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Napoleon's origins

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  Quote Areimanis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Napoleon's origins
    Posted: 08-Dec-2006 at 16:28
Hello.

I've read in a Maniote website about the origins of Napoleon Bonaparte. This page has some clues that show a possible Greek origin of Napoleon and I want to see your opinions.
The presence of Maniote Greeks in Corsica is a fact from the 17th century.
You can see here a brief history of the Greek of Corsica and their relations with Ajaccio,homeland of Napoleon.
official Cargese website
And here
I quote the writings of this website:
Napoleon’s father, Carles Bonaparte, had very close relations with the family of Panorias Stefanopoulos, widow of Permon(provider of the french army).He dies on the hands of her. Her daughter,Laura Stephanopoulos -wife of Junot,also known as duchess D’Abrantes, mentions some interesting facts in her memoirs,

“In Bonaparte’s home we spoke greek with Napoleon’s father(...)A ancestor of Bonaparte belonged to the family of Stefanopoulos(A famous Maniote family tracing its origins to Komnenus) and had the surname Kalomeros, and he migrated from Toscani,Italy to Αiacciο. There his name italicized and became Buona Parte(Good Place/part,the same meaning with Kalomeros)(...)

“Then an ancestor of Bonapartes returned to Ajaccio from Toscani(...)and became patriarch of the family in Corsice” and Laura Duchess D’Abrantes continues:”Another fact very characteristic is this:”Stephanopouloi-Komnenoi when they talk about Bonapartes use the greek surname Kalomeros,Kalomeroi or Kalomerianoi,depends on the occasion,if they talk for one or a lot”

The Bonapartes family had always good relations with other Maniote families of Ajaccio.Before the French Revolution a French proffesor and ambassador in Munich, named Hanin, mentions the Greek origin of the Corsican Bonapartes.

Additionaly, when Napoleon in the age of 15,first went to Paris to study,he was welcomed by an important member of the Greek community in France, officer Demitrios Stephanopoulos-Komnenos, brother of Panoria Stephanopoulos, close friend of Karles Bonaparte.
He was chaperon of Napoleon when he studied in the Military School of Brien le Chateau.The important is that his first disquisition had the title Memoires sur l’education des jeunes Maniotes(Memoirs about the education of the young Maniotes)

It is told that when he was asked about his origin, he answered :”My family starts from me”

In 1797 during the planned campaign to Balkans, Napoleon sent to Mani, the Korsican Maniotes Nikolaos and Dimos Stephanopoulos with an epistle to Tzanetos Grigorakis,beis of Mani(Mani was autonomous during the Turcocracy),saying this:

“The General Commander of the army in Italy

To the leader of the free people of Mani


“Citizen, I’ve received your epistle in which you declared your will to be useful to the French Republic by accepting in your ports her ships. I believe that you will keep your promise as suits on the Spartans’ descedants. French Republic won’t be ungrateful to your nation, as about me I will accept propitiously everyone who wants among you to come to me on behalf you, and I want it as anything else, so there will be an agreement between two nations who love equally the freedom”

Health and fraternity
Bonaparte”

Note:Greeks in the period that Napoleon was born in Ajaccio were the 20% of the population:sourse

Share your opinion.
    
    
    

Edited by Areimanis - 09-Dec-2006 at 02:56
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  Quote think Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Dec-2006 at 18:21
Napolean doesnt look Greek.
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  Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Dec-2006 at 00:48
I read somewhere (non-authoritative) recently that Napoleon's father wanted him to join the Royal Navy.

Now THAT would have been a turn-up.
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  Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Dec-2006 at 11:09
Originally posted by think

Napolean doesnt look Greek.


He doesn't look particularly non-Greek either, Greeks come in all sorts of shapes and sizes you know.

And if Napoleon does have some Greek heritage, I don't see what's so strange about that, I'd imagine this is quite common even in the western Mediterranean.
    
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  Quote Areimanis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Dec-2006 at 15:42
Originally posted by think

Napolean doesnt look Greek.

It isn't so usefull reply for the dialogue...


Originally posted by Reginmund

Originally posted by think

Napolean doesnt look Greek.


