Skip to main content

Full text of "Pedagogical anthropology"

See other formats

"■"<>. <i'^"' 



\ %^' 




,A>^ % 

-Jj' -.10 '' 

v/ ,i>. <-* t< >i^ jk ■> ■ ■'5' ** ^ 

8 , X " \\^ 







.r^/r^', ^^^^ ^i(^C^^ 



■A A. 


N t 



'■^ I - =^r 



'^i ; • 








Author of "The Montessori Method' 








Copyright, 1913, by 
Frederick A. Stokes Company 

All rights reserved, including that of translation into foreign 
languages, including the Scandinavian 


July, 1913 



3 5 114 6 V^ 










For some time past much has been said in Italy regarding 
Pedagogical Anthropology; but I do not think that until now any 
attempt has been made to define a science corresponding to such 
a title; that is to say, a method that systematises the positive 
study of the pupil for pedagogic purposes and with a view to 
establishing philosophic principles of education. 

As soon as anthropology annexes the adjective, ''pedagogical," 
it should base its scope upon the fundamental conception of a 
possible amelioration of man, founded upon the positive knowl- 
edge of the laws of human life. In contrast to general anthro- 
pology which, starting from a basis of positive data founded on 
observation, mounts toward philosophic problems regarding the 
origin of man, pedagogic anthropology, starting from an analogous 
basis of observation and research, must rise to philosophic con- 
ceptions regarding the future destiny of man from the biological 
point of view. The study of congenital anomalies and of their 
biological and social origin, must undoubtedly form a part of 
pedagogical anthropology, in order to afford a positive basis for a 
universal human hygiene, whose sole field of action must be the 
school; but an even greater importance is assumed by the study 
of defects of growth in the normal man; because the battle against 
these evidently constitutes the practical avenue for a wide regen- 
eration of mankind. 

If in the future a scientific pedagogy is destined to rise, it will 
devote itself to the education of men already rendered physically 
better through the agency of the allied positive sciences, among 
which pedagogic anthropology holds first place. 

The present-day importance assumed by all the sciences cal- 
culated to regenerate education and its environment, the school, 
has profound social roots and is forced upon us as the necessary 
path toward, further progress; in fact the transformation of the 
outer environment through the mighty development of experimen- 



tal sciences during the past century, must result in a correspond- 
ingly transformed man; or else civilisation must come to st halt 
before the obstacle offered by a human race lacking in organic 
strength and character. 

The present volume comprises the lectures given by me in the 
University of Rome, during a period of four years, all of which were 
diligently preserved by one of my students, Signor Franceschetti. 
My thanks are due to my master, Professor Giuseppe Sergi who, 
after having urged me to turn my anthropological studies in the 
direction of the school, recommended me as a specialist in the 
subject; and my free university course for students in the Faculty 
of Natural Sciences and Medicine was established, in pursuance of 
his advice, by the Pedagogic School of the University of Rome. 
The volume also contains the pictures used in the form of lantern 
slides to illustrate the lectures, pictures taken in part from various 
works of research mentioned in this volume. Acknowledgment is 
gratefully made to the scientists and scholars whose work is thus 
referred to. 

I have divided my subject into ten chapters, according to a 
special system: namely, that each chapter is complete in itself — 
for example, the first chapter, which is very long, contains an out- 
line of general biology, and at the same time biological and social 
generalisations concerning man considered from our point of view 
as educators, and thus furnishes a complete organic conception 
which the remainder of the book proceeds to analyse, one part 
at a time; the chapter on the pelvis, on the other hand, is exceed- 
ingly^ short, but it completely covers the principles relating to this 
particular part, because they lend themselves to such condensed 

Far from assuming that I have written a definitive work, it is 
only at the request of my students and publisher that I have con- 
sented to the publication of these lectures, which represent a 
modest effort to justify the faith of the master who urged me to 
devote my services as a teacher to the advancement of the school. 

Maria Montessori. 


( The figures in parenthesis refer to the number of the page) 



The Old Anthropology(l)— Modern Anthropology (4)— De Giovanni and Physiologi- 
cal Anthropology (11) — Sergi and Pedagogic Anthropology (14) — Morselli and 
Scientific Philosophy (21) — Importance of Method in Experimental Sciences (23) 
— Objective Collecting of Single Facts (24) — Passage from Analysis to Synthesis 
(26) — Method to be followed in the present Course of Lectures(30) — ^Limits of 
Pedagogical Anthropology (34). The School as a Field of Research(37). 



The Material Substratum of Life(38) — Synthetic Concept of the Individual in 
Biology(38) — Formation of Multicellular Organisms(42) — Theories of Evolu- 
tion(4€) — Phenomena of Heredity(50) — Phenomena of Hybridism(51) — Men- 
del's Laws (51). 


The Form(67)^Fundamental Canons regarding the Form (74) — Types of Stature, 
Macroscclia and BrachysceUa; their Physiological Significance (75) — Types of 
Stature in relation to Race(77), Sex(80), and Age(81) — Pedagogic Considera- 
tions(88) — Abnormal Types of Stature in their relation to Moral Training(91) — 
Macrosceha and Brachysceha in Pathological Individuals (De Giovanni's Hypo- 
sthenic and Hypersthenic Types) (95) — Types of Stature in Emotional Criminals 
and in Parasites(lOl) — Extreme types of Stature among the Extra-social: Nan- 
ism and Gigantism (103) — Summary of Types of Stature(105). 


The Stature as a Linear Index (106) — Limits of Stature according to Race(108) — Stat- 
ure in relation to Sex(lll