His first distinctions are said to have been gained in theological controversy, but at an early age he became mathematical teacher in the military school of Beaumont, the classes of which he had attended as an extern.
He was the son of a tailor, and was left an orphan in his eighth year; but, through the kindness of a friend, admission was gained for him into the military school of his native town, which was then under the direction of the Benedictines of Saint-Maur.
The Royal Hibernian military school in Phoenix Park (1765) provides for soldiers' orphan sons.
His father was a labourer, but the friars of Arbois gave the boy a good education, and one of his masters, the Pere Partault, took him to the military school of Brienne.
He was trained, partly at Paris, for the profession of architect, but his opportune assistance to two German nobles in a tavern brawl obtained for him a nomination to the military school of Munich.
In October 1784 Bonaparte and three other Briennois were authorized, by a letter signed by Louis XVI., to proceed as gentlemen cadets to the military school at Paris.
He was educated at the military school at Berlin and afterwards at the university of Oxford.
From the French governor of Corsica, the comte de Marbeuf, he procured many favours, among them being the nomination of the young Napoleon to the military school at Brienne in the east of France.
An officer of engineers seeing it wrote to recommend Monge to the commandant of the military school at Mezieres, and he was received as a draftsman and pupil in the practical school attached to that institution; the school itself was of too aristocratic a character to allow of his admission to it.
In 1635 from the designs of Avanzini, and finished by Francis Ferdinand V., is an extensive building with a fine courtyard, and now contains the military school and the observatory.