantasy but it seems like it could all come true. This is a must-get book! Very entertaining." ...Tony Siciliano

I would be very interested to hear your opinion of this story.

Best regards,


Posted by: Greg Cicio on January 3, 2006 04:13 AM

Nice reading. I just came across what looks like a new blog being run by an american priest of Opus Dei, on the Da Vinci Code. Looks interesting. Take a look

Posted by: Agboifo on January 21, 2006 05:51 PM

I also like Wikipedia articles... very comprehensive and easy to read... usually quite balanced, also.


Posted by: bernie dehler on February 10, 2006 09:22 PM
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Mystery of a Shrinking Violet: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (December 17, 2004 08:26 PM)
"Robert Langdon is an American expert on symbolism and art, visiting France to speak before The American University of Paris. He's wakened in his hotel room late at night and summoned to the Louvre Museum by the French Judicial Police. The museum's es..."

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