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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY





I
LIBRARY

OF THE

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA.



Class



CESARE LOMBROSO
A MODERN MAN OF SCIENCE



CESARE LOMBROSO

A MODERN MAN OF SCIENCE



BY



HANS KURELLA, M.D.
*

AUTHOR OF " NATURAL HISTORY OF THE CRIMINAL," ETC.



TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN BY

M. EDEN PAUL, M.D.




NEW YORK
REBMAN COMPANY

1123 BROADWAY



All rights reserved



PEEFACE

THE subject of this little book is, as its title shows,
Cesare Lombroso, the man and the investigator; it
makes no attempt to deal adequately with Lombroso,
the reformer of criminology and criminal sociology.
To do justice to Lombroso' s work in the latter respect
would be impossible, without at the same time writing
the history of the Italian school of " positive criminal
jurisprudence " and that of the influence of that
school upon important tendencies of the public life of
all the leading civilized peoples. It would also be
impossible without dealing at the same time with the
plan of the new German criminal code. For many
reasons I have refrained from any such attempt;
above all, in view of limits of space. None the less,
I have dealt with Lombroso's activity as a reformer
as far as this was essential in order to do justice to
the personality of the deceased investigator.

Certain brief sections of this book have, with con-
siderable modifications, been taken over from my
earlier publications upon the development of criminal
anthropology. Entirely new, however, is the attempt
here made to demonstrate how high is the position
Lombroso may justly be said to have occupied in a
brilliant epoch of positive study of the world, of

v

216617,



VI PREFACE

mankind, and of society. In order to illustrate the
positive mode of thought, I have in an Appendix, to
which I especially direct the reader's attention,
attempted a tabular statement of the facts and
documents of positivism during the middle decades
of the nineteenth century. The inclusion in this
tabular statement of the principal writings of Herbert
Spencer is the result of mature consideration and
of a renewed careful study of his essay entitled
" Reasons for Dissenting from the Philosophy of
M. Comte." Comte's philosophy represents merely
the reflection of positivism about itself, and is no
more than the introduction to the completer develop-
ment of positivism.

HANS KURELLA.

BONN, Whitsuntide, 1910.



PBEFATORY NOTE BY THE TBANSLATOR

I TAKE this opportunity of expressing my grateful
acknowledgments to Mr. Havelock Ellis, who read my
translation in manuscript, and made many valuable
suggestions as to terminology.

M. EDEN PAUL.

MOOECROFT, PARKSTONE, DORSET.
Christmas, 1910.



CONTENTS



CHAPTER PAGE

PREFACE - V

I. ANTECEDENTS LOMBROSO'S PREDECESSORS IN RE-
SEARCH - 1
II. CRIMINAL ANTHROPOLOGY - 18

in. OPPOSITION TO LOMBROSO'S VIEWS WOMAN AS

CRIMINAL THE POLITICAL CRIMINAL CRIMINAL
PSYCHOLOGY - - 55

IV. GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING LOMBROSO'S
LIFE-WORK AS A SOCIAL REFORMER, HIS METHODS,
AND HIS PHILOSOPHY - 106

V. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CRIMINAL ANTHROPOLOGY - 130

VI. CRIMINAL JURISPRUDENCE PELLAGRA AGRARIAN

REFORM - 139

VII. ENVIRONMENT AND THE THEORIES AS TO THE NATURE

OF GENIUS LOMBROSO'S GENIUS AND PERSONALITY 158

APPENDIX A. LOMBROSO'S SPIRITUALISTIC RESEARCHES 167

APPENDIX B. LIST OF BOOKS CONSULTED - 177

APPENDIX C. FACTS AND DOCUMENTS OF POSITIVISM - 178

INDEX - - - - 182



vii



CESARE LOMBROSO



CHAPTEE I

ANTECEDENTS LOMBBOSO'S PBEDECESSOBS IN
BESEABCH

CESARE LOMBROSO was born in Verona, as an Austrian
subject, on November 6, 1835, and was the second
child in a family of five. His father Aron sprang
from a Venetian mercantile family, whose origin can
be traced back to a colony of North African Jews,
trading with Leghorn, Genoa, and Venice. Again
and again members of the Lombroso family settled
in one or other of these ports. The branch to which
he himself belonged had lived for several centuries
in Venice and the Venetian territories on the main-
land, of which from the year 1448 onwards Verona
formed a part; they were patrician merchants, to
whom the French occupation, occurring before
Lombroso' s father grew up, had brought full and
equal privileges of citizenship. 1 Several members

1 The family name, originally pronounced Lumbroso, shows
clearly that the family, belonged to the Spanish Jews who were



2 CESARE LOMBROSO

of this Venetian family were distinguished by charac-
teristic and vigorous action on behalf of the cause
of enlightenment. In Virginia, North America, in
the seventeenth century, the brother of a direct
ancestor of Cesare Lombroso, at a great risk to himself
of being burned alive, protested most energetically
against the belief in witchcraft, and declared that
the reputed witches were " hysterical " merely.

