This is a brief (in the sense that it doesn't go into detail about a specific event) timeline of Napoleon's life. It is most useful as a quick chronological reference to the sequence of events. To learn about Napoleon's life, please go to the biography.
August 5, 1769: Napoleon Bonaparte is born on Corsica.
January 1, 1779: Napoleon and Joseph go to the college d'Autun.
May 15, 1779: Napoleon enters the Brienne military school.
October 1784: Napoleon leaves Brienne and goes to the Royal Military School in Paris.
October 28, 1785: Napoleon graduates.
September 15, 1786: Napoleon receives a leave of absence from the military and returns to Corsica.
September 12, 1787: Napoleon returns from Corsica, knowing he overstayed his leave of absence for five and a half months.
November 9, 1787: Napoleon reaches Paris.
January 1, 1788: Napoleon returns to Corsica again.
June 1788: Bonaparte meets with his regiment in Auxonne.
September 1789: Napoleon has his third visit to Corsica.
February 12, 1791: Finally returns to Auxonne.
September 1791: Napoleon's fourth stay in Corsica.
May 1792: Napoleon returns to Paris from Corsica.
October 1792: Goes to Corsica for the fifth time.
June 11, 1793: A quarrel with Paoli, the mayor of Corsica, starts and the Bonapartes are forced to leave the island.
June 13, 1793: The Bonapartes successfully arrive in Toulon.
December 1793: Napoleon successfully defeats the British ships at Toulon and is promoted to the rank of Brigadier General.
July 29, 1794: Fall of Robespierre during the Thermidorian Reaction.
August 9, 1794: Bonaparte is arrested.
August 20, 1794: He is cleared on all counts.
June 13, 1795: Napoleon is promoted to General of the army de l'Ouest and immediately goes on leave.
September 15, 1795: Napoleon is struck off the list of generals employed by the Comity de Salut public. Period of financial difficulty.
October 5, 1795: After being asked by Barras, he plays a part in the suppression of the Royalist insurrection against the Convention.
October 15, 1795: Napoleon meets Josephine.
October 26, 1795: Bonaparte becomes commander in chief.
March 9, 1796: Napoleon and Josephine get married.
March 11, 1796: Bonaparte leaves for the Italian Campaign.
April 1796: Napoleon scores victories at Montenotte and Mondovi, and an armistice of Cherasco.
May 1796: Napoleon scores another victory at Lodi and enters Milan.
August 1796: Yet another victory at Castiglione.
September 1796: Napoleon seems unstoppable as he scores another victory at Bassano.
November 1796: Napoleon scores another victory at Arcole.
January 1797: Victory at Rivoli.
February 1797: Capitulation of Mantua.
April 1797: Italy had enough, and the preliminary Peace of Leoben is signed.
October 17, 1797: The Treaty of Campo-Formio is signed between France and Italy.
December 5, 1797: Bonaparte returns to Paris as a hero.
May 19, 1798: Bonaparte sets sail for Egypt.
June 11, 1798: Napoleon captures Malta.
July 1798: Bonaparte takes Alexandria, wins the Battle of the Pyramids, and enters Cairo.
August 1, 1798: Nelson destroys the French fleet at Aboukir, the Battle of the Nile. Napoleon is stranded.
March 7, 1799: Napoleon takes Jaffa.
March 1799: The siege of Saint John d'Acre begins.
May 1799: After eighth unsuccessful attacks on Saint John d'Acre, Bonaparte decides to lift the siege.
June 14, 1799: Bonaparte is once again in Cairo.
July 25, 1799: Bonaparte is victorious at Aboukir.
August 1799: Napoleon leaves Egypt for Paris.
October 16, 1799: Bonaparte arrives in Paris.
November 9-10, 1799: Napoleon participates in a coup d'Etat that overthrows the government.
February 13, 1800: The Bank of France is created by Napoleon.
May 20, 1800: Napoleon Bonaparte crosses the Saint Bernard pass.
June 14, 1800: Napoleon scores a victory at Marengo.
February 9, 1801: Treaty of Lunéville signed.
July 15, 1801: The Concordat is signed with the Pope.
