Having discovered that genius is a disease, and that the signs of degeneration are found more freqtiently in men of genius than in the insane, the author affirms that the repugnance to this theory disappears when we remember that by losing muscles which the apes possess, " and an entire organ the tail," we have gained our intellectual superiority. But if genius and even talent be a morbid condition, and all able men have "disordered minds," there is no great cause for satisfaction. The writer is so eager to dis- cover madness, or thepropensity to it, in all distinguished men, that heroes in his eyes are little better than lunatics at large. Literary madness, he tells us, is especially dangerous, because it is not easy to perceive ; and in all notable men of genius he finds marks of de- generation. Scott was lame, and, like Milton, "extremely thin in the flower of his age;" Carlyle " had a cretin-like physiognomy.

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Lombroso rejected the established classical school , which held that crime was a characteristic trait of human nature. Instead, using concepts drawn from physiognomy , degeneration theory , psychiatry and Social Darwinism , Lombroso's theory of anthropological criminology essentially stated that criminality was inherited, and that someone "born criminal" could be identified by physical congenital defects , which confirmed a criminal as savage or atavistic.

Despite pursuing these studies in university, Lombroso eventually settled on pursuing a degree in medicine, which he graduated with from the University of Pavia.

Lombroso was initially an army surgeon, beginning in In he was appointed visiting lecturer at Pavia , and later took charge of the insane asylum at Pesaro in He became professor of forensic medicine and hygiene at Turin in Three of his works had been translated into English by , including a partial translation of The Female Offender published in and read in August of that year by the late nineteenth century English novelist, George Gissing.

Lombroso married Nina de Benedetti on April 10, They had five children together, one of whom—Gina—would go on to publish a summary of Lombroso's work after his death. Later in life Lombroso came to be influenced by her husband, Guglielmo Ferrero , who led him to believe that not all criminality comes from one's inborn factors and that social factors also played a significant role in the process of shaping a criminal. He died in Turin in Lombroso's general theory suggested that criminals are distinguished from noncriminals by multiple physical anomalies.

He postulated that criminals represented a reversion to a primitive or subhuman type of person characterized by physical features reminiscent of apes, lower primates , and early humans and to some extent preserved, he said, in modern "savages".

The behavior of these biological "throwbacks" will inevitably be contrary to the rules and expectations of modern civilized society. Through years of postmortem examinations and anthropometric studies of criminals, the insane, and normal individuals, Lombroso became convinced that the "born criminal" reo nato , a term given by Ferri could be anatomically identified by such items as a sloping forehead, ears of unusual size, asymmetry of the face, prognathism , excessive length of arms, asymmetry of the cranium, and other "physical stigmata".

Specific criminals, such as thieves, rapists, and murderers, could be distinguished by specific characteristics, he believed. Lombroso also maintained that criminals had less sensitivity to pain and touch; more acute sight; a lack of moral sense, including an absence of remorse; more vanity, impulsiveness, vindictiveness, and cruelty; and other manifestations, such as a special criminal argot and the excessive use of tattooing.

Besides the "born criminal", Lombroso also described "criminaloids", or occasional criminals, criminals by passion, moral imbeciles, and criminal epileptics. He recognized the diminished role of organic factors in many habitual offenders and referred to the delicate balance between predisposing factors organic, genetic and precipitating factors such as one's environment, opportunity, or poverty.

In Criminal Woman , as introduced in an English translation by Nicole Hahn Rafter and Mary Gibson, Lombroso used his theory of atavism to explain women's criminal offending. In the text, Lombroso outlines a comparative analysis of "normal women" opposed to "criminal women" such as "the prostitute.

Lombroso's research methods were clinical and descriptive, with precise details of skull dimension and other measurements. He did not engage in rigorous statistical comparisons of criminals and non-criminals. Although he gave some recognition in his later years to psychological and sociological factors in the etiology of crime, he remained convinced of, and identified with, criminal anthropometry.

After he died, his skull and brain were measured according to his own theories by a colleague as he requested in his will; his head was preserved in a jar and is still displayed with his collection at the Museum of Psychiatry and Criminology in Turin. Lombroso's theories were disapproved throughout Europe, especially in schools of medicine: notably by Alexandre Lacassagne in France.

Self-proclaimed the founder of modern scientific psychiatry, Lombroso is purported to have coined the term criminology. He institutionalized the science of psychiatry in universities. Through his various publications, Lombroso established a school of psychiatry based on biological determinism and the idea that mental illness was via genetic factors.

Lombroso's theory has been cited as possibly "the most influential doctrine" in all areas studying human behavior, and indeed, its impact extended far and wide. Through his observations of sex workers and criminals, Lombroso hypothesized a correlation between left-handedness, criminality, and degenerate behavior. His hypothesis even manifested in a new way during the s and s with a series of research studies grouping left-handedness with psychiatric disorders and autoimmune diseases.