The French emancipation of Upper Italy was
followed in 1814 by the Austrian reaction, but the
family suffered at this time from the decline in
economic prosperity (interrupted for a while in 1830,
when Venice became a free port) upon which its own
well-being and patrician position had been dependent.

The formation of the Hapsburg Kingdom of
Lombardy and Venice put an end for the time
being to equality of civil rights for the Jews ; and
Verona was one of the few towns of the district in
which Jewish boys were allowed to attend the
Gymnasium (public school), now removed from the
control of the freethinkers, and handed over to that
of the Jesuits.

When Lombroso's mother, Zefira Levi, married
Aron Lombroso in the year 1830, she stipulated that
her children must be brought up in a place in which

expelled from Spain and settled in North Africa. The name is
a Spanish adjective in common use, denoting "clear" or
"illuminating."



ANTECEDENTS 3

it would be possible for them to attend the higher
schools.

The marriage with Zefira Levi, who belonged to a
rich family engaged in the higher branch of industrial
life, did not suffice to prevent the onset of poverty;
and the youth of the five children of the marriage
was passed in narrow circumstances. The mother,
richly endowed both in mind and in character, and
deeply concerned regarding the upbringing and culture
of her children, remained her son's confidant. She
nourished in him the love of freedom and the sense
of independence, both of which were dominant in
her parental home at Chieri, one of the centres of
activity of the Carbonari. Chieri, an industrial town
of Piedmont, lay beyond the sphere of influence of
Haynau and Eadetzky, who, with the aid of their
Croats and Tschechs, encouraged the feudal and
clerical reaction in Venice, Verona, and Milan.

Lombroso's father was an amateur as regards
practical life, a man who had grown up under the
influence of the French spirit and in a perfectly
free social state, a man of great goodness of heart,
but as little fitted to cope with the influences of the
economic decay of the Venetian State as he was with
those of the Austrian reign of terror.

During Lombroso's childhood there occurred a
conspiracy on the part of certain Veronese patriots
against the Austrian occupation, which was suppressed



4 CESARE LOMBROSO

by the wholesale hanging and shooting of the
conspirators; and when he was only thirteen years
of age there took place the temporary freeing of
Milan and Venice from the Austrian yoke (1848), an
event in which the young men of Milan, the second
largest town of the old Venetian Kepublic, played a
lively part.

Lombroso's revolutionary tendencies in the field of
science, and his small respect for what was tradition-
ally established, were doubtless dependent upon the
joint effect of the inherited tendencies and the youthful
impressions I have described. An important additional
factor in his development was his family's loss of
fortune, consequent upon the political disturbances in
Italy, which lasted until the re-establishment of the
Austrian dominion. It was only the courage and
capacity of the mother which saved the children from
sinking into the ranks of the proletariat; but some
loss of social position was inevitable, and the effect of
this on Lombroso's distinctive temperament may be
traced in the fact that he was a rebel from youth
onwards, and strongly opposed the (vitalistic) doctrines
professed at the Universities by the sons of the well-
to-do. Thus it was also that he ventured a serious
attack upon the interests of the great landed pro-
prietors of Upper Italy by his descriptions of agrarian
poverty and his bold exposition of the causes of
pellagra.



ANTECEDENTS 5

The influence of the philosopher Vico, whose works
were eagerly studied in secret at the Gymnasium
(public school) of Verona, made him acquainted at an
early date with the importance of the principle of
organic development in relation to the structure and
life of human society. Vico was studied in secret,
because the Gymnasium was under the control of
Jesuits with Austrian sympathies, who deliberately
discouraged all advanced ideas. In 1861 Lombroso
wrote in his diary as follows : " It may be said of my
schooldays without exaggeration that I was thrust
back into an environment of persistent medievalism
not the later sentimental revival of the Middle Ages
in romance and drama but into the conditions that
prevailed prior to 1789, literally restored by the might
of the bayonets of 1814. The memory of this forcible
discipline, which did violence to the inborn logical
spirit, and visited with severe punishment any protests
against its methods, is so hateful to me that even
now it visits me in dreams like a nightmare." At
the time of the introduction of Italian scholastic
methods into the lands under Austrian rule, the well-
known utterance of the Kaiser Franz is said to have
originated : "I want, not educated, but obedient
subjects."

