Theory of criminal types, 19th century

Theory of criminal types, 19th century

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Caption: Theory of criminal types. 19th-century illustrations of a thief, a forger, a murderer (Boggia), a famous outlaw (Cartouche), a female brigand, and a poisoner (Desrues), demonstrating the theory of criminal types. The accompanying text described physical traits such as the size and shape of facial features. 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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