Examples are often cited of Napoleon quarreling and coming to blows with other children almost every day, of living in relative isolation, and making very few friends. Stories are told about his days at Brienne that reinforce the image of a willful loner: Napoleon finding solace and refuge in a garden he cultivated with the greatest care, around which he had erected a palisade, where he spent his time reading or dreaming, and reacting violently when that territory was accidentally transgressed; Napoleon refusing to bend to the will of a monk who wanted to punish him by making him kneel at the door of the refectory - he ended up having a fit and vomiting; Napoleon leading a group of boys to victory in a snow fight; Napoleon egging on his fellow students to throw their mattresses out of a window to provoke a monk.

In his youth we can read that Bonaparte was somber and even shy. Constantly alone he was the enemy of every game and every amusement … he seemed to know that destiny would call upon him one day … it was as though he was practicing in advance for a role he was to play.

Cold reserved, taciturn, almost always alone replying only in monosyllables, for a long time he retained the nickname of Spatiate. For a long time he was without any trustworthy friend: he studied a student for a long time before forming the slightest liaison with him; he appeared to be looking in his fellow schoolmates for a soul of his own caliber.

—  Dwyer on Napoleon’s childhood. Interesting to note that he resembled an INTJ for a substantial part of his youth before becoming the infamous ENTJ he is currently known as.

What Was Napoleon Really Doing With His Hand In His Pocket?

Although now it is considered rude to have your hands in your pockets…in Napoleon’s time it was actually a common stance for gentlemen. And Napoleon was nothing, if not well bred. There is however some question as to whether at this particular sitting he was actually holding a unique two stone engagement ring for his love, Josephine.

Breaking with tradition, Napoleon dismissed the solitaire engagement ring and proposed with the first known sapphire and diamond engagement ring…ever. 

Not only did this engagement ring break with tradition it broke records too, this ring sold at auction for more than 47 times what it was expected to bring….a cool $1.17 million bucks!


James Basire, egyptian & greek script of the Rosetta Stone, 1810. Engraving. Society of Antiquaries of London. Via NYPL

The Rosetta stone is dated 196 BC, made in Memphis, Egypt. The stone was brought to England in 1802 during the Napoleonic Wars and has since then been on display in the British Museum. It shows three scripts with the same text: the code of the hieroglyphs could be cracked in 1822.


Today in History, August 6th, 1806, The Holy Roman Empire comes to an end. 

 After being defeated by Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Austerlitz, Holy Roman Emperor (and Austrian Emperor) Francis II was forced to abdicate his title.  After the fall of the empire, Napoleon would reorganize Germany into a puppet state called the Confederation of the Rhine.