While still at school, Lombroso was also introduced
to the evolutionary idea by the writings and the
powerful personal influence of the physician Marzolo,



6 CESAEE LOMBROSO

who endeavoured by means of comparative philology
to explain the origin of the earliest religious and legal
institutions. Ceccarel, Marzolo's biographer, in his
first work on this investigator, published in 1870 (by
Priuli of Treviso), writes as follows : " In 1850, when
the first volume of Marzolo's ' Monumenti storici
rivelati dall' analisi della parola ' was published, certain
periodicals reviewed the book in the most favourable
terms. But the writer himself was disappointed by
their remarks, for he saw that his well-meaning
critics had not really understood his ideas. Then one
day he read in a journal published in Verona an
article in which full justice was done to his book; he
desired to make the acquaintance of this critic, whose
name was unknown to him, and whose real under-
standing of Marzolo's views had delighted the latter
for the first time in several years, and had at length
rewarded him for his long and arduous labours. He
imagined that the writer of the notice must be an
advanced but lonely scientific thinker, one who owing
to his private circumstances or on account of the
disturbed times had hitherto lived in retirement.
But when the writer of the review came to see Marzolo
at Treviso, it proved to be a youth only sixteen years
of a g e Cesare Lombroso the first in all Italy to
recognize the genius of Marzolo, bringing the love of
a son and the devotion of a disciple."

At the outset of Lombroso's studies he was greatly



ANTECEDENTS /

influenced by reading Burdach's " Handbuch der
Physiologic," a work rich in anthropological ideas.
At the University of Pavia, Panizza 1 was the only
man who had much effect in shaping Lombroso's
mental development.

During the decade 1850 to 1860, on the other hand,
Lombroso, as a self-taught man, was simultaneously
influenced by three great contemporary and com-
plementary tendencies that of French positivism,
that of German materialism, and that of English
evolutionism. With the last-named he became ac-
quainted through French intermediation. He never
had any clinical instruction in psychiatry. He read
the works of Charuigi, Griesinger, and the great
psychiatrists of the school of Esquirol.

Lombroso's attitude towards German materialism,
by which in youth he was so powerfully influenced, is
shown most clearly by two utterances of his regarding
Moleschott. The first of these occurs in the preface
to his Italian edition of Moleschott's " Kreislauf des
Lebens," a translation not published till 1869, though

1 Bartolomeo Panizza in 1812-13 army surgeon attached to
the grande armee in Russia ; in 1815 professor of anatomy at
Pavia discovered the characteristic of the crocodile to which
Briicke gave the name of foramen Pcmizzee ; widely known as
a teratologist and comparative anatomist ; in 1856 published his
" Osservazioni sperimentali sul nervo ottico," based upon the
method of secondary degeneration of the medullary sheath,
subsequently applied by Gudden with such valuable results.



CESARE LOMBROSO

written in the early sixties. (In the year 1854 Mole-
schott was expelled from Heidelberg on account of the
publication of this work ; from 1861 to 1879 he was
professor of physiology in Turin.) The passage runs
as follows (II.-III.) : " At a late hour, perhaps, and
yet when the time was ripe, and unquestionably with
greater sincerity and fervour than has been the case
with the other Latin peoples, Italy took part in the
scientific movement of which this book formed the
starting-point. But just because she was so tardy an
adherent, and in the endeavour, as it were, to make
up for lost time, some persons in this country are
apt to go too far ; not only do they contest the old
prejudices and the false authorities, but they also
deny or misunderstand facts, simply for the reason
that those in the other camp admit these facts, or
because these facts appear to support the old doctrines.
Thus they often follow leaders who are not entirely to
be trusted, such as Biichner, Kenan, and Eeich ; and
they mistake declamations and confused rhapsodies
for sound arguments, oppose fanaticism with fana-
ticism, and offer to their enemies the tools needed for
the reconstruction of the buildings which have just
been razed to the ground."