He doesn't look particularly non-Greek either, Greeks come in all sorts of shapes and sizes you know.

And if Napoleon does have some Greek heritage, I don't see what's so strange about that, I'd imagine this is quite common even in the western Mediterranean.
    

Can you clarify your first sentence,please...if you don't want to go off-topic you can pm me...

On the subject now.I don't think Laura Stephanopoulos/duchess D’Abrantes had any reason to make him Greek,and to invent such logical story for Napoleon's origins.Napoleon never refuted(and never confirmed her...)
And Napoleon as we see had close relations with Maniotes.
Do you have other opinions/versions about his origins?


    
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  Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Dec-2006 at 17:06
In the first sentence I simply say that there is nothing about Napoleon that strikes me as glaringly non-Greek. Meaning, there's no reason he couldn't have Greek ancestry somewhere and somehow, but I'm not saying he had.
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  Quote think Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Dec-2006 at 20:23
Originally posted by Reginmund

In the first sentence I simply say that there is nothing about Napoleon that strikes me as glaringly non-Greek. Meaning, there's no reason he couldn't have Greek ancestry somewhere and somehow, but I'm not saying he had.


I guess so, but he doesnt look particualy Greek. Perhaps he does have Greek ancestry that wouldnt be surprising.

Its just an observation thats all. It would be like discussing how Hitler doesnt look particually Aryan. (In Nazi terms)
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  Quote Ellin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Dec-2006 at 22:51
I think the findings do seem to sway in favour of Hellenic origins.
And to concur with what Reginmund stated, there has always been a strong Greek presence, not only in western, but all around the Mediterranean, so it shouldn't come as a shock or surprise that Greece's offspring are/were representing other countries.

Very interesting about the origins of his surname, ie Kalomeros = Bona-parte.

Also, if i'm not mistaken, Napoleon is a Greek name, meaning 'lion of the woods' ??  and interesting to note, although the name is not a very common name (universally or generally), it is more common amongst the Greek community, than any other. 

Hopefully, someone of French extraction can ascertain this also??

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  Quote Joinville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Dec-2006 at 07:11
Iirc Napoleon Bonaparte, i.e. Frenchified, was bown as "Nabullione Bunoaparte", in his native vernacular Corsican.
 
He was an ardent Corsican nationalist, dreaming of setting himself up as liberator and ruler of his native island.
 
Until him and his brother were outmanouvred by their local rivals in the Pozzi di Borgo family, and fell out of grace with pasquale Paoli, the great Corsican champion of independance of the day.
 
After which Napoleon decided that he was going French 100%.
 
As for his ancestry, the traditional verdict is that he was descended from mainland Italian aristocracy on both his mother's and his father's side.
 
His father Carlo descended from Francesco Buonaparte of a Florentine noble famlily, who arrived in the mid-sixteenth century. His mother was a Ramolino, another mainland noble family who arrived in Corsica c. 1500.
 
This was pretty extensively researched by the Austrian court prior to marrying off their daughter to him.
They did derive some consolation from the fact that he wasn't an ordinary a blood-soaked revolutionary commoner but that his noble ancestry could be certified for at least eight generations.
 
But I don't think anyone is 100% sure about exactly what went into the mix originally.
Now there's an argument for some Greek ancestry. There are also arguments for a Catalan ancestry for Napoleon. Everyone seems to want to claim him.
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  Quote Areimanis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Dec-2006 at 08:10
Originally posted by Joinville

Iirc Napoleon Bonaparte, i.e. Frenchified, was bown as "Nabullione Bunoaparte", in his native vernacular Corsican.

He was an ardent Corsican nationalist, dreaming of setting himself up as liberator and ruler of his native island.


Until him and his brother were outmanouvred by their local rivals in the Pozzi di Borgo family, and fell out of grace with pasquale Paoli, the great Corsican champion of independance of the day.


After which Napoleon decided that he was going French 100%.


As for his ancestry, the traditional verdict is that he was descended from mainland Italian aristocracy on both his mother's and his father's side.


His father Carlo descended from Francesco Buonaparte of a Florentine noble famlily, who arrived in the mid-sixteenth century.His mother was a Ramolino, another mainland noble family who arrived in Corsica c. 1500.


