The growth of Napoleon in all is associated with the well-known expression of "a small man with great ambitions." In modern psychology, there is also the notion of Napoleon's complex, which consists of stereotypes that men of low growth tend to compensate for this by a successful career or excessive aggression.
What do we know about Napoleon and his physical parameters in fact? This is to be found in the article.
Basic information about Napoleon
Before considering the growth of Napoleon, it is worthwhile to clarify some details of his biography. He was born on August 15, 1769 on the island of Corsica, and died May 5, 1821 on St. Helena. In the family he was the second of eight children. His family was very ancient, although not wealthy.
When the French captured Corsica, Napoleon's father Carlo Bonaparte went to their service. So the future emperor of France had a French scholarship and an opportunity to start a military career.
Thanks to the victory in the "Queen's Necklace" competition, he was admitted to the Royal Cadet School. She was in Paris, and only children of aristocrats were trained in her. He was not accepted by them and had a contemptuous nickname "Corsican".
After the death of his father, he had to complete his studies and go to military service. By the age of 24 he became a brigade, and then a division general. Further his political career will follow, which was marked by the imperial title, and completed on St. Helena.
The life of Napoleon is covered with legends and myths, many of which have become so firmly entrenched in people's minds that they began to be considered true. The growth of Napoleon is also fanned by myth.
A modern idea of the growth of Napoleon
It is generally accepted that the Emperor of France was about 156-159 cm tall. However, his contemporaries never called Bonaparte a short one. Moreover, in some French sources the figures in 165-172 cm are indicated. For Europe of the 18th century this is an average growth for men.
After death, Napoleon's growth was measured and amounted to 5 feet 2 inches 4 lines. The whole problem lies in the translation of these indicators into centimeters.
Measures taken in Europe
In Europe, there were many kinds of feet. In each country, their indicators were different. Most often oriented on the English measure of length. On it in the pound was 30.48 cm. But there are a lot of other options.
Indicators of 1 foot in different countries (given in cm):
- The Netherlands - 28.13.
- Venice - 34.77.
- Austria - 31.60.
- Denmark - 31.38.
- Czech Republic - 29.64.
- Spain (Madrid) - 28.26.
- Sweden - 29.68.
In addition, many free cities had their own indicators. It is important to understand what feet were used in translating the growth of the emperor.
How can you translate the growth of Napoleon in cm
It has already been mentioned that the body of Napoleon after his death, which occurred on St. Helena, was measured in feet. At this time he was 52 years old. By this age, men become lower by 1-2 cm.
In addition, why does everyone use English feet in recounting, if he was considered a French emperor? It is this misunderstanding that led to the well-established myth of the small growth of Bonaparte.
When recalculating according to the English measure, it will be 158 cm. In the French interpretation, an indicator equal to 169 cm will be obtained. Add to it another 1-2 cm and we will understand that in his youth he was a man with average height even according to modern indicators.
The causes of imposed misconceptions
It is important to understand why Napoleon Bonaparte, whose growth refers to the average, is considered to be short. Historians suggest that the reason for this was the nickname "little corporal", which he had in the service. However, it can be explained more by a fragile physique and young age. Because 26 years is a very young age for the general.
Another reason is his disproportionately large head. This is evident in some portraits created during the life of the emperor.
Also it is worth considering that most of his generals were very tall. For example, the French marshal Joachim Murat was almost 190 cm. In his background, a person with a medium build could really seem very low.
One of the first who portrayed the emperor as tiny was the British cartoonist J. Gillray. In his engraving he portrayed George 3, holding Bonaparte in his hand and looking at him in the lorgnette. After that many tried to humiliate the personality of the French dictator and portrayed him in the form of a short man. So Napoleon Bonaparte, whose growth was within the average, seemed small, and the myth about it became for most a real fact.
As for the modern term "complex of Napoleon," the official psychiatry does not recognize it. Aggression and ambition are not directly related to the growth of a person. At least this is not proven in practice. A similar term is used only in popular literature, which is intended for the general reader.
Napoleon, whose height was 171 cm and 79 kg, respectively, was really an ambitious man, but hardly affected by his physical parameters.