Talk:Napoleon/Archive 3

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selected anniversary[edit]

An event in this article is a February 26 selected anniversary (may be in HTML comment)

link to Napoleon's portrait[edit]

The link to Napoleon's portrait at the beginning of this article is a broken link. Please fix. Thank you.

Neutrality, please![edit]

This following passage isn't exactly neutral in its tone: "After all, the military record is unquestioned—17 years of wars, perhaps six million Europeans dead, France bankrupt, her overseas colonies lost. And it was all such a great waste, for when the self-proclaimed tête d'armée was done, France's "losses were permanent" and she "began to slip from her position as the leading power in Europe to second-class status—that was Bonaparte's true legacy."[10]".... Please remove.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 08:07 UTC, November 2, 2006

  • Please sign your talk posts; and please place new threads at the bottom of the page.
  • As to your comment, it is a direct quotation, and therefore not suppposed to be neutral; after all, it is in a section of the article that describes conflicting views about Napoleon. It is an accurate portrayal of one of those conflicting points of view. --Russ (talk) 13:55, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Ah, yes, but we probably need a quotation from another view that conflicts it. Would anyone be able to find one? Aran|heru|nar 15:16, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Some comments regarding France's utter defeat in the Napoleonic Wars should be part of the article, nonetheless. The fact that France slipped from being the top European power to a secondary level, clearly below Britain's and soon also below Germany's and even Austria's, is hardly contentious. It must be remembered that the Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars came hard on the heels of what appeared to Europe's intellectuals as Britain's final, unavoiding loss of great power status, following the independence of the U.S. (just six years before the assault on the Bastille) Aussiesta 18:49, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Actually France was the dominate continental power until the Franco-Prussian war and remains a great power to this day. Carl Logan 19:57, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
I must respectfully disagree with this latest assertion, since France was smaller in size and less influential than both Austria and Russia before the Prussian war. Even if one were to concede that it was the main "continental" power, that would imply a loss of status - before the Napoleonic Wars, it was the main European power, including Britain, and had beaten combined enemy armies time and time again. As for keeping great power status to this day, I'm sure that that should come as great surprise to the French, humiliated by Nazi occupation and resolutely defeated both in Vietnam and Algeria. Now, it's true they can veto stuff in the UN - just like the (then) underdeveloped island of Taiwan did until 1973, for whatever that's worth. Aussiesta
Aussiesta who cares about your stupid POV? you are telling nonsense. nazi humiliation etc, pff. weren't the US humiliated in vietnam, in cuba and now in iraq? so they aren't great anymore then right? didn't the soviet retreated from afghanistan? what about them? the german were defeated and occupied in 1918 and 1945 what about them? what about the old good british? they were wiped by the germans in the campaigns of 1939 (Norway) then 1940 (France) and Dunkirk, a defeat transformed into a great victory, what a joke! actually in indochina and algeria the french had 10 times less casualties than their opponents, is this a defeat? a defeat is supposed to happen when one is loosing a war not when he is winning it. these two decolonization wars were wasted by politics. the very same happened in the overlooked Suez Crisis of 1956. the british surrendered there. they left their french and israeli "allies" without warning. ever heard about the Madagasacar war of independence? no? why? because france smashed the rebellion in a such violent way there are ashamed of. no one knows what happened in madagascar in 1946 so it is not in history books. moreover france is still a great power with remaining overseas territories and a strong nuclear force (the third one in terms of warheads after russia and usa) your beloved austrian and german doesn't have. so watch your tongue. quoting a non neutral POV is just the same as giving your own opinion. who do you think you can fool with your francophobic tricks? Paris By Night 02:49, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
Ah, the legendary French manners. Brushing insults and rants aside, my point remains unchallenged: following Napoleon's defeat, France slipped from the paramount status it had gained after the 1776 war of American independence, to a secondary power rank - a status it has since mantained due to many reasons unrelated to whichever murders were committed in Madagascar in 1946. That may be my "stupid POV," in summary, and it's one unrelated to philias or phobias. The "Aus" in aussiesta stands for Australia, not for Austria, in any case. Aussiesta 09:17, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Instead of insulting each other you should be looking for sources on the topic. Codik 10:46, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

The legacy section is made ridiculous by starting with an unintroduced extremely POV qoutation. Yes its vey well written, but it can be put in after an introduction to the section which plainly details the varying views on Napoleon. It should be accompanied by a qoutation of similar caliber which is pro-Napoleon. In my studies of Napoleon, I have run into as many scholars who think the fellow was a good guy than those who think otherwise. I see no reason why the legacy section should therefore be one sided, and it most definitely presently is.-A Fellow —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:44, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

I am removing the following qoute from the legacy section, for the reasons previousy stated:

"He knew no motive but interest; acknowledged no criterion but success; he worshiped no God but ambition; and with an eastern devotion, he knelt at the shrine of his idolotry. Subsidiary to this, there was no creed that he did not profess, there was no opinion that he did not promulgate: In the hope of a dynasty, he upheld the cresent; for the sake of a divorce, he bowed before the cross; the orphan of St. Louis, he became the adopted child of the republic; and with a parricidal ingratitude, on the ruins of both of the thone and the tribune, he reared the throne of his despotism.

At his touch, crowns crumbled, beggars reigned; systems vanished; the wildest theories took the color of his whim; and all that was venerable, and all that was novel, changed places with the rapidity of a drama. Nature had no obstacle that he did not surmount; space no opposition he did not spurn, and whether amid Apine rocks, Arabian sands, or Polar snows, he seemed proof against peril, and empowered with ubiquity." (quote from McGuffey's Fifth Eclectic Reader, revised edition, John Wiley and Sons, page 34)"

The legacy section needs to be partially rewritten, but I am not qualified to do the writing. Nevertheless it is undeniably POV to give a qoute like this without any introduction or the presentation of a qoute of the opposing view.-A fellow —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:59, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Presentation of pictures to improve the article[edit]

François-René de Chateaubriand, painting by Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson, beginning of 19th century.

Generally, I have been taught (by my British professor of English, Mr. Frank Latham of the University of Maryland ;) ) that the subjects of pictures should face inward towards the article, not towards the margins.

For example this portrait is correctly placed to the right as the subject is facing left. Some of you may think this is petty, but I think presentation matters.

There are many pictures of Bonaparte in the article that are facing the margins, looking off the page. Consider swapping two of his head shots at the top of the article and other pictures through the article, including battle scenes with regard to the direction of the action.

I base this not only off of my professor's teachings but my knowledge as a broadcast journalist of 10 years experince with videography. ;-) I believe 100% percent it would look much better with these changes.Sean 15:30 CET 05JAN2007 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Jeez, you'd think people come here to seek information, not look at pretty pictures...

Can I leave this here? - I can't find a way to edit Napoleon Bonaparte article, but under Films you should add two major ommissions:

Desiree - 1954 - Marlon Brando (Ref: google it, it's on all movie websites.) The Emperor's New Clothes - 2001 - Sir Ian Holm (Ref: ditto.) Paul Snodgrass (talk) 02:56, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

"Whiff of Grapepoop"[edit]

In the 13 Vendémiaire article, the quote "whiff of grapeshot" is attributed to Thomas Carlyle, while in the Napoleon I of France article it is credited to Napoleon himself. Does anyone here have proof either way? Gyrvalcon 01:19, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

History in Quotations by Cohen and Major attributes it to Carlyle. --Bryson 01:48, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Napoleons' Height[edit]

The remarks regarding 'Misconceptions about Napoleon's Height' and the 'Napoleon's Height' entry in the larger article are /not/ by any means universally agreed to be accurate or entirely immune to careful scrutiny.

The most important fact to remember is that Napoleon was in British naval custody, on the British owned island of St. Helena, when he died. He was measured, after death, by an officer of the British navy and it was that officer who gave his height at '5'2' for the official historical record and that height has been recorded as Napoleon's height. This is very important to remember: Napoleon died in British custody, years after the end of French Revolution, and was measured by the British navy after his death.

While the information regarding the difference between French Revolutionary and Imperial measures are correct, it is important to remember that the British navy would not have used French revolutionary measures when measuring Napoleon's corpse. It's highly unlikely that the British navy even would have had access to a French yardstick. This is a common sense issue which is often forgotten in the excitement over the facts of the differences between French Revolutionary and British Imperial measures.

I'd strongly suggest either outright removal of the section in question or at least modification with the statement that scholars do not universally accept the 'debunking' of Napoleon's height and that it's open to debate. 19:18, 12 January 2007 (UTC) Chris Richards 19:18, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree, Connelly makes note of this in his book on Napoleon. I added this to the main article: "However, other historians claim it is unlikely that Napoleon was measured with a French yardstick after his death, Napoleon was under British control on St.Helena, and was almost certainly measured with a British yardstick. [Connelly, O. p.7]" - Connelly, O. Blundering to Glory: Napoleon’s Military Campaigns. Rowman & Littlefield Pub., 2006. 3rd ed. --Bryson 19:49, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
That is an excellent addition, however, after reading it myself it seems quite confusing. Perhaps the heading should be changed, or more modification should be done to the first paragraph. It begins attempting to make the reader believe that Napoleon was closer to 5 foot six inches due to a disparity between French and English units of measure, but then the (as we see now) more correct statement was that that belief is disputed and hardly agreed upon. As a reader, it really struck me as odd and inconsistent, and as an editor I believe something more can be done about it. I don't feel well-versed enough in how to go about this, but felt some input would be helpful. Mattygabe 21:48, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree, a bit confusing. I re-worded the whole section.--Bryson 21:00, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Something that occurred to me; 5'6" would have been above average for the average man of the time ("... in one canton on the Ligurian coast 72% of the recruits in 1792-9 were less than 1.50 metres (5 ft. 2 in.) tall", writes Eric Hobsbawm in "The Age of Revolution"), but the officer class weren't average men. They were relatively wealthy men, well-nourished, often from generations of well-nourished types, etc. Hey, here's a snippet from a New Yorker article, about some of John Komlos's research:

... [Komlos] analyzed the heights of thirty-eight thousand French soldiers from the late seventeen-hundreds. Peasant conscripts were nearly three inches shorter than their well-bred officers ...

Sorry about citing that article, damn but it's awful, but I couldn't find better. Elsewhere in the article, it's claimed that urbanites of the time would've been shorter again than the peasantry. What I'm getting at is that it's possible that Napoleon was tall for a Frenchman, but short for a French officer. I don't know if that makes any difference, given the petit thing, but just thought I'd add it. Kfor 23:47, 31 January 2007 (UTC) (How does one blockquote properly?)
"tall for a Frenchman of the time, but short for a French officer of the time" - Yes you may have a point there Connelly states that one other reason Napoleon was assigned as an Artillery officer was, he was not particularly tall. Infantry and cavalry officers were considered to require commanding figures. (Connelly, O. Blundering to Glory: Napoleon’s Military Campaigns. Rowman & Littlefield Pub., 2006. 3rd ed. p.7) --Bryson 00:37, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

My mental image of Napoléon I is quite similar to Ian Holm when he was younger. (Please note that Ian is still alive.) The two had the same relative height, build and shape of their faces. That means the exact distances between the features of their faces where the same. They had the same hair colour and even the same eyes. Their noses had the same shape but Napoléon’s nose was shorter. His lips was also thinner and his chin completely different: protruding with a large cleft. Ian is very light-skinned even for being a European. That was not true for Napoléon whose skin was probably beige. His hair was also strait not wavy as Ian’s. The last 19 years of his life Napoléon suffered from chronically ill stomach that made his belly to protrude. (His stomach always pained more or less which is why he is so often portrayed with one hand on his belly.) That image is mostly built on this painting:

It is said that it was painted after his death. Nevertheless, it gives an impression of lacking any intentional beautification. So if he was not the model of the final painting he most have been to the studies. Anyway, it is not detailed enough to show his eye colour. Different eyewitness (!) describe his eyes as ether blue or grey. If they where blue-grey people with different mental categories may have considered them ether blue or grey. The shape of his chin and nose have been mentally modified to match his death mask:

I have heard that Swedish soldiers of that time where 163 centimetres (5 feet 2) on average. If one decimetre more or less considered normal “5 feet 2” would have been average height regardless if measured in French or British units. (I don’t like the words “emperor”, “empire” or “imperial” so I only use them when necessary. But that is George Lucas’ fault!) There is a drawing of Napoléon on Saint Helena. It shows him leaning against a spade in the garden of Longwood House. We don’t know who made the drawing or exactly when: it might have been any time between 1815 and 1818. By measuring how large portion of his height the head took I estimated his height to 136 – 148 centimetres (4 feet 6 to 4 feet 10). Yes, I did take into account that he was leaning forwards! To depict things in a way that looks real you must have keen sense of proportions. I have it myself but I don’t have the training to depict things this way. I would never underestimate the height of a person I met with as much as two or three decimetres! Sure, his bodyguards where from a part of the army that was reserved for tall men. If you see a man of average height surrounded by tall men you may well mistake him for short. But if you walk up to him to say hello that illusion would scatter. (At least if you have a keen sense of the proportions of things.) I don’t think the drawing is a caricature ether. He does not look silly and nothing seems intentionally exaggerated. There is two ways to convince me that he was 168 centimetres as the “debunkers” claim. One way is if his grave in the Invalides in Paris was opened. If his mummy turns out to have different body proportions then the portraits show I will accept that he was taller. However, this is not very likely to happen. I first heard of this proposal in 2001 and yet it have not happened. The other way is giving credible explanation for why he was PORTRAID much shorter than PRECIVED. Until any of those two happen I will maintain that he was short.

2007-02-13 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

"His stomach always pained more or less which is why he is so often portrayed with one hand on his belly" - Not true, the hand in his coat, was a common pose at the time. I don’t really understand your point. Napoleon was actually measured after his death, he was at least 5 ft 2 in tall. --Bryson 18:35, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

My point is that contemporary portraits and written sources are incompatible with each other. To hold a hand in your coat may not have been uncommon. But people typically held it further up: close to the heart. Napoléon held his hand right on the place where his stomach should be. A paining stomach is the explanation I have heard for that pose. When I see an image of someone holding his/her hand like that I always interpret it as “my stomach is paining and I can't do anything about it”.

2007-02-15 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Yet contemporary portraits of Napoleon show him as being a similar height as those around him, only contemporary caricatures, show Napoleon as being short (and the purpose of these was to poke fun of Napoleon). Also what documents suggest he was short? There is the autopsy that shows he was at least 5 ft. 2 in tall.--Bryson 21:17, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps we make a new page whose sole purpose is discussions of Napoleon's Height? -Gomm 18:32, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
. I think there used to be one called 'Misconceptions about Napoleon's Height' , but it might not be a bad idea. --Bryson 18:37, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes, most contemporary portraits show him as being of average height. However, they also show much beautification: minimizing the “yaw” part of his face (typical for the beautification of that time), changing the shape of his chin, enlarging his lips, and sometimes also enlarging his eyes. If a man is relatively short and you want to beautify him why not make him look taller? The portraits I used to calculate his height are those showing the smallest degree of beautification. If they where caricatures you would expect the features of his face to be exaggerated but they are not. His body proportions are odd but not medically impossible for an adult man. Please note that I never claimed him to have been a dwarf. There is an overlapping in height of at least two decimetres (eight inches) between dwarves and non-dwarves. People of that size might be hard to find in the Western World today. But 200 years ago people seldom grew to the height their genes allowed. Malnutrition during upbringing makes people shorter as well as severe infections. So non-dwarves measuring only 130 – 150 centimetres (4 feet 3 to 4 feet 11) were much more common then.

2007-02-16 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Since Napoleon came from minor nobility, I doubt he would have been malnourished. Also calculating his height from a drawing does not sound scientific. Since the ‘smallest degree of beatification’ is really an objective matter. There was no photography, no one really knows what he looked like. Also how do you explain the autopsy report? Which I have mentioned several times.--Bryson 04:02, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

You are right in that Napoléon probably never had to starve. But as I pointed out severe infections have the same effect. That people where shorter then was due to a combination of widespread malnutrition and abundant infectious diseases. Consequently, the rich where taller than the poor and people from the countryside taller than townspeople. Yet, rich people where noticeably shorter than their present-day decedents. The Westerners have never been as filthy as they where in the 18th century! Many people almost never washed themselves with water: they just rubbed off the worst dirt with dry towels and changed underwear! The upper classes used enormous amounts of perfume to cover their stench. The Buonaparte family was probably no exception. Maria Letizia Buonaparte gave birth to 12 living children out of which eight reached adulthood. Perhaps it says something about the hygiene in that household...

I don’t agree about the possibility to know how he looked. The death mask shows his shape of face and how his chin, lips, and nose looked. Most contemporary portraits depict him with small eyes, light beige skin and black, straight hair. (I have already explained what I get my idea of his eye colour from.) People who met him described him as a tiny, little man. I know he often complained about a paining stomach. On a lot of portraits show his lance as noticeably wider than that of other men. This can be explained as a way to understate what might have been his largest bodily defect: a protruding belly. The first occurrence of this trait is visible on an painted drawing depicting an event that happened in 1802. So I think he suffered from a chronically ill stomach for at least since that year.

2007-02-18 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

I must state for my own record here that I think the part about Napoleon's height should be taken out of the article. Even in the section itself it contradicts itself and is not NPOV. I do not accept any British personnel's measure as being in any way accurate since those people did have an intense hatred of the Great Napoleon. There really is no reason to show the information about his hieght unless you want to show that the modern idea among English speakers only is inaccurate and was only created as a way for this great and noteworthy man's enemies to have something (anything) negative to say about him.--Billiot 03:03, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

April 11th, 2007 Habib Fanny, Ypsilanti, MI

Allow me to disagree with those who claim that Napoleon could not have been 5 feet and 6 inches tall in English feet. If the figure of 5'2" is to be taken as correct in English feet, it would mean that in French feet he was less and 5 feet tall. We have several independant known French measurements of him. For instance, his first Valet, Constant who wrote: "Sa taille était de cinq pieds deux pouces trois lignes..." meaning "his height was 5 feet 2 inches 3 lines (a line was equal of one twelfth of a French inch). A second attestation of his height comes from General Gourgaud, who was with him in the Northumberland and measured him there. On page 56 of his "Journal de Sainte-Helene," he found him to be "cinq pieds deux pouces et demi," 5 feet 2 inches and a half. We also have Marchand, valet of Napoleon at St. Helena, who wrote on page 338 of his "Memoires de Marchand" : "la hauteur totale du sommet de la tête aux talons est de 5 pieds, 2 pouces, 4 lignes." Finally, published in 1963, in the "Bulletin trimestriel d'informations des domaines français de Sainte-Hélène," was the journal of Andrew Darling, a man who'd been assigned to measure him. He recorded his height as "5 feet 7 inches." I hope this helps.

That and what I've read around the internet about his autopsy measurement of 5'2" and 4 lines practically closes the case for me. 16:06, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, but the persons writing the post-mortems did NOT hate him. They had all agreed to treat him when he was ill which they would not have done of they had hated him. Futhermore, it is not hard to find anything bad about Napoléon: he was reapeatly unfaithful, easely got angry, and so on. I am completely convinced that all real humans have both their good and bad sides. You sounds like you are to impressed with him to see his bad sides!

2007-04-13 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Who sounds like he's too impressed with him to see his bad side? April 14, 2007 Habib Fanny, Ypsilanti, MI.

My emotions for Napoléon are in fact quite mixed. I consider him a mad military dictator. Reason tells me that I ought to despise him but I can’t help being fascinated by him. That is why I know so much about him. However, the name “Napoléon” alerts my sceptical thinking so I don’t believe everything I read. Furthermore, dislike does not prevent me from telling the truth as far as I know it. If someone questions it I explain the reasons for me to think that it is that way. If you want to criticise my ideas about his personality you can do that after the subtitle “Boring”. (It begins with someone complaining about the article not telling much about his personality.)

To return to the original subject I will explain my calculations in more detail. The Swedish artist Magnus Uggla is claimed to be 168 centimetres (5 feet 6). His head is 1/7 of his height which gives a head 24 centimetres (9½ inches) high. On a photo from 1979 Ian Holm was 6½ “heads” tall which gives a height of 156 centimetres (5 feet 1). This is completely credible: due to my keen sense of the proportions of things I can SEE that he was less than 160 centimetres (5 feet 3). For safety's sake I tested the method on two persons with known heights: myself and Jean Baptiste Bernadotte. I turn out to be half-way between Ian and Magnus. Which is true since I am 162 centimetres (5 feet 4). Jean was calculated to have been 176 centimetres (5 feet 9) which is close to his real height of 178 centimetres (5 feet 10). On the drawing I described in my first contribution Napoléon is portrayed as little more than 5½ “heads” tall. That gives a hight of 138 centimetres (4 feet 6). Even with a head of 26 centimetres (10 feet) he would had only been 148 centimetres (4 feet 10). If it had realistically depicted a man who was 168 centimetres that would have meant his head was 29 centimetres (11½ inch) high! Napoléon could not have had a pathologically large head. In such cases it is just the braincase which is disproportionally large. His death mask shows no sign of such pathology. Anyone who know the real range of variation?

2007-06-01 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Reference nr 25 This reference to Napoleons height is not a serious source, but a "gossip" page, hence worthless and should be removed.

It is from what "gossip page"?--Bryson 14:33, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

To me it seams like a fan club. You want to se gossip-like claims about Napoléon? Read the text beneath the subtitle “Facts about Napoleon that should be included”! It is followed by my debunking.

At a second thought I found more problems with the drawing realistically depicting the body proportions of a 168 centimetres (5 foot 6) man. The broadness of different body parts would have meant he was a fat man. However, if he suffered from obesity why did not he had a double-chin like his nephew Carlo? Worse, Napoléon was lean when he died: his eyes and cheeks where sunken! You don’t loss that much in weight unless you have to starve. Which is highly unlikely in this case as previously noted. Also, his hands would have had to be abnormally broad since they are shaped like small ones. People with small hands don’t have hands that are smaller in all directions: they just have shorter fingers. I still don’t know the normal range of variation in the height of human heads. But I have very hard to believe that it could vary as much as five centimetres (two inches). During the last 2.4 million years there have been at least eight human species. Compared to those species the variation in the shape and size of the head have been very slight among historically recorded humans. There is only three exceptions from the rule: people with pathologically large or small heads or who’s heads have been intentionally modified in infancy. Napoléon did not belong to any of those groups.

