What did Napoleon see in the Pyramid?

Aug 2012
1,554
There is an old story, the truth of which I cannot attest to. And it basically tells of how Napoleon went inside the Great Pyramid during his time in Egypt. He went in alone, and when he came out was pale and shaking. I also heard that on his deathbed someone asked him about the whole thing, and he refused to speak of it, even then.

And, as this is the Speculative forum, and the truth of this story is shaky at best, I thought it would be fun to see what you all thought.
What do you think he saw inside?

For me? I think it was not any one thing, but the greater knowledge of the impermanence of history. There he was, a great Emperor, looking on the ruins of a forgotten and conquered civilization. And one day, he had to know, the same could happen to him.
But I'm not discounting aliens, either :lol:
 

kazeuma

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
2,423
He slept in an empty tomb - probably the best night's sleep he ever got - he probably dreamed of Alexander the Great. And if you believe some - Napoleon was a Free-Mason, so he might have conducted a secret ceremony.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,626
Italy, Lago Maggiore
It seems that Napoleon, in that moment, was a mason of the 13rd degree of the Scottish ritual [or a 7th degree of the York ritual]. We can infer this from his curious behavior to hide a hand ...

This said, if this was the case, he had reached the level of "Mason of the secret".

In good substance, he was beginning to receive [finally!] explanations ... this could have affected his mind processes and sleeping in a so august and symbolic tomb [the pyramid ... with the hexagram and the pentagon is a basic symbol, even if not exactly planetary like the other two] could have generated vivid dreams and nightmares.
 

paranoid marvin

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,359
uk
Napoleon at times seemed to think that he was Alexander born again - so if Alexander experienced something , then surely so should he? Possibly a dream/nightmare brought on by the power of suggestion.
 

notgivenaway

Ad Honorem
Jun 2015
5,787
UK
claustrophia? malaria? a bad dream? dehydration? doesn't have to be an alien, or some Pharoah's ghost. Or maybe Ceops' ghost told him he'd lose a battle in 1815 that would end his Empire, and he got the shakes since he couldn't handle it.
 

Moros

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
3,100
Apparently the incident is a myth. Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne, Bonaparte’s private secretary in Egypt, reported on Napoleon's visit to the pyramids in 1799 -

"On the 14th of July Bonaparte left Cairo for the Pyramids. He intended spending three or four days in examining the ruins of the ancient necropolis of Memphis; but he was suddenly obliged to alter his plan. This journey to the Pyramids, occasioned by the course of war, has given an opportunity for the invention of a little piece of romance. Some ingenious people have related that Bonaparte gave audiences to the mufti and ulemas, and that on entering one of the great Pyramids he cried out, ‘Glory to Allah! God only is God, and Mahomet is his prophet!’ Now the fact is, that Bonaparte never even entered the great Pyramid. He never had any thought of entering it. I certainly should have accompanied him had he done so, for I never quitted his side a single moment in the desert. He caused some persons to enter into one of the great Pyramids while he remained outside, and received from them, on their return, an account of what they had seen. In other words, they informed him there was nothing to be seen!" (Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Book 1, Chapter 20)
 
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AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,626
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Apparently the incident is a myth. Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne, Bonaparte’s private secretary in Egypt, reported on Napoleon's visit to the pyramids in 1799 -

"On the 14th of July Bonaparte left Cairo for the Pyramids. He intended spending three or four days in examining the ruins of the ancient necropolis of Memphis; but he was suddenly obliged to alter his plan. This journey to the Pyramids, occasioned by the course of war, has given an opportunity for the invention of a little piece of romance. Some ingenious people have related that Bonaparte gave audiences to the mufti and ulemas, and that on entering one of the great Pyramids he cried out, ‘Glory to Allah! God only is God, and Mahomet is his prophet!’ Now the fact is, that Bonaparte never even entered the great Pyramid. He never had any thought of entering it. I certainly should have accompanied him had he done so, for I never quitted his side a single moment in the desert. He caused some persons to enter into one of the great Pyramids while he remained outside, and received from them, on their return, an account of what they had seen. In other words, they informed him there was nothing to be seen!" (Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Book 1, Chapter 20)
Eh ... this is the typical way a mason would use to hide reality ... to suggest to a friend to write an "orientated" chronicle ... but of course, I'm just playing the role of the devil's lawyer.
 

Moros

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
3,100
Eh ... this is the typical way a mason would use to hide reality ... to suggest to a friend to write an "orientated" chronicle ... but of course, I'm just playing the role of the devil's lawyer.
What is the earliest source material for the story? Especially his supposed deathbed statement?