The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown is the phenomenal bestseller about a modern search to locate the legendary Holy Grail before it--and an alternate history of Christ that could topple the Church--is destroyed forever. Millions have been enthralled by its fascinating historical speculations--from the meaning of the Mona Lisa's smile to the suppressed 'Apocryphal Gospels' to alleged clues in Da Vinci's paintings. But many readers have been left wondering what in the plot is actual history, what is based on ancient legend, and what has been invented by the author. Now, medieval scholar Sharan Newman reveals the historical truths and myths behind the international bestseller. The Real History Behind The Da Vinci Code gives short, clear answers about the people, places, and events behind Dan Brown's tantalizing thriller in a lively, encyclopedic format--shedding new light on some of the deepest mysteries of the Dark Ages.