March 25, 1802: Treaty of Amiens is signed with England. The only year of peace during Napoleon's reign.
May 3, 1803: Louisiana is sold to the United States.
May 18, 1804: Napoleon Bonaparte is proclaimed the French Emperor.
December 2, 1804: Napoleon's coronation takes place.
September 10, 1805: Austria attacks Bavaria.
October 19, 1805: Victory at Ulm.
October 21, 1805: The Franco-Spanish invasion fleet is destroyed at Trafalgar.
December 2, 1805: Victory at Austerlitz.
December 26, 1805: Treaty of Presbourg is signed.
March 30, 1806: Joseph is made king of Naples.
June 5, 1806: Louis is made king of Holland.
July 12, 1806: Confederation of the Rhine is established under French protection.
August 26, 1806: Prussian ultimatum is rejected.
October 27, 1806: Napoleon enters Berlin.
November 21, 1806: Napoleon declares the Continental Blockade.
June 1807: Victory at Friedland and meeting of Napoleon and Tsar Alexander I on the Niemen.
July 7, 1807: The Treaty of Tilsit is signed between Napoleon and Alexander I in a boat in the middle of a lake. The king of Prussia waits for them on the shore.
July 1807: The Grand Duchy of Warsaw is created.
August 16, 1807: Jerome is made king of Westphalia.
February 1808: Murat is appointed as Napoleon's lieutenant-general in Spain.
May 1808: An uprising in Madrid against the French presence occurs. Charles IV of Spain abdicates.
June 1808: Joseph is made king of Spain and Murat replaced him as king of Naples.
June 20, 1808: Joseph enters Madrid.
December 4, 1808: Madrid surrenders before Napoleon.
April 8, 1809: Austria attacks Bavaria.
April 22, 1809: Victory at Eckmehl.
May 22, 1809: Victory at Essling.
July 6, 1809: Victory at Wagram.
October 14, 1809: Treaty of Schonbrunn is signed.
December 15, 1809: Napoleon divorces Josephine due to her inability to produce a son.
April 2, 1810: Napoleon and Marie-Louise get married.
1810 - 1812: After beginning his attack of Russia, Napoleon enters Moscow. The Russian just keep on retreating, denying Napoleon any decisive victories.
October 1812: Napoleon decides to leave Moscow.
December 5, 1812: Napoleon leaves the retreating army so he could get to Paris faster.
March 1813: Encouraged by Napoleon's recent disaster, Prussia declares war on France.
May 1813: Victories at Lutzen and Bautzen.
June 21, 1813: Wellington wins at Vitoria. As a result, Napoleon loses Spain.
July 29, 1813: Congress of Prague takes place.
August 1813: Austria declares war on France.
October 19, 1813: French armies lose the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig and Germany is lost by the Empire.
October 1813: Victory at Hanau.
November 1813: Holland is occupied by the Fourth Coalition and is lost ot the French Empire.
December 1813: The Austrians occupy French Switzerland.
January 1814: Because French General Murat disserted, Italy is compromised.
January 29, 1814: Victory of Napoleon at Brienne.
February 1814: Things seem to be looking up as victories are scored at Champaubert, Montmirail, and Montereau.
March 13, 1814: Victory at Rheims.
March 30-31, 1814: Paris falls as Napoleon goes for a desperate gamble.
April 4, 1814: Napoleon abdicates.
April 6, 1814: Napoleon's unconditional abdication takes place.
May 1814: Napoleon sets sail for the island of Elba.
June 30, 1814: Treaty of Paris is signed between France and the Coalition.
November 1, 1814: Congress of Vienna assembles to redraw the map of Europe.
February 26, 1815: Napoleon succeeds in a daring escape from Elba.
March 20, 1815: Ready to start another empire, Napoleon arrives in Paris.
June 16, 1815: Victory at Ligny.
June 18, 1815: Napoleon loses at the Battle of Waterloo.
June 22, 1815: Napoleon abdicates for the second time.
October 16, 1815: Napoleon arrives on the island of Saint Helena.
November 20, 1815: A second Treaty of Paris is signed between France and the Coalition.
May 5, 1821: Napoleon dies.
Learn about Napoleon in
the biography section.