Napoleon height – centuries old illusion

Probably, some of us imagine the famous French Emperor Napoleon as a small and short man standing on a special pedestal and watching the battle field. No wonder, because it was considered for a long time that Bonaparte had a height of 157 centimetres.

However, according to the information, found in memoirs of Emperor’s valet (he definitely had to know it about the sovereign), the height of Napoleon was “5 pied 2 pouce and 3 lines” – 169 centimetres in current calculation. And that’s a different story, so long as it was height above the average European men of that time.

It becomes interesting, where the legend about the short height of Napoleon originated? Among historians there are several opinions as to this point.

One of them says that the English understated the numbers deliberately to offend Bonaparte and laugh at the French, or just made a mistake converting French-English height measures.

The second opinion is that Napoleon was a disproportionate person from his birth with a big head and thin body, what could provoke such visual perception. Plus, they say all the marshals of his milleu were tall.

We hope, this information is interesting for you and, maybe, would be useful sometime. 🙂