Lombroso, Cesare (1835-1909). L’uomo delinquente... Milan, Ulrico Hoepli, 1876.

Lombroso, Cesare (1835-1909). L’uomo delinquente... Milan, Ulrico Hoepli, 1876.

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Lombroso, Cesare (1835-1909).

L’uomo delinquente studiato in rapporto alla antropologia, alla medicina legale ed alle discipline carcerarie.

Milan, Ulrico Hoepli, 1876.

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The foundation of Criminology

A dedication copy to the Italian Psychiatric Society

Lombroso, Cesare (1835-1909).

L’uomo delinquente studiato in rapporto alla antropologia, alla medicina legale ed alle discipline carcerarie. Milan, Ulrico Hoepli, 1876.

8° (225x160 mm). [4], 255, [1] pages. With four illustrations in the text, one of which is pasted on page 65 and reproduces the photograph that three murders made of themselves, as a memory, while miming the crime that they had just committed. Contemporary half-cloth with gilt title on spine. Spine repaired at the extremities. A very good copy, gutter of the first quire reinforced.

Provenance: gifted by Cesare Lombroso to the Società Freniatrica Italiana, i.e., the Italian Psychiatric Society (large paper strip on the half-title, bearing Lombroso's autograph dedication 'per i soci della Freniatrica Italiana / tutti voi / C. Lombroso / Pavia 6 Dic 1883'); the medical-legal physician Angiolo Filippi (1836-1905; pencilled ownership inscription on the half-title leaf).

Rare first edition – in a precious association copy – of the work that marks the birth of criminal anthropology. The book went through five editions in Italian and was published in various European languages, including English in 1900.

Born in Verona to a wealthy Jewish family, Lombroso studied literature, linguistics, and archaeology at the universities of Padua, Vienna and Paris, before becoming an army surgeon in 1859. In 1866 he was appointed visiting lecturer at Pavia and in 1871 he took charge of the mental asylum at Pesaro. He became Professor of Forensic Medicine and Hygiene at Turin in 1878. Later he was appointed as Professor of Psychiatry (1896) and Criminal Anthropology (1906) at the same university.

The Criminal Man, immediately welcomed as extremely innovative in the psychiatric and medical world of the time, is also addressed to judges and lawyers. It illustrates Lombroso's theories on the correlation between somatic and mental deformities with reference to specific factors as atavism, degeneration, and epilepsy. Lombroso also deals with the legal implications of his theories, particularly in relation to the issue of 'moral insanity', understood as a serious disturbance of social behavior. Lombroso was convinced of the pathological nature of the 'born criminal', and is considered the founder of criminology.

“Lombroso [...] maintained that criminals are more often found to suffer from physical, nervous and mental abnormalities than non-criminals, and that these abnormalities are either inherited or the result of physical degeneration [...] 'Criminal Man' was a revolutionary work which not only caused a considerable stir when it first came out but had a practical effect which was wholly beneficial. The division which it indicated between the congenital criminal and those who were tempted to crime by circumstances has had a lasting effect on penal theory. Again, by connecting the treatment of crime with the treatment of insanity, Lombroso initiated a branch of psychiatric research which has cast new light on problems, such as criminal responsibility, which lie at the root of human society” (PMM).

This copy bears Lombroso's autograph address to the Società Freniatrica Italiana, dated 'Pavia, 6 Dic 1883'. The Società Freniatrica Italiana – the Italian Psychiatric Society – was established in 1873, and Lombroso was among its founders. Its fourth congress took place in Voghera, near Pavia, on 16-22 September 1883. Later the volume came into possession of Angiolo Filippi, who was the leading medical-legal authority in Italy at that time. Filippi published the first Italian treatises on forensic medicine – the Principii di medicina legale per gli studenti di legge ed i giurisperiti (Firenze 1889) and the Manuale di medicina legale conforme al nuovo codice penale per medici e giuristi (Milano 1889) - in which some sections are devoted to criminal anthropology. Filippi was in correspondence with Lombroso, with respect to whom he often had differing opinions. Some notes in the present volume, written in his own hand, confirm the critical approach he had towards Lombroso's work, offerring striking testimony to the Italian debate on criminology.

CLIO, Catalogo dei libri italiani dell'Ottocento (1801-1900), IV, p. 2667 (MI185); Garrison-Morton 174; Norman 1384; PMM 394; H. Mannheim, Pioneers in Criminology, Chicago 1960, pp. 168-227; M. Gibson, Born to Crime: Cesare Lombroso and the Italian origins of Biological Criminology, Westport 2002; G. Seppilli - L. Bianchi (eds.), Atti del IV Congresso della Società Freniatrica Italiana tenuto in Voghera dal 16 al 22 settembre 1883, Milano 1883; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 275.