The Emperor: Downfall of an Autocrat Short Essay - Answer Key

Ryszard Kapuściński
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1. After the revolution, what happened to many of the people who had been people of the Palace?

Many of the people who had worked in the Palace had died, shot by the firing squad. Others escaped the country. Others had been imprisoned in the dungeons. Some were hiding in the mountains or living disguised as monks in cloisters.

2. What were the Emperor's sleeping habits?

The Emperor had the habit of sleeping little and rising early when it was still dark. He would get up at four or five on a typical day. If he were going aboard on a visit, he might rise at three.

3. What was the advantage for the Emperor of only receiving verbal reports with nothing written down?

Relating information by word of mouth had its advantages. If required, the Emperor could say that a dignitary said something different from what was actually said, and the dignitary could not defend himself because there was no written proof. That way the Emperor heard from his subordinates not what they told him, but what he thought should be said.

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