2007-08-11 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

The above alleged `gossip' site pointed out that he was measured at 1.686m and cited `Memoirs of Marchand' [1]. Elsewhere, I read he was measured at 5'2" and "4 lines" [2]. These measurements correspond with the French measurements given by a poster above. (Bare in mind that soldiers of the Imperial Guard needed to be at least 5'10" in French feet, equivallent to 6'2" in English feet/inches.) Another example of a person who is often depicted as short in modern culture is Adolf Hitler, and it may have had something to do with Charlie Chaplin's caricature of him in the early 1940s. In Der Untergang, he is portrayed as 5'6", 2-3 inches shorter than his real height, and in Hollywood terms much below the average height of at least 5'10", which would be far more accurate. Benito Mussolini is claimed to be 5'6" but looking at images online, I find this hard to believe. He looks taller than Hitler in one picture [3] and in another image of his dead body hanging by his feet (centre) [4] practically confirms to me is not 5'6". Given that many Italians are ashamed of him, that would explain why they have downsized him. 15:46, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Does it matter how tall or short he was? We have become a society that seems to judge so much about a person from whats on the outside, whether its buying $500 socks or teasing somone because their socks only cost $150. Live a little people!Fheo 00:57, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

It is true that Adolf Hitler was not short as a lot of people think. If he had been less than 160 centimetres (5 feet 3 in British measurements) I would have seen it on contemporary photos. Bruno Ganz – who acted him in Der Untergang – IS noticeably shorter than Adolf was. But it does not matter to me since he is more than 165 centimetres (5 feet 5) and thus not short for a present-day male Westerner.

Recently, I have got some valuable correction from the International Napoleonic Society. It turned out that I was wrong about Napoléon suffering from a swollen, paining stomach for the last 19 years of his life. However, I still think he was 136 – 148 centimetres (4 feet 6 – 4 feet 10 in British measurements). The “surrounded by tall men argument” does not work on me. In order to realistically depict things you need these three abilities: a keen sense of the proportions of things, a good enough fine motor ability, and some training to do it. I have a keen sense of the proportions of things but neither the fine motor ability nor the necessary training. Imagine seeing a man of overage height surrounded by tall men at a distance. In such a situation I might well underestimate his height a great deal. Then imagine walking up to him to shake hands (or any greeting ritual involving touch). If I stood so near a man that I could touch him I would NEVER underestimate his height with as much as two or thee decimetres (8 inches to a foot)! Thus the persons who portrayed him in such a way that seems so realistic must have judged his height quite accurately. There is four ways to make me change my mind:

1. Tell me why he would had been PORTRAYED much shorter than PERCEIVED. Please note that the explanation has to be consistent with what I know about the human mind. For example this means no reference to “the great Napoléon”, no conspiracy talk or stereotyping, and no claim about the mind that would not be accepted by professional brain scientists.

2. Tell me the normal range of variation concerning the height of human heads and I will recalculate my estimates.

3. Measure his death mask and tell me how much it measured. Then I can make a more accurate calculation.

4. If his grave is ever opened show me photos of his mummy. If it turns out to have very different body proportions than the portraits show I will agree that I was wrong.

There is many death masks claimed to be his. Some are bad forgeries showing no resemblance to contemporary portraits. In Napoléon’s time it was common to portray people with minimized yaws. This kind of beautification typically resulted in a shape of face that does not exist. However, there are at least six contemporary portraits of Napoléon showing an existing shape of face. What I mean is that the exact distances between the features of the face also occur among present-day people. Four of those portraits are consistent with each other: they show the same shape of face. There are three death masks with the same shape of face. One is made out of plaster and is in “Musée de Armée” (“Museum of the Army”) in Paris, France. One is made out of copper and is in Longwood House on Saint Helena. One is made if bronze and is in one of the national museums of Liverpool, the United Kingdom (I don’t know exactly which). The plaster and copper versions are virtually identical. The bronze version is similar to the others, but not identical. It shows clear furrows around the eyes. Also, the bronze version has a nose of average length while the two others have short noses. According to contemporary witnesses Napoléon’s skin was completely smooth when he died. Furthermore, the portraits I mentioned all depict him with a short nose. My conclusion is that the copper and plaster versions are real and the bronze version a quite good forgery. I think it is the death mask of his brother Lucien. He was the contemporary person who most closely resembled Napoléon. If I am right the bronze version should have a cleft in the chin but not necessarily as large as the other death masks show. Until any of the four possible evidences are presented to me I will maintain that Napoléon was short compared to the average height of his time.

2008-01-15 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.


I would like to add that this section (regardless of accuracy) should really be classified as Napoleon Trivia or Little Known facts about Napoleon.

I say this not out of disrespect, but because, it would allow for others (like myself) to include a broader range of Napoleon trivia such as the fact that he was a Left hander.

Grammaticus 06:36, 22 March 2007 Grammaticus. Adelaide : South Australia. 21st March 2007

You seem to have misunderstood the propose of this page. It is a discussion of the content of Wikipedia’s article on Napoléon I. If he was left-handed how do you explain this portrait?

There is so many misconceptions about Napoléon. Please save me from debunking them!

2007-03-27 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

selection of images[edit]

Overall, I think we have a pretty good selection of images, but could we perhaps have one or two of Napoleon in battle? This is a page about a noted military leader after all. -Gomm 05:25, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Good idea, but I am not sure where to find space, every heading seams to have a pic or two. Check-out Wikipedia Commons. There are lots of images, if you find a good one, and can find space to fit it in, by all means. --Bryson 03:15, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Coalitions against Napoleon[edit]

The sentences "By 1805 Britain was reluctantly drawn into a Third Coalition against Napoleon" sounds a bit strange when one reads just above (last sentence of "interlude of peace") that "The dispute over Malta ended up with Britain declaring war on France in 1803 to support French royalists." (Britain was already at war against France in 1805) and knows that Britain's diplomacy (and money!) was the main architect of the Third Coaltion. I would even say that Britain was relieved to have (at last) allies on the continent to fight against the French. 12:35, 22 January 2007 (UTC) Stephane

The entire article is biased against the Napoleon... thus Britain can organize a war to invade a country in order to restore a monarchy and protect the rights of nobility, and does so only reluctantly because Britain has never had any militant or imperialistic ambitions. The British empire got so large because Britain reluctantly intervened world-wide in the internal affairs of other countries and continents because of the inherent evil in the world that only Britain was willing to reluctantly fight.

Good points. Feel free to fix them. -Gomm 04:09, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Napoleon's school experiences[edit]

I read a biography and it stated that while he was a child in military school in France, the other children called him "Straw-in-the-Nose" since, in French, the name Napoleon sounds similar. Also, I remember reading something about him saying in response,"I'm going to make you French pay!" I don't know why the edit function is disabled on the main Napoleon page, but someone might want to edit that in. Faustus Tacitus 02:46, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Not in French ("foin dans le nez" is not only something very strange to call a person but also sounds nothing like napoleon). Maybe in Corsican but then why would he refer to them as French? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:36, 31 January 2007 (UTC).

It s not 'foin dans le nez' but 'la paille au nez', i read it too Legitor 12:05, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

I read that as well. I believe that I read it in the book Napoleon Bonaparte by Alan Schom. It was on page 5, and he said "I'll make you French pay, one day." Can anyone please tell me why he called them "French"?

PhD. Harrison J. O'dell

Napoleon was from in Corsica, an island of largely Italian culture that was conquered by France only one year before he was born, so during Napoleon's childhood it was generally regarded as an exotic territory by Frenchmen, while Corsicans regarded France as a foreign conqueror. Funnyhat 01:21, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

What Allies?[edit]

I admit to ignorance of the period (which is why I was reading this article), but I am confused by the following line at the start of the article. "Following the Russian campaign and the defeat at Leipzig in October 1813, the Allies invaded France, forcing Napoleon to abdicate in April 1814." Who were the Allies, why are they not mentioned before in the article, and how did this alliance get created when the previous sentence says that the allainces were with France, not against them? TIA, CodeCarpenter 18:37, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

After the Russian campaign, the Sixth Coalition was formed. see main article on the War of the Sixth Coalition. --Bryson 19:30, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Ah. I think I will change the wording to "the Sixth Coalition invaded France". When I see the Allies with a capital A, it implies WW I and WW II to me, which is not the intent of the comment. CodeCarpenter 20:53, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
That is popular misconception, Allies just means Allies, i am sadden by the fact that people consider WWI/WWII as the only Allies(too much brainwashing?). however the change is supported. Akinkhoo (talk) 17:35, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Napoleon's Death.[edit]

"The cause of Napoleon's death has been disputed on numerous occasions, and the controversy remains to this day. Francesco Antommarchi, Napoleon's personal physician, gave stomach cancer as a reason for Napoleon's death in his death certificate."

It was confirmed that Napoleon did die of stomach cancer. Scientists did an autopsy of his body with promision from the French government.

Here is a link to BBC news confirming this information.

Catherine the Great does not deserve her title 00:02, 31 January 2007 (UTC)Catherine the Great does not deserver her title, January, 30

The article only says Napoleon's trousers were examined. What autopsy?--Bryson 03:12, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Bryson hereCatherine the Great does not deserve her title

By "autopsy reports" they mean the autopsy done after Napoleon died, the original report was recently (2004 or 2005?) discovered.--Bryson 00:21, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

ah, well still, autopsy reports don't lie. 8)Catherine the Great does not deserve her title

According to the Finnish Wikipedia the granite used on Napoleon`s tomb was not, dispite popular belief, from Finland. 16:47, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

The immediate cause of Napoleon's death was an overdose of a mercury-based medicine. Then we can discuss the underlying ailment that was killing him. 02:04, 20 October 2007 (UTC) D. W. Olson,

Napoleon was found to have large amounts of arsenic in his body, so much that it was lethal. At first the historians who made this discovery declared it a case of arsenic poisoning, but one of the historians cleverly looked at the building records for Napoleon's palace, and discovered that the wall paper of the whole complex had to be removed because it had been made with an arsenic layer of paint.

Apparently, there is some confusion over the death of Napoléon. An autopsy was preformed on the day after his death by a team of eight medical doctors. It consisted of Francesco Antommarchi and seven of his British colleagues. Afterwards five autopsy reports where written: two by Francesco, one of the most naïve of the British doctors, and two by all the Britons together. The ones written by Francesco conclude that Napoléon died from hepatitis while those written by Britons conclude that he died from stomach cancer. Autopsy reports may not lie intentionally. But they may be incomplete and their conclusions outdated. In this case the British doctors saw that Napoléon's liver was enlarged but did not dare to admit it for fear of punishment. In fact Napoléon neither died from cancer nor hepatitis. For five years he suffered repeated sub-lethal arsenic poisonings. The intervals where too short to allow for complete recovery. During the last six weeks the arsenic was partly replaced with antimony. Eventually, he was given a drink flavoured with bitter almonds and an enormous dose of calomel on the same day. When those substances reacted with each other and his gastric juices they resulted in at lethal mixture of poisons that took his life.

However, no contemporary medical doctor could have known about the poisonings. The first who found out was Sten Forshufvud in the 1950ties. Surely, he made a living as a dentist. But he knew enough about other medicine to understand that Napoléon did not die from cancer when he read the diaries of Louis Joseph Marchand. Louis was Napoléon's favourite personal servant and as such saw him almost every day. His description of Napoléon's symptoms are verified by the eyewitness accounts by his good friend Henri Gratien Bertrand and completed by case sheets from the four medical doctors which examined him (including Francesco Antommarchi). I have a book on this subject written by Sten together with Ben Weider. It includes lists of the symptoms of poisonings by arsenic, antimony, and a combination of bitter almonds and calomel. To my knowledge Napoléon had eleven of the 14 listed symptoms of sub-lethal arsenic poisoning. (One of them could probably not be detected with the equipment of his time.) People recovering from sub-lethal poisoning shows symptoms of chronic arsenic poisoning. Napoléon had at lest 26 of the 32 listed symptoms. During his last six weeks in life he also showed all the listed symptoms of antimony poisoning. The last two days before he died his symptoms fitted the description of poisoning by bitter almonds and calomel except appearing at a much slower rate. Typically, the victim dies after about 24 hours but Napoléon survived for 48 hours and 20 minutes after swallowing the calomel. This was probably due to a combination of a relatively low dose and Napoléon's physical durability. From 1960 to 2007 eleven hair samples from Napoléon was tested for their contents of different chemicals. The hair samples had been ether cut during his lifetime or shaved after his death. One of the tests was performed with a questionable method and the conclusions drawn from it disproved by a later test. All the other testes confirm that he was poisoned to death.

I think the hardness for historians – especially French ones – to accept the poisoning theory is hardness to understand the arguments combined with misdirected pride of their profession. Opponents of it tend to express themselves in ways showing that they don't know what they are talking about. For example, proponents of other diseases tend to stick to single symptoms when it is the sum of all symptoms that really matters. Recently, four hair samples from Napoléon were tested by Italian scientists with a method not used before. A hair sample from his first wife Joséphine taken after her death was also tested as well as one from his son Napoleon Franz. All the six hair samples tested with this method showed the same arsenic content which was in turn a hundred times as much as would be considered normal today. I don't think the method in question is suitable for this purpose. The error margins are simply to large! It is comparable to taking lava from a volcano during its eruption. Then you try to date it with a method typically used for rocks understood from geologic context to be tens or hundreds of millions of years old. You will be told that the lava is 50,000 years old because that is the error margin of the dating method. My point is that the method used by the Italians where unable to measure any arsenic content less than a hundred times the normal. The limitations of the method may be incompletely known or the Italian scientists unqualified for their task. Their claim that the arsenic content was normal for the time suggests that they don't know how dangerous this element really is. After all, one fifth of a gram is enough to kill most people if swallowed all at once.

Out of the four hair samples from Napoléon tested by the Italians one was taken when he was only one year old. One was taken in 1814 when he was on Elba and two at about the time of his death. If the measurements had been accurate the hair sample taken from him as a one-year old child should not contain more arsenic than is considered normal today. Napoléon suffered sub-lethal arsenic poisoning a little more than a week after abdicating for the first time. If the hair taken in 1814 grew at the time or during the following weeks it would have an abnormal arsenic content. Yet it would be nowhere near the content of the hairs taken at about the time of death. Those would most likely contain about 40 times as much arsenic as would be normal today. Joséphine died from sub-lethal arsenic poisoning. People who dies from sub-lethal poisoning does so two to four days after swallowing the poison. In this time human hair only grows 0.72 to 1.44 millimetres. So unless the hair sample was shaved from Joséphine's head it would not have any more arsenic than considered normal today. Someone planed to kill Franz the same way as his father. But Franz was not as physically durable as Napoléon. Consequentially, he died from a combination of arsenic and antimony poisoning after being more or less ill for about a year. If the hair sample from him grew during his last year in life it would have an abnormally high arsenic content. However, it would not be nearly as high as the content of the hair samples taken from his father at death. Otherwise the hairs would not contain more arsenic than normal today.

For a fuller discussion of Napoléon's death please read my inlays under the subtitle “Exile and death on Saint Helena”. If you have any objection to anything I have written on this subject please post them there so I can do my best to answer them. I am no an expert after all: I am just an ordinary sceptic with a reluctant fascination for Napoléon.

2008-06-26 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Napoleon vs Napoléon[edit]

I see this has already been touched on (briefly) in the Talk Archives. Someone mentioned that one should use the common English variant, i.e. without the accent. If so, perhaps the "Napoléon" variant could be used when quoting (for example) his name-change and official names of portraits, and the English variant could be used otherwise? Also, perhaps a note could be made early on that the English variant (and hence rest of the article) does not often include the acute accent? Currently, there appears to be quite a few exceptions to this, especially later in the article. -postglock 12:32, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

The linguistically correct spelling is ether “Napoleone” or “Napoléon”. However, E and É are not considered different letters in French. So the spelling “Napoleon” is also acceptable.

2007-02-14 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Facts about Napoleon that should be included[edit]

The greatest French Emperor of all time was born with the name of Napoleone Buonaparte on August 15, 1769. He was the fourth child and second son to Carlo and Letizia Buonaparte, who were lesser nobles living in the French territory of Corsica. Napoleone had thirteen siblings, eight of which would survive past childhood. He later said that he inherited his charisma and esprit from his mother and that he owed all of his success to her. He was sent to France to be educated at the age of seven. He was an outsider, ridiculed for his Italian accent, Corsican heritage, and small stature. One of his favorite books was The Sorrows of Young Werther because he could relate to its lonely protagonist. As a means of concealing his Corsican citizenship, he dropped the “e” at the end of his name. At that time, Corsica was thought to be a land of wild savages and unruly people. Though he was unhappy and lonesome, he was a brilliant scholar. He excelled especially in mathematics and geography, very beneficial skills for a future military genius to possess. When he was fifteen he was accepted into the prestigious Royal Military School and commissioned as a First Lieutenant. Artillery was his forte, his sheer brilliance quickly moved him up the ranks, and he ended up graduating in half the time needed. Napoleon was ill at ease in French social events so he returned to Corsica after graduation. At that time, the French Revolution was in its height, and Napoleon strongly defended its ideas. Much of his time during the Revolution was spent in Corsica, but a few times he went to Paris on military command. He was a steadfast Jacobin and one of Robespierre’s supporters, and after the fall of Robespierre he was briefly imprisoned. The Bonaparte family ended up being banished from Corsica because of Napoleon’s brother Lucien’s attempts to overthrow Paoli, the Corsican leader. At the Siege of Toulon, Napoleon’s battalion was losing miserably due to poor leadership. Napoleon put forth brilliant ideas that caused his division to win the port city. He was then promoted to brigadier-general. After meeting Paul Barras, a powerful Directory member, he knew that their friendship would give him an advantage for his rise to power. The “Whiff of Grapeshot” was the astounding victory that promoted Napoleon up to the position of commander of the Army of Italy, and he was nicknamed “The Little Corporal.” His tactical ideas, built around artillery fire, put down the counter-revolutionaries that were threatening the Directory. But beneath the veneer of pride and triumph, Napoleon was insecure. He had fallen in love with Josephine de Beauharnais, who was six years older than he. Her previous husband had been one of the French Revolution’s leaders and was guillotined due to the Reign of Terror. At first, she seemed nonchalant to Napoleon’s fawning, but soon they developed a relationship. Josephine later said that she was only interested in him because she thought he was rich. Napoleon believed that the marriage would make him seem more French and less Corsican. At the marriage on March 9, 1796, Josephine lowered her age to 29 and he raised his to 28 to make the union seem more natural. Napoleon was two hours late for his own wedding, but still he was much more attached to her than she was to him. When he was away he sent many passionate letters to her, and few were returned. Two days after the wedding, Napoleon was reluctantly sent out to Italy for the Italian Campaign ordered by the Directory as a means to help conquer Austria and Germany. His army was demoralized, starving, and ill-equipped. He was also highly outnumbered and up against four Austrian generals. Through his brilliant tactics and his inspiration of his soldiers with promise of honor, glory, and riches, he launched many surprise attacks on the unsuspecting Austrians. He emerged victorious and forced the Peace of Campio Formio. Now all of Northern Italy was his! Napoleon, being interested in art, also ran off with famous Italian masterpieces to take back to Paris. He was given orders to dethrone the Pope, but decided not to. His next move was through the Egyptian Campaign in 1798. After easily conquering Cairo he felt that victory was certain, but soon he faced the disastrous naval battle of Alexandria. Artillery was his strongpoint, navy his weakness. The French fleet was utterly destroyed by Horatio Nelson. Abandoning his army in Egypt, he marched back to Paris claiming that he was victorious. He was the victor on land, but now that Britain had control of the seas, he couldn’t move. The Directory had sent for his return after a series of military defeats. Now France was bankrupt and the Directory was more unpopular than ever. Two Directors and a few more important people pleaded him into joining a coup to overthrow the constitution. Napoleon led them into doing so and set up a Consulate system through his new constitution, naming himself First Consul and making Sieyès and Ducos Second and Third Consuls. Napoleon, now the most powerful person in France, named himself a Consul for life. He enjoyed his power, setting up a Concordat of 1801 that put the Church under control of the state. His Napoleonic Code, built upon the principles of the French Revolution, made laws for all of France to follow without exemption. This was the first time that all of France had to follow the same laws; before this the laws varied by district. The laws became much more unambiguous, and it prohibited ex post facto. Promotion and job opportunities were based on aptitude, not social class. He returned land rights to peasants and middle class that were seized by the wealthy. He advocated religious freedom. Napoleon valued order and stability over individual rights, however, and many rights of women that were a byproduct of the French Revolution were taken away. During this time he also sold the Louisiana Purchase to the United States after he realized it would be indefensible from the British. Though he was perfectly content with being First Consul, his growing ego desired even more power. His vote into being Emperor was nearly unanimous, 3,572,329 to 2,569. During the coronation ceremony on December 2, 1804, he took the crown from the Pope’s hands and crowned himself. Many believe that Napoleon did so to defy the Pope, but in advance it had been agreed on. As Emperor, Napoleon made it perfectly clear that his intentions weren’t just about taking over France, he had insisted on all of Europe as well. Napoleon was a strong Nepotist, placing his relatives on the thrones of Europe to ensure loyalty. He was later crowned King of Italy on May 26, 1805. The nations of Austria, Russia, and the United Kingdom formed a coalition against Napoleon. They were monarchies and feared that Napoleon’s ideas would spread to their countries. He was also a phenomenal general and wanted to take their land. Napoleon desired desperately to defeat the British, since it was the only region in Europe that wasn’t somewhat under his control or his ally. He knew that he could invade England if he could just keep British ships out of the English Channel for six hours, but he couldn’t find a way. The naval battle of Trafalgar had been disastrous for him, and he couldn’t cross the English Channel without being destroyed by the British fleet. With this he temporarily decided to give up the invasion of Britain due to the excellence of their navy, so he focused more on Austria and Russia. At Austerlitz, Napoleon met his greatest triumph. He divided his Grande Armée into a corps system with seven parts for better maneuvering. The corps system allowed them to communicate and assist each other. Deceptive Napoleon gave an impression to Austria and Russia that his army was weak and that he desired peace. He predicted the enemies’ movements, knowing that they would strike first. Napoleon moved quickly and isolated specific parts of the allied army. Using the terrain to his advantage, he sent out snipers and set up the artillery to his advantage. After nearly nine hours of fighting, Napoleon was triumphant after his victory. Austria ceded him land, and he set up the Confederation of the Rhine in place of the Holy Roman Empire. After that he forced Russia to sign the Treaty of Tilsit, which forbade it to trade with England. He also set up the Duchy of Warsaw to ally with France. The boycott of England was commonly referred to as the “Continental System.” Portugal and England depended on each other for trade, so it wouldn’t succumb to the Continental System. After hearing this, Napoleon invaded it and Spain, who disagreed also. Napoleon’s brother Joseph, who was placed onto the throne by Napoleon, was in danger of being overthrown, also. Napoleon’s battles in Spain were mostly guerrilla warfare. The Spanish relied on hit-and-run attacks, and the British came to help them out. Napoleon relied on mass executions since he couldn’t fight an organized battle with an army that hid and attacked. Once again, Napoleon triumphed, and Portugal and Spain became forced allies. Napoleon’s future, at this point, was looking very bright. To his enemies, he appeared to be invincible.He divorced Josephine in 1810 to marry the 18-year-old Austrian princess Marie Louise. The divorce was heartbreaking for both of them, but it had to be done to keep the Austrian alliance. Still, he kept writing Josephine passionate letters. Marie bore him a son in 1811, Napoleon II, who was entitled King of Rome at birth. Marie Louise was so afraid of hurting the child that she wouldn’t hold him. In 1812 Russia broke the alliance with France by trading with England. Trade with England, for them, was an economic necessity. Czar Alezander I also believed that Napoleon’s marriage to Marie Louise was an alliance that threatened Russia. Napoleon expanded his Grande Armée in 1812 to not only French but also the troops of his many different allies. This was very difficult because they all spoke different languages and a large army was slow and difficult to command. In his anger he decided to invade Russia. Guiding his army through the scalding Russian heat, he decided to take Moscow, Russia’s emotional center. The Russian troops decided to burn everything that Napoleon could use, making his supply lines become longer and longer. Napoleon did end up conquering Moscow. Unfortunately, the Russians set it ablaze. With nothing more to do, Napoleon led his troops back to Russia in a thousand-mile retreat in the bitter cold. His troops were dying out rapidly, and the Russians hit and run as they fled. It wasn’t the Russians that were killing off his troops, it was the brutal winter. Napoleon lost thousands of soldiers and horses to cold, starvation, and frostbite, and his allies who previously feared him found that he wasn’t invincible after all. A new alliance was formed against him: Prussia, Britain, Austria, and Russia. They soon met up at Leipzig in 1813. Napoleon was outnumbered and decided to fight each one individually. It started out working, but the bridge detonated while soldiers were still on it, killing thousands and leaving some still on the other side. With this defeat, Napoleon was sent into exile on the island of Elba off the coast of Italy. He was named Emperor of Elba and given 2 million francs from France. After creating reforms to improve life on the tiny island and throwing extravagant parties, Napoleon became bored with the tiny island and enveloped himself in memories of his former glory. Ruling over 600 people didn’t satisfy him… his ego desired his former status of nearly taking over all of Europe. He returned to France after a mere 9 months and 21 days of exile with a small army of about a thousand people. He used an indirect route through the Alps to Paris, directly avoiding royalist areas. At the town of Laffrey he came across troops ordered by Louis XVIII to kill him. Napoleon took a risk, walking in front of the soldiers and gaining their support, reminding them of the time when Napoleon was their commander. His “inspiration of the common soldier” ended up saving Napoleon’s life. Rumors about Napoleon’s return circulated throughout France, and Louis XVIII fled for fear of being guillotined. Though Napoleon had been defeated, he was still popular. His magnetism and charisma won back the hearts of the people of France, and he returned to Paris without firing a shot. Portraying himself as the embodiment of the French Revolution, he pledged to turn the clock back to 1792. Attempting to make peace with the other European leaders, he wrote them letters, asking for their forgiveness. Meanwhile, the Congress of Vienna was planning to take Napoleon down. Little did he know that he would only be emperor for one hundred days. At the Battle of Waterloo, the new coalition of England, Netherlands, Russia, Austria, and Prussia planned to strike together. Napoleon wanted to fight them individually, but it didn’t turn out that way. It had rained heavily and he decided to wait for the ground to dry before he attacked. This hesitance allowed the Prussians to merge with the British. Heavily outnumbered, Napoleon loses and is exiled. St. Helena, a tiny island 1000 miles off the coast of Africa, becomes his home. Constantly being watched, he was definitely less than happy. On May 5, 1821 he died of stomach cancer and was buried on the island. Later, however, he was reburied in Paris and there was a huge ceremony held in his honor.

