Friday, April 9, 2010

Indiana Kuhl and the Emperor’s Tomb

I find it interesting (and slightly frightening) that within the span of a decade, a country as advanced as France was at the end of the 18th century, could play host to such a multitude of movements, revolutions, and counter-revolutions. A profuse amount of blood was shed in the attempt to either secure the strength of the monarchy or ensure its essential demise, but in the end, only one man would remain standing…or was he sitting? Napoleon Bonaparte in all of his glory, stood only 5 feet and 6 inches off of the ground when he became the self-proclaimed “Emperor of France”. His rule was strong and definite as he refused to play second fiddle to any man, political faction, or religious establishment. This was exemplified when he ran down the aisles of Notre Dame and snagged a crown out of the shocked hands of Pope Pius VII and proceeded to crown himself emperor, rather than submitting to any form of authority that he considered inferior. This not-so-small gesture was followed by a multitude of battles and conquests all across Europe, as Napoleon built his empire and secured his place in history. I will not bore you with any more stories from a life that is chronicled by volumes instead of mere pages, but I will say that Napoleon’s eventual resting place would certainly be fit for an emperor. Mariana and I once again found ourselves in awe as we entered Les Invalides and the Dome Church to pay homage to one of the most infamous characters the World has ever seen. Oddly enough, I immediately felt inferior to the man whose very name would later inspire the term widely used for inferiority complexes. Hmm…

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