Facts vs. Fiction: Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon”

If you watched Ridley Scott’s epic historical drama Napoleon lately, you must wonder how much of the movie was based on true events. Well, we’re here to help. Continue reading to see what is fact and what is fiction in Napoleon.

Fiction: Napoleon Fires Canons at Egyptian Pyramids

The scene in which Napoleon Bonaparte orders his army to fire canons at Egyptian pyramids is a great watch. However, it also never actually happened. While Napoleon and his army were engaged in battles near the pyramids, they never actually got close to them.

Fact: Napoleon Crowns Himself

The movie features the coronation of Napoleon as the Emperor of the French in 1804 and shows him taking the crown and placing it onto his head, to much shock from the audience, which included the Pope. This, in fact, really happened as Napoleon wanted to make a statement that no one had greater authority than him.

Fiction: Napoleon Witnessing Marie Antoinette’s Execution

In Ridley Scott’s movie, Napoleon is shown witnessing the public execution of Queen Marie Antoinette. In reality, Napoleon wasn’t in Paris at the time, being stationed in the south of France.

Fact: Russians Burned Down Moscow Before Napoleon Arrived There

While this might sound like something a good scriptwriter came up with, Russians actually did burn down Moscow before Napoleon reached the city. This played a significant part in weakening Napoleon’s army and preventing him from accomplishing his original plan to use the city as a hub for further conquests.

Fiction: Napoleon Was At the Front Lines of Every Battle

While the movie shows Napoleon courageously charging at enemies, that wasn’t actually the case. Napoleon preferred to remain at the back, giving directions to his troops and coming up with moves that could change the outcome of the battle.

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