Despite his stance on inherited immorality and biologically-destined criminal behavior, Lombroso believed in socialism and supposedly sympathized with stigmatization of lower socioeconomic statuses, placing him at odds with the biological determinism he espoused. Within the penal system, Lombroso's work led to new forms of punishment, where occasionally punishment varied based on the defendant's biological background. There are a few instances in which case the physiognomy of the defendant actually mattered more than witness testimony and the defendant was subjected to harsher sentences.

During the period in Italy between the s and s, the Italian government debated legislation for the insanity plea. Judges and lawyers backed Beccaria's classist school, tending to favor the idea that wrongdoers are breaking a societal contract with the option to exercise free will, tying into Beccaria's classist school of social misbehavior.

Since his research tied criminal behavior together with the insane, Lombroso is closely credited with the genesis of the criminal insane asylum and forensic psychiatry.

One example of an asylum for the criminally insane is Bridgewater State Hospital , which is located in the United States. Most have closed down, but the concept is kept alive with modern correctional facilities like Cook County Jail. This facility houses the largest population of prisoners with mental illness in the United States.

However, criminal insane asylums did exist outside of Italy while Lombroso was establishing them within the country. His influence on the asylum was at first regional, but eventually percolated to other countries who adopted some of Lombroso's measures for treating the criminally insane.

In addition to influencing criminal atavisim, Lombroso wrote a book called Genio e Follia , in which he discussed the link between genius and insanity. The meeting went poorly, and Tolstoy's novel Resurrection shows great disdain for Lombroso's methodology. Towards the end of his life, Lombroso began to study pellagra , a disease which Joseph Goldberger simultaneously was researching, in rural Italy.

Furthermore, before Lombroso's death the Italian government passed a law in standardizing treatment in mental asylums and codifying procedural admittance for mentally ill criminals. Lombroso believed that genius was closely related to madness. Lombroso published The Man of Genius in , a book which argued that artistic genius was a form of hereditary insanity.

In order to support this assertion, he began assembling a large collection of "psychiatric art". He published an article on the subject in in which he isolated thirteen typical features of the "art of the insane.

Lombroso's The Man of Genius provided inspiration for Max Nordau 's work, as evidenced by his dedication of Degeneration to Lombroso, whom he considered to be his "dear and honored master". This observation was recorded in response to his analysis of Alessandro Volta 's skull. Lombroso's methods and explanations in The Man of Genius were rebutted and questioned by the American Journal of Psychiatry. In a review of The Man of Genius they stated, "here we have hypothesis claiming to be the result of strict scientific investigation and reluctant conviction, bolstered up by half-told truths, misrepresentations and assumptions.

Later in his life Lombroso began investigating mediumship. Although originally skeptical, he later became a believer in spiritualism. The article "Exit Eusapia! The article questioned the scientific legitimacy of the Society for Psychical Research for investigating Palladino a medium who had a reputation of being a fraud and imposter and was surprised that Lombroso had been deceived by Palladino.

The anthropologist Edward Clodd wrote "[Lombroso] swallowed the lot at a gulp, from table raps to materialisation of the departed, spirit photographs and spirit voices; every story, old or new, alike from savage and civilised sources, confirming his will to believe. The skeptic Joseph McCabe wrote that because of this it was not surprising that Palladino managed to fool Lombroso into believing spiritualism by her tricks.

Historian Daniel Pick argues that Lombroso serves "as a curious footnote to late-nineteenth-century literary studies," due to his referencing in famous books of the time. It is emphasized especially at the end of the book when he is overwhelmed by the desire to kill. The assistant prosecutor in Leo Tolstoy 's Resurrection uses Lombroso's theories to accuse Maslova of being a congenital criminal.

In Bram Stoker 's Dracula , Count Dracula is described as having a physical appearance Lombroso would describe as criminal. In , a collection of papers on Lombroso was published in Turin as L'opera di Cesare Lombroso nella scienza e nelle sue applicazioni. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Italian criminologist.

Verona , Lombardy—Venetia. Turin , Kingdom of Italy. Ferri Garofalo Aletrino. Types of crime. Anarchist criminology Chicago school Classical school Conflict criminology Critical criminology Environmental criminology Feminist school Integrative criminology Italian school Left realism Marxist criminology Neo-classical school Positivist school Postmodernist school Right realism.

Index Journals Organizations People. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. Collins English Dictionary. Retrieved 9 August Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Museo Criminologico. Archived from the original on Coustillas, Pierre ed. Brighton: Harvester Press. Society of Comparative Legislation.

Criminal Woman. Canadian Journal of Sociology Online. Retrieved 10 March Engines of Our Ingenuity. University of Houston. Retrieved October 3, — via uh. Knepper, P. A paradoxical reception". The Cesare Lombroso Handbook. Routledge: — Retrieved October 3, — via archives-ouvertes. Rivista di Biologia. The American Journal of Psychiatry. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry.



Cesare Lombroso

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The Man of Genius. By Cesare Lombroso. With Illustrations. (Walter

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