“Unveiling the Myth: Did Napoleon Truly Shoot a Pyramid? Discover the Intriguing Twist in Ridley Scott’s Film”



In the world of cinema, historical figures often become larger than life, and Ridley Scott’s upcoming film, “Napoleon,” is no exception. With Joaquin Phoenix portraying the iconic French emperor, the movie promises to deliver a thrilling and visually stunning depiction of Napoleon Bonaparte’s life. The recently released trailer has ignited curiosity and controversy, particularly regarding a scene where Napoleon shoots at a pyramid. This article will explore the historical accuracy behind this captivating moment and shed light on Ridley Scott’s creative choices.

Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign

Before delving into the pyramid-shooting incident, it’s essential to understand the context of Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign. In 1798, Napoleon led a military expedition to Egypt with the aim of disrupting British trade routes and establishing French influence in the region. During this campaign, he faced various challenges, including battling British forces and engaging with local resistance.

The Battle of the Pyramids and Pyramids of Giza

One notable event during Napoleon’s time in Egypt was the Battle of the Pyramids. This battle took place in 1798 near the iconic Pyramids of Giza. While the movie appears to incorporate this historical event, it also intertwines it with a myth surrounding the Sphinx’s nose.

Conflating Fact and Myth

According to historical novelist Shannon Selin, Ridley Scott and screenwriter David Scarpa seem to conflate the real Battle of the Pyramids with the myth of Napoleon’s troops shooting off the Sphinx’s nose during target practice. In reality, when Napoleon visited the pyramids, his actions were less destructive and more light-hearted.

Napoleon’s Pyramid Challenge

During his visit to the Pyramids of Giza, Napoleon challenged members of his party to climb one of the pyramids. The winner of this friendly competition was Gaspard Monge, a mathematician, who celebrated the victory by sharing a sip of brandy with his rivals at the pyramid’s summit. It was during this moment that Napoleon made an interesting observation.

Napoleon’s Wall Calculation

As the story goes, Napoleon contemplated the size of the pyramids and calculated that the stones used in their construction could be utilized to build a 10-foot wall encompassing the entire country of France. Gaspard Monge supposedly verified this calculation, although it should be noted that brandy might have influenced their mathematical prowess at the time.

Ridley Scott’s Creative Liberties

Ridley Scott, known for his visually stunning films, has taken certain creative liberties in portraying Napoleon’s time in Egypt. By showcasing Napoleon using cannons to assault not only the revolutionaries but also the pyramids themselves, Scott aims to create a bombastic visual metaphor. This grandiose depiction emphasizes the monumental impact of Napoleon’s reign on history.


In Ridley Scott’s upcoming film, “Napoleon,” the portrayal of the French emperor’s Egyptian campaign includes an intriguing scene where Napoleon shoots at a pyramid. While this particular event is a fabrication, it draws inspiration from the Battle of the Pyramids and the myth of the Sphinx’s nose. Ridley Scott’s decision to incorporate this visually stunning moment allows him to make a bold statement about Napoleon’s transformative impact on history. As audiences eagerly await the film’s release on November 22, the question of whether Napoleon actually shot a pyramid remains a captivating aspect of the legend surrounding one of history’s most renowned leaders.

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