On August 15, 1769, Napoleon Bonaparte was born. As Emperor of France, he did much to preserve and forward Biblical archaeology. Regarding the Scriptures he said:
The Gospel is not a book; it is a living being, with an action, a power, which invades everything that opposes its extension. Behold it upon this table, this book surpassing all others (here the Emperor solemnly placed his hand upon it): I never omit to read it, and every day with new pleasure.
In 1798, Bonaparte invaded Egypt, sending teams of scholars and artists with his army. While digging a trench near the city of Rosetta, some of Bonaparte's soldiers turned up the famous inscription known as the Rosetta Stone. The stone was written to celebrate the ascension of the Hellenistic ruler Ptolemy Epiphanes to the throne of Egypt on March 27, 196 B.C. The significance of this stone is that it was written in three languages: Greek, demotic and hieroglyphic Egyptian. It provided enough text to permit the formerly undecipherable hieroglyphic language to be understood.
Bonaparte fought for religious freedom, He said, "I wish it to be understood that my intention and my firm determinations are to maintain liberty of worship. The empire of the law ends where the empire of the conscience begins. Neither the law nor the prince must infringe upon this empire."
Napoleon Bonaparte died of cancer, on May 5, 1821, on the rat infested South Atlantic island of St. Helena. He had been imprisoned there by the British authority ever since his defeat at Waterloo in 1815.
Federer, W.J. Great Quotations. St. Louis, MO: AmeriSearch, 2001.
“Mr. Sedivy’s History Course.” Highlands Ranch High School: Highlands Ranch, Colorado, n.d. http://mr_sedivy.tripod.com/france/napoleon
Other sources lost.