Wednesday, February 16, 2011
We've all heard things which are incorrect in regards to history but is generally accepted outside the world of closer research and study.
What ones have you heard about you'd deem a common misconception?
Napoleon was unusually short
Much of the reason for the rumours that Napoleon was a short man comes from the confusion between old French feet and Imperial (British) feet. Measured shortly after his death in 1821, Napoleon was recorded at 5ft 2in in French feet, which corresponds to 5ft 6.5in in Imperial feet, or 1.69m. This makes him slightly taller than the average Frenchman of the 19th century. Napoleon’s nickname of ‘le petit caporal’ has also perpetuated the rumour, with non-francophones interpreting ‘petit’ to refer to his height, when it was actually a term of affection referring to his camaraderie with ordinary soldiers.