Determined to assert his rule across the whole of the continent, he naturally came into conflict with many countries, especially Britain.
He gained respect as a general and his tactics, which helped France to command an extremely powerful position in central Europe, are still widely studied today.
It was on this day, July 1 1798, that he embarked on an ambitious scheme to take control of Egypt and in doing so undermine Britain's access to important trade routes in India and Asia.
This also formed part of his wider plan to create a strong French influence in the Middle East, whereby they could assert their presence on both Europe and North Africa. They landed in Alexandra exactly 213 years ago.
Immediately declaring their intentions, they entered in a skirmish with Egypt's ruling military class, the Mamluks, in the Battle of Chobrakit.
Even more importantly, the conflict helped Bonaparte and his forces prepare their tactics for the Battle of the Pyramids which would take place 20 days later.
During that violent and significant encounter, the French 25,000 strong forces defeated the Mamluks cavalry, supposedly killing 2,000 of them and suffering just 29 losses. Needless to say, this boosted their morale considerable for the future campaigns.
Such was Bonaparte's success during the course of the Napoleonic Wars that he became a French icon, and is still regarded as an important leader in their history.
It is because of this that memorabilia linked to him can make very high prices at auction, as collectors interested in historic items or militaria investors naturally have a lot of interest in such pieces.
One remarkable sale in June last year, 2010, saw pieces of hair, which were cut after his death in 1821, sell for an incredible $13,223. If you wanted to own a document which was signed by him like this one, you could expect to pay around £5,950 ($9,530) because of their rarity.
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