How did Francesco Antommarchi describe what he saw at the autopsy?

Before Francesco put the scalpel in the dead man he noted two things. First, the fine body hair was missing. In all likelihood he had androgenic hair. But it was probably sparse just like the hair on his head. (The word sparse refers to the density of hair in the areas he still had any. Napoléon was likely rather bald when he died.) Secondly, the skin was completely smooth. Of cause, there were some irregularities and a lot of scars. But there were no changes due to ageing. This is not something you would expect on someone who had died at the age of 51. Francesco carefully examined all internal organs. He described the stomach as almost completely damaged and with a circle-shaped swelling around the lower opening. There was also a hole in the stomach the size of a finger. The liver and spleen were much-enlarged. The lungs were filled with small droplets of fluids. I don’t know anything wrong he found with any other organ. In contrast I count on Napoléon being lean when he died. (His death mask shows he was.) However, his belly must have protruded due to the much enlarged liver. A part of his stomach was swollen too but this probably did not matter that much.

This page was last changed on the 19th of July 2022.