The other passage occurs in his obituary notice on
Moleschott, written in 1893 : " The whole course of
modern science shows that the impulse it received
from the life-work of Moleschott is destined, not only



ANTECEDENTS

to persist, but to make further and more rapid pro-
gress. Moreover, the reputed philanthropists, whose
objection was not so much to the truth itself as to
the injurious consequences which they believed would
follow from its publication, must see to-day that
certain truths, however dangerous and alarming they
may at first appear, lead ultimately to the general
advantage, and to the advantage even of that morality
on which it was at first supposed they would have a
damaging effect. It no longer distresses us when we
see that morality, thanks to social physics and
political economy, must descend from its glittering
but fragile metaphysical altar, in order to find in
utility a modest but secure foundation, from which
it becomes possible to render harmless or to diminish
that crime which hitherto has mocked at penal
methods."

In Vienna, in 1856, Lombroso passed the official
examination for his medical degree. Here the influ-
ence of Skoda, and Lombroso's becoming acquainted
with the early works of Virchow, did not tend to induce
in him sentiments of toleration towards the vitalistic
doctrines dominant at the Italian Universities or
towards the narrow circle of professors owing their
appointment to Austrian influence and interested in
the maintenance of these doctrines. He never ceased
to be affected by this early opposition to academic
tradition and to academic circles ; in fact, it accentu-



10 CESARE LOMBROSO

ated in him a certain natural tendency to paradoxes
and heresies.

The inclination to exact observation, 1 acquired
through his contact with German science, led him to
the study, with record of weights and measurements,
of cretinism in Upper Italy ; 2 from this to the utiliza-
tion of these methods for the instigation of an
anthropometrical investigation of the population of
Upper Italy; and also to the study of clinical psy-
chiatry, at that time entirely neglected in Italy. 3
The translation of Moleschott's epoch-making writings
gave a finish to Lombroso's conception of the world ;
he broke loose from the speculative tendency of the

1 I have not been able to ascertain precisely to what extent
Lombroso was influenced by Quetelet. The writings of this
investigator did not reach him directly, but they probably
influenced him indirectly by way of von Oettingen's " Moral
Statistik."

2 " Ricerchi sul cretinesimo in Lombardia," Gazz. Medico,
Italiana Lombarda, No. 13, 1859.

3 Together with Mantegazza, his colleague (as experimental
pathologist) in Pavia from 1861 to 1866, Lombroso was the
founder of anthropology in Italy. Of anthropology in the
modern sense it is possible to speak only since, in the year 1859,
Broca founded the Parisian Anthropological Society. Previously
the term had denoted, as Kant's " Anthropology " shows,
empirical descriptive psychology. From the first the doctrine
of the important varieties of human beings (insanity, cretinism,
criminality, genius, degeneration) was for Lombroso a chapter
of general anthropology. From the first also he regarded a
knowledge of the environment as of the greatest importance
for an understanding of the origin of these varieties (vide
infra).



ANTECEDENTS 11

psychiatry of the day, which at that time in Germany
also was assuming the most remarkable forms ; he
turned with repugnance from the interminable dis-
cussions regarding the freedom of the will, and began,
in the case of the insane, of criminal lunatics, and
of criminals, to study their pathological anatomy
(assisted here by Golgi), their sensory impressions,
and their anthropological and more especially
craniological peculiarities .

It is a well-known fact that from that day to our
own the pathological anatomy of the psychoses has
not furnished much in the way of positive results, not
even to the most accomplished virtuosos of the
methods of staining the fibres of the brain. Lom-
broso, to whom in Pavia Golgi for a long time acted as
assistant, wisely refused to limit himself to the study
of pathological anatomy, but always investigated side
by side with this the clinical features of the psychoses
and neuroses.

From the first he inclined to the view that the
exact measurement and description of skulls and
brains would lead to the discovery of definite dis-
tinctions between sane and insane criminals, between
lunatics and epileptics, etc.

Whilst he never ignored clinical observation and
the study of the sensory functions, he gave the first
place to weights and measurements : these were to
him the guarantees of an exact method of procedure ;



12 CESARE LOMBROSO

and he was led to borrow the instruments and
methods of anthropology on account of his postulate
for an anthropology of lunatics and criminals. In his
interpretation of the facts thus obtained he was
guided chiefly by the sane materialism of Moleschott
and by the Darwinian idea of the variability of races.
As a disciple of Vico, he saw nothing absurd in the
view that an apparently purely social phenomenon,
such as crime, can be organically caused.

