Quote 3

“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. As Napoleon once said, ‘What is history, but a fable agreed upon?’”

Although this theory is advanced by Leigh Teabing, who is later found to be unreliable and mentally unbalanced, Langdon agrees with it. The idea of history as a story written by winners is the fundamental underpinning of The Da Vinci Code. Throughout the narrative, Brown expounds on the ideas that Langdon and Teabing work with professionally: certain gospels were left out of the Bible because of the political desires of leaders; Mary Magdalene was of the royal blood of Benjamin and more likely was Jesus’ wife rather than a prostitute; pagans were killed in order to further the political goals of the Church; and the meanings of certain words and symbols were changed in order to force people to change their beliefs.

In this case Brown is essentially the rewriter of history. It is tempting to believe every theory he advances simply because each theory opposes conventional wisdom, which suggests that Brown is uncovering hidden truths. But some of the ideas presented as fact by Langdon and Teabing are enormously complex, and so little proof backs them up that it would be hard to believe them.