Common Misconceptions in History

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.

49 comments:

mtn said...

What? Napoleon wasn't short? i can't believe that

Alysson H. said...

Haha, that was quite interesting!

Daan said...

haha thats a weird mistake in history

Haezer said...

Napoleon was tall? Wow

MMAblogguy said...

I didn't even know people thought he was short. Interesting...

jeebus said...

I like this blog. Good concept

Disser2 said...

History is a fun hoppy^^

Lexingtonian said...

Interesting misconception.

Shockwave said...

I'll never believe he wasnt a gnome!

PvtCarlin said...

I guess this is good to know for my Jeopardy appearance.

kailus said...

My last post was about Kamikaze fighters. Some people say that fuel in their planes was on purpose so little that they couldn't fly back and had to either suicide in sea or at enemy boats. Thats totally myth because all of them was allowed to come back to the base wihout suiciding. However probably noone did, as their have this Japan sence of honour :-)

mmmpieohyeah said...

dude this changes EVERYTHING.

nice blog man, supporting and following

-DO- said...

Great info and very interesting, going to follow you to read more misconceptions in history

Charles said...

awesome blog man

pv said...

yea i read this sometime ago and it was def interesting

Matt said...

I like your blog; great idea! Another misconception about Napoleon is that he's French. When he was born in Corsica, it was still a part of Italy!

Art Vandelay said...

Why do they French have to make everything retarded. Great idea for a blog.

Come At Me Bro said...

Napoleon is great!

Atreties said...

What? He was tall? No way.

fabio_2007 said...

wating for more

fabio_2007 said...

waiting for more

JDubs said...

wow thats very interesting

Sam said...

Very interesting I'll be back!

Joe Somebody said...

He is now taller than my girlfriend. She is still 5'2".

onegin said...

oh finally a nice blog,
but all men smaller than 175 have great chances becoming world leaders:
mao, hitler, caesar, napoleon, kahn, woody allen... and the list goes ooon

Xannissa said...

Napoleon couldn't have been short otherwise the military would not have taken him into the ranks (I think)

Sean Canning said...

nice one! I look forwards to reading more of these - be sure to check out mine if you enjoy maths ^^

Snerd Williams said...

I'm 6'1. 5'6 is still short.

Josh said...

I never knew any of this, that is a common misconception . I'm gonna be correcting peers whenever they refer to him as a tiny man

Anonymous said...

hey i heard about this from 4chan, how much money are you making with this shit?

AssortedNews said...

5'6" isn't that short at all. Not at all like I figured he was.

Mr. Rogers said...

really? time to one-up my friends xD

ÆOURA said...

I used to hate history, but my interest in it was awakened by an AMAZING history teacher that I have at my high school. She is so remarkable, people have been trying to convince her to write a book for YEARS.

This website is a REALLY good idea, and I honestly can't wait to see what you come up with in the future. I'm adding you to morning coffee, and I already sent you a follow. I hope you do the same :)

DJXiej said...

Haha, I actually just learned about this earlier.

Good post tho!

PiratesLoveVikings said...

Oh wow, I totally believed that he was short, who knew?

Little Grey Wolf said...

Is there any speculation as to why he always had his hand in his jacket

Kerykeion said...

Lol ive heard about this before

Smog Town Leaf said...

I was still taller than him! :P Looking forward to the next installment. Followed.

Smog Town Leaf said...

Hey, man. Since you can just delete this before it gets posted I figured I'd tell you that I'm looking for as many clicks as possible.

I'll return the favour to you right now.

Todd Andrews said...

I agree about the blog being a great concept. I'll check this daily! Check my blog out and do the same!

broham4567 said...

I love stuff like this. A lot of people believe what they read in their text books but a lot of times it's inaccurate.

ReidTech said...

Apparenly (perhaps rumoured) hitler had a rare conditon of Triskaidekaphobia which is the fear of the number 13. Not quite a minsconception, but I still thought it would be interesting to mention it given the topic title : P People would of never knew if it is indeed true.

Chris C. said...

Ha, remember hearing about this little fact a year or so ago.

Allen_104 said...

Im surprised with that. I had already heard that Napoleon was at short leg with soldiers, that makes me like him. Also great blog.

l33 v4n cl33f said...

very very interesting

Learnin' German Admin said...

good, post. Even my history teacher taught me napoleon was more than averagelyshort..

ThingsIThinkAbout said...

Ha!? Really now. This changes everything.

Mostly Irrelephant said...

I actually knew that Napoleon one. It all a matter of relativity... Those other things on the other hand... those I didn't know...

Anonymous said...

How does this effect the Napoleon Complex theory I wonder...

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