An Acrostic on Napoleon Bonaparte


A professor at Dijon, France composed the following acrostic on Napoleon right after the Allies had stormed through the town on January 19, 1814 during the Napoleonic Wars, which allowed its populace to declare in favor of its legitimate sovereign:

Nihil fuit;
Augustus evenit;
Populos reduxit;
Orbem disturbavit;
Libertatem oppressit;
Ecclesiam distraxit;
Omnia esse voluit;
Nihil erit.

You would be hard-pressed to find a more laconic verse or prose which describes Napoleon’s career. The above acrostic verse was also translated from Latin to English and while the translation may be rough, it kept the original’s acrostic feature:

Naught he was;
A monarch he became;
Peoples he reduced;
Overturned the world;
Liberty he cursed;
Ecclesiastics he worried;
Omnipotent he wished to be;
Naught he shall be.


Gowing, Timothy (1896). A Soldier’s Experience: Or, A Voice from the Ranks: Showing the Cost of War in Blood and Treasure.

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My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. You can find me on Twitter` and Facebook. My email is

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