10 History Myths You Probably Still Believe

4. Napoleon’s height


Napoleon Bonaparte wanted to conquer the world because he was overcompensating for his diminutive height. At least, that’s what humorous sources say, and everyone knows those can be trusted.

In truth Napoleon wasn’t as short as he is generally believed to be. The confusion might have been caused by the old French measurement system: Bonaparte’s recorded height was 5 ft. 2 in. in French feet, which translates to modern 5 ft. 7 in. or 1.69 m. This height was about average for a Frenchman of his time, maybe even slightly taller than average. Another possible explanation of this myth is the fact that Napoleon was usually accompanied by his guards, who were chosen for their height.

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