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Napoleon Headsquisher

Napoleon HeadsquisherAs it turns out, the Napoleon Complex may be wrong on a number of counts.

Being a member of the vertically challenged set, I was quite interested to see that researchers in the UK have discovered that short men are not extra-aggressive to make up for their diminutive height. According to the ‘Beeb’, the researchers had short and tall men duel with wooden sticks, and it was the tall boys who “flew off the handle” more easily.

Interesting work, but how big was the sample size?

Now, depending on what historian you believe, French or English, Napoleon was either of average height or he was short. According to measurements, he was either 5′ 6″ — an average height for the 19th century, confirming my suspicion that I was born in the wrong century — or if you believe the English bias, then he was 5′ 2″, which still qualifies as pipsqueak potentate proportions.

Whether short or really short, Napoleon certainly was aggressive, but at least he wasn’t into systematic dismembering like certain Ancient Peruvian aristocrats. New research shows that first century Peruvian overlords intimidated their lower classes by mutilating a select few.

“When a dominant class appears, [it] always seeks mechanisms to impose fear,” said Pedro Castro-Martinez of the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB). “The power of an elite is exercised and maintained by means of force and fear. Mutilations can be part of those tactics to frighten.”

Even worse than the dismemberments? Certain children had their heads bound while their skulls were still pliable, a form of headsquishing that turning them into coneheads.

Now, it’s not a guillotine, but on the terrifying scale, I’d still have to give it at least a 5.2.

Maybe even a 5.6 if I was feeling generous.