On This Day in Napoleonic History – 15 September 1784

15Napoleon takes his final exams at Brienne-le-Château

The future Emperor passed his exams easily and in October entered École Militaire in Paris on the left bank of the Seine. Compared to Brienne, École Militaire was an elite institution, with three changes of linen a week, good meals and more than twice as many servants as there were students. Syllabus covered the same subjects as Brienne, with the addition of musketry, military drill and horsemanship.

Napoleon, who was the first Corscican to attend the school, continued to excel, especially in mathematics and geography. When he took his final examination at École Militaire, he came 42nd out of 58 candidates. This was not at all bad, considering he sat his exams after only one year instead of customary two or three.

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