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Old December 8th, 2010, 09:01 AM   #31
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Re: Why wasn't Napoleon Executed?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmie View Post
sylla, I can see why the British would want to assasinate Napoleon; he caused an awful lot of problems! Understatement.

I read the above article. The evidence seems conclusive if the author was indeed comparing the journals of all present, but no mention is made of the access the English doctors had to Napoleon. Also, if the British did want to kill Napoleon, why not put just one doctor with Napoleon? I think 3 are mentioned in the article above.
My point is simple; if Monsieur Buonaparte had enough arsenic within him for being the cause of his death, attributing such death to either:

- an amazing random coincidence that affected exclusively him of all the people in that little rock, or
- an extraordinarily brilliant conspiracy from the French Royalists across the whole Atlantic

... just for piously avoiding the exponentially more economical, simple and frankly evident explanation of his captors being behind such poisoning seems like an utterly unlikely, far-fetched and naive rationalization, to say the least.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 09:12 AM   #32

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Re: Why wasn't Napoleon Executed?


Now how in the nine levels of hell did I miss this!? It's criminal seeing as I'm a Bonaparte fan!

Anywhoo, here are my two $0.02.

The British seem too honorable to execute Napoleon via arsenic poisoning on a tiny little island in the South Atlantic a few hundred or so miles off the coast of Africa. If they were going to execute him, they would have made it clear to everyone and gone on with it in a dignified manner via hanging.

But I agree with whoever said he'd be a martyr if killed. Many French folks were firmly loyal to the man. Kill him and they'll be pissed.

Interesting thread indeed!
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Old December 8th, 2010, 09:36 AM   #33

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Re: Why wasn't Napoleon Executed?


But I thought he died from his own health issues, not poison. . . ?
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Old December 8th, 2010, 09:39 AM   #34

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Re: Why wasn't Napoleon Executed?


That's what I suspect as well, Libertas.

Didn't he have some kind of illness during the Battle of Waterloo? Complications of the stomach? Maybe that's what killed him on Elba.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 09:42 AM   #35

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Re: Why wasn't Napoleon Executed?


He was overweight in exile. His legs bothered him so he did not get regular exercise, and he did not eat healthily. That's what I have heard.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 09:44 AM   #36
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Re: Why wasn't Napoleon Executed?


The Gulag analogy is still valid; the purported autopsy (which reported gastric cancer) was performed by the same captors; naturally, that cancer didn't explain the arsenic found in Napoleon's corpse.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 10:18 AM   #37

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Re: Why wasn't Napoleon Executed?


The 'purported autopsy' was carried out by Napoleon's physician Francois Antommarchi, who wrote a book on the last days of Napoleon:
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=W...page&q&f=false

It is by no means certain that the arsenic found in the Emperor's corpse was abnormally high, and many of the usual signs of arsenic poisoning were absent:

"The postmortem examination was performed the day after Napoleon's death (6 May 1821) by Dr Antommarchi, a pupil of Giuseppe Mascagni (1755-1815), a famous anatomy professor at the University of Siena.[1,2] According to Antommarchi's first and second autopsy reports, as well as the findings described by the English physicians,[1-3] the external inspection documented an important amount of weight loss. Napoleon's height was 168 cm and his skin extremely pale. His hands and feet had no pathologic alterations. Internal examinations revealed several 'tuberculous' excavations in the superior lobe of the left lung; the right lung was completely normal. Several bronchial and mediastinal lymph nodes were enlarged and necrotic. In addition, a moderate, bilateral pleural effusion was observed. The heart was very pale, but without pathologic findings.
The stomach was filled with dark material that resembled coffee grounds, a strong indication of upper gastrointestinal bleeding that could have been the immediate cause of death. Examination of the gastric wall revealed an ulcerated lesion with hardened, irregular borders that extended from the cardia to the pyloric region (>10 cm) and a smaller prepyloric ulcer with thick adherences to the liver. The lesser omentum was enlarged and hardened, in contrast to a normal greater omentum. The perigastric lymph nodes were hardened and enlarged and some of them were necrotic. The liver and the spleen were congested. Dark material that resembled coffee grounds was also found in the colon.
The kidneys and the urinary bladder showed no relevant pathologic findings. Other relevant negative findings included the absence of hyperkeratotic lesions in the skin of the hands and feet, normal nails, the absence of other tumors, and "a very pale heart without any hemorrhage".[1] In aggregate, these findings militate against the possibility of chronic arsenic poisoning, which is characterized by palmar and solar keratosis, Mee's lines in the fingernails and toenails, cancers of the skin, lung and bladder,[24] and subendocardial hemorrhage on the left ventricular wall of the interventricular septum.[25] According to Maresch, the absence of subendocardial hemorrhage virtually rules out arsenic poisoning as a cause of death.[25] In 2004 it was shown that an elevated arsenic concentration was found in Napoleon's hair in 1814, before his exile to St Helena.[26] Other than deliberate poisoning, several possible sources of arsenic intoxication have been proposed in Napoleon's case.[27] In addition, historical evidence suggests that this theory of arsenic poisoning is highly unlikely.[28] Together, these arguments suggest arsenic poisoning should be excluded as the cause of Napoleon's death."

