Napoleon Bonaparte is, to this day, one of the most famous emperors and conquerors of all time. See if you can conquer this Napoleon quiz from HowStuffWorks!
Napoleon's surname was Bonaparte. While his parents' surname was originally spelled Buonaparte, he changed it to a more French spelling for himself.
Napoleon was part of the 1799 event known as 18 Brumaire, during which a key part of the French government was overthrown. In 1804 he crowned himself emperor of France.
Napoleon is known for being short, but his small stature is actually a myth. His height was average for a Frenchman of the era.
Napoleon's rule made a huge difference for French law. He invented the Napoleonic Code, which French civil law is based on to this day.
France either conquered or indirectly controlled most of Western Europe through various alliances by 1812. While Napoleon planned an invasion of Great Britain, it was never carried out.
In 1812 Napoleon lead a massive army into Russia. Within six months most of the men died due to Russia's freezing temperatures, disease, lack of supplies and Russian attacks. This was the beginning of the end for Napoleon.
Napoleon was born on the island of Corsica, which is between France and Italy in the Mediterranean sea. He was born on August 15, 1769.
After his first abdication, Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba. This Mediterranean Island is a part of Tuscany, Italy.
The Napoleon Complex is a theoretical condition where short people try to overcompensate for their height by aggressively overachieving. Common knowledge says this is why Napoleon was so obsessed with conquest. In reality, he was not even short for his day.
Napoleon was forced into exile in 1814 after a series of military failures. After escaping exile only to be crushed by British and Prussian forces at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, he was forced into exile on a remote island in the South Atlantic Ocean.
According to his secretary, Beethoven meant to dedicate his third symphony to the man out of respect for the revolutionary ideals he thought he represented, only to tear up the title page after Napoleon declared himself emperor of France. Later, Beethoven admitted the piece was really dedicated to Napoleon.
Napoleon died on Saint Helena, the island he had been exiled to in 1821 at the age of 51. Some speculate that he always posed for paintings with his hand in his vest because he had been suffering from stomach pain for years.
Napoleon wanted to be buried on the banks of the Seine river, which runs through Paris. Instead he was buried on Saint Helena, where he died. His ashes were returned to Paris in 1840.
Napoleon had two wives. The first was older than him, and he had their marriage annulled so he could remarry and have an heir.
Napoleon had one son with his second wife, Marie Louise, daughter of the Austrian emperor. He also had several illegitimate children.
Napoleon was baptized and raised Catholic but was not religious himself. He respected the Catholic Church as a tactical tool and tried to re-establish it in France during his reign.
France instigated the Napoleonic wars from 1803 to 1815. These major conflicts involved treaties, alliances and violence between different groups of European nations.
Napoleon sold the French territory of Louisiana to the United States, allowing it to expand further. During what became known as the Louisiana Purchase, the U.S. bought the territory for $15 million.
During the 1805 battle of Austerlitz, Napoleon won an impressive victory against the Austrians and Russians. As a result of this victory, the thousand-year-old Holy Roman Empire crumbled.
Napoleon was 51 when he died. He was born on August 15, 1769, and died on May 5, 1821.
Napoleon crowned himself emperor of France. As the first emperor of France, he is often referred to as Napoleon I.
While Napoleon dominated global affairs, his empire only lasted about 10 years. He was only emperor of France from 1804-1814. His empire collapsed in 1815.
Napoleon quickly worked his way up through the ranks of the French military during the French Revolution. This is where he got his start before taking power in 1799.
As a boy Napoleon attended school in France. He went on to graduate from a French military academy as a young man.
Napoleon's forces lost this naval battle against the British Royal Navy in 1805. This was one of the many battles of the Napoleonic Wars and also one of Napoleon's biggest defeats.
Napoleon's parents were minor Corsican nobility. Despite this, his family was not incredibly wealthy.
Napoleon is considered both a hero and a tyrant, and many historians view him differently. While his political and military successes are undeniable, he also ruthlessly crushed opposition and had a vast network of spies policing his empire. Historians have considered him influential to both democracy and fascism.
Napoleon wrote a romance novella as a young man. It is called "Clisson et Eugenie" and was about a young soldier's affair with a younger woman.
Napoleon not only brought an army into Egypt, but a team of 150 scientists, engineers and other academics to study it. The stone was discovered while a wall was being demolished in Rosetta. It enabled scholars to read ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics for the first time.
Unlike many other Europeans of his time, Napoleon was tolerant of those of different faiths. He even legally gave Jewish people rights they had not had before in parts of Europe that he controlled.
After his embarrassing military failure in Russia, Napoleon was forced to abdicate and exiled to the island of Elba in 1814.
The mayor of New Orleans was a big fan of Napoleon. He helped some of Napoleon's guard escape, and hoped that Napoleon would follow and live in a house he had built for him. Napoleon died that year and the mayor moved his own family into "Napoleon House," which still stands today.
Born on Corsica, Napoleon's nationality was more Italian than French. He was born Napoleone di Buonaparte and was mocked for his accented French throughout his life.
The Russians burned their own villages and cities as they went, forcing Napoleon's men to chase them farther and farther into Russia's frigid interior. The army was not prepared to handle these tactics and most of the men died, making it easy for Russia to defeat them.
During the violent Reign of Terror, Maximilien Robespierre acted as the leader of France. While his brother's good opinion of Napoleon helped to advance his career, it also got him arrested on suspicion of treason after they were overthrown. Napoleon was released only two weeks after being arrested.