The growth of Napoleon in all is associated with the well-known expression of "a little man with big ambitions". In modern psychology, there is also the concept of the Napoleon complex, which lies in the stereotypes that men of short stature tend to compensate for this with a successful career or excessive aggression.
What do we really know about Napoleon and his physical parameters? This is to be found in the article.
Basics of Napoleon
Before considering the growth of Napoleon, it is worth clarifying some details of his biography. He was born on August 15, 1769 on the island of Corsica, and died on May 5, 1821 on St. Helena. In the family, he was the second of eight children. His family was very ancient, though not rich.
When the French captured Corsica, Napoleon’s father, Carlo Bonaparte, entered their service. So the future emperor of France had a French scholarship and the opportunity to begin a military career.
Thanks to his victory in the Queen's Necklace competition, he was accepted into the Royal Cadet School. She was in Paris, and only the children of aristocrats studied there. He was not accepted by them and bore the scornful 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 brigadier, and then a divisional general. This is followed by his political career, which was marked by the imperial title, and completed on St. Helena.
The life of Napoleon is fanned by legends and myths, many of which are so entrenched in the minds of people that they are considered to be the truth. The growth of Napoleon is also covered with myth.
Modern view of the growth of Napoleon
It is believed that the emperor of France was about 156-159 cm tall. However, his contemporaries never called Bonaparte a short man. Moreover, in some French sources, figures are given at 165-172 cm. For Europe of the 18th century, this is the average height for men.
After death, Napoleon's height was measured and was 5 feet 2 inches 4 lines. The whole problem lies in the translation of these indicators in centimeters.
European measures of length
In Europe, there were many types of feet. In each country, their indicators were different. Most often focused on the English measure of length. On it in the pound there were 30.48 cm. But there are also a lot of other options.
Indicators of the size 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 when translating the growth of the emperor.
How can translate the growth of Napoleon in cm
It was already 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 are lower by 1-2 cm.
In addition, why does everyone use the English feet when recalculating, if he was considered a French emperor? It was this misunderstanding that led to the well-established myth about the small stature of Bonaparte.
When recalculated in English, it will turn out to be 158 cm. In the French interpretation, we get an indicator equal to 169 cm. Let us add another 1-2 cm to it and realize that in his younger years he was a man with an average height even according to modern indicators.
Causes of imposed errors
It is important to understand why Napoleon Bonaparte, whose growth refers to the average, is considered undersized. Historians suggest that the reason for this was the nickname "little corporal", which he had in the service. However, it can be explained rather by a fragile physique and young age. Since 26 years is a very young age for a general.
Another reason is its disproportionately large head. This is noticeable in some portraits created during the life of the emperor.
It is also worth considering that most of his generals were very tall. For example, the French marshal Joachim Murat was almost 190 cm. Against his background, a man with an average build could really seem very low.
One of the first to portray the emperor as tiny was the British cartoonist J. Gillrey. In his engraving, he portrayed George 3, holding Bonaparte in his palm and examining him in lorgnette. After that, many tried to humiliate the identity of the French dictator and portrayed him as a shorty. So Napoleon Bonaparte, whose growth was within the average, seemed small, and the myth about it became a fact for the majority.
As for the modern term "Napoleon complex", the official psychiatry does not recognize it. Aggression and ambition are not directly related to human growth. At least this is not proven in practice. This term is used only in popular literature, which is designed for the general reader.
Napoleon, whose height was 171 cm and 79 kg, respectively, was really an ambitious man, but his physical parameters were hardly affected.