Napoléon III

Following the coup d’état of 2 December 1851 and the subsequent plebiscite, Napoleon III became Emperor of France in 1852. Passionate about Julius Caesar, the nephew of Napoleon I began a biography of the Roman general. It was in this context that Napoleon III formed the Commission de Topographie des Gaules and later the musée gallo-romain. These two institutions were to be the foundations of modern archaeology and continued their activities beyond the fall of the Second Empire (1870).