Talk:Joachim Murat

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WP:MILHIST Assessment[edit]

A nice article, lengthy, detailed, with pictures, and at least one reference cited. On the intro, however, while I'm sure that being Grand Duke of Cleves and Berg, Marshal of France, and King of Naples is quite significant and important, I wonder if there's any other reason Murat might be significant or notable. In my opinion, intros should be at least two sentences long, and should summarize the significant elements of the entire subject. Still, overall, very good work. LordAmeth 23:57, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Death of Joachim Murat[edit]

He was really unafraid when he was to be executed. Did the soldiers do as he said: shout him in the chest to leave his head intact?

2007-06-22 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

I presume he was shot in the chest, since the soldiers were just under orders to execute him. I'm tempted to add "like the end scene in Scarface", but it might not be suitable for a historic article. :p - Gennarous (talk) 10:24, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
In Chandler's work Napoleon's Marshals it is stated that he was shot in the head three times -- fdewaele, 20 April 2008, 12:32 CET.

I suppose that you mean David Geoffrey Chandler who was an expert in the field. But his description might be outdated. Which year was the book printed?

2009-02-09 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Two eyewitness acounts are available online, and also Alexandre Dumas' romanticisation of the execution, which presents a fiction that the soldiers first fired over Murat's head. In fact, the first volley appears to have done sufficient damage that his obvious agony drew subsequent, urgent shots to the head. Their comrades above acted to spare the firing party the distress of watching Murat convulsing in prolonged death throes—a not uncommon occurance and remedy. A very sordid end, I'm afraid. Poor Caroline!
I do not believe the picture of the assassination is a photograph. 1815 is too early for that, and the incident was rather ad hoc in a remote and backward part of Europe. Even today, Calabria is not normally associated with justice. Alastair Haines (talk) 16:07, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Dear Frania,
thank you so much for your kind attention to this.
The sources I consulted were simple:
  1. (English) C., "The Death of Murat", The North American Review and Miscellaneous Journal 3/7 (May, 1816): 28–33. [Letter purporting to be from the English Vice-Consul]
  2. (English) Craufurd Tait Ramage, The Nooks and By-Ways of Italy, (Liverpool: Edward Howell, 1868), pp. 104–108. [Reliable source interviewed participants at a later date and reports]
  3. (French) Alexandre Dumas (attrib.), "Murat", pages 25–84 en Dumas (ed.), Crimes célèbres, volume 3, (Paris: Administration de librarie, 1840). [Celebrated romantic writer of historical fiction presents the account as reportage]
Is it hard to believe that Dumas's "retelling" became the established account in French?
I wish it were as Dumas told it. But realism leaves us with a story of pathos rather than glory. The First French Empire was a truly extraordinary large scale modern romantic adventure following a very dark and brutal revolution; but despite the brilliance and bravery of so many Napoleonic individuals, there was unprecedented slaughter. It had to come to an end.
Vive l'Union Européenne! Union that pays taxes to beureaucrats rather than blood to charismatic leaders is not glorious, but it is union. Vive pax Europa!
Alastair Haines (talk) 01:29, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
PS despite the early date of the other two sources, I think Ramage is the best. There is something rather odd about an English Vice-Consul's letter appearing first in America at the hands of an anonymous contributor. The United States was still young in those days. American publishers would no longer consider anonymous contributors to be reliable sources, would they? Alastair Haines (talk) 02:11, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Dear Alastair
Since the execution of Murat is not a subject I have studied in depth, and since I tend to have much doubt about the veracity of History viewed through the imaginative pen of either Alexandre Dumas père or fils, (or Victor Hugo, had he written the piece!), I would not dare pushing the theatrical scene... .
One modern French historian whose work on Murat might be interesting to look into is Jean Tulard http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Tulard, a specialist of the French Revolution, Consulat & Empire, and who wrote Murat, Fayard, 1999, ISBN 2213603723
Cordialement, Frania W. (talk) 04:37, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Ah! I think you have just the source in Jean Tulard (Murat first published in 1983?). Merci.
Alas, I only dropped by here to investigate the demise of a man I've admired since a boy. Napoleon owed so much to him. Unfortunately, other priorities prevent me from taking advantage of your expert guidance ... at least just at the present.
I will be watching for your work here at Wiki, Frania, I think I sense a keen mind and a warm heart.
Enchantée! But for now, au revoir, hopefully soon. :) Alastair Haines (talk) 15:34, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

With people using works of historical fiction as sources I am more likely to belive David Geoffrey Chandler's “Napoléon's Marshals”. What I wounder is when the book was written and if this particular claime has been disproven by professional historians.