This was pretty extensively researched by the Austrian court prior to marrying off their daughter to him.

They did derive some consolation from the fact that he wasn't an ordinary a blood-soaked revolutionary commoner but thathis noble ancestry could be certified for at least eight generations.


But I don't think anyone is 100% sure about exactly what went into the mixoriginally.

Now there's an argument forsome Greek ancestry. There are also arguments for aCatalan ancestry for Napoleon. Everyone seems to want to claim him.


I would apreciate it if you brought us any sourse,link,evidence...
As you see the name Kalomeros(from Stephanopoulos-Komnenos family-very "noble" indeed) italicized becomes Buonaparte,and as you see in my first post the Maniote names italicized.
    
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  Quote Huncuk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Dec-2006 at 01:17
Greek,French... all western people look same to me!=)
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  Quote Eondt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Dec-2006 at 02:01
Originally posted by Joinville

 
This was pretty extensively researched by the Austrian court prior to marrying off their daughter to him.
They did derive some consolation from the fact that he wasn't an ordinary a blood-soaked revolutionary commoner but that his noble ancestry could be certified for at least eight generations.
 
 
Off course, at the time the Austrians were quite desperate to marry off their daughter to Napoleon and therefore the research conducted by them should be viewed with some scepticism.
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  Quote Joinville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Dec-2006 at 09:18
Originally posted by Areimanis

I would apreciate it if you brought us any sourse,link,evidence...
As you see the name Kalomeros(from Stephanopoulos-Komnenos family-very "noble" indeed) italicized becomes Buonaparte,and as you see in my first post the Maniote names italicized.
    
Well if you like. 
 
The info is in the Encyclopedia Britannica for starters, but there are any number of variations on it. Here's a summary of a fairly recent book on the subject of Napoleon's ancestry. Brings the Buonapartes back to 12th c. Tuscany.
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  Quote Joinville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Dec-2006 at 09:27
Originally posted by Eondt

Off course, at the time the Austrians were quite desperate to marry off their daughter to Napoleon and therefore the research conducted by them should be viewed with some scepticism.
Everything in history should be viewed with some scepticism.
 
One of the best documented aspects of history is however noble and royal ancestry. 
 
Political expediency introduces an interesting amount of static of course, but one of the harder scams has always been to improve your pedigree as there have been some pretty ardent watch-dogs trying to prevent the erroneous introduction of commoners among the truly blue-blooded since at least the Middle Ages. The royal and noble "stud books" were kept in meticulous order and with great seriosity.
 
That's why Voltaire in "Candide" could take a dig at noble obsessions about pedigree by stipulating that Candide (only 51 noble families in his) couldn't marry Cungonde (52).
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  Quote Spartakus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Dec-2006 at 14:15
Yes,i have heard this theory before from historian Dimitris Manwlesakis,if i am not mistaken.
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  Quote Areimanis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Dec-2006 at 15:08
And how do you explain Laura Stephanopoulos'(duchess D’Abrantes) reasonable testimony?It explains the Toscany's position in his genealogy.
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  Quote think Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Dec-2006 at 19:03
Originally posted by Huncuk

Greek,French... all western people look same to me!=)


Not really.


Edited by think - 20-Dec-2006 at 02:56
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  Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Dec-2006 at 20:52
Ok, so Napoleon may have some Greek bloodline. But the fact is that Napoleon was born in Italy, like his parents and his siblings. As far as I am concerned, this is not a big issue. Humanity, after all, comes from one origin. We could be saying that Europeans are all people from Middle East.
     
   
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  Quote Jeru Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jan-2007 at 14:05
He never claimed to be Greek.And don't think he would have wanted to be Greek at the time.
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  Quote Aster Thrax Eupator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jan-2007 at 08:24
Napoleon was about as French as Chicken Korma. He felt an affinity with France because they were at his time the traditional rulers of North Italy and Corcica. The northern parts of Italy had been French politically (and perhaps some cultural influences) since the time of the Pippins. It's really not suprising that he considered himself a Frenchman. Because the British Empire was the largest at the time, it would have been natural for many people to have a hatred of it.
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