Criminal tattoos, 19th century

Criminal tattoos, 19th century

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Criminal tattoos. 19th-century illustration of tattoos observed on criminals who were also soldiers. The tattoos include the names of friends and loved ones, threats and oaths of murder, a devil with a chain of convicts, signs of vengeance, and other symbols, both mystical and religious. The man illustrated at upper centre has an intertwined hands symbol, interpreted by Alexandre Lacassagne (an expert on criminal tattoos) as a reference to pederasty. The man's penis is tattooed with the words 'Entra tutto' (translated as: 'he enters everything'). 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.

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