Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909) is considered the founder of the positivist school of criminology and the father of criminal anthropology.
Degeneracy theory had a complex relationship to the criminal anthropology of Lombroso and Ferri.
In the United States, then, criminal anthropology fell on fertile ground.
If modern criminal anthropology, developed after Cesare Lombroso's shifting of the criminal in the 1870s, had needed the encouragement of a precursor, this might have been it.
As this collection of essays on the history of the "science of the criminal" so graphically shows, the resulting debate was polyphonic, full of diverse and influential aspects, spurred and unified by the urge to define the criminal in terms of the new science of criminal anthropology or criminology.
For critiques of disciplinary views of the history of Portuguese anthropology, see Diogo Ramada Curto, 'Contributions to a History of Criminal Anthropology
in Portugal', Portuguese Studies, 14 (1998); Ricardo Roque, Antropologia e Imperio: Fonseca Cardoso e a Expedicao a India em 1895 (Lisbon: Imprensa de Ciensias Sociais, 2001), pp.
But attempts to legislate such a uniform code had long foundered over the issue of the death penalty (which the surviving Tuscan code had rejected) and were further complicated by the rise of Lombroso and Ferri's criminal anthropology
in the 1870s and 1880s, which called the assumptions of classical criminology into question.
Despite the importance of this topic for the question of what constitutes science, for this article on the development of criminology in Latin America the point of departure is the positivist science known first as criminal anthropology and later as criminology, which was founded in Italy by Cesare Lombroso, a doctor of medicine.
Criminal anthropology was born, but it had to be an independent science because criminal man had particular traits.
Through a detailed and rigorous analysis of criminal cases and their commentaries, Ruggiero shows how medical, legal, and state professionals struggled to adapt European positivism and criminal anthropology
to a changing Latin American reality and, in the process, to consolidate liberal democracy.
Most prominently, it was held in the 1870s and 1880s by the Lombrosian members of the school of criminal anthropology - one of whose chief aims, in trying scientifically to demarcate Homo criminalis from Homo sapiens, was to combat superstitious dogma of all sorts.
The ideas of late 19th-century criminal anthropology about animal criminality, and about the pivotal role of animal instincts in the genesis of crime among humans, were probably inspired by a famous passage in Darwin's The Descent of Man.