What Did I Learn From Napoleon This Week? Part 2

The last time we (the non-royal we) were reading about Napoleon he was a sexually-awkward, brilliant military strategist who was perfecting his French and avoiding the guillotine in the aftershocks of the French Revolution. Another 12 hours of Napoleon The Great later and he's being coronated as the Emperor of France, trying to wedge a replica crown of King Charlemagne over the top of a replica crown of laurels modelled after Julius Caesar's. In the same amount of time I've managed to rotate my forearm about 95° from my body and picked up half a dozen buckets of leaves.

I think this is the right part to point out that, while I'm interested in Napoleon and I related to him in some ways last week, I don't like Napoleon nor do I necessarily dislike him. He is, from an anthropologist’s perspective, extremely interesting and I judge his actions the same way I do for all historical and contemporary people: Like they’re characters in a prequel, and that morality can’t influence their destinies.

Napoleon spent his mid-twenties and early thirties across all parts of the world - from the Italian alps and Lombardy, to Malta and Alexandria and across the deserts of the Middle East, before eventually returning to France, pulling off coup-ception, rewriting an entire country’s legal system, introducing metric (primarily for commercial reasons), selling a massive chunk of the USA and hanging out with the pope.

Honestly, it makes me question how I have achieved so little in my life in comparison. But perhaps this is simply because I am so isolated, tucked away in between deserts and oceans in Australia, and humans just tend to get more things done when you live near the Mediterranean.

Napoleon’s Rules for success in conflict

Read the map
Bring along some scientists
Keep your pieces close together
Always follow the religion of the country you’re in (if a massive revolution has left your nation without religion, introduce whichever one will benefit you the most politically).
Remember the central position

Ivory Bellrope handles, and how to Negotiate Effectively

Concerned that the interior decorators working to renovate the dead King’s palace were ripping him off, Napoleon asked one for the cost of the ivory handle on a bell rope. He then cut it off and asked an aide to take it into Paris and buy a few more from the shops and to report back the cost. When the aide returned and confirmed the average price was 33% lower, Napoleon simply reduced the amount he paid to the renovators bill by 33%.
Note, you may need to become an emperor and execute a Duke for this to work.


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