Your description is filled with errors:

1. Napoléon had only 11 siblings of witch seven survived until adulthood.

2. He was not sent to a boarding school until he was ten. How do think a seven-year-old boy brought up in Italian could have managed in a boarding school with French as language?

3. He was born within the borders of France and as such had French citizenship from start. However, he belonged to an ethnic minority calling themselves Corsicans. He could not had kept this a secret because of the accent he had throughout his life. I don't think he even attempted and probably preferred to speak Italian with everyone who could.

4. He graduated in 1785: four years before the outbreak of the French Revolution. Furthermore, he was one of the worst students graduating that year. He probably studied on the limit of his ability possibly because he knew how ill his father was and wanted to graduate before he died.

5. Napoléon lacked any ideological dedication. It was his brother Lucien who strongly supported the ideas of the French Revolution. It was also he who supported Maximilien de Robespierre and was briefly imprisoned after his fall.

6. Pasquale Paoli was not any kind of Corsican ruler at the time of the French Revolution. Corsica had been a part of France since 1768: seven years before Lucien was born!

7. Maria Letizia Buonaparte moved with her children to mainland France in 1785 following the death of her husband. I don't know why but I see no reason for banishment.

8. He married Joséphine de Beauharnais because he had fallen in love with her. Otherwise he could as well have married his previous girlfriend Désirée Clary: she was equally French.

9. The Napoleonic Code was a mix of liberalism and conservatism. As I previously wrote Napoléon had no ideological dedication. The original ideas of the French Revolution had been fast stressed to death. By 1804 I doubt that there was much more left other then freedom of religion and rule of law.

10. The referendum to make him an emperor was almost certainly faked.

11. In those days battles could not be controlled in detail. This is what Swedish historian Peter Englund called “the myth of the warlord”.

12. The divorce of Napoléon and Joséphine was mainly because she was sterile. He wanted to remarry so that he could have legitimate children.

13. He wanted to invade Russia because he believed it to be the key to the Far East. The expanded Grand Army was mobilized after that decision.

14. It is unclear what caused the Moscow fire. Napoléon claimed afterwards that he burned it but that would have been a questionable honour.

15. He abdicated for the first time in 1814 and was given Elba as a sole remain of his empire.

16. His return in 1815 later was probably communicated in the fastest manner possible at the time: optical telegraph!

17. He did not die from stomach cancer. He become increasingly ill for five years. After that long time cancer can only kill though metastases and no such was found. I don't think he suffered from cancer at al: the supposed tumour was described as a hole the size of a finger. He died from Gosio's disease (slow arsenic poisoning). However, the source of the arsenic is still discussed.

What did you get those “facts” from? I am glad that Wikipedia does not contain much of such claims!

2007-02-15 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.


1. There is not one mention in this entire article about Napoleon's passion for chicken or his fear of cats. What is this, the encyclopedia of boring knowledge?

It is insolent to make changes IN an other person's contribution. If you are the one complaining about the article being boring I gave an answar to that today.

2007-02-24 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Napoléon was no food enthusiast so I don’t think he was more found of chicken then any other meat. It is possible that he was afraid of cats but it might as well be a roumor. I realy don’t know.

2007-02-27 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

At a second thought I don’t think that Napoléon and Joséphine lied about their ages when they married. In order to marry her he had to stop his engagement with Désirée Clary. That was probably enough of a scandal. The acceptance they would have got from lying about their ages would have been small and the chance of exposure was overhanging. Napoléon’s mother Maria Letizia was still alive – in fact she survived her most (in)famous son by 15 years! Furthermore he had seven living siblings which might not even have lived in the same city. Joséphine had two teenage children form a previous marriage. There are too many cases when the people claiming a fraud widely overestimate the possibility to keep something a secret!

2007-03-16 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Sorry whoever pointed out the errors, but there was an error in your error list. Counting 1 miscarriage and the dead infants, Carlo Bonaparte had 13 children. Only 8 lived to adulthood. Four died as infants and 1 was miscarried. Emperor001 21:02, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

I did know about the miscarriage but I was not sure whether a stillborn should be counted or not.

2007-06-01 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

For the consideration of the editor of this article

Ben Weider, 'Napoleon and the Jews'
Ben Weider, 'Napoleon: Man of Peace'

Emmanuel Las Cases, 'Napoleon at St. Helena'
Napoléon Économiste — le « Système Continental »
1. agriculture, 2. industry, 3. foreign trade
"Foreign trade, which in its results is infinitely inferior to agriculture, was an object of subordinate importance in my mind. Foreign trade is made for agriculture and home industry, and not the two latter for the former."

William Francis Patrick Napier, 'History of the War in the Peninsula and in the South of France' (Gen. Napier spent seven years on the peninsula warring against Napoleon's forces)
"Deep unmitigated hatred of democracy was indeed the moving spring of the English Tories’ policy. Napoleon was warred against, not as they pretended because he was a tyrant and usurper, for he was neither; not because his invasion of Spain was unjust, but because he was the enemy of aristocratic privileges."

John S.C. Abbott, 'The History of Napoleon Bonaparte' A different kind of history of Napoleon —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nt351 (talkcontribs) 15:55, August 30, 2007 (UTC)

Is this a list of were you got your claims from? Hundreds of thousands of books have been written about Napoléon. The number may even exceed one million! Inevitably, they vary highly in quality and accuracy. I speak neither French nor Italian only Swedish and English. So I would understand little of the original sources. Yet, I have something you seem to lack: basic sceptical thinking. Furthermore, you are a quite bad writer. If I where to write a text of comparable length I would divide it into several paragraphs. Your text also gives a shallow impression. Since English is not my mother tongue I can't explain how to make it sound more seriously. Maybe an English teacher can help you with that provided he or she has the language as his or her mother tongue and is motivated. Otherwise I can only tip you to read more popular scientific literature and especially social science ones. That might give you some idea of how serious texts sound.

2008-01-11 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:00, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

I have learned that Emmanuel Las Cases is a quite unreliable source. He claimed that he had written down exactly what Napoléon told him. But this was far from the truth. I think you have to be an historian to get something credible out of his book. However, you don’t have to be a professional historian, being an amateur historian would suffice provided that you are accepted by the professional ones. So I would only use Emmanuel‘s claims if they are quoted by any of them.

2008-01-22 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

I ought to correct myself. Napoléon was in custody in 1793 but was cleared from all accusations. This event may have been exaggerated into a prison sentence. Yet, I wonder if an eyewitness did not mistake him for his brother Lucien. I would not be able to tell the difference between a 24-year-old and an 18-year-old. If you did not have a good mental image of how at least one of them looked you might well have mixed them up. Sure, only Napoléon had the typical “soldier” posture. But everyone can't make that distinction.

I don't think Napoléon was responsible for the Moscow fire. At the time of the outbreak of the fire it was not in his interest to put the city on fire: quite the opposite! It is true that his judgement could be severely weakened by disease. However, I don't think he would have given an order that was so against his own interest. Furthermore, I now know that Napoléon was intentionally poisoned to death. Please read my inlays under the subtitles “Napoleon's death” and “Exile and death on Saint Helena”.

According to the International Napoleonic Society more than 300,000 books have been written about Napoléon. I think the only one I need is “Assassination on Saint Helena” by Sten Forshufvud and Ben Weider. For a person with so many misconceptions as the author of the original inlay “Napoleon for dummies” by David Markham might be a good start. Through I suspect that is to admiring for my taste.

2008-05-26 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

an admirer of ceaser[edit]

napoleon was an obvious admirer of julius ceaser like most military historians

i think we can find this from the use of the emperortitle and the fact

each french regiment carried a golden eagle just like the roman legions Bouse23 (talk) 20:56, 28 November 2007 (UTC)


This article is pretty boring. While the history in it is very useful, there's not much about his personality. ~ Rollo44 14:01, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Maybe I can help? I don’t admire Napoléon but I know more about him then most of his fans. His mother tongue was Italian. (After his death the Corsicans defined their dialect as a language of it's own by creating an own system of spelling.) In the 18th century French was the international language of the Western World. All noblemen in Europe learned French at school. Unfortunately, he had dyslexia: a hereditary lack of language talent. It leads to difficulties to learn to read and write as well as to learn a foreign language. However, many undiscovered dyslectics manage through the school system by simply devoting much more of their time to studies. Many dyslectics also develop a very good memory and his memory was excellent. An other mark of his dyslexia was a noticeable motor clumsiness. His movements have been misunderstood as nervous and a fellow soldier said that he looked like a boy riding his father’s horse. I don’t deny that he was a military genius, but like all real world humans he had his weak sides too. As adult he spoke flouting French through noticeably slowly and with an accent typical for a Corsican. Good food was not important to him. As long as it did not taste bad he did not care. He was very found of his old mother, Maria Letizia, and seven surviving siblings. (His father Carlo died when he was 16 and they may not have had much emotional contact.) He had a high level of sexual drive. Together with being much away from his wife that made him prone to infidelity. It is said that he had many mistresses. However, only two are known to have got pregnant with him: Louise de la Plaigne and Maria Walewska. They each gave birth to an illegitimate son: Charles Léon and Alexandre Walewski. On the other hand, his need for sleep was very low and he may not have slept more than five out of every 24 hours. He easily got angry and could then become violent. Worse, he suffered from a mental disease that gave him a bad conscience from being human. To avoid that feeling he tried to be completely egoistic. (He can’t have been a psychopath since they are unable to have any bad conscience at all.) I don’t know when this mental illness begun but it might have been in the late 1790s. Are there any experts who can tell me if I am wrong? Please note that the human mind consist of many systems: one for language, one of logical thinking, one for sympathy, one for predicting the reactions of others, and so on. A flaw in one system does not necessary mean that any other is flawed. However, if one system is stronger it can be used to compensate an other flawed one to some degree. So I don’t contradict myself in any way.

2007-02-24 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

It turned out that Napoléon had his preferences regarding food. For example he could not stand garlic. Yet, I don't think he was any food enthusiast. He was modest with food and wine. His only unhealthy habit was taking snuff. On the other hand, he was extremely diligent. He did not seam to have been religious, but he believed in destiny. If he had any ideological illusion it was that loyalty could be bought. He may have been hot-tempered and very egoistic but that did not prevent him from being kind to a limited number of people. This means his relatives and a few unrelated people he liked. Once he said “I like only people I have some use for – and for as long as I have it”. The logic was: if he was pleasant to them they would be pleasant to him. With this kind of thinking one can be egoistic and decent at the same time.

2008-01-11 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:07, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

I no longer consider Napoléon a madman. His behaviour did not really mach a person who has a bad conscience about being human, just a highly egoistic person. In the letter to Joséphine he probably exaggerated a bit. The time when he become mad was based on two claims. Napoléon is said to have been embarrassed by his accent at the time he first meet Joséphine. This may not have been the case. After all, the soldiers under him appreciated him anyway regardless of his ethnicity. Also we have to remember that nationalism was still in its very beginning. So a lot of people probably did not care. The other is the Jaffa massacre which took place during the Egyptian campaign. It has turned out to be much exaggerated. Al the inhabitants of the city was not killed: just 1,800 captured enemy soldiers. Napoléon could not afford them as war prisoners and if the had been realised it would only had helped the enemy. He may have chosen the least bad out of two evils. Or was the decision just in accordance with his personality? I really don’t know.

2008-03-18 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:33, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

DI Buonaparte?[edit]

This is the only passage where I have seen his name written as ”Napoleone di Buonaparte”. If that had been his original name it would have been “translated” to “Napoléon de Bonaparte” like Caterina di Medici was “translated” to Cathérine de Medicis. All his siblings are written without the prefix: Giuseppe Napoleone Buonaparte, Luciano Buonaparte, Maria Anna Elisa Buonaparte, and so on. This is also true for his parents. I don’t speak ether Italian or French. But I know a lot of names in both languages. Together with my language talent this was enough to make the “translations”.

2007-02-12 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden. he suffered from a mental disease that gave him a bad conscience from being human. To avoid that feeling he tried to be completely egoistic. (He can’t have been a psychopath since they are unable to have any bad conscience at all.) I don’t know when this mental illness begun but it might have been in the late 1790s I never heart of something like your comment before, Lena. I don't consider your above statement as very probable considering the support and love that he had at the time. However, He probably suffered from some narcissistic traits (not really a desease). Anyway all these are not fact but interpretation of the past, impossible of prove or reject. Reason why It shouldn't be considered in the article F. Blin

2008-01-28 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:58, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

I just read a part of a book that explains this. Even though legally di was part of the family name, the family never used it because even though they were noble, they were poor and had no title. Because of their lack of title, they simply said Buonaparte instead of di Buonaparte. Also, at one point when Napoleon was in school, they spelled his name Napoleone de Buonaparte. His name until the late 1790's, his name as well as his relatives' names were always a mix of the French and Italian spelling until finally settling on the fully French spelling without any preposition like di or de. Emperor001 21:31, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

In that case we can remove the prefix.

2007-06-10 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

We don't need to remove the prefix. Di Buonaparte was probably the name on his birth certificate and all the official records. The family just said Buonaparte without the prefix when telling people their name. Emperor001 20:37, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Because all the other siblings are spelled without the prefix he should also be spelled so. (A preposition is something entirely different.) It is simply a matter of consistency. Why would the most (in)famous member of a family have his surname spelled differently from all the others?

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

That is not necessarily true. His siblings may have had the prefix in their name on their birth certificates, they probably just never used the prefix in common speech. Emperor001 22:34, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
I think that everyone who is interested in Napoleon saw at least once the reproduction of his birth certificate, which appears several times on many books about him. On the birth certificate, drawn up on July 21st, 1771 in Ajaccio, it is written: "...Napoleone figlio nato di legittimo matrimonio dal Sig. Carlo del fu Giuseppe Bonaparte (sic)..." and his father, who was present, signed himself on the certificate as "Carlo Buonaparte". This means that neither there is a prefix on the birth certificate of Napoleon nor his father signed himself as "di Buonaparte". What is the reason? As everyone knows, Carlo Buonaparte went to Tuscany, in San Miniato, to visit a distant relative, the cousin Filippo Bonaparte (I stress that also here the family name was Bonaparte, and not di Bonaparte), in order to obtain a "patente di nobiltà". This certificate would have helped him to obtain advantages in France (and Napoleon could be admitted to the Academy of Brienne only thanks to it). But this happened later, when Napoleon was already a child. In conclusion, Napoleon was not born "Di Buonaparte". Maybe his father signed himself as "Di Buonaparte" after obtaining his patent in Tuscany but - in absence of solid proofs - I think that we should get rid of this prefix, above all in the introduction (born...), where it is obviously - in the best case - an anachronism. Kind Regards, Alex2006 05:59, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

I am adding a section describing how Napoleon's name gradually changed from Italian to French. This will mention the preposistion di. Emperor001 18:18, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Don't you think a citation is needed? I personally never heard such thing before. --Erinaceus Italicus 14:27, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Someone has changed it back to “di Buonaparte”!

2008-01-11 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Possible illegitemate children[edit]

If there is no source as to who gave birth to Jules Barthélemy-Saint-Hilaire how could we know the identity of the father? How can we know the father of someone but not the mother? The only possible way would be if the father toke care of a child and called it his own, after wich the sources about the mother was destroyed. (Maybe by a younger half-sibling...) This is probably not the case: Napoléon had two other illegitemate children but he did not take care of them. I have only heard of four children in his nuclear famlily: Eugène, Hortense, Stéphanie and Napoléon François. Eugène and Hortense were Joséphine de Beauharnais' children from a pevious marrige. Stéphanie was a first cousin Joséphine had care of when she married Napoléon. Napoléon François was his son with his second wife Marie-Louise von Habsburg. Ether we kow who Jules' mother was and that she had the opputunity to have sex with him at the aproximate time of conception. Or his fatherhood is mere rumour and he should be removed from the list of possible children.

2007-02-24 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:31, 24 February 2007 (UTC).

Hélène was highly unlikely to be named Bonaparte. Although Napoléon had not met his wife since 1814 they where never formally divorced. Similarly, Albine de Montholon was still married to Charles de Montholon. (How could she otherwise have remained a countess?) Even if Napoléon belived himself to be Hélène's father that would not have preventing her from getting her mother's surname. Or did Hélène take the it later?

2007-06-01 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Albine Hélène de Montholon was married to her husband Charles Tristan de Montholon during all her time on Saint Helena. She become pregnant on the way there. Because she had two partners at the time – her husband and her lover – we don’t know who conceived her. In June 1816 she gave birth to a daughter who was named Hélène de Montholon. Hélène lived to the age of 91 and outlived two husbands. If any of them had Bonaparte as surname she would got it too. It is said that Hélène resembled Napoléon. It would be interesting to see a photo of her to judge it myself.

2008-02-03 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:10, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

  • Lena - all your personal reflections are interesting as always, but Wikipedia is not a compilation of personal reflections. If you want to comment on the contents of the article, please reference published sources. Your personal analysis of paintings, photographs, or illustrations, or your unsourced comments on who was married to whom, are all just as valid as anyone else's, but entirely irrelevant for the purposes of the encyclopedia. --Russ (talk) 13:58, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

For the latest contribution I DO have a printed source: “Assassination at St. Helena” by Ben Weider and Sten Forshufvud. (If you want to discuss what Napoléon died from please do it under the subtitle “Exile and death on Saint Helena”.) I personally think it would be interesting to see a photo of Hélène de Montholon. I think I can to judge physical resemblance quite well. My mental image of how Napoléon looked is cobbled together from his death mask and contemporary portraits. However, my idea of his eye colour is derived from a combination of portraits and quotes from people which meet him. About Jules Barthélemy-Saint-Hilaire I reasoned about the possibility to know. If we don’t know who his mother was I see no reason to think that he was an illegitimate son of Napoléon. This is why I think he should be removed from the list.

2008-02-04 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:23, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Arm inside his jacket[edit]

Napoleon is famous for portraits always depicting him with his arm inside his jacket. Why is this and should it be included? Savager 19:06, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

It was simply a common pose at the time, since it was common at the time I don't think it needs to be in the article.--Bryson 19:11, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Not all portraits show him with a hand under his coat but most of the popular ones do. When they do it is usually his right hand on the upper part of his belly which was not very common. The explanation I have heard is that he often complained about a paining stomach and held one hand on it because it lessened the pain. I works to some extent. Believe me: I have tried! When nobody saw it of cause. I don’t want to be conspicuous...

2007-03-10 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Recently, I have got some valuable correction from the International Napoleonic Society. It turned out that I was wrong about Napoléon suffering from a swollen stomach that always pined more or less. According to them this gesture was a mark of identification for the soldiers from his original regiment.

