ART AND CULTURE.

Five things you may not have known about Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte, often also referred to as Napoleon, was a French politician and general, founder of the First French Empire and protagonist of the first phase of contemporary European history, known as the 'Napoleonic Age'.

His conquests throughout Europe and beyond make him one of the finest military strategists ever, but his importance is not limited only to victories in the field. Also important were some campaigns, such as the one in Egypt, which returned priceless treasures to the world. 

His life, studded with continual ups and downs, intrigues, murders and love affairs, ended in 1821 on the island of St Helena, in exile, due to stomach cancer. Although his life has filled the history books for over a century, some curiosities may still have escaped you.

Di Jacques-Louis David - kb.dk pic, Pubblico dominio, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curi
The most interesting curiosities about Napoleon
Napoleon Bonaparte, also often referred to anonymously as just Napoleon, was a French politician and general, founder of the First French Empire and a leading figure in the first phase of contemporary European history, known as the "Napoleonic Age." His conquests throughout Europe and beyond make him one of the finest military strategists ever, but his importance is not limited only to victories in the field. Also important were some campaigns, such as that of Egypt, which returned priceless treasures to the world. His life, punctuated by constant falls and rises, intrigue, murder, and love affairs, ended in 1821 on the island of St. Helena, in exile, due to stomach cancer. Although his life has filled history books for more than a century, some curiosities may still have escaped your notice.
Di Jean Victor Adam - L’Histoire par l’image [2], digital version produced by Agence photographi
Thanks to Napoleon, today we read Egyptian hieroglyphics
Perhaps not everyone knows that it was thanks to the Egyptian Campaign conducted by Napoleon (1798-1081) that we are today able to trace the history of Ancient Egypt. It was during the Campaign that Captain Pierre-François Bouchar discovered the famous Rosetta Stone that enabled scholars to decipher the mysterious hieroglyphs.
Di Jacques-Louis David - Edited version of: File:Jacques-Louis David, The Coronation of Napoleon.jpg
Napoleon did not take the crown of emperor into his own hands.
Popular legend has it that, during his coronation as Emperor of France in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in 1804, Napoleon literally took the Emperor's crown in his hand, snatching it from the Pope's hands, and put it on his head himself. This, as numerous historical documents available today show, is a false myth, as Bonaparte never directly took the crown in his hands. Instead, it is true that the Pope attended the ceremony, but did not participate directly.
Di Horace Vernet - [1], Pubblico dominio, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=246073
Napoleon's suicide attempt
Napoleon, before being exiled to the island of St Helena, actually attempted suicide by ingesting a dose of arsenic he had procured after his defeats in Russia. The suicide attempt took place on 12 April 1814, after Tsar Alexander I's Cossack troops had entered Paris and demanded the former Emperor's complete abdication.
Di Sconosciuto - zQEbF0AA9NhCXQ — Google Arts & Culture, Pubblico dominio, https://commons.wik
Low, but not that low
For many decades, the figure of Napoleon was considered to be that of a very short person in stature. However, it seems that this is just an invention of the British to discredit their arch-enemy. Napoleon in fact appears to have been another 168 to 169 cm, a good 3 cm taller than the average for his contemporaries. To make a comparison, Napoleon was 3 centimetres taller than former French president Nicolas Sarkozy
Getty Images
Napoleon's cry (pictured: a historical reconstruction of the second Italian campaign)
During his exile on the island of St Helena, Napoleon is said to have wept while looking at a painting depicting the Battle of Wagram. This was one of the rare times Napoleon allowed himself to be emotional in public.
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26/02/2024
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