Ferdinand Ries, Beethoven's pupil and friend recorded his memoirs of Beethoven and explained one of the myths of the cultural history of the nineteenth century - 1804 - Beethoven's ripping off the dedication page of his Eroica Symphony and stripping Bonaparte's importance after learning that Napoleon had declared himself Emperor of France.
Ries mentions that Beethoven had Napoleon Bonaparte as his ideal when composing Eroica. Napoleon was then the First Consul. Beethoven held him in high regard and compared him to the greatest consuls of Rome. On hearing that Napoleon acted like a common dictator, Beethoven flew into a rage and got disappointed that Bonaparte was after all a common mortal. He knew that he will tread the needs of the common man under his feet.
Anton Schindler also mentions this incident in his biographical account of Ludwig van Beethoven. Ries remained as an unpaid secretary and an assistant to Beethoven during the last years of the composer.
The dedication of the symphony finally went in favour of Count Lichnowsky.