2007-12-08 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Greatest military leader ever[edit]

Really? I'm sure lots of people have said it, and I'm sure they've given their reasons, but why is there not a section within this article explaining some of the reasons why people think he's the greatest commander ever? How many times in 10 years did he simply get lucky? Xaxafrad 03:50, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

To claim that someone was the “greatest military leader ever” is NOT neutral, so the formulation is not suitable for a Wikipedia article. Furthermore, I think Napoléon could only be justly compared to warlords working from the end of the Hundred Years War to the outbreak of World War One. Before and after that period warfare was so different that I doubt that he would even had understood it.

2007-03-16 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

The article does not say that he is the greatest military leader ever. As was just explained, that would be a ridiculous claim to find in an encyclopedia. Napoleon's military career was well over two decades long, and in that time he got about just as lucky as all other commanders prior to and following him.UberCryxic 15:21, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Napoleon was one of the greatest strategists so his techniques were (and still are) learned in military academies around the world. not many can be proud of this. however there were great strategists before him in the Greek era for example and there will be great strategists after him. Paris By Night 03:04, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Well, SOME of his strategies might still be useful. But in order to truly learn from history we have to understand the differences between then and now. Warfare changed very much several times before him and at least once after. That is what I mean with just comparison.

2007-07-08 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

height section needs fixing[edit]

It doesn't even make gramatical sense: "Some historians claim Napoleon was 5 ft 6 in based on after Napoleon’s death in 1821;"

Maybe the person means the average height of a man in 1821 was 5ft 6in, so Napoleon was probably that around that height.

An average does not say anything about a particular case. I think he was between 136 and 148 centimetres which I have explained under the subtitle “Napoleon's Height”.

2007-06-01 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.


According to this page, Napoleon is not responsible for the missing nose of the Sphinx. The misconception that he blasted it with one of his cannons during target practice is reinforced in many ways, and I would include the picture Bonaparte Before the Sphinx as one such way found in this Wikipedia article. I think it would be good to confound this error by including a disclaiming link to Great Sphinx of Giza.—Red Baron 16:36, 3 April 2007 (UTC)


rocks!!!Ihearthuckabees 12:31, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

that's what think Bonapartist people. Paris By Night 03:05, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Rule of France[edit]

Who governed France during the times when Napoleon was away at battle? Funnyhat 17:45, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

If I read correctly, his empress consort. First Josephine, then Marie Louise.

You are reasoning as if France could have been governed by a single person. That might have been possible during ancien régime with its many remnants of a highly decentralised feudal system. Napoléon had an very low need for sleep and was probably not lazy. Yet I doubt he could have made all governmental decisions. Also, I know that the Napoleonic Code was written by a group of intellectuals of which he was the leader. I think the Bonaparte regime consisted of a small group of people of which Napoléon was the most important. All decision he could not made the others did for him. When he was away on campaigns he probably did what he could to control the French government and what he could not do the other members had his permission to do. However, this is only an educated guess. Anyone who really know?

2007-07-25 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

I have learned that Napoléon was extremely diligent. Yet I don’t think all necessary governmental decisions could have been made by a single person. Anyone who know what other persons the Bonaparte regime consisted of?

2008-01-19 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

From my reading it was ruled by a council of minister whose member had various areas of authority. In the middle years it was dominated by Fouche. It was he, for instance, who authorized the home gaurd to be called up in 1808 to repell the english landing in holland (napolean was off warring in austria that time).Cool10191 (talk) 15:40, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Thank you, "Cool10191". Do you know how many people the Bonaparte regime consisted of?

2008-06-17 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

conflicting dates[edit]

the dates for Napolean's rule are different in the intro paragraph than in the "reign" category of the summary points on the left. i don't have any idea which is right, just thought i'd point that out. Zafriberg 03:48, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Page move[edit]

This page got moved recently because it was assumed this was a similar case as for Wilhelm II of Germany. I doubt that very much. France was known simply as France, unlike Germany that was more a collection of several independent states back then. I suggest that this page move is made undone. Errabee 13:19, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Done. Whoever moved the page, incidentally, only changed about 5 of the 20 pages that redirect to this title, leaving 15 double-redirects. I guess that was fortunate, since I only had to change 5 of them back, instead of all 20! --Russ (talk) 13:37, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Incidentally, after reviewing the naming conventions, it seems to me that the most appropriate title for this page would be Napoleon Bonaparte. It appears that the "<First Name> of <Place>" style was intended as a backup for people who weren't commonly known by a first and last name, which is the preferred naming style. However, I realize that making that move would be controversial, so I'm leaving it open for discussion. --Russ (talk) 14:24, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Exile and death on Saint Helena[edit]

I've added some new material here which is very interesting from Napoleon's perspective of his last days. You will find it thoroughly verified. Enjoy. Sky 08:15, 4 May 2007 (UTC)Sky

Well, I thought I added the new material, but maybe I didn't save it. Either that or someone removed it. If the latter please explain. I'm new to all of this so before I go to the trouble of rewriting it (I didn't save a copy of it and lesson learned), maybe someone needs to explain. There is one comment saying something about "gone to far." Is posting new material a war zone or did I forget to save the page? Sky 15:16, 4 May 2007 (UTC)Sky

  • No, another user reverted it. You can look in the page history to see who changed what, and to access older versions (it's not gone forever). However, just because a quotation is verified does not mean it belongs in the article -- if we included everything Napoleon ever said or wrote on any noteworthy subject (not to mention everything that's been said and written about him), this article would be as long as an encyclopedia itself! --Russ (talk) 16:03, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
I reverted your edits, Dantrenner, I explained on your talk page.--Bryson{Talk}{Edits} 16:37, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
  • According to Vincent Cronin's Napoleon Bonaparte: An Intimate Biography, Napoleon's last words were not tête d'armée. His last words were "France—armée—tête d'armée—Josephine." 23:09, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Napoléon did NOT die from cancer! We have to remember the state of the medical profession in 1821. Medical doctors had a pretty good image of human anatomy and what the different organs where for. But their ability to diagnose and treat diseases where quite limited. Napoléon become increasingly ill for five years. After this long time stomach cancer can only kill through metastases. No such where found during the post-mortem. Worse, the supposed tumour was described as a hole the size of a finger. This is not how tumours look! They ether look like lumps or you can't distinguish them from surrounding tissue by the unaided eye. Many of his symptoms are incompatible with cancer. Instead they indicate chronic arsenic poisoning. Also, hair samples taken from him after his death have been measured to have very high contents or arsenic. It has been suggested that the arsenic is an outside contamination. This is impossible since the arsenic content is equally high in the centre of the hairs. The hair samples have also been historically verified. The fact that his pants decreased steadily in size have been taken as evidence that he died from cancer. About this argument toxicologist Pascal Kintz – who examined some of the hair samples – said:

"You don't decide that someone is suffering from cancer by measuring the size of his trousers."

Napoléon DID loss much in weight before he died. But this was due to severe lack of appetite and not due to cancer. Please note that stomach cancer is not hereditary. It was just SUPPOSED to be hereditary by people with prescientific ideas of heredity. Many other diseases have been claimed to have caused his death. However, those claims have been based on single symptoms: not all or even most of them.

This is what really happened as far as I know. When Napoléon delivered himself up to the Britons a few friends and servants choose to follow him. They where all sent to Saint Helena, a journey that took 69 days. At first Napoléon lived with a personal servant in a guest-house belonging to a wealthy British family while a stable was fast rebuilt into a home for him. Known as Longwood House it may be considered one of the few jerry-built houses preserved from the time. There he lived as a nobleman trough with considerable economical problems. (He got maintenance from the British government but his costs exceeded that sum with 2/3.) The first year after arrival the guard was minimal. Napoléon could ride freely on the island and enjoyed working in the garden. He also began to dictate his memoirs. From 1816 and on he become more and more supervised. Protesting against the supervision he began to spend more and more time indoors. There he had nothing better to do than playing billiards and continue dictating. During the last two and a half years of his life he refused to get outdoors at all. He was only persuaded into getting outdoors once. That was in October 1820 when he rode out for a picnic. By then soldiers with spyglasses could follow every step he took that was visible from outside. When he first refused to get outdoors the governor accepted that if an officer was let in every day. After some time Napoléon tiered of that too. During the last two years the only Britons let in where medical doctors.

After moving into Longwood House Napoléon began to suffer from chronic arsenic poisoning. It must have been intentional since no other source of arsenic has been found covering the whole time he was ill. The most likely person to have poisoned him was Charles Tristan de Montholon who looked after the wine cellar. None of the others which had the opportunity to do it had any motives. Furthermore, he was a very close friend of Charles Philippe de Capet who later become king Charles X of France. Unfortunately, the symptoms of chronic arsenic poisoning were not scientifically described until many decades later. Also, the initial symptoms are very ambiguous. Consequently the doctors who examined Napoléon where confused and guessed on all possible diseases. Over the years he became increasingly ill. Eventually he remained in his bed which was moved to the living room. There he fell into coma and never woke up. This was in May 1821. They buried him on Saint Helena in a place called Sane Valley. 19 years later the French king Louis Philippe decided that Napoléon’s coffin was to be taken to France. A French ship was sent to Saint Helena and the grave opened. The corps turned out to be almost intact! There was a natural explanation: the arsenic had not only killed him but also the insects and micro-organisms that had tried to consume his body. Without this unintentional mummification his clay would have turned into a skeleton in less than half that time considering Saint Helena’s wet, tropical climate. Several people which had known him were shown the mummy and they all recognised him. As planed the mummy was taken back to France. Napoléon was reburied in the Invalides in Paris where he lies to this day.

I think I have covered all counter-arguments to the poisoning theory I have heard. I am not an expert just an ordinary sceptic who happen to know more about Napoléon than many – perhaps most – of his fans. If you want to know the truthfulness of any of my claims I recommend you to contact the International Napoleonic Society:

Please DON’T tell them that they are completely wrong! They may well be insulted by such claims. I myself sent an e-mail to their chairman asking if there is any sensible reason to think that it is not Napoléon who is buried in the Invalides. Even this made him so angry that he wrote “is” instead of “was” leading to some confusion over where Napoléon is buried today. I recommend you to just politely ask how they know that it was in a certain way. After all, they are devoted to the scientific study of Napoléon and his time.

2007-12-08 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:08, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

I have read “Assassination at St. Helena” by Ben Weider and Sten Forshufvud. Ben Weider is a Canadian historian and previous soldier. Sten Forshufvud was a Swedish medical doctor and amateur historian. (Sten died in 1985.) The book is 30 years old so it is a bit outdated. However, I have had a lengthy correspondence with Ben who has written two more books on the issue. He sent me a brochure which was based on an article from the website of the International Napoleonic Society. Also, I am a sceptic so I don’t believe everything claimed by people who call themselves experts. I lot of things I thought was true turned out to be false. Some fruits of my imagination also turned out to be contrary to what is known by historians. On Saint Helena Napoléon was treated as a ruling monarch by the members of his household and those he employed. Britons who meet hem personally talked with him as with a foreign monarch unless he had told them that they did not have to. Officially he was refereed to as “general Bonaparte”. The Britons tried to make it as comfortable as possible for him as long as it did not prevent their efforts to guard him. Those efforts was aimed to protect him as least as much as preventing him from escaping. The island itself was easily made escape-proof. The costs of Saint Helena consist of high, steep rocks. The British authorities checked everyone who arrived or left at the port. There was only one more place where it was thought possible to get ashore. Any ship approaching it would be intercepted by the Britons. People claiming that he escaped from Saint Helena – or even could have done it – obviously don’t know what they are talking about.

I found ten errors in my previous entry:

1. Some ideas of what Napoléon died from are based on symptoms made up by Charles Tristan de Montholon who has turned out to be a frequent liar. It was also he who first suggested cancer as the cause of death.

2. Charles Tristan de Montholon was originally not a friend of Napoléon but a man he had come to bad terms with. When he abdicated for the second time Charles turned up unexpected and offered to follow him everywhere. We don’t know why Napoléon accepted him. It might have been because he seemed so eager to follow him. Or it might have been the prospect of having sex with his rather lose wife Albine.

3. The first two months Napoléon did not live in a guest house but in a pavilion with enough space for five servants. Sentries which where posted around it had to wear civilian clothes in order to not disturb him.

4. Longwood House was used as a stable AFTER Napoléon lived there: not BEFORE it. It also turned out to be much larger than I previously thought. Yet, I consider it a mason rather than a palace. However, it had to be repaired and extended before they could move in. I still consider it a jerry-built house because the walls are so damp that they have to paper it every other year. The wallpapers refuse to stick to the walls!

5. On Saint Helena Napoléon did not have much economical problems. He took a great deal of money with him when he delivered himself up to the Britons. When he died he owned more ready money than he could possibly have got from selling possessions which was the supposed source of the missing money. He DID sell some silverware but it was to give the illusion of economic embarrassment.

6. Dictating and playing billiards was not the only things Napoléon could do indoors. He could also read and play chess and cards games with Henri Gratien Bertrand who got pay for keeping him company. Yet, he was quite bored.

7. The supervision begun to increase in February 1816. Napoléon did protest against it but mostly vocally. After years of protesting it was loosened during 1819 and 1820. Still, he had to show himself to an officer every day he could. I am not any more so sure to what extent Britons where let into Longwood House. Anyway, no British soldier was let in unless he was formally invited. Napoléon also went outdoors a lot during the time I thought he refused. However, the picnic in October 1820 was the last time in his life he sat on a horseback.

8. Napoléon was not poisoned continuously but in intervals. Consequentially, there were times when he was seriously ill and other when he partly recovered. Still, he was always more or less ill during the last five years of his life.

9. Arsenic was not the final poison. During the last month before he died it was partly replaced with antimony resulting in frequent vomiting. Eventually his stomach become so overworked that he stopped vomiting. Then his doctors began to worry if he would survive. Charles Tristan de Montholon wrongfully claimed that calomel had once saved Napoléon’s life. Three out of four doctors where subdued to give it a chance. Napoléon was given and enormous dose of calomel. Afterwards he was fooled to swallow a drink flavoured with bitter almonds. The calomel reacted with his gastric juices and the prussic acid from the almonds resulting in a mix of mercuric cyanide, mercury salts and free mercury. This mixture finally took his life.

10. Since he never consumed enough arsenic to kill him the preservation of his corps was probably not only due to it. He was laid in a tin coffin, which was placed in a wooden one, which was placed in one out of lead, which was placed in a second out of wood. Finally he was buried in an underground vault. The high arsenic content of his corps – combined with the two soldered metal coffins – kept him intact enough to be recognisable 19 years later.

Other people accused for murdering Napoléon are the British governor Hudson Lowe, general Henri Gratien Bertrand, Napoléon’s valet Louis Marchand, the chef Jean Baptiste Pierron and the medical doctors. Hudson had no such influence on what Napoléon ate or drunk. This is also true for Henri. He and his family was the only followers which did not live in the jerry-built mason. Louis suddenly fell ill in the beginning of 1819 showing symptoms of sub-lethal arsenic poisoning. Of cause, a successful assassin does not poison himself. Jean could not have poisoned Napoléon without poisoning everyone who ate the same course. Yet people who ate with Napoléon rarely fell ill. However, everyone at his table had his or her individual wine bottle. Napoléon was ill even when there was no medical doctor present. Furthermore, the times when he took any medicament at all where easily counted.

It is possible that Charles Tristan de Montholon acted on his own. In that case the blame would be solely on him. There is no written evidence of any conspiracy so we don't know who his assigner was if there was one. It might have been his adoptive father Charles Louis de Sémonville who he visited shortly before joining Napoléon. It might also have been the crown prince Charles Philippe de Capet. He was a well-known intriguer who thought murder was acceptable for political purposes. It is even possible that both of them where involved. In such a case Charles Tristan would have had no choice. If he had declined he had been killed to prevent him from revealing the secret. Someone else would have followed Napoléon to Saint Helena in order to assassin him.

I now know two more indications pointing towards Charles Tristan de Montholon as the assassin. He knew several months in advance what symptoms Napoléon would have. He wrote it down in letters to his wife who had left Saint Helena – in present tense moreover! 25 years later he wrote a description of his time on the island. Much of this is so unbelievable and artificial that it only puts further suspicions on him. Some passages borders to the fairy-tales of Hans Christian Andersen or present-day fantasy literature. I have long thought of Napoléon as a part of the hard, dirty reality. Super-humans don’t exist and the complexity of the human mind was very evident in him. I try to not have any illusions about what he could or could not do. This is an important part of my sceptical thinking: to do my best to understand the limits of the possible.

2008-01-07 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:53, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Francesco Antommarchi did not say that Napoléon died from stomach cancer but hepatitis. This according to an article in the journal “Nature” published on the 14th of October 1961. It is entitled “Arsenic content of Napoleon I's hair probably taken immediately after his death” and written by Sten Forshufvud, Hamilton Smith and Anders Wassén. They also published an article on the issue in “Science” on the 26th of May 1962. It contained more accurate measurements of the arsenic content of Napoléon’s hair. Please note that articles in “Science” and “Nature” have to pass peer-review. This means that the methods and logic have to be considered credible by colleagues. Since then many more measurements have been made. One of the latest ones used a method making it possible to tell apart arsenic of biogenic and non-biogenic origin. Biogenic origin would mean that it come from the mouldy wallpapers while non-biogenic could only mean intentional poisoning. The hair sample contained biogenic arsenic but only in extremely small amounts. Furthermore, the suspected wallpapers was put up three years after Napoléon fell ill. Thus they could not had caused his illness in the first place.

As I wrote in my previous entry I have corresponded with Ben Weider. According to the brochure he sent me the authenticity all tested hair samples have been certified by the people which originally got them from Napoléon. One of them – Jean Abram Noverraz – even wrote that he had taken the hairs himself from the dead Napoléon’s head. All hair samples had the same colour and texture making it likely that they where from the same person. This is what I meant with “historically verified”.

Napoléon was exposed to many sub-lethal doses of arsenic. “Sub-lethal” means potentially deadly but not necessary so. A sub-lethal dose of arsenic may kill a person after two to four days. He or she might also survive and eventually recover. When recovering from sub-lethal arsenic poisoning people show the symptoms of chronic poisoning. This was what happened to Napoléon in 1805, 1812, 1814 and 1815. When he arrived to Saint Helena he had compleatly recovered from the last of them. At the beginning of May the following year he once again suffered from sub-lethal poisoning. Before he had recovered compleatly he was once more exposed to a sub-lethal dose of arsenic. So it continued until about a month before he died when the arsenic was partly replaced with antimony. Ten more people on Saint Helena suffered from sub-lethal arsenic poisoning: five adult men, four adult women and a teenage guy. Out of those ten only two persons died. They where Napoléon’s best friend Franceschi Cipriani and a nurse-maid to the Montholon family. All the others recovered eventually. The only person receiving a lethal dose of arsenic was a little girl. Most likely she was poisoned by mistake. Anyway, arsenic did not kill Napoléon. It just weakened him to the point when he needed to be nursed 24 hours a day. Combined with antimony it prepared the way for the mercury compounds that finally took his life.

2008-03-08 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Lucien Bonaparte[edit]

In the article he is referred to as Napoleon's brother, whilst the links shows a page about a son of Napoleon's. Which is accurate? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 10:03, May 9, 2007 (UTC)

Please sign your talk posts (with ~~~~) and place new threads at the bottom of the page.
Are you reading the same Lucien Bonaparte page as I am? It clearly says that he was Napoleon's younger brother. Napoleon did not have any son named Lucien. --Russ (talk) 11:40, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

It would be interesting to mention the very important role played by Lucien in the 18 Brumaire "coup d'Etat", as mentioned in the French Wikipedia. Napoleon went to the parliament to convince the members of the necessity of a new form of government. After his speech, he's forced to leave the parliament and at this moment Lucien said to Napoleon's troops -waiting outside the parliament- that Napoleon is being attacked...
In other words, without Lucien's help it is very likely that Napoleon would have failed. Fortinmat 04:36, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

The main article on the 18 Brumaire mentions Lucien's role. Napoleon's article would become very long if every piece of info was added, there are many links to main articles which give more detailed info on subjects. --Bryson{Talk}{Edits} 15:39, 26 May 2007 (UTC)