(From this article:
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/550333_2 )

From another article:

"The characteristic clinical symptoms of chronic arsenic poisoning were absent, symptoms such as extreme weight loss, loss of nails, fatty degeneration of the liver (steatosis), skin pigmentation, patchy bleeding visible as dark red spots on the inner surface of the stomach, Mees' lines and neurological symptoms. Furthermore, prolonged administration of arsenic leads to renal failure and anuria (that is, failure to produce urine). None of this was reported with respect to Napoleon and no physician, including those present at the autopsy, found any evidence of it. Also not reported was any evidence of vasodilatation (that is, reddening), a characteristic sign of the effects of arsenic on blood vessels. Other characteristic signs of chronic arsenic poisoning were considered absent at the autopsy, notably hyperkeratosis, that is, thickening of the scaly layer of the skin on the hands and feet. As to the general lack of body hair noted at the autopsy, it is true that this is characteristic feature of arsenic poisoning, but it could equally be explained by a hormonal syndrome diagnosed in Napoleon."

More here:
http://www.napoleon.org/en/reading_r...ic_emperor.asp

On the arsenic levels, I would point again to the study from 2008, which has been arbitrarily dismissed by sylla:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0211131357.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/10/science/10napo.html

The results were published in a scientific paper in Il Nuovo Saggiatore, Bolletino de la Societa Italiana di Fisica, 2008: M. Clemenza et al., Misure con attivazione neutronica sulla presenza di arsenico nei capelli de Napoleone Buonaparte e di suoi familiari.

Another brief article worth looking at:
http://www.clinchem.org/cgi/reprint/54/12/2092.pdf

I suspect that this is a story that is going to run and run!

Last edited by Linschoten; December 8th, 2010 at 10:45 AM.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 10:20 AM   #38
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Re: Why wasn't Napoleon Executed?


execute Napolean? Dear God man that would be like us executing the Queen D:
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Old December 8th, 2010, 10:33 AM   #39

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Re: Why wasn't Napoleon Executed?


Assuming that Napoleon was considered a legitimate Emperor or King of a soverign country, I think that it is distinctly unusual for foreign victors to kill a formerly ruling monarch, probably for reasons mentioned above - fear of creating a precedent or a martyr. Most caases that I can think of in which a king (regecide) or tyrant (tyranincide) was killed, was by civil war, terrorism, or deranged individuals. Look at the lists here:

Tyrannicide Tyrannicide
Regicide Regicide
Can anyone come up with a good example where a "legitimate" country leader was executed by a victorious foreign power?
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Old December 8th, 2010, 10:37 AM   #40

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Re: Why wasn't Napoleon Executed?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Edratman View Post
I do not know myself. Toltec makes a great point. And others have said in various ways that monarchs do not like kill other monarchs. They probably don't want to put ideas into the heads of the commoners and demonstrate that monarchs die as easily as commoners.
But that had already been done in the case of Charles I. That had very little effect on the lives of the commoners...
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