The chance discovery of theromorphism (the ex-
pression is Virchow's, and denotes the presence in
man of certain bodily peculiarities of one of the lower
animals) in the skulls of certain criminals, in the
year 1870, finally gave rise to the formulation of a
uniform hypothesis regarding the nature of crimin-
ality. Before the publication, in 1871, of the
elements of this theory, Lombroso was able to devote
a year to the study of the inmates of a large prison,
being at the time Medical Superintendent of the Pro-
vincial Asylum at Pesaro, where there was also a
large penitentiary. During the years 1871 to 1876,
when he was once more lecturer and professor-
extraordinary at Pavia 1 years during which he
published his studies on pellagra, and, in addition, a
number of anthropological and purely psychiatric
works he was also much occupied with the ana-

1 In Pavia, in 1871, he was appointed, in addition, lecturer on
forensic medicine and hygiene.



ANTECEDENTS 13

tomical post-mortem study of the bodies of criminals.
After 1876, when he came to Turin 1 as professor of
forensic medicine, being also physician to the great
prison in that town for prisoners awaiting trial, he
was able to examine most minutely, according to his
own methods, two hundred prisoners every year,
whilst a much greater number were subjected at least
to ordinary clinical examination. This inconsiderable
and very poorly-paid official position led him, without
abandoning his unwearied researches into pellagra, to
devote his chief attention day by day to the subject of
criminal anthropology.

It was in the course of these investigations, and
of the controversies to which the publication of his
results gave rise, that he first became aequaintecH~"
with the work of his predecessors in the same field.
This has been demonstrated to me by incontrovertible
evidence.

As predecessors must be named some of the adherents
of Gall's theories regarding the skull : the French
physiologist and physician, Despine ; the French
psychiatrist, Morel ; and three English medical men

1 Lombroso, as professor of forensic medicine, was also a
member of the legal faculty. From 1896 onwards he held, in
addition, the position of professor-in-ordinary of psychiatry and
superintendent of the psychiatric clinic. As early as 1891 he
had received the appointment of professor-extraordinary of
psychiatry. In the year 1900, the Minister of Education
(L. Bianchi) appointed him professor-in-ordinary of criminal
anthropology, whilst he retained the professorship of psychiatry.



14 CESARE LOMBROSO

one, the psychiatrist and distinguished anthropo-
logist, Prichard, the other two prison surgeons,
Nicolson and Bruce Thomson.

Gall is apt to be judged, very unjustly, only by his
errors ; for he was, in truth, the originator of the
principle of the localization of the functions of the
brain, and gave the first impulse to the scientific
study of criminals, though he did not himself make
any definite discoveries in this field. His pupil,
Lauvergne, prison surgeon at Toulon during a long
period of years, examined thousands of criminals, and
left interesting plaster-casts of skulls ; certain types
were admirably described by him. Despine made a
thorough study of the psychology of the criminal,
and showed that the principal characteristics of the
habitual criminal are idleness, irresolution, and
lessened sensibility, both mental and physical. Sup-
plementary to Despine's investigations was the great
work of Lucas upon heredity, in which he demon-
strated the hereditary transmissibility of the dis-
position to theft, murder, rape, and arson, and
furnished extensive materials regarding the congenital
nature of the tendency to crime.

Morel's work lacked thorough analysis, and was
also destitute of a firm biological foundation ; but it
was based upon extensive materials, and was animated
by a certain instinct for what was important. His
" Traite" des D6ge"ne"rescences " was published in 1859.



LOMBROSO'S PREDECESSORS IN RESEARCH 15

Thus originated the catchword " degeneration," which
remains current to-day, without having even yet
acquired any definite signification. Now it is used to
denote the neuropathic constitution ; now, again, to
denote the hereditary predisposition to psychoses.
According to some this predisposition is latent, and
manifests itself only by physical stigmata of de-
generation ; others regard the degenerate as being
mentally as well as physically abnormal, and as
suffering, either before the onset of actual insanity
or in the entire absence of the latter from mutability
of mood and temper, obsessive ideas, moral defects,
and one-sided intellectual endowment ; yet others
use the term " degeneration " to denote a vague
diathesis a mingling of tendencies to disturbances
of metabolism and to neuropathies.

More recent French investigators distinguish be-
tween " higher " and " lower " degenerates, and
include in these categories almost the entire province
of mental disturbances, severe neuroses, and crimin-


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