Theory of criminal types, 19th century

Theory of criminal types, 19th century

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Theory of criminal types. 19th-century illustrations of brigands and a murderer and a thief, demonstrating the theory of criminal types. The accompanying text described traits such as the size and shape of the head, jaws, lips and forehead, the presence or absence of facial hair, and any lack of facial symmetry. This illustration is from 'L'Homme Criminel', a French edition of 'L'Uomo Delinquente' (1876) by Italian criminologist and physician Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909). Considered the father of criminology, his work was based on physiognomy, anthropology, and evolutionary theory (atavism). His now-discredited theory (also rejected by many at the time) was that criminality was inherited and that criminals could be identified by physical traits.

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