2009-06-30 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Lena, If you read French, why don't you try the book by French historian Jean Tulard: Murat, Fayard, Paris, 1999, ISBN 2213603723 ? Regards, FW/ Frania W. (talk) 20:46, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

I neither speak French nor am I interested enough in Joachim to read a whole biography of him. I was just made curious by the fact that he can be said to have ordered his own execution. If you have read the book yourself can you tell if it said that he was shot in the head or in the chest?

2009-07-29 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Lena, I was suggesting this book because Jean Tulard is a serious French historian. Like you, I have many other interests & Murat is not a priority in my life. All I know of his death is what is in every book I have read, that he died courageously and, supposedly, asked that the men of the "peloton d'exécution" aim at his heart, not at his face. Should I run into more details, I would post them to/for you. Cordialement, Frania W. (talk) 19:34, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Was he that much on it?[edit]

In Scandinavian history, Sweden has actually been ruled by a King that was a constant insomniac, never said anything in Scandinavian and so on. That person had a tattoo that read "death to all kings", given the fact that Karl Johan was a Jacobine. Murat was given the position as King of the Naples, but also he was described as a (quite ardent) republican. Was he more on it than (the man later known as) Karl Johan? --88.89.69.14 (talk) 00:49, 8 September 2012 (UTC)


Source for Murat's last words =[edit]

In David Chandler's "Napoleon's Marshalls" (London 1987 and reprinted since) Tom Pickles wrote the article on Murat. He gives various references in his biographical note, which Murataphiles may wish to follow up. Pickles gives the source for the 'last words' quote as 'My Memoirs' by Princess Caroline Murat (Murat's grandaughter), published London 1910. The book is available to read on Googlebooks. Having read the page in question, and the other online sources (not the Dumas) mentioned above I personaly doubt Murat actually said this. Ney also gave the commands to his firing squad, so I suspect Muart's last word was "Fire" (in French!). But the quote is pure Murat and at least we have a source for it so it should stay. Andrewshobley (talk) 15:53, 28 December 2012 (UTC) Thinking about this a little further, given the firing squad was local Murat could have called out "Fire" in Italian, rather than French. But we will never know. Andrewshobley (talk) 14:55, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

German name[edit]

Why does JOACHIM Murat have such a typical German first name? Does anyone know? --91.66.11.255 (talk) 03:05, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Well this is why his origins as an Armenian may become even more obvious. His original name was Hovakim Muradian. Since Armenian is an Indo-European language just like German, the names may sound familiar. Proudbolsahye (talk) 03:21, 18 February 2013 (UTC)


Claim of Armenian origin[edit]

The name Joachim (discussed in the section above) is biblical and Hebrew in origin. It was, according to an apocryphic tradition, the name of the father of Mary, mother of Jesus. It is hardly surprising that it occurs in various Christian countries and is in itself no argument for an Armenian origin. (Or was Gioachino Rossini perhaps also an Armenian whose real name was Hovakim Rossinian? This line of "research" opens all kinds of possibilities...)

I doubt Murat would have had any reason to hide an Armenian background had he had one, but unless everything else said about his family in this article is invented out of thin air, it would appear that his French family background is pretty well-documented. The notion that he was of Armenian origin (inserted here) seems like a fringe nationalist claim and probably shouldn't be the first thing mentioned in the "Early life" section, even with the caveat that follows ("However, it is generally believed that ..."). One could possibly mention the Armenian claim if the whole thing is put in a footnote. Otherwise it really needs to go. --Hegvald (talk) 09:59, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

I totally agree with Hegvald. Joachim is a quite common first name in France and Murat's Armenian origin is a dubious fringe theory WP:FRINGE which is probably not worth mentionning.Blaue Max (talk) 11:23, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Strangely there seem to be very few recent sources on Murat readily available. There are a lot of old publications in English and French, some dating back to his lifetime. All say essentially the same thing, that he was the son of an innkeeper ("'aubergiste") in La Bastide-Fortumière. That's also what the Britannica and other reference works say. The village preserves the Murat Birthplace (Maison natale) and has a Murat museum. [1]. It's even renamed itself Labastide-Murat. I have not found a single reference to the Armenian claim that's not just web-gossip or from specifically Armenian publications the authors of which have no claim to expertise on Murat. Paul B (talk) 14:36, 8 March 2013 (UTC)