Words Of Wisdom From Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte stood only 5′ 6″ tall.  But he was one of the greatest figures of history.  He was Emperor of France and his conquest of Europe and its strategies is studied in every military school across the globe.  He had a huge impact on France by creating new standards of civil law, The French education system and much more.  You know about Napoleon the history figure but not much is said about the man himself.  People quote Napoleon like they do Sun Tzu on military strategies but he spoke on a varied number of topics like politics, religion and life in general.  Below are some quotes taken from various speeches and writings by Napoleon that will give insight who he was and how he became to be one of history’s greatest and most notorious leaders.  Some of these still have as much relevance today as they did in the early 1800’s. 


 “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake”

“You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war.” ( Possibly a reference to Sun Tzu )

“The battlefield is a scene of constant chaos. The winner will be the one who controls that chaos, both his own and the enemies.”

“Soldiers generally win battles; generals get credit for them.”

“A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.”

“War is the business of barbarians.”

“You must not fear death, my lads; defy him, and you drive him into the enemy’s ranks.”

“The first virtue in a soldier is endurance of fatigue; courage is only the second virtue.”


“In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.”

“Men are more easily governed through their vices than through their virtues.”

“In politics… never retreat, never retract… never admit a mistake.”

“He who knows how to flatter also knows how to slander.” (If this line doesn’t sum up a politician, nothing does)

“If they want peace, nations should avoid the pin-pricks that precede cannon shots.”

“Public opinion is the thermometer a monarch should constantly consult.”

“The herd seek out the great, not for their sake but for their influence; and the great welcome them out of vanity or need.”

“In order to govern, the question is not to follow out a more or less valid theory but to build with whatever materials are at hand. The inevitable must be accepted and turned to advantage.”


“Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”

“If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god.”

“All religions have been made by men.”

“Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet.”

“A man cannot become an atheist merely by wishing it.”

…Life And Other Quotes

“The extent of your consciousness is limited only by your ability to love and to embrace with your love the space around you, and all it contains.”

“I have only one counsel for you – be master.”

“There is one kind of robber whom the law does not strike at, and who steals what is most precious to men: time.”

“Ability is nothing without opportunity.”

“There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run the sword will always be conquered by the spirit.”

“When small men attempt great enterprises, they always end by reducing them to the level of their mediocrity.”

“Throw off your worries when you throw off your clothes at night.”

“The best way to keep one’s word is not to give it.”

“The people to fear are not those who disagree with you, but those who disagree with you and are too cowardly to let you know.”

“The surest way to remain poor is to be an honest man.”

“History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.”