In the new film version of The Count of Monte Cristo, Napoleon said "That in this world we are all kings or pawns." He later said "Kings or pawns, emperors or fools." Did Napoleon ever say anything like this? I know this was just a fictional movie, but that sounds like something that Napoleon would say. Emperor001 00:34, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was No consensus. Not enough of a consensus to move the article. --WoohookittyWoohoo! 05:41, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Napoleon I of FranceNapoleon Bonaparte — most common name by far. Srnec 21:41, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Seems too obvious to need explanation. Srnec 21:40, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Support. As I suspect that this won't be obvious to everyone, let me quote the guideline at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (people):
General Wikipedia Naming Conventions start from easy principles: the name of an article should be "the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things". This boils down to the two central ideas in Wikipedia article naming:
  • the name that is most generally recognisable
  • the name that is unambiguous with the name of other articles
... For people, this quite often leads to an article name in the following format: <First name> <Last name> (examples: Billy Joel, Margaret Thatcher)
For this article, the name "Napoleon Bonaparte" is commonly used in English works, and does not conflict with the names of other people or things. Napoleon was known by this name, or some variation of it, for at least the first 34 years of his life, and as Emperor for only 18 years (and then only by his supporters; the British made a point of calling him "General Bonaparte" while he was at St. Helena). Thus, "Napoleon Bonaparte" is both simple and non-confusing, and should be the title of this article. --Russ (talk) 00:41, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
I withdraw my comment about the length of time each name was used; as others have correctly pointed out, this is not a particularly useful basis for titling articles. However, I think the other points I made are still valid, and continue to support the move. --Russ (talk) 13:16, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Support - Per Russ.--Bryson{Talk}{Edits} 01:20, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Support - Per above. --Cheers, Komdori 01:37, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. This always struck me as a little odd. olderwiser 02:32, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Support I wouldn't recognize "Napoleon I of France" but I know "Bonaparte". (Wikimachine 02:33, 4 June 2007 (UTC))
  • Oppose. Napoleon is far more common than Napoleon Bonaparte. Charles 15:57, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes, but the article is not currently at Napoleon. I don't see why that is a reason to oppose the requested move. olderwiser 16:04, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
  • I didn't say it was at Napoleon. Napoleon Bonaparte is not the most common name and therefore I do not support this move. Charles 16:07, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
It isn't? I think it is. Do your support moving the article to Napoleon? You must, or your reasoning would be senseless. But Steve Yzerman is most commongly known just as "Yzerman" and his article is at his full name, for example. I think the full name is the most common form, even if abbreviated forms are used. How often is Thatcher employed over Margaret Thatcher? Or Reagan over Ronald Reagan? Srnec 16:47, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
I would support a move to Napoleon, but not a move to a name less common than Napoleon in the meantime. You must remember, Napoleon was royalty and we have terms such as "Napoleonic", etc. It cannot be compared to politicians. Charles 18:51, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
I guess that makes me a republican. I think "royalty" is just a politician with a fancy uniform. --Russ (talk) 19:28, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
No. A monarch is a head of state with a particular way of selection which is not an election. Švitrigaila 20:57, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Would you care to elaborate on the element of hereditary succession in the 18 Brumaire? ;-> Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:12, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm more than fed up with your constant personnal attacks against me. I was just answering Russ's remark about what a royalty is. Švitrigaila 10:54, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
What in heaven's name did I say about you? I will cheerfully clarify the comment below to the (obvious in English) implication that your argument is inconsistent. But I am genuinely puzzled by your response to Russ. How is Napoleon's assumption of power like that of any other monarch in Europe? If you mean his coronation, who ever crowned himself? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:36, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. If we applied the logic of naming articles about people by the name they were known as by for most of there life, than the article about George IV of the United Kingdom should be name: George, Prince of Wales. Napoleons title wasn’t just used by his supporters but also by the Austrians, Russians and Prussians, infact it was only the British that solely used “General Bonaparte” or “Napoleon Bonparte”. Carl Logan 18:12, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
    But George is not commonly known as "Prince of Wales" in contemporaneous works, plus that title would be confusing since there have been other Georges with the same title. It's not a comparable case. --Russ (talk) 19:28, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose Noel S McFerran 19:31, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Any reason?--Bryson{Talk}{Edits} 19:37, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose. Because I'm French. Because all monarchs must be called by their regnal name, because the concept of a "regnal name" is a naming convention by itself. Will we rename Pope John Paul I into Albino Luciani because he used this name most of his life? And before all I strongly oppose any "use-the-most-commonly-used-name"-policy which is by nature totally unencyclopedic. Švitrigaila 20:49, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
    • Then you oppose Wikipedia's conventions. Also, it is not suggested that we use the name Napoleon himelf used most, not it is suggested that we use the name which English-speaking peoples almost always use to refer to him: Napoleon Bonaparte. I assume you want Alexander the Great moved to Alexander III of Macedon? Srnec 21:32, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
      • Yes I do. As I do support the move from Hirohito to Emperor Shōwa, or the move from Harakiri to Seppuku, or the move from Fujiyama to Mount Fuji, or the move from Saparmurad Niyazov to Saparmyrat Nyýazow, or the move from Elvis to Elvis Presley, and so on. I strongly oppose the convention that says the most commonly used name must be used. Such a convention is a shame, a flaw, a blemish that compromises the credibility of an encyclopedia at its very beginning. The choice of the most commonly used name can be accepted only if there is no other way to chose between two equally acceptable names. Švitrigaila 10:50, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
        • While I respect your opinion, I disagree with it. The purpose of an encyclopedia is to help readers find information, and using the most commonly-known and recognized name of a subject is one way to help them. The full title will still be there in the article, so it's not like we are hiding it from anyone! I think the guideline is correct. --Russ (talk) 11:04, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
          • That may be right on a paper encylopedia, when you lose time every time you're looking for an information. It's totally false on Wikipedia when you find at once the good article even if you search "Napoleon Bonaparte". Wikipedia has an authomatic "redirect" fonction that is just made to allow the reader both to search an item using its most commonly used name and to find it with its most accurate name. To rename an article with its most commonly used name in order to help the reader has no sense at all on Wikipedia. Švitrigaila 11:13, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Support Napoleon is probably preferable, but it's not on the table. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:12, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
    • And what about Napoleon II of France and Napoleon III of France? Their surname was "Bonaparte" too. Why would "Napoleon Bonaparte" be more Napoleon I than II or III? Švitrigaila 10:50, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
      • Because, in fact, Napoleon I is commonly referred to as "Napoleon Bonaparte" in English-language works of general reference, while his son and nephew are not. I suppose that those who worship consistency (of form, that is) above all else won't be able to accept this, but it seems to me that renaming this article is justified while renaming Napoleon III of France would not be. --Russ (talk) 11:04, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Rename to ' Napolean per WP:COMMONNAME 01:10, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
    • As I pointed out, while Washington probably predominates in usage over the full name George Washington, just as Doctor Johnson beats Samuel Johnson, nonetheless full names are used for article titles. Srnec 04:10, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
      • I wouldn't say so, since George is used quite often, and you've got two other famous Washingtons to deal with, the state and the city in DC. Other Napoleans aren't even close in notability, etc. 20:50, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
        • So, just change the example with Dwight D. Eisenhower. Must we rename it to Eisenhower, or Dwight Eisenhower, or General Eisenhower, or Ike? Švitrigaila 10:52, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose, actually, per Švitrigaila. Consistency is worth something, too... —Nightstallion (?) 10:54, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
    • Švitrigaila's [argument] is being inconsistent. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:31, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
      • Thank you for the gratuitious insult en passant. Švitrigaila 10:50, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Support, as the most recognisable name. — On a personal note, I find that the fact that he reigned in 1804-1815 is much less significative than his active life as a whole, and thus I feel that treating him as just another monarch betrays his specificity and gives a wrong idea of what he really was & represents... leading the reader to face the article with a rather narrower mental perspective. - Ev 00:59, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree with this perspective and it is the reason I oppose the plea for consistency (as put forth by Svitrigaila, for one). Why should monarchs be treated differently from others in the first place? I can see a reason, but it does not extend to certain people who are exceptional not just as monarchs or who have common names that are not the same as what would be their style under the rule “[name] [ordinal] of [country].” Charlemagne, Alexander the Great, and Napoleon Bonaparte are instantly recognisable forms for most Anglophones and need not conform to the standard for royalty like other monarchs. They are exceptions, especially Napoleon. Why should his imperial career take precedence over his republican career? Perhaps he should be titled just as American presidents? Is it because royalty just has greater precedence? But why should that be a Wikipedian convention? This is an encyclopaedia, not a diplomatic gathering or royal wedding. It seeks to inform and not leave the average reader asking about the prominent title at the top of the page (which should be instantly recognisable), “Was Bonaparte the first Napoleon of France?” Srnec 17:37, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose Per last statement and Napoleon was Emperor of the French - his highest title should be recognized as is the case with Elizabeth I or II of the United Kingdom - not maintaining this standard would be akin to preferential treatment and favortism in naming conventions - the supporters of this should also be for Elizabeth II named Elizabeth Windsor or Saxe-Coburg more literally; which I would oppose also. The article clearly states his other name. Further, Napoleon Bonaparte could be redirected here if people look for that name or Napoleon. --Northmeister 00:21, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

French custom[edit]

In French sources, it's a custom to speak very distinctly about "Bonaparte" before 2 December 1804 and about "Napoléon" (or "Napoléon Ier") after that date, as if they were two different men.

The most famous French Encyclopedia of this time is the Grand dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle. As Wikipedia's article states : "One such instance of subjectivity appears regarding Napoleon. For Pierre Larousse, what the republic's general had done until the coup of 18 Brumaire was virtuous and glorious, but the coup and the subsequent rule of the consul and emperor were a tyrant's doings. Hence, the Larousse du dix-neuvième had two entries : one for Bonaparte, Napoleon, who, according to the article, died on the 18 Brumaire (9 November 1799) ; and one for Napoleon referring to the consul and emperor. Though it is true that Napoleon Bonaparte "changed" his name for Napoleon Ist, he only did so at his crowning as emperor, not after the 18 Brumaire coup." Of course this choice reflects Pierre Larrousse's political opinions and Wikipedia doesn't have to follow this curious choice. But it's just an example to illustrate the dichotomy of the French custom about him.

Note that "Bonaparte" is used usually without the first name because, in these times, the custom was to use the surname alone when it was enough to understand who it was. When the surname was not enough to distinguish two persons, some used either their first name... or they used another way. Thus, some added such terms as père and fils ("father" and "son") after their name, or l'aîné and le jeune ("the elder" and "the young"). For example, Pierre Louis de Lacretelle and his brother Jean Charles Dominique de Lacretelle were always called simply Lacretelle l'aîné and Lacretelle le jeune when they lived.

Another way was used by the members of the Parliament : they added the name of their constituency to their surname. For example Jacques Charles Dupont was known simply as Dupont (a very common surname), and when he was elected as a MP from Eure, he was known as Dupont de l'Eure ("Dupont from Eure"). I think I know that such a practice is still in use in the US Senate when a senator is just called "Senator XXX" (where "XXX" is the surname only) and desambiguation is made by the constituency only. I remember the vote on Bill Clinton's impeachment: the speaker called the senators by their surnames only and called the two Hutchinsons: Hutchinson of Arkansas and Hutchinson of Texas.

In those conditions, it may be very difficult to know today which of the different christian names bore by a man of the beginning of the 19th Century was his common first name. Bonaparte had only one first name, so there is no doubt about his case, but I doubt this first name was widely used or even known by the public before his enthronement.

Švitrigaila 10:58, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Suggested move[edit]

  • Oppose. I think there have been very solid points made by those who support a move, but in the end, what sways me to the "opposition" camp is that while there were two other Napoleon Bonapartes (one of whom actually ruled France longer than this one did), by definition there can only be one Napoleon I of France. There is no ambiguity with this article title. Funnyhat 00:27, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. It is the name he is most commonly known by in English. Napoleon I makes him sound like an ordinary French king. He was notable and in fact ruled France before crowning himself Emperor; while the country went back to being a kingdom after he was deposed. The fancy titles he gave himself and his country while in power pale in comparison to the phenomenon that was Napoleon Bonaparte, Frenchman extraordinaire. Brock 21:14, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia lists 21 people who – without lying – could call themselves “Napoléon Bonaparte”. Here is a list of them in order of birth year:

1. Joseph Napoléon Bonaparte (Giuseppe Napoleone Buonaparte, "Pepe", José I Napoléon) 1768 - 1844.

2. Napoléon I Bonaparte (Napoleone Buonaparte, "Nabolio", "the Eagle") 1769 - 1821.

3. Louis Napoléon Bonaparte (Luigi Napoleone Buonaparte, Lodewijk I Napoleon) 1778 - 1846.

4. Napoléon Charles Bonaparte (Napoleon Karel Bonaparte) 1802 - 1807.

5. Napoléon Louis Bonaparte (Napoleon Lodewijk Bonaparte) 1804 -1831.

6. Jérôme Napoléon Bonaparte (Jerome Napoleon Parker), 1805 - 1870.

7. Napoléon III (Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte, Karl Ludwig Napoleon Bonaparte) 1808 - 1873.

8. Napoléon François Joseph Charles Bonaparte (Napoleon Franz Joseph Karl Bonaparte, "the Eaglet") 1811 - 1832.

9. Pierre Napoléon Bonaparte (Pietro Napoleone Bonaparte), 1815 - 1881.

10. Napoléon Joseph Charles Paul Bonaparte (Napoleone Giuseppe Carlo Paolo Bonaparte, "Plon-Plon") 1822 -1891.

11. Joseph Lucien Charles Napoléon Bonaparte (Joseph Lucian Charles Napoleon Bonaparte, Giuseppe Luciano Carlo Napoleone Bonaparte) 1824 - 1865.

12. Lucien Louis Joseph Napoléon Bonaparte (Luciano Luigi Giuseppe Napoleone Bonaparte) 1828 - 1895.

13. Jérôme Napoléon Bonaparte, 1830 - 1893.

14. Napoléon Charles Grégoire Jacques Philippe Bonaparte (Napoleone Carlo Giorgio Giacomo Filippo Bonaparte) 1839 - 1899.

15. Napoléon Eugène Louis Jean Joseph Bonaparte (Napoleon Eugene Louis John Joseph Bonaparte) 1856 - 1879.

16. Roland Napoléon Bonaparte, 1858 - 1924.

17. Victor Napoléon Jérôme Frédéric Bonaparte, 1862 - 1926.

18. Jérôme Napoléon Charles Bonaparte, 1878 - 1945.

19. Louis Napoléon Jérôme Victor Emmanuel Leopold Marie Bonaparte, 1914 - 1997.

20. Charles Marie Jérôme Victor Napoléon Bonaparte, born in 1950.

21. Jean-Christophe Louis Ferdinand Albéric Napoléon Bonaparte, born in 1986.

Well, I did not manage to find them all again but their full names and years ought to be enough to identify them. If you allow for a missing accent in the given name the number becomes even higher! That is why I write ether “Napoléon I”, “Napoléon I Bonaparte” or “Napoleone Buonaparte”: his Christian name. My point is that “Napoléon Bonaparte” is not unambiguous enough to be suitable as headword. Thus I think we should keep “Napoléon I of France”.

2008-06-06 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

  • Support That list means little to me and to most speakers of the English language. If the words "Napoleon Bonaparte" are said, just about every person will automatically think of the subject of this article. If you ask which person attempted to conquer Europe at the end of the 18th century; many people will answer "Napoleon Bonaparte", many others will answer "Napoleon", and almost no one (or absolutely no one) will answer "Napoleon I of France". Out of all of the people that are named on the above list, not one of them is known by simply "Napoleon Bonaparte"; each of them is known by the longer name that has been posted for them. That's my opinion. -BaronGrackle (talk) 13:34, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Still, I don’t think “Napoléon Bonaparte” is unambiguous enough to be suitable. Can’t we do a compromise and have “Napoléon I Bonaparte” as headword?

2008-06-25 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.


I believe that Napoleone is the Italian form of Napoleon's first name, and would suggest that the Corsican form is Napauleone. Could anybody verify this?

Matisia 19:19, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Corsican did not have it’s own rules of writing yet. If people used any special set of rules that would have been the Italian ones. As such I would consider it an Italian dialect in his time. In other words the first rules for how to write Corsican was not agreed upon until after his death. If he did not us the spelling “Napauleone” I would consider it an anachronism. Supposing it is really Corsican...
2007-06-22 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.
Thank you for your information. I have researched the matter further myself and, since I can only find the spelling Napauleone referenced as being Corsican by a single source (And sources which quote from that source), the veracity of such a spelling is probably suspect at the very least.
Matisia 10:41, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
Napoleon was called as child Napujone but in that time Corsica - altough french since some years - was culturally still fully integrated in the italian world (the cultural detachment of Corsica from Italy occurred gradually during the first half of nineteenth century). Due to that, the sentence "Napoleone is the italian form of Napoleon's first name" is simply absurd. The young Napoleone culturally was an italian child. Regards, Alex2006 05:35, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

I think his nickname as a child was "Nabolio". I got that from a biography on Jean Baptiste Bernadotte where he is shortly mentioned as "little furious son" of the Buonaparte family. Where did you get "Napujone" from?

2008-06-18 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Missing Information about Saint-Domingue and Haiti[edit]

Unless this article incorporates some information about the Haitian Revolution and Napoleon's failed (in the case of Saint-Domingue) attempts to reintroduce slavery, it does seem very eurocentric and only half informed. For an overview of Napoleons actions re the Caribbean see the Haitian history wiki The Louverture Project: Napoléon Bonaparte. doe 03:39, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

"Follower of Islam" quotation[edit]

I thought it was generally accepted that Napoleon's line about using the Qu'ran as the source of law was basically a manipulative attempt to win over the conquered Egyptians in 1798, and not any sign of genuine Islamic leanings on his part. No? Funnyhat 21:02, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

My remarks on the very same subject: Emphasis put on the Qu'ran, and Qu'ran alone, without mentioning Napoleon's appreciation of the Christianity and neglecting it, is an obvious manipulation in order to satisfy the political correctness, and has nothing to do with the scientific facts (to presenting which Wikipedia aspires). As a counter-example, following is a quotation from the Napoleon Bonaparte himself (from the year 1802), regarding the impact and value of Christianity as a cornerstone of a modern society:

Christian religion is the religion of a civilized society. It raises man, by expressing superiority of the spirit over the matter. Not paying respect to this religion means to be lacking any healthy moral concepts and giving oneself to a mental libertinism, which results in nothing else but in decomposition of a society.

Marek Pietrachowicz (Poland) 8 July 2008

Early life[edit]

I rewrote a portion of the section which trumpeted Napoleon's Corsican patriotism. While I have little doubt that he loved his birthplace, his famous last words ('France, armée, Joséphine...') and his request to be buried in the banks of the Seine contradict the claim that "He remained to the end a Corsican." Deltabeignet 23:31, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Napoleon is not ethnically FRENCH[edit]

I am getting tired of having to repost this because unreasonable people think it is somehow inflammatory to describe Napoleon as Corsican as opposed to French. There is a huge difference between ethnicity and nationality.Pistolpierre 00:03, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Do you think "ethnicity" exists? Švitrigaila 10:10, 7 July 2007 (UTC)
I think it is fine to stress that Napoleon was from Corsica, and thus was not considered ethnically French by his contemporaries. Today, after almost 240 years of French rule of the island, to argue that a Corsican is not French is a little trickier, but in the 18th century this was generally accepted, with Corsica being a recently conquered territory. Funnyhat 19:03, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

If ethnicity don’t exist why is there organisations like ETA and IRA? Corsicans does not feel like French which is the defining trait of ethnicity. I have good arguments to why I consider him Corsican. His Christian name was in Italian: Napoleone Buonaparte. (There was no generally agreed-upon rules of how to write Corsican until after his death.) His parents also had Italian names: Carlo Buonaparte and Maria Letizia Buonaparte. He spoke French with Italian accent so that must have been his mother tongue. He even said “Everything on Corsica is more beautiful and better than anywhere else”. Only a true Corsican would have expressed himself like that!

2007-07-08 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

I am Corsican and proud of it, but I am also proud to be French.
In fact a large majority of Corsicans are happy to be French, (thankfully, Corsica has nothing like ETA and IRA).
Your statement, "Corsicans does not feel like French" is a untrue and unfounded.
The fact that he had an accent, (BTW it is a Corsican accent, not Italian, never Italian), and loved the region he was from does not mean anything.FFMG
I think that one should distinguish between Corsica around 1780 - 1800 (an Island which was still fully culturally linked to Italy) and Corsica nowadays, after 240 years of union with France. But also the concept of "Italian" during the XVIII century is an anachronism. Italy during that century was made of several small states, and most people felt themselves as subjects of Venice, of the Pope, and so on, not as Italians. Napoleon was maybe the first who, with the creation of the Repubblica Italiana and of the Regno d'Italia brought a national conscience to a part of the Italian people. Alex2006 13:24, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm French. And I don't think it exists something like "ethnically French people". It'll be like saying there are some "ethnically Canadian people", for example. The French nationality is not based on an "ethnicity". It's based on a common History. The concept of "ethnicity" doesn't exist in France, and there is no need to import it from the countries where it exists. Švitrigaila 18:07, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Alessandro57, I was replying to Lena who mentioned ETA/IRA and was using the present in the statement rather than the past. I agree that things were different 240 years ago. But it is not the same any more, Corsicans feel French.
Ciao, I know Corsica quite well (I go there every year since 20 years, most of the times not on the beach) and I know also quite a few corsicans. I think that the situation in Corsica is quite complex, and the attitude of Corsican People towards mainland France cannot be generalised. Anyway, one thing is sure. The Corsicans DON'T feel themselves as Italians. ;-) Pace e Salute, Alex2006 07:34, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

FFMG, do you speak Corsican? If so you probably have double ethnicity: both Corsican and French. If not you are just a French living on Corsica. Why is the island infamous for being violent? I think it is because the Corsicans want to become independent from France and some of them are willing to use violence in that pursuit. The present-day Corsican language was considered an Italian dialect in the time of Napoléon. Thus, his contemporaries would have said he had an Italian accent.

Švirtigaila, ethnicity is due to a group of people’s feel of kinship. France has three mayor ethnic groups: French, Corsicans and Basques. You are ethnically French if you can speak French an think that you are French. I don’t think all French citizens think like you. In fact, your idea might be used as an evasion to deny ethnical conflicts. But denying the existence of conflicts does not make them disappear. Accept the ethnic groups or they will fight back on you!

2007-07-25 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

I think that's very funny. With such a definition, you can find more than three "ethnic groups" in France, surely several thousand. If some people, for example some Basques, think they are part of another "ethnic group" than the French, does it mean that all the Basques form one ethnic group, or that there is one "ethnic group" called "the Basques" to which belong all those who want to be in, and another one called "the French" to which belong all the people that speak Basque but consider themselves as French ? As I said above, there is no French "ethnic group" in France. Švitrigaila 23:09, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

What I really mean is enough feel of kinship to keep a state together. In France the people speaking French, Breton and German feel enough kinship. This is not true for the people speaking Basque and Corsican as far as I know. Of cause there is exceptions to the rule. But I still wonder how you explain the existence of such organisation as IRA and ETA. Are they mysteries to you?

2007-08-11 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

That's totally untrue. You can find separatist organizations all over France, in Brtittany, in Alsace, in Normandy, everywhere. Bretons and "Germans" as you call them are no exception. Those organizations represent only themselves. And the fact there is an independentist Basque organization is not a proof that a "Basque ethny" considering itself different of a "French ethny" exists. Or if it does, it means that only the members of that organization are members of that ethny. For example, the Ligue savoisienne, a party advocating the independence of Savoy, gained between 0,01% and 0,1% of the vote in the last legislative election. Does it make a "Savoyard ethny"? "Kinships" may exist, but they are not exclusive. People in France can feel themselves Savoyard and French. Or even Basque and Breton and Saint-Pierrais and be proud to be French. And once again, the "kinship" between the French citizens doesn't constitute a "French ethny". Švitrigaila 13:26, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

What I mean is that the Basque and Corsican-spoken minorities does not feel like they are French. Imagine a war between France and Germany two generations in the future. A possible outcome is France conquering a significant part of Germany. Would the inhabitants of the newly conquered area suddenly feel like they where French? “Nein!” would be the by far most common answer. Except for the inhabitants of Elsass-Lothringen the German-spoken minority would still perceive themselves as Germans. An other possible outcome is Germany conquering a significant part of France. Would that make the inhabitants of the conquered area feel like Germans? The very most likely answer would be “Non!” The French-spoken minority would still perceive themselves as French as well as the inhabitants of Elsass-Lothringen. You have to accept that people does not always feel akin to the state they are citizens of, just like married couples does not always love each other. That is why I consider it meaningful to about ethnicity. Since this discussion have gone way of topic I suggest that you read Wikipedia’s article “ethnicity” and discuss the existence or non-existence of it there.

