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Napoleon Bonaparte’s Oddest Quirks

A montage of Napoleon is shown, as well as related stamp imagery and a side shot of his famed general’s coat.
Source: Wikipedia/Canva

Napoleon Bonaparte: Known as one of history’s most famous dictators and for his love of…extremely hot baths? 

He’s also responsible for centralized government, sewer systems (many of which are still in place today), and many of the present-day French law codes. 

Our point? There’s a lot that many don’t know about this famous figure, and we’re here to help you uncover some of the most fascinating bits of information out there. Let’s get started.

Napoleon was pretty unique about his likes and dislikes

Beyond his love of hot baths, he was also known for his very painful hemorrhoids — which is partly what prompted his love of steamy showers. He had an incredible sense of smell, and was known as an incredible workaholic who would only rest three or four hours in a 24-hour period. 

The National Gallery of Victoria also confirms that Napoleon had an amazing sense of smell, and a deeply-rooted fear of opening doors. Why? No one knows now — but we do know that the fear was documented and noted by palace staffers. 

He also was a major fan of eating by his lonesome, presumably to allow him time to sit with himself and meditate on the next right move in the war(s) at the time. This practice, while common today, was considered fairly uncommon in the kingdom; as rulers and people of influence were expected to dine with guests or intimate family members at the palace.

Was Napoleon a man of science? 

History tells us a mixed story about whether or not Napoleon was empirical or superstitious as a general. Records indicate that he was deeply superstitious, relying on prediction, astrology, and luck to secure him most of his wins — or so he believed. 

Beyond his vices in the dark arts, he also enjoyed science and was known to pioneer many of the French expeditions and efforts for discovery at the time. He had requested membership to the Scientific Division of the French Institute in 1797 just after his Austrian campaign, after which he took 154 scientists to Egypt to discover about local phenomena, resources, and past generations, according to the National Gallery of Victoria. 

Beyond science, he also enjoyed mathematics — so much so that he actually has a theorem named after him due to his contribution. 

What is the theorem, you ask? Napoleon’s Theorem states that if all equilateral triangles are constructed on the sides of any triangle, the centers of them will form an equilateral triangle.  While there is no confirmation if he created this theorem or not, it is recognized as his — either by his own efforts or by the efforts of his followers to honor his interest in science.


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