Medusa's Head
The Rise and Survival of Joseph Fouché, Inventor of the Modern Police State

Iconography

Ministry of Police Logo The Torch The Sphinx The Gallic Rooster The Mirror

The Torch

The seated figure personifying the Ministry dispels the ominous clouds of crime and intrigue with the torch held aloft in her left hand.

The Sphinx

On the arm of each chair is a sphinx, legendary riddle-solver and a symbol of Napoleon's conquest of Egypt.

The Gallic Rooster

On the right arm of the chair is perched the Gallic Rooster, symbol of France harking back to ancient Gaul (the Latin word for rooster is gallus) and adopted by the French revolutionaries to underscore France's pre-Christian origins.

The Mirror

The seated figure holds a mirror in her right hand and a serpent gazes into it: i.e., “holding the mirror up to the face of crime.”

Eagles & Bees

Eagles & Bees

The Napoleonic icon contains bees, which appealed to Napoleon as symbols of industry and was an image apparently popular during the Merovingian dynasty of the sixth to eight centuries A.D.; Napoleon may have favored the resonance between "bee" and "Bonaparte," while also savoring the irony that the image of the insect seemed to some to be a Bourbon fleur-de-lys turned upside down. It also features an eagle, the symbol of Roman military prowess, which was adopted for the Grande Armee’s revered and fiercely defended battle standards. At bottom appears the meritorious award of the Legion of Honor, instituted by Napoleon as First Consul in 1802.

House of Bourbon Coat of Arms

House of Bourbon Coat of Arms

Fouché’s Armorial as Duke of Otranto

Fouché’s Armorial as Duke of Otranto

Fouché’s armorial as Duke of Otranto is (quite appropriately) a serpent wrapped around a column of gold with a field of imperial ducal silver stars above it.

Revolutionary Image

Revolutionary Image