2007-12-08 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:16, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, there is no Wikipedia article with the headword “ethnicity”. The word leads to the headword ethnic group. Still, I think you should discuss the reality of ethnicities there.

2008-01-11 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:47, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Succession Box[edit]

Why does the succession box say French Royalty? Doesn't the word royal imply king/queen rather than emperor/empress? Shouldn't it be French Imperial family or something like that? Emperor001 21:08, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Last words[edit]

Weren't his last words something like "Josephine, France, Head of Army"? Yet only the last part is listed here. I think it would be good to have the whole thing, I mean, it'd be more accurate and it's only two more words. I'd add it, but I don't have a source at hand. Kuralyov 01:06, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

I have red at least three versions of his last words. A probable explanation is that his voice was so weak that not everyone in the room could hear everything he said. If three different persons wrote down everything they heard that would have resulted in the different versions. If I am right the correct version is probably this:

“France ... the Army ... the Head of the Army ... Josephine.”

This is not much more than a senseless line-up of nouns. I think he was so groggy that he was not aware of where he was maybe not even that he had lost his power. The last thing he said befor he died was in French, possibly because he thought everyone around him was French-spoken.

2007-07-10 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

It has turned out that those famous last words were made up by Charles Tristan de Montholon who is today recognised as a frequent liar. His descriptions of what happened on Saint Helena differ widely from those of others. He even contradicted himself sometimes! People believed him only because he was a nobleman. I consider this judging people on the qualifications of their ancestors! Charles might even have been a mythomaniac. At the time the famous last words was said to have been uttered no-one else could hear any words OR EVEN RECOGNISABLE LANGUAGE SOUNDS. According to the others Napoléon was unable to speak the last two days before he died. He could just signal his needs with small gestures. I don't know what his real last words were. It might have been asking for his chamber-chair. (A chamber-chair is a more comfortable chamber pot shaped like a chair.) Or it might have been a commendation for something he got to drink. But I know for sure that he was out of consciousness when he died. Thus he can be said to have died calmly.

2008-02-16 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

I think I should correct myself. Napoléon died shortly before sunset after being unconscious for at least 14 hours. (Please remember that this was in the tropics so the time of sunset did not vary much during the year.) He was unable to speak the last night before he died. At the time his famous last words was said to have been uttered the other DID hear a sound. However, it was more like a music instrument than a human voice. Today it is thought to have been due to gases from an over-pressurised stomach escaping though his throat. Consequentially, there was no intention behind it. Most likely the last thing he said before he died was:

“Give me my chamber-pot.”

It may not have been very polite but that was what he said. His last words must have been uttered I French since all the three or four men who nursed him where French-spoken. They where his favourite personal servant Louis Marchand, Charles Tristan de Montholon and Henri Gratien Bertrand. The possible forth person was Étienne “Ali” Saint-Dennis who was also a personal servant. Napoléon had a third personal servant named Jean Abram Noverraz. During the last six weeks he could not nurse Napoléon since he was ill himself. He barely recovered enough in time to bid farewell to his dying ruler. By then Napoléon was already unconscious.

2008-03-28 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.


I remove imappropriately lengthy quotations from mainspace, because it is not the way encyclopaedic entries are supposed to be written. Please consider moving them to Wikiquote. --Ghirla-трёп- 20:30, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Revelations concerning Napoleon's personal religious faith leaves little doubt that he was a Christian, at least at the end of his life. Not long after Napoleon’s death, in a third lecture before Oxford University, Henry Parry Liddon made the following observation:
If the first Napoleon was not a theologian, he was at least a man whom vast experience had taught what kind of forces can really produce a lasting effect upon mankind, and under what conditions they may be expected to do so. A time came when the good Providence of God had chained down that great but ambitious spirit to the rock of St. Helena; and the conqueror of civilized Europe had leisure to gather up the results of his unparalleled life, and to ascertain with an accuracy, not often attainable by monarchs or warriors, his own true place in history. When conversing, as was his habit, about the great men of the ancient world, and comparing himself with them, he turned, it is said, to Count Montholon with the enquiry, “Can you tell me who Jesus Christ was?” The question was declined, and Napoleon proceeded, “Well, then, I will tell you. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I myself have founded great empires; but upon what did these creations of our genius depend? Upon force. Jesus alone founded His empire upon love, and to this very day millions would die for Him. . . . I think I understand something of human nature; and I tell you, all these were men, and I am a man: none else is like Him; Jesus Christ was more than man. I have inspired multitudes with such an enthusiastic devotion that they would have died for me, . . but to do this it was necessary that I should be visibly present with the electric influence of my looks, of my words, of my voice. When I saw men and spoke to them, I lighted up the flame of self-devotion in their hearts. . . . Christ alone has succeeded in so raising the mind of man towards the Unseen, that it becomes insensible to the barriers of time and space. Across a chasm of eighteen hundred years, Jesus Christ makes a demand which is beyond all others difficult to satisfy; He asks for that which a philosopher may often seek in vain at the hands of his friends, or a father of his children, or a bride of her spouse, or a man of his brother. He asks for the human heart; He will have it entirely to Himself. He demands it unconditionally; and forthwith His demand is granted. Wonderful! In defiance of time and space, the soul of man, with all its powers and faculties, becomes an annexation to the empire of Christ. All who sincerely believe in Him, experience that remarkable supernatural love towards Him. This phenomenon is unaccountable; it is altogether beyond the scope of man’s creative powers. Time, the great destroyer, is powerless to extinguish this sacred flame; time can neither exhaust its strength nor put a limit to its range. This is it which strikes me most; I have often thought of it. This it is which proves to me quite convincingly the Divinity of Jesus Christ. [5]
"The following footnote to the above text historically verifies the several sources of Napoleon’s convictions concerning Christianity:
171. This is freely translated from the passages quoted by Luthardt,

Apologetische Vortrage, pp. 234, 293; and Bersier, Serm. p. 334. The same conversation is given substantially by Chauvelot, Divinité du Christ, pp. 11–13, Paris 1863; in a small brochure attributed to M. le Pasteur Bersier, and published by the Religious Tract Society, Napoleon, Meyrueis, Paris, 1859; by M. Auguste Nicolas, in his Etudes Philosophiques sur le Christianisme, Bruxelles, 1849, tom. ii. pp. 352–356; and by the Chevalier de Beauterne in his Sentiment de Napoleon sur le Christianisme, edit. par M. Bathild Bouniol, Paris 1864, pp. 87–118. In the preface to General Bertrand’s Campagnes d’Egypte et de Syrie, there is an allusion to some reported conversations of Napoleon on the questions of the existence of GOD and of our Lord’s Divinity, which, the General says, never took place at all. But M. de Montholon, who with General Bertrand was present at the conversations which are recorded by the Chevalier de Beauterne, writes from Ham on May 30, 1841 to that author: ‘J’ai lu avec un vif interêt votre brochure; Sentiment de Napoléon sur la Divinité de Jesus-Christ, et je ne pense pas qu’il soit possible de mieux exprimer les croyances religieuses de l’empereur.’ Sentiment de Napoleon, Avertissem. p. viii. Writing, as it would seem, in ignorance of this testimony, M. Nicolas says: ‘Cite plusieurs fois et dans des circonstances solennelles, ce jugement passe généralement pour historique.’ Etudes, ii. p. 352. note (1.).

An earlier quotation from Napoleon suggests there had been a time he may have also been a follower (or admirer) of Islam:

"I hope the time is not far off when I shall be able to unite all the wise and educated men of all the countries and establish a uniform regime based on the principles of Qur'an which alone are true and which alone can lead men to happiness."[1]

Hi Ghirla. Thanks for being bold and go after {QF}. That was the right action. It just clutters the article indeed. However i must diagree w/ your removal of the information behind all those quotations. That is what you would call something very encyclopedic. A referenced content about one of the major figures of history involving two major beliefs of history can't be removed. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 18:37, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
Is speculation about a persons religious beliefs encyclopaedic? "Napoleon's personal religious faith leaves little doubt that he was a Christian" that's a pretty big claim, and was not referenced, I added a fact tag and it was removed. Only the quotations were referenced, but not of the claims in the text.--Bryson 19:42, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
Is it speculative? "Wasn't referenced?" Yes, in fact, it's very well referenced so I replaced it because it is very much encyclopedic and fits the subject matter of Napoleon's last days and death perfectly. Sky 16:46, 22 July 2007 (UTC)Sky
This article is criticized because it is over-long already. The purpose of Wikipedia is not to assemble massive, page-length block quotes from books and websites, and then to repeat them verbatim. It takes skill to distill information, which is what Wikipedians should try to do. I tried to distill the massive, 5000kb block quote into a readable summary. Please do not revert the massive block quote.--Mcattell 23:10, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Alexander the Great poisoned, Napoleon poisoned[edit]

This guy was a megalomaniac and he a criminal like Alexander. Napoleon was poisoned, Alexander the great was poisoned. Napoleon with small regular dosages of arsenic. Alexander the great was poisoned with typhud typhoid bacterial infection. I doubt he was given any real poison, at that time there were no long acting poisons like radio active plutoniums.


Shouldn't the article mention that Napoleon was excomunicated? Emperor001 02:55, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Invasion of Russia[edit]

"Large numbers of troops were deployed to the Polish borders (reaching over 300,000 out of the total Russian army strength of 410,000). After receiving the initial reports of Russian war preparations, Napoleon began expanding his Grande Armée to a massive force of over 450,000–600,000 men (despite already having over 300,000 men deployed in Iberia). Napoleon ignored repeated advice against an invasion of the vast Russian heartland, and prepared his forces for an offensive campaign."

This bit of text in the section of the article entitled "Invasion of Russia" seems to be an utter myth. Unless someone produces evidence to the contrary I propose to remove it and replace by a much more orthodox introduction. The Russian army under Barclay de Tolly and Kutuzov amounted to no more than 130000 men. There was a 30000 army in Turkey, which was recalled once Russia had an armistice with Turkey and Napoleon had invaded. There was also a force of about 30000 under Peter Witgenstein(Ill have to check the spelling). How this supposed Russian force of 300000 on the border was arrived at is completely unobvious. Moreover the Russian army was disjointed, and only started togehter hastily AFTER Napoleon had decided to invade Russia and strated building his troop numbers, in complete contradiction to the implications of the quoted statement. These facts are highlighted in Armen De Caulincourts account of the Russian campaign, Napoleons adjutant during the Russian Campaign, and a former French ambassador to Russia. There was a complete lack of a desire to fight or invade on the part of Russia as evidenced by this first-hand French source - in fact Napoleon never used Russian troop build up as a pretext for his invasion. It was rather the fact that Alexander permitted some limited trade with the British to continue, in violation of the continental system. Although, as Caulincourt pointed out to Napoleon, France itself had been continuing partial trade with the British (due to the impossibility of obtaining certain collonial goods otherwise) and it made no sense to require his allies to apply a harsher blockade than he himself was prepared to apply. The lack of desire by Russians to fight Napoleon is further evidanced by the peace missions dispatched by Tsar Alexander, the last one to Vilno, after Napoleon has invaded the Russian empire. Napoleon according to Caulincourt did not accept the peace mission for several days to allow his invasion to proceed unmolested, until finally sending it back empty handed. Moreover prior to receiving the Russian envoy offering to negotiate on the blockade system, Caulincourt quotes Napoleon saying to those present that he is not invading Russia with the greatest army ever merely to impose certain trade requirements, "[He] wants to push these peoples of the North back to the ices where they belong". I think this quote is of such relevance to explaining the state of mind of Napoleon in undertaking the invasion, that its omission in the recount does an injustice to all who want to learn about this period.

Ancient Italian Heritage?[edit]

Francesco Buonaparte moved from Florence to Corsica in 1514. That's only 255 years before Napoleon's birth. I wouldn't really call it "ancient". the Corsican tongue was seen as just another Italian dialect at the time, and there was no reason to consider Corsicans any different from Sardinians or Sicilians in this context. The only reason to treat it as a distinct nationality in the 18th century sense is because the year before Napoleon was born, the island was sold by Genoa to France. That should not change his ethnic background whatsoever, as many people have cited above, he spoke with a thick Italian accent. I would suggest the removal of the word "ancient" and just state that he was a Corsican of Italian heritage. Sadistik 20:10, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Small grammatical error[edit]

The second sentence of the second paragraph of the section "Exile, Return, and Waterloo" reads

"Meanwhile Napoleon, separated from his wife and son (who had come under Austrian control), cut off from the allowance guaranteed to him by the Treaty of Fontainebleau, and aware of rumours that he was about to be banished to a remote island in the Atlantic, Napoleon escaped from Elba on 26 February 1815 and returned to the French mainland on 1 March 1815." (Emphasis added)

One mention of his name or the other should be erased. As I just registered, I can't edit this semi-protected article, but if no one does in the next few days (and I remember,) I will.--Rotwang Daedalus 14:31, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

To classify Napoleon as Roman Catholic is absolutely ridiculous[edit]

I am deleting such a classification. It makes no difference whether he was baptized Catholic. He was definitely an atheist. If you want me to find a quote from Will Durant or somebody else I will. Pistolpierre 20:27, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Napoleon was certainly not an atheist. He died receiving last rites, and testifying to the Divinity of Christ. This is common knowledge. --Schlier22 03:32, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

I think a couple of quotes to prove/disprove that he was a Christian/Catholic/Atheist are needed. But I find it hard to be believe the statement, He was definitely an atheist. To simply delete the statement without much proof is as bad as adding it in the first place.FFMG —Preceding signed but undated comment was added at 06:33, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

He made demands to the Pope regarding the French Church. He forced the Pope to approve all of his demands. He demanded that he be given the last say on the appointment of all bishops in the provinces. He made all priests and bishops accept their pay from the state. He signed a concordat with the Pope and then had the newspapers print his version which the Vatican rejected. He completely fooled the Pope. This was all on EWTN which is a Roman Catholic cable news channel. This is all documented in "Revolution and Papacy" by E.E.Y. Hales and also "The Story of Civilization by Will Durant Volume XI: The Age of Napoleon" Also according to the priest on EWTN Napoleon was at best a Deist who believed God was completely removed from human affairs or at worst an atheist. Pistolpierre 19:00, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Agree with Pistolpierre. To characterize a man who was widely regarded in his time as the Anti-Christ as a Catholic is to place massively undue weight on his (at best) vacillating faith. --ROGER DAVIES TALK 21:45, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

You may not like that he was a Roman Catholic, but, fact is.... --Counter-revolutionary 22:05, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Right. Nobody has said he should be in Category:Good Roman Catholics!  ;) --Russ (talk) 22:14, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Chuckle. --ROGER DAVIES TALK 22:22, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Do you mean to tell me that you are going to argue with the Roman Catholic priest on EWTN, a Roman Catholic Cable News Network, who explicitly says that Napoleon was the furthest thing possible from a Catholic? In addition to the things I already mentioned he tells how absurd it is that there is a crucifix above his tomb in Paris at Les Invalides or wherever the heck he is buried. This show dedicates extensive time to debunking the association of Bonaparte with Roman Catholicism. It is on at least once every couple weeks on EWTN. I happen to already own the book by E.E.Y. Hayles that is explicitly cited in this program. I will update the article with explicit quotes from Hayles and Will Durant regarding Bonaparte's vacillation between Deism and atheism. By the way, Hitler was baptized Catholic and supported the Roman Catholic Church in exactly the same way as Bonaparte, yet nobody in their right mind would classify him as a Roman Catholic. Pistolpierre 02:44, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

I must admit that I am not very comfortable with the references you are quoting, do you have any links? Until today I never heard of EWTN so I am not 100% certain that it is reputable source.
Napoleon is indeed buried at les Invalides, and because those who knew him best at the time felt that he was, at the very least, Christian.
I want to revert your changes, but I don't want to get into an edit war over it, all I want is some more reputable quotes, (with links), to point whether is he was a Christian or not. FFMG 04:57, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
We don't routinely categorize people by religion, unless they were significant for their religion. I can't think of any reason to categorized Napoleon there. - Jmabel | Talk 05:31, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Really? What about George_W._Bush for example?
Also it is an Encyclopedia and if I was looking for that information I would like to find it here. It is an entry about Napoleon and it is not for us to choose what we would like to include about him, as long as it is factual.
I think in Napoleon's case it does matter a little as he did a few things for the church and against the church. I just find it very hard to believe that a man, (a soldier no less), in those days would have been an atheist, that's all. He might not have been a big fan, but to claim that he was not religious at all is a bit much. And the references given are, IMHO, not very credible. FFMG —Preceding comment was added at 06:05, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

The book by E.E.Y. Hales Revolution and Papacy is a classic. Will Durant's Story of Civilization XI: The Age of Napoleon won the Nobel Peace Prize. These are not dubious sources. EWTN rivals Fox in its conservative bias. You can choose to deny whether the Roman Catholic Church itself loathes Bonaparte but you cannot deny the fact that Bonaparte loathed Roman Catholicism. Just look at what he did to the Church in France. He was excommunicated by Pope Pius VII in 1809. The Pope was abducted by Prince Camillo Borghese who was married to Bonaparte's sister. He was forced to sign a concordat with Napoleon by cardinals and French priests loyal to Bonaparte. From Revolution and Papacy: Excommunication of Bonaparte, p189,190,202,203,205; abduction of Pius VII from Rome, p190-9; the 'Concordat of Fontainebleau, 218-22. Pistolpierre 14:32, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Links, Links Please give us links. I am not questioning you. All I am asking for is some links so we can say 'he was a catholic' or 'he was not a catholic'. Everything you claim is unreferenced.
None of the claims you made can be verified. FFMG 07:37, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I am really doubting your sources/claims now, Will Durant never won a Peace prize, (what would that have to do with Napoleon anyway?), as far as I know.
Will Durant wrote a book called The Age of Napoleon. However, he never won a Nobel Peace Prize or any Nobel prize; he and his wife Ariel won a Pulitzer Prize, but that was for Rousseau and Revolution, the preceding volume in their Story of Civilizaion series. --Russ (talk) 13:44, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
You're right. I thought they won the Nobel Prize for literature. My point was that they are not a dubious source. Pistolpierre 17:40, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Who was Prince Camillo Borghese?? The only reference I can find about him dates to 1500/1600
He was mentioned in the book cited on EWTN. I gave the page numbers from Revolution and Papacy that reference his role in abducting the Pope on behalf of Bonaparte. I'll look for links on the web as opposed to Revolution and Papacy Pistolpierre 17:44, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
"EWTN rivals Fox in its conservative bias", I am not sure what you are trying to say by that, what has Fox got to do with this?
What I meant was the fact that EWTN has a Roman Catholic priest bashing Bonaparte on a Roman Catholic Network should make anybody wonder why the world's oldest political/religious institution that is usually associated with conservatism would be "disowning" Bonaparte? People associate Fox News with conservatism. Bonaparte is associated with liberals and socialists like Stalin and Hitler. I was trying to point to EWTN's credentials as a Roman Catholic Cable Network to show that it would not attack Bonaparte if he were a conservative Catholic. Pistolpierre 17:44, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
As I said before, I don't really care either way what his religion was, I just want to be able to verify it one way or another. FFMG 07:37, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm sure there are links on the web that talk about Bonaparte being excommunicated. I'll try and find something. I shouldn't even have to do this seeing as everybody in the public schools in the United States is taught about Bonaparte. He is never mentioned as being a Roman Catholic. He is mentioned within the context of the French Revolution which was aimed at destroying the French Catholic Church and their support for the French monarchs who were always Catholic. Pistolpierre 17:40, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I think Jmabel made the best point. If you look at the text at the top of Category:Roman Catholics, it is only for people whose Catholicism is a "defining characteristic" related to their notability. I don't think Napoleon falls into that group. (Although, really, if a Protestant or Muslim ruler had done the things Napoleon did, would Pistolpierre be getting as worked up as he is?) --Russ (talk) 13:44, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Jmabel! However, I'm not sure what you are getting at with your question. I'm not a practicing Catholic, I just think it is ridiculous to classify Bonaparte as a Catholic. He was excommunicated. If you would like non-Catholic leaders that rival Napoleon in terms of the carnage that snowballs as a result of his/her megalomania I will give you a few. Henry VIII. Elizabeth I. Cromwell. Bismarck. McKinley. TR. Woodrow Wilson. FDR. Arafat. Sharon. George H.W. Bush. George W. Bush. Pistolpierre 17:23, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Really? You agree with Jmabel? So what about my reply to him, should we remove the religion of all leaders? Like George W. Bush for example? Why is his religion included? And that was the best point? Do you not agree/disagree with anything else?
Religion played in important part in Napoleon's life, a lot more important than Mr Bush, so I think it mater a little what his religion was/wasn't.
Pistolpierre, I doubt very much that everybody in the united state learns the religion on Napoleon. In fact I would be amazed if all the states of the union even shared the same curriculum, (but I could be wrong). And with no disrespect to the US education system, it means nothing to 99% of the world.
I strongly suspect that he was indeed Catholic, granted not the best Catholic in the worldm but I think he was. I do not see any compelling evidence that he was not. I still don't think that an unknown program in EWTN is enough.
Napoleon Crowned Emperor at Notre Dame de Paris and probably married in churches. If he was not at least a little religious he would have made a point of not getting crowned in a Catholic Cathedral.
I think it is simply a case of him been a bad catholic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by FFMG (talkcontribs) 05:22, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Evidently you misunderstood my responses. For starters, I am not the first person on this discussion page to mention that Bonaparte was excommunicated. In case you don't know what excommunication is, it means that the Roman Catholic Church has disowned you. As for the crowning at the Notre Dame, that was a political calculation made by the Pope since France was still the world's most Roman Catholic nation. France was once termed "the eldest daughter of the Church"; the Benedictine monastaries were the model for all of Europe, the Papacy itself moved from Rome to Avignon for an extended period in order to survive Italian blood feuds amongst nobles fighting for the papacy. Given the upheaval in France at the time and her cultural/historical ties to Roman Catholicism it was a no-brainer for the Pope to "crown" Napoleon Emperor of the French. Bonaparte used the occasion as propaganda and was portrayed as crowning himself. His marriage to Josephine was done in private. If the pope considered him to be a Catholic, even a bad Catholic, he would of married them in public. Priests do not judge sinners. Excommunication is a completely different animal. It is the absolute worst thing short of hell that can happen to a Roman Catholic. I cited Revolution and Papacy in addition to the EWTN broadcast. Again, it is absolutely ridiculous for Bonaparte to be classified as Roman Catholic. HE WAS EXCOMMUNICATED! He is similar to George W. Bush in foreign policy but Bush is the public leader of the evangelical Christians in America. Nobody would suggest that Bonaparte was the leader of the Roman Catholics in Europe. He was the enemy of all of the Christian monarchs. He was a liberal. I didn't say that schools taught that Bonaparte was Catholic!!! I said that they teach that he was the result of the French Revolution. Everybody knows that the French Revolution was about destroying the Catholic Church in France and its support for the Catholic Bourbon monarchy. Final thought; Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin were baptized either Catholic or Christian, yet nobody would classify these three by their religion. Same as Marx and Trotsky and Lenin were born Jews. Nobody classifies them as religious Jews. You take fault with the EWTN broadcast, Revolution and Papacy, The Age of Napoleon, in their histories of France. You suspect deception in these sources. Do we agree that it is not appropriate to classify Hitler, Bonaparte, Mussolini, Stalin, Lenin, and Trotsky by their religion? I agree with Jmabel. A classification by religion for Bonaparte is not appropriate. Pistolpierre 16:01, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
I know what excommunicated mean, thank you very much.
We are going around in circles here, you are making wild claim, Napoleon was excommunicated by the pope, clearly the two of them didn't like each others. I would have been surprised if the pope hadn't excommunicated him.
Anyways I am still waiting for the links you claimed you were going to provide. Pistolpierre 19:03, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
You also mentioned that you find links about Bonaparte being excommunicated., seen that according to you, everybody in the public schools in the United States is taught about Bonaparte. is should not be to hard to find.
Even wikipidia does not agree with your claims.
Is this link not affiliated with Wikipedia? Pistolpierre 19:32, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Another one of your claims, George W. Bush, public leader of the evangelical Christians in America., since when is he the leader of evangelical Christians in America?, is that another one of your made up facts?
Whatever point you are trying to make you should stop making-up facts as you go along. This does not help at all.
In this case it does not matter much, but in future, please do not edit wikipedia because you seem to make-up 'facts' as you go along and are totally unable to prove any of the wild claims you make.
I don't know why you care some much that Napoleon was/was not Catholic, but you make a very poor case defending it. If anything I am now starting to think that he was indeed catholic and that for some reason you find it hard to believe that he could have been. FFMG 17:30, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
You have a problem considering my "making things up" because I am not even the first person ON THIS DISCUSSION PAGE to mention that Bonaparte was excommunicated. And as for your comments about George W. Bush, you either have not being paying attention to any national media coverage of his press conferences, or have been living in a cave if you have not heard him described as the leader of the evangelicals in the U.S. YOU ARE THE ONE WHO SAID WE SHOULD CLASSIFY BONAPARTE AS BEING RELIGIOUS. YOU HAVE NOT PROVEN ANYTHING THAT SHOWS THAT HE WAS. So what if he "crowned" himself Emperor or was crowned Emperor by the Pope? Hitler himself signed a Concordat with the Vatican in 1933. Are you going to say this is made up to? Perhaps you should stop editing Wikipedia since nothing I have said is even remotely made up. You are probably the only person in the United States unaware that Bonaparte was a product of the French Revolution which was aimed at destroying Roman Catholicism and its support for the Catholic Monarchy of France. Pistolpierre 18:43, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
No need to user uppercase, it is considered shouting. And frankly I don't see what you need to shout about.
1) I don't need to 'prove' anything. You are making a claim and all along I have been asking for links to verify your claims.
2) I question your sources because lot of your claims are simply false, Nobel Peace prize, leader of the evangelicals in the U.S, everybody in the public schools in the United States is taught about Bonaparte.
3) For the record I mentioned George W. Bush as a direct reply to Jmabel. Go and read what the reply was for.
4) I read the newspapers, but I am not entirely sure what made you think I read _your_ newspapers. Or even that I was in the U.S. again, give is a link to verify your claim about Mr Bush.
5) The onus is not on me to prove that he was Catholic, (I often said I didn't care either way), but it is you who removed the link about his religion. All I am asking you is to prove your claim. Frankly the claims you have made prove to me that you are not qualified to make such claims.
6) Others might have mentioned religion on this page, but they did not take it upon themselves to edit the page. They first had a discussion about it and it was clearly decided to leave the religion section. You removed the category without any valid links.
Most of your claims are either false, over exaggerated or simply unsubstantiated. I think I will need to ask an admin to restore the page the way it was. I would do it myself but I fear you would simply remove it again with no explanation, (as you don't seem to be able to verify any claims you have made in this discussion). —Preceding unsigned comment added by FFMG (talkcontribs) 19:59, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

FWIW, I would consider G.W. Bush one of the few American presidents whose religion is significant, because he is so outspoken about it. Others where I'd mention it are Carter (similar reason), arguably Kennedy (first Roman Catholic president), possibly Hoover (whose Quaker beliefs did not allow him to "swear" the Oath of Office), arguably Lincoln (I'm not sure where I'd classify him, but he clearly was a person who thought a great deal about such things), Jefferson (as a Deist). There might be others, but no others leap to mind. If Willian Jennings Bryan had been president, he'd have been an even clearer case than G.W. Bush.

All of these were people for whom, one way or another, religion played a far larger role in their lives than Napoleon. (In Kennedy's case, not so much because of his own beliefs as because of circumstances; I'm just old enough to remember that it was openly talked about at the time whether the country was ready to elect a Catholic.) - Jmabel | Talk 04:03, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree with you that religion indeed played very a big role for those people.
But I tend to think that it was equally important for Napoleon. At the end of the day he had many dealings/wars/disagreements with the Vatican/Pope. He was also very outspoken on religion, (Christian religion and religion in general).
Religion played quite an important part in the life of Napoleon. I also think that if he wasn't Catholic those who knew him would have not given him such a Christian burial, (it would have been just as grand but not have as much emphasis on religion as it does now).
I think we should revert the fact that he was catholic, this is what he claimed he was, and it had a lot to do with the Catholic institution at the time. Pistolpierre removed it and did not make a strong case for it, (IMHO).
So I personally think, in his case, it does mater, (just as much as with the few you mentioned). Shall I put it back? FFMG (talk) 05:55, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

links proving Napoleon was excommunicated and not a Roman Catholic[edit]

I have already mentioned and listed the pages in Revolution and Papacy in this discussion section that speak of Bonaparte's excommunication. I am also not the first person in this discussion section to bring up this fact. I will continue to add links to web sites as I find them. (mentions excommunication)

The Story of Civilization Volume XI: The Age of Napoleon by Will Durant.

p 549 "On June 10 the Pope excommunicated Napoleon."

p 253 "Napoleon himself lost his religious faith at age thirteen."

p 254 "At times he spoke like a materialistic evolutionist: "Everything is matter; is only a more perfect and better reasoning animal." "The soul is not immortal; if it were it would have existed before our birth." "If I had to have a religion, I should adore the sun, for it is the sun that fertilizes everything; it is the true god of the world. But when I read Socrates, Plato, Moses, or Mohammed, I have no more belief. It has all been invented by men."

p 255 "Napoleon had a Mohammedan view of marriage."

Pistolpierre 18:52, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

1) Will you also add links about he other claims you made in the previous discussion? I am particularly curious about the one on Mr Bush and the schooling system in the U.S.
Will you admit that it makes no difference whether or not you think Americans aren't taught about the French Revolution in history class? Will you admit that George W. Bush created something called "Faith Based Initiatives" which was government funding for Christian programs? Will you admit that only an evangelical leader would dream of doing that? Your constant questions and refusal to read is tiresome. Especially when you accuse me of making things up. Confusing a Pulitizer Prize with a Nobel Prize for literature is not that big of a deal. I suspect you honestly think I was "making things up" about Will Durant. Also, you questioned whether I was making things up about Camillo Borghese and Bonaparte's excommunication. So far you are 0-2. Why do you keep asking these questions? Pistolpierre 15:16, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
2) Apart from that book, (and some TV station), can you find any reputable links? It is a wikipidia requirement, not mine.
Books. Plural. EWTN to be specific. And two websites. You are an impossible person. Pistolpierre 22:27, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
3) You keep referring to I am also not the first person in this discussion section to bring up this fact., who was the first person and how did they verify that fact?


Shouldn't the article mention that Napoleon was excomunicated? Emperor001 02:55, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Why are you not continuing the previous discussion? Could you add your links to the previous section? A list of links without the discussion does not really help. FFMG 05:37, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
This will not make you happy. I gave you sources in the previous discussion. I gave you a Wikipedia source for Camillo Borghese and for the excommunication of Bonaparte. Pistolpierre 15:16, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
And this is it??? This is your proof? You are more delusional that I thought. Learn the diference between wild claims and reputable, verifiable facts. FFMG 04:20, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
According to your logic, the existing Wikipedia reference to Bonaparte's excommunication, Will Durant, the Catholic Encyclopedia, and the New Advent Encyclopedia are all making wild claims. So what is the wild claim? That Napoleon was excommunicated? How is that even remotely a wild claim? Do you know what delusional means? Perhaps you are delusional? Pistolpierre 04:31, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Of course it makes a difference, because you lied so much I cannot believe anything you said. Go back and read the context of your claims. You were using them to make a point.
You claimed that public schools in the US all taught about Napoleon as if to make a point when it was blatantly a lie. You claimed the Nobel prize/Pulitzer, again to make a point.
George W Bush has never been any kind of evangelical leader, yet you claim it as a fact. I am baffled as to where you find such wild claims.
But more importantly the point I was making is that he it makes as much sense to have his religion as it does to include Napoleons. They both are/were not the most religious persons on earth.
You did not even notice that the links you gave are give the same piece of text, they offer no new information. Your books are probably quoting each other, but seen the trail of lies you left I am guessing that you fabricated those page number or misquoted what they were saying.
As a side not please put your replies at the end of the discussion and not in the middle, don't delete thing to or move headers. FFMG 04:46, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Why does Wikipedia/Wikisource say that Napoleon was excommunicated? Are they making "wild claims"? Was Emperor001 making "wild claims"? How is referencing three websites and two books making things up? How is it "making things up" to say that everybody in America learns about Napoleon in either their grade school or high school history classes? How is it a "making things up" to say that George W. Bush is the leader of evangelicals? His faith-based initiatives are part of his evangelical faith and aimed at pleasing his base. What is "the trail of lies"? Mixing up a Pulitizer with a Nobel Prize for literature? Big deal. What do you have against Will Durant? Pistolpierre 05:02, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
All Emperor001 did was ask a question, no reference was given. It is not a claim/fact, but at best a sentence. The fact that you moved it from its original place takes it out of context. In its original place it was a random question with no reply.
The problem with all your claims are not the fact that they are small lies, it is more the intent. You tried to use them to mask the truth, to use them as a proof of your claims. That makes it hard to believe anything else you said.
Don't believe me? Go back and read when you made you claims and what you were trying to use them for.
As for the Nobel/Pulitzer( note the spelling), it was won for another book. You tried to use it to vindicate your wild claim.
George W Bush has never been any kind of evangelical leader, you keep repeating it but it does not make it any more true. His faith based policies do not make him an evangelical leader.
At the risk of repeating myself, his religion in the info box is as 'ridiculous' as have Napoleon's religion in the info box. This was the point I was trying to make, you then added some lies about him been some kind of evangelical leader.
You also claimed, everybody in the public schools in the United States, to make another point. This is also clearly not true. And it has nothing to do with the current discussion. You simply thought that mentioning a _school_ system I would bow down and believe you.
I can tell you that in France they are taught about Napoleon, (probably in more details than in the US), does that make my point? Does that make him more/less Catholic? And in any case, it was a lie. As I said, I doubt every state in the US has the same curriculum, (and I would be amazed if any of them even mentioned the religion of Napoleon).
As for the wikipidia source, this is also the same piece of text that all the other links point to. (So in other words you have one link, as they all copy each others word for word). They all mentioned that he was excommunicated, (partly), for invading Italy. And he was restored in later years.
Surely the Vatican itself must a record of Napoleon and if he was or not Catholic, would that not be the first place to look? FFMG 05:58, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
So now I am telling "small lies"? Was Will Durant telling small lies? Was E.E.Y. Hales telling small lies? Were you telling a small lie when you said that Emperor001 did not claim that Bonaparte was excommunicated? Do you not understand his question? He asked why the article doesn't mention that Bonaparte was excommunicated! But you probably think I am telling another small lie. Why don't you say he is making a wild claim? Is the Catholic Encyclopedia cited on Wikisource telling "small lies"? So you think I am being deceptive by citing the Catholic Encyclopedia on Wikisource? You continue to deny that George W. Bush is an evangelical leader. What country are you from? And I stand by my claim that Americans know that Bonaparte was part of the French Revolution and that the French Revolution was about destroying the power of the Catholic Church. You are fixated on these two statements as if they matter. You cannot grasp how ridiculous it is to classify Bonaparte as a Roman Catholic. Why don't you classify Hitler as a Roman Catholic? Or Mussolini? You are a paranoid. You think I am lying about EWTN, Will Durant, E.E.Y. Hales, Camillo Borghese, and Wikisource. You think I am lying about George W. Bush being an evangelical leader. You obviously have zero clue about American politics. Ever hear of American Theocracy by Kevin Phillips? The entire point of the book is that George W. Bush is an evangelical leader. You pretend to not know about Bush's "faith-based initiatives". Everybody in America knows George W. Bush is an evangelical leader. He publicly speaks of his conversion to evangelical Methodism after meeting with Billy Graham. Now you want Pope Benedict XVI to tell you Bonaparte was excommunicated. Do you want George W. Bush to tell you he is an evangelical leader? Do you want high school history teachers to tell you that their students learn about European History and the French Revolution? If it is ridiculous to classify George W. Bush by his religion why don't you delete the classification and tell why in the discussion section? Pistolpierre 15:08, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Sorry I was been polite, you are telling big lies. Those big lies make it hard to believe anything else you say.
I don't care how many times you say it
1- George W Bush has never been any kind of evangelical leader. Please add a link to prove otherwise
2- Schools in the US do not teach Napoleon Bonaparte religion, maybe some of them teach European history. But I doubt it is of any value in this discussion. Please add a link to prove otherwise
3- Emperor001 asked a question about excommunication, that does not make it a reputable source. The sentence, Shouldn't the article mention that Napoleon was excomunicated?, does not make it a fact.
4- The links you provided all point to the same text, they don't mention excommunication, (unless I missed it in the passages).
Another link does mention the excommunication but does not make it clear if the order was standing or if the pope was threatening.
5- All the People you mention I very respected authors indeed. I don't doubt them, I doubt you. This is why I am asking you for links rather than some pages. Can you not any links that would point one way or another once and for all? This is not asking for much.
But you will not provide the links because they don't exist. Bush is not an evangelical leader, and the links you provided are non conclusive.
So please give us some proper links, stop telling lies and do not quote the same passage of text over and over. The internet is big, I am sure you can find a lot more than one reference on the web about napoleon.
And I don't think my nationality matters, but I seem to know American politics a bit more than you. FFMG 16:28, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

You are Corsican, n'est ce-pas? That explains alot. You must have some pride of being the same ethnicity/nationality as Napoleon. Are you an Italian like Bonaparte or are you French? You ignore political realities. Perception is reality in politics is it not? Why do you think Bonaparte wanted to be "crowned" by the Pope? Why do you think the Pope "crowned" him? Why do you think Hitler fooled the Junkers and the Catholics into thinking he was a Christian? Why do you think George W. Bush publicly bashes gays and appears at Bob Jones University where Catholics are bashed and it is forbidden to have interracial dating? These leaders understand perception. You don't. You are in violation of the rules for this discussion page. You assume bad faith. You are not polite. You make personal attacks. You are stubborn at best and illogical at worst. You talk about lies and then you say that there is no difference between the New Advent link and the Catholic Encyclopedia link. There is an enormous difference if you took the time to compare the two. One makes no mention of excommunication. The things you fixate on make no difference. They only show that you assume bad faith. They show you don't understand the rules for this discussion page. This discussion has become extremely boring considering you take issue with everything I say even after I explain it and provide you links. You simply cannot comprehend how ridiculous it is to classify Bonaparte as a Roman Catholic. I see that you took issue with my pointing out that he is not ethnically French. I am not surprised. There are two things that will never happen on this page. 1) Bonaparte will never be described as ethnically French. 2) Bonaparte will never be described as a Roman Catholic. You can fixate on George W. Bush and the American school system all you want. It is not going to prevent me from checking this article every day or responding to your violations of assuming bad faith, making personal attacks, and being rude.

"I just find it very hard to believe that a man, (a soldier no less), in those days would have been an atheist, that's all. He might not have been a big fan, but to claim that he was not religious at all is a bit much. And the references given are, IMHO, not very credible." FFMG

You said this before I mistook the Pulitizer prize for the Nobel Prize for Literature. You had already decided Will Durant was "IMHO not very credible." The fact that you could overlook the fact that the French Revolution involved guillotining priests and kings and peasants in favor of "reason" as opposed to "Catholicism" shows that you know next to nothing about the French Revolution or Bonaparte.

"Religion played in important part in Napoleon's life, a lot more important than Mr Bush, so I think it mater a little what his religion was/wasn't. Napoleon Crowned Emperor at Notre Dame de Paris and probably married in churches. If he was not at least a little religious he would have made a point of not getting crowned in a Catholic Cathedral...I think it is simply a case of him been a bad catholic." FFMG

Talk about making a wild claim! Religion played a more important role in Napoleon's life than in George W. Bush? What is your basis for this "fact"? As for the "crowning" and "probably married in churches" what does that prove? He was the Emperor trying to create a perception for his subjects that he was religious. The Pope was fully aware of this and played along. I really think you do not understand perception. That explains why you said I was "delusional". Delusions involve perception. That's why I asked you if you understood what "delusion" means. Pistolpierre 17:01, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Here is the last link I am going to give you. Please read everything. You will have no doubt that George W. Bush is an evangelical leader. Pistolpierre 17:15, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

How sad, You have reverted to misquoting me and misquoting others, (and I am not sure what you are on about is ethnicity. Did you give up on the religion angle that you cannot prove?).
You understand politics very well in 'forgetting' some of the lies you made and twisting/misquoting other statements you made.
I am not sure why you misquoted me and yourself in that last tirade of yours, do you think readers, (if there are any), will not read the original sentences only a few lines up?
In you mind a Pulitzer( note the spelling), is the same a Nobel Peace prize, (as you originally claimed, BTW).
And as if you could not go any lower, in a final, desperate act, you have chosen to use a public broadcasting service to 'make a point',
See,, (look at the Criticism sections).
Because no one else knows Bush as a evangelical leader.
So, no sorry, George W Bush is still not an evangelical leader. A Google search quickly shows how bad that lie, (and the others) were.
Just like you could not support your claims on religion, (not on Napoleon and not on Bush).
But I agree with you and others on the fact that this discussion is going nowhere .
So I leave you to you delusions and your lies.
Just remember in future don't lie here as others will find you out very quickly. All the best. FFMG 21:19, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

You are still violating standards for this discussion by calling me a liar and accusing me of bad faith. The PBS interviews with Richard Land mean nothing to you? Do you even know who Richard Land is? The entire section Bush and Evangelicals is interviews with Evangelical leaders. Wikipedia cites the PBS documentary I mentioned in its article on Land. Are you a conspiracy theorist? Pistolpierre 21:52, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

If any of you are wondering where I read about Napoleon getting excommunicated, it was in a book called Napoleon Bonaparte by Alan Schom (not sure I remeber his last name). It speciffically said that Napoleon was excommunicated and that he then had the pope "kidnapped at bayonet point." Emperor001 (talk) 18:59, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Napoleon's reconciliation to the church[edit]

The artcle state "Napoleon died reconciled to the Catholic Church, having confessed his sins and received Extreme Unction and Viaticum at the hands of Father Ange Vignali on May 5, 1821.[24]" I would like to comment that napoleon may have been reconciled in his mind, but he was never reconciled in the mind of the church, ie. The Vatican. The priest who gave him communion did so "illegally". Napoleon was excommunicated by a papal bull. No priest, bishop, cardinal, etc can overturn that- only a Pope can can overturn a papal excommunication. This never occurred. See [6] specifically note:

There is a distinction between excommunications reserved to the pope (these being divided into two classes, according to which they are either specially or simply reserved to him) and those reserved to bishops or ordinaries. As to excommunications ab homine, absolution from them is reserved by law to the judge who has inflicted them.(ie. the Pope)
I wonder if the vatican keeps a record of his original excommunication? I mean, the papal bull excommunicating Napoleon cannot be too hard to trace.
Strangely, the article, (List of papal bulls), does not seem to have that one listed. FFMG (talk) 19:19, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
I know, i have looked for it also. I suspect it may be because it was issued as the french troops where seizing the vatican, and the pope was imprisoned almost immediately after it was issued. Maybe the french destroyed it? I checked that list, it leaves out hundreds of bulls, it looks to only be noting the important oncsCool10191 (talk) 20:36, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Viola! [7] according to this site the papal archives (including bulls) where moved to paris by order of napoleon in 1810 where many of them disapeared.Cool10191 (talk) 20:43, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Monsieur N.[edit]

I've just watched this movie, one of the worst I've seen in a long time, with ridiculous over-acting from the otherwise admirable Richard E Grant as Sir Hudson Lowe and the rest of the cast. The film suggests that Napoleon escaped from Saint Helena to Louisiana, where he died, and that the body exhumed and now at Les Invalides is that of Napoleon's officer Cipriani. Is there any evidence whatsoever for this? -- JackofOz 23:38, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

There is no truth to it and no evidence I know of, it is historical fiction.--Bryson 23:51, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Belatedly, thank you. -- JackofOz (talk) 00:24, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Napoleon's Siblings[edit]

Under the siblings section there is a dead link to Maria Anna. I found Maria Anna Elisa Bonaparte in wikipedia under Elisa Bonaparte. I would suggest linking Maria Anna to Elisa Bonapart Maria Anna

Defeat & Exile...tiny army???[edit]

Hi, I was just wondering if this: In his exile, he ran Elba as a little country; he created a tiny navy and army, opened some mines, and helped farmers improve their land. However he became restless.

is true? There's no citation....thx Lazulilasher (talk) 03:01, 29 December 2007 (UTC) – —Preceding unsigned comment added by Paul Snodgrass (talkcontribs) 02:58, 10 January 2008 (UTC)


Under the title Hundred Days I suggest changing "at Waterloo" to "in the Battle of Waterloo". It redirects there anyway and Waterloo refers mostly to Wellington's headquarters. For instance von Blucher originally suggested the Battle of La Belle Alliance. A bit of a pun no doubt, but also the location of Napoleon's grand battery.Mstuczynski (talk) 21:07, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Name again[edit]

Granted that this has been discussed at length, but why isn't this article simply called Napoleon?

May I quote Asterix on Brittain: We are very fond of the English, in spite of their quaint habit of having Nelson on top of their columns instead of Napoleon. Is there any doubt which Napoleon is meant? Ah, one may say, but that's in the context of Nelson. Hmmmm, yes, but does that make a difference? If I say statue of Napoleon everyone knows who I mean; If I meant of Napoleon II I'd say that, but to say statue of Napoleon I is precious and unnecessary in any context.

In some contexts, particularly historical ones, he's commonly called Napoleon Bonaparte. Again, while there are other claimants to this name, if the context is unspecified we all assume that this means Napoleon I of France.

So, under both Wikipedia:naming conventions and Wikipedia:naming conventions (names and titles), I'd have to expect this article to be simply called Napoleon, with Napoleon Bonaparte as a clear second choice, but very much a second choice. Andrewa (talk) 17:33, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

I would prefer Napoleon to the current title, but I proposed Napoleon Bonaparte in the last move request. This is because (1) unlike, for example, Rollo, who is the only famous Rollo anybody (historians included) knows of, Napoleon is not the only famous Napoleon (even many non-historians are familiar with Napoleon III) (2) Bonaparte is hardly obscure and probably almost as well known as Napoleon (3) he is a modern political/military figure (before a royal/imperial one) and we tend to prefer full names for such figures (is there another famous Stalin?) and (4) Napoleon Dynamite and other things have inflated the currency of "Napoleon". Srnec (talk) 04:28, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

How about Napoleon I? The "of France" is completely superfluous. I'd prefer that to any of the suggested titles. john k (talk) 06:34, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

I think, (but I could be wrong), the point is that most visitors will search for Napoleon or Napoleon Bonaparte, they will not search for Napoleon I of France.
Some might even think that they came to the wrong Napoleon when they see the article name.
I also prefer Napoleon Bonaparte as it is probably what he is best know has, (after Napoleon of course). FFMG (talk) 06:42, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
People may very well search for "Napoleon I", though, since he's called that nearly as often as the other two you cite. Do recall that Napoleon III is reasonably well known. john k (talk) 06:46, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree, and I have no reference of how often one name is used over the over. But, I think that when a user is looking for Napoleon they will probably mean Napoleon I. For any other Napoleon they will add the number/full name because they know that not doing so would probably return results for Napoleon I. FFMG (talk) 07:30, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
This is probably true. That being said, "Napoleon" still seems too informal to me. My order of preferences would be Napoleon I>Napoleon Bonaparte>Napoleon=Napoleon I of France, if that makes sense. john k (talk) 14:33, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
I wasn't suggesting the name change to Napoleon, I also think Napoleon Bonaparte would be better.
Having said that a quick google search for Napoleon brings wikipidea first, and so does napoleon bonaparte, so I guess it does not matter as long as it it clear to the reader that they found the Napoleon that were looking for. FFMG (talk) 18:06, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm sticking with Napolean I of France. GoodDay (talk) 18:50, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Why? I've seen this argument from you before... but with no argument for it attached. Charles 18:51, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
"Napolean" would be unwise, I think. john k (talk) 18:14, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Personal preference; But, if the article does get moved? I won't revert it. GoodDay (talk) 18:55, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Henry VII of England was born Henry Tudor, but we don't call the article Henry Tudor, do we? We call it Henry VII of England because that was his regnal name and country. In a parallel fashion, the subject of this article was named Napoleon Bonapart prior to coming to the throne, but having gained the throne by a coup (as did Henry VII), he became known by his regnal name, Napoleon I of France. To call the article anything else defies traditional and wiki naming conventions. While not eveyone know this, any student of history knows there was also a Napoleon II of France as well as a Napoleon III of France, so simply calling the article Napoleon when two others followed makes no more sense than calling the article on Henry I of England by the simple title Henry or Henry of England. Napoleon I of France it is, and Napoleon I of France is must and shall remain. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:35, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Shameful Bias[edit]

As most articles pertaining to France and/or her people written by anglophones, this one is filled with bias. Blatant attempts to downplay the influence of Napoléon plague the introduction. I didn't feel like reading the rest. But I read the above discussion. And this ludicrous bit debating whether the emperor was of "French ethnicity" - whatever the hell that's supposed to mean. One fact remains undisputed. Napoléon belongs to this handful of very select great men and women who have engraved their name in the history of the world. When the last idiot from Nebraska (or Märsta, Sweden) has forgotten everything he never really knew, he will still remember Napoléon. Ask any random person what they know of Napoléon, and they'll have something to answer (most likely historically incorrect, but they'll know something nonetheless). Ask them about Lord Nelson, and they'll have no clue. Ask about Julius César, they'll know. Ask about Pompey, they won't. What matters is not what a handful of learned scholars have to say. What matters is what the collective memory of mankind deems worthy to be remembered. By these standards, Napoléon is indeed one of the greatest men to ever walk on this planet. Whether or not anglophones like it. Then comes the ludicrous question of whether he was French. Well, he bombarded himself with the title of "Emperor of the French". He fought in the name of France. Italy, as much as I like her, played no part in Napoléon's path of life. I couldn't care less if his 18th generation ancestors were born in Italy. So were some of mine, probably. In that logic, George Bush is European and Dr King is African.

More generally, to all those whom regularly every 10 years or so find enjoyment in proclaiming the death of the French culture, I say this. If France were so insignificant as you claim, you wouldn't be speaking of her. The bells never toll when a dog dies. Nobody ever speaks about the death (or the life, for instance) of the Australian culture, for example. Why? Because nobody could care less about it. So long as France will have haters, she will be very much alive. I'll start worrying when envious idiots quit spitting in her direction. After all, France remains the most visited country on the planet. And it's the Brits' preferred choice for retirement... as far as the claims about the "decline of the French language", yeah, whatever. Another lame attempt from the imbeciles (mostly anglophones, again) whose brains are too weak to learn something as subtle as French grammar. The Romans too gloated over the decline of the Greek language. Thousands of years later, Latin has totally vanished, even from Churches. But Greek remains to this day alive. And there's no indication that this should change any time soon.

And now, censors, I leave to you the care of deleting my ranting. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:06, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, everyone knows Buonaparte, just like everyone knows Hitler. Still, the French usurper and tyrant suffering from megalomania is nothing to be proud of. Sari Banco (talk) 03:12, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
No, no one's going to delete your ranting, because at least the first two sentences actually were relevant to the subject of this talk page. However, both you and other commenters, including those from Sweden, ought to remember what it says on WP:TP -- "Article talk pages are provided for discussion of the content of articles and the views of reliable published sources. They should not be used by editors as platforms for their personal views." (emphasis in original). Oh, and please sign your comments, too. --Russ (talk) 19:26, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually, there's a lot above that's relevant... the question of ethnicity, for example. But what most interests me is that the writer simply uses the name Napoléon. And except for the accent, that's what I think we should do too. Andrewa (talk) 12:43, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Only fools who do not know history want to call this article simply Napoleon. This is an encyclopedia and therfore it must follow certain conventions. Since there was a Napoleon II and a Napoleon III, we must call the first one Napoleon I. Simply because most non-French are ignorant of this fact changes nothing. Those who want to call the article simply "Napoleon" must also was to call the article on William I of England (the Conqueror) simply William of England since most non-Brits do not know about the later Williams. NO ONE in France ever makes this silly mistake- he is always called Napoleon I and never referred to simply as Napoleon. Vive la France! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:42, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Napoleon I in Film[edit] (talk) 01:10, 4 February 2008 (UTC) The movie Désirée is absent from your list. It stared Jean Simmons in the title role and Marlon Brando portraying Napoleon Bonaparte. Please include this on the FILM portion of the page.

Napoleon and connections to French Revolution???[edit]

I was recently asked a question by one of my students, and to be quite honest, I didn't really have an answer. I know that wikipidia's not the best place to make a historical inquiry, but I'm sure there's some other college proffessors out there that will have something to say, and even if your just the average history buff, you never know - you may have the answer.

We all know that the French Revolution can be separated into three Phases and an Era: the moderate phase, radical phase, counterrevolutionary phase, and Napoleonic era. The question that was asked to me was quite simple, but as I elaborated and made the question a little more complete, it proves to be quite interesting.

- In their revolt against the Old Regime, the revolutionaries promised the French people "liberty, equality, and fraternity (brotherhood)". -1st - What was the appeal of this slogan to the Old Third Estate? -2nd - During the moderate phase, to what extent was the idea of liberty incorporated in its reforms of French Society? -3rd - The Radical Phase showed people's willingness to sacrifice their liberties gained during the moderate phase in a commitment to create more equality in French Society. Why? 4th How did Napoleon resolve this conflit between liberty and equality? Many historians, including myself, argue that his government substituted fraternity for liberty and equality. Why?

I'll offer some clues I've come to realize.

1. The moderate phase showed the rise of a new liberty i.e. Decleration of Rights of Man and the Citizen - but these liberties were controlled by the bourgeoisie as seen in the creation of the New Constitution. The sans-culottes didn't like being pushed out of the government thus........

2. sans-culottes turn their ideology in a radical direction which was made worste when they combined ideology with the "ultra" radical Jacobins, who assume power. Revolution was now heavily increased in the ideology of equality. The Great Terror - 200,000 Frenchmen were put to death due to heavy paranoia of political conspiracy - sans-culottes were now subjugating bourgeoisie!!!

THUS -Aims at liberty - FAILED why??? -Aims at Equality - FAILED why???

Napoleon and new idea of fraternity.... IT WORKS - very successful... I have theory why....but i'd like to hear others. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dr. Owenby (talkcontribs) 13:19, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Page protection[edit]

This page has been semi-protected since May 25, 2007. Might it be time to remove this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:08, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Can we semi-protect the page again, there has been quite a few nonsense anonymous edits lately. FFMG (talk) 17:33, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Looking over the history, I see some vandalism, but not enough to justify semi-protection. Indefinite semi-protection like what was just removed is always inappropriate for a page of this nature, and a temporary semi-protection would be called for only if the edits came from multiple IPs and were voluminous enough to cause significant disruption. Yeah, it sucks to have to revert vandals, but there are many users such as myself, who prefer to contribute anonymously, and would be disenfranchised by indiscriminate semi-protection of vandalism that could be just as easily reverted. (talk) 16:41, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Scientists prove Napoleon not poisoned by British[edit]

Reuters--Svetovid (talk) 22:35, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

The French Hitler[edit]

"He is often compared to a later European ruler, Adolf Hitler"

  • He attempted to conquer Europe/the world.
  • He started the endless warring between France and Germany by attacking defenseless German small-states, which ultimately led to the Franco-Prussian war and both the world wars
  • He invaded Russia, and failed
  • He suffered from megalomania
  • He ultimately lost his wars and was beaten

Sari Banco (talk) 02:34, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Great WP:OR. Now can you properly cite the claim? — Scientizzle 16:27, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Pieter Geyl makes that comparison in his classic Napoleon For and Against (1947), a standard work of European historiography. Sari Banco (talk) 14:57, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
More recently, Paul Schroeder has also made the comparison. john k (talk) 18:03, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

And yet, he liberated the jews. An unprecedented move in the history of the world. There is ONE Napoleon I and ONE Hitler. They're distinct. Only idiots would fail to notice that.

Excommunication category[edit]

Sorry I wasn't clear when I added this category. The discussion from earlier provides a link to, the unofficial Catholic Encyclopedia, which mentions the excommunication:
A google search for "Napoleon excommunicate" also brings up several results, including a Britannica article on Pius VII that mentions the event but cannot be accessed fully without membership. The excommunication is, of course, tied with Napoleon's kidnap of the pope; I have no idea whether it was ever lifted. It might not be notable enough to mention in this article (I'm one of those who are actually of the opinion that being excommunicated confirms your status as a Catholic—just a bad one separated from the church), but he does seem to fit the category. -BaronGrackle (talk) 23:13, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

So the Vatican itself does not keep records of who was excommunicated? Seems a bit strange to me.
And the whole discussion, (that you linked to), was that he was not catholic in the first place, so how can he be excommunicated from something he, (apparently), never was in the first place? FFMG (talk) 05:01, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
This time I read the whole discussion above; you and the other editor seem to have had some bad blood. :-) As for the Vatican's own documents; I'm sure they do keep records, but I have no idea where they would be accessible, as (the Holy See's official website) has precious little on Napoleon and no "master list" of excommunications throughout history—most of the site has primary source documents on church teachings.
As for *how* he could be excommunicated, it's one of those tricky things. The line between non-Catholic, bad-Catholic, and even former-Catholic can be murky in history. His situation may be comparable to that of Fidel Castro, whose excommunication must have been little more than a political statement to Catholics in Cuba. Or, it may have been more similar to that of Henry IV, who thought he should have more Catholic authority than the pope. Regardless, nothing on the internet is claiming that the excommunication is a myth, though the lack of information on it seems to indicate it wasn't very defining in his life. Here's another mention on Google Scholar:

And here's a search, where the third and fourth hits have summaries that mention Nap's excommunication, but the first link is restricted and the second is too huge for me to navigate: That fourth link, on the book, seems to have a lot of information on Napoleonic France and religion, if anyone has the time and interest for more information on the fellow's Catholicism, or lack thereof. -BaronGrackle (talk) 16:21, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

It is not as though printed biographies of Napoleon are hard to come by. If he was excommunicated, we ought to be able to find it in one, rather than books on cultural history in Google Scholar. john k (talk) 18:02, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

  • I guess so. I don't have any biographies on Napoleon myself, so the internet links were easier to come up with. I thought one of the points of the above discussion was that internet links were easier to verify than book titles with page numbers. From what I've seen, it looks like most sources don't mention it, some mention it very briefly, and none deny it. If it turns out to be a myth (which seems doubtful; kidnapped popes generally get upset), then we need to remove Nap from our List of people excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church; otherwise, if we find such a biography, we should probably add the citation there. -BaronGrackle (talk) 20:19, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
    If there's a good web source, that's lovely, but books are better than dubious web sources, even if they're harder to check. People with access to books should provide lengthy excerpts so that others can read them and get a better sense of the context. john k (talk) 21:02, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
The excommunication occurred when the French Armies occupied Rome, it was the pope's last means of retaliation. The pope was also already upset at Napoleon because at his coronation (which was done by the same pope) Napoleon refused to let the pope crown him. Instead he took the crown from the pope, turned his back on him - and then put the crown on his own head. The pope considered this humiliating and never forgave Bonaparte for it. As far a his catholic status, he was christened in a catholic church after his birth. The excommunication was never lifted. It didn't affect his life very much because he never attended church anyway after becoming emperor other than his coronation. It also did not much affect his popularity it france because the revolution had pretty much destroyed papal and catholic influence. It did however have effects on him in spain where the archbishop (of Granada i think) used it as part of his justification for the Spanish resistance. An excellent book source is Napoleon Bonaparte: A Life, by Allen Schom. It is on google books. I have found the book to be full of incite of napoleon's personal life.Cool10191 (talk) 18:53, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

"Compared to Hitler"[edit]

OK, some historians have compared Napoleon to Hitler. However, without any context, this is a meaningless statement even if true. Anyone can be compared to Hitler. "Barack Obama is taller and less genocidal than Hitler was." "John McCain spent more time in the military than Hitler." "Queen Elizabeth has been head of state of a major European power longer than Hitler." Yada yada yada. I say remove it. --Russ (talk) 15:04, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Napoleon has been compared to Hitler by several notable historians, not because he spent more time in the military or was different in some way, but because "the resemblances [between Napoleon and Hitler] are too striking" (Geyl, 1949). It is not meaningless, and it is not without context. I wouldn't say the resemblances between Barack Obama and Hitler are too striking. Some keywords: Conquering large parts of Europe, centralist state, megalomania and invading Russia. Sari Banco (talk) 15:35, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

The current solution seems fine to me. Sari Banco (talk) 16:42, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Obviously, Napoleon did not share Hitler's genocidal ideology (really, Napoleon had no discernable ideology, unless opportunistic egomania can be considered an ideology). But there are some obvious similarities that have been frequently discussed. john k (talk) 18:00, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

To me the only real comparison is the napoloeanic police state. What he did with Fouche is very comparable to the German SS. Their goals where both meglomania, but for entirely different puposes.Cool10191 (talk) 18:46, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Arsenic Poisoning[edit]

Hi, I just wanted to say that I don't think the section "Arsenic Poisoning Theory" makes it clear enough that this theory is in all likeliness disproved now. I can see that a small paragraph was simply added on to the end of the section. But even that paragraph doesn't quite note the significance of that study. I think we need to mention in the beginning of the paragraph, as sort of an introduction, that this theory is now highly unlikely to be true. What are your thoughts? -Brad Kgj08 (talk) 17:03, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

I think that is better to add it up front. It has been pretty well disproved, i see no harm in plainly saying so.Cool10191 (talk) 18:43, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Men don't give birth[edit]

In the section where they are talking about Napoleon's Illegitimate children. It says "Hélène Napoleone Bonaparte, by Countess Montholon." But the Monthlon Link is a link to Charles Tristan, Marquis de Montholon? Doesn't this seem slightly off?

TheArtOfTheWarrior (talk) 03:45, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Ill Health - The Hundred Days[edit]

I added a ref and made a minor adjustment to reflect it 1. Feel free to adjust or revert if you think it's inappropriate? Ascidian (talk) 21:55, 26 February 2008 (UTC)


why was napoleon not 'universally popular' why were murder plots launched? (talk) 06:10, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Napoleon's falling out with the directory[edit]

There is no mention of napoleon's fallout with the directory prior to the Egyptian campaign. Part of the reason they financed it was to get rid of him after he asked be added to the directory. It was quite a lively event in napoleon's career and worth a mention I think.Cool10191 (talk) 18:11, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Please add a citation to a source for this event. --Russ (talk) 18:26, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Napoleon Bonaparte: A Life by Allen Schom, it is on google books here: link to book page 88-89. Naoploen is quoted at that time to say they needed overthrown. Maybe falling out is a poor term, but he left to egypt on a sour note with them, i think that is noteworty as it precipated his thoughts of their overthrow. Cool10191 (talk) 18:35, 12 March 2008 (UTC)


Ottomans !!!! memluks in 1517, how memluks !!!! french. ottoman turks !!!! napoleon

You are mistaken in your assumption. Although the ottomans had conquered the mamelukes in the early 1500s they were permitted to remain in their "aristocratic" position. By the 1800s the ottoman hold on egypt was tenuous at best and the mamelukes had reasserted a large degree of autonomy. So when napoleon arrived it was not the ottoman army resisting him, it was the local mameluke lords. From about 1775 until 1912 the ottoman empire was always on the brink of collapse. Cool10191 (talk) 17:51, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Attempted suicide[edit]

There is no mention of napoloen's attempted suicide after his abdication. He carried poison with him for several years in case he was captured and he took it after he abdicated, right after he wrote a "final" letter to Marie-Louise. Calaincort figured out what he did and got a doctor to come. Fortunately (or unfortunately) the poison had lost it's potency over the years and failed to kill him. But it made him horribly sick and caused him health problems for several months. Cool10191 (talk) 18:13, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

References: book page 477,478
better book page 702- the attempt, page 732 - it's longer term effect.
This book is a better reference, to me anyway. But you can't view page 702 online, unfortunately. But the first reference provides a good account. I think that is very noteworthy and should be added to the article something like this: After his abdication Naploeon attempted to commit suicide by taking poison, however the poison was weakened with age and he survived to be deported to Elba.


This article has now been protected since the 2nd of March. Time to lift the protection? Canterbury Tail talk 22:20, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

This comment[edit]

I have removed the following comment:

He is one of the most reviled figures in European history, noted for his attempt to conquer large parts of Europe, which has later led some historians to compare him to Adolf Hitler.

Why? For starters, it's completely untrue. He is widely respected throughout Europe, and I emphasize that word so people don't mistake it for "liked" or "admired." The latter two designations would be problematic, but at the very least he is not one of the most reviled figures in European history. That's total hogwash. The comparisons with Hitler were fashionable at the time of World War II and a bit after that as well (hence the books cited by Sari Banco above, although with total disregard for context), but they've now fallen out of favor. Nevertheless, I have no problem saying that some historians compared him to Hitler, or that some still do. However, that part about him being one of the most hated figures in Europe was too phantasmagoric, so I removed the whole sentence. If someone wants to rewrite the part about him being compared to Hitler, that's fine.UberCryxic (talk) 21:35, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Map of the world[edit]

What does a map of the world "on the eve of Napoleon" have to do with the man himself? The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 14:57, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

It shows how different the world would be in just a few years because of him. There are other maps too. Should we get rid of them as well? (Red4tribe (talk) 14:59, 26 April 2008 (UTC))

There is one other map, showing the extent Napoleonic Empire, which is relevant given that it is an article on Napoleon. I don't really see how a map of the whole world supposedly from a time before he came to power is relevant - how does it help the reader to understand Napoleon? Besides, it has no legend. It just seems to be a map for the sake of having a map. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 16:17, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

New edit to add about his death — and citation question[edit]

I have a paragraph I would like to add under "Arsenic poisoning theory" so I'll share it here first:

Finally, with the advent of nano-SIMS technology in 2003 (see, Doctor Pascal Kintz, President of the International Association of Forensic Toxicologists and the ChemTox laboratory showed that in authenticated hairs of Napoleon inorganic arsenic (AsIII and AsV), the most toxic form of man-made arsenic, commonly known as "rat poison," shown in the medulla of the hair shaft provided conclusive evidence that the only possible explanation for the inorganic arsenic's presence was that it was intended to kill him. The medulla was completely impregnated with the rat poison and its presence deep inside the hair shaft implies that it can only have gotten there via the blood stream.

This is directly taken from a recent, respected medical journal. So my next question is, would it be okay to write it verbatim and add the reference, or should it be rewritten. I'm faily new to Wikipedia so I don't know too much about these kinds of things. Any help in the right direction would be appreciated. Thanks! Tblinn (talk) 15:33, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Removing unsourced statements[edit]

Removed: 'In Britain, Napoleon came to be transformed in the public mind from a monster to a hero[citation needed], no doubt a direct expression of discontent at the reactionary post-war government of Lord Liverpool[citation needed].' as no source linked in the last year. Also removed for the same reason, Richelieu's quotation that, "This devil of a man exercises an astonishing seduction on all those who approach him." Please put back in if get reputable source. Tom (talk) 17:18, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

  1. ^ Christian Cherfils, Bonaparte and Islam, Pedone Ed., Paris, France, 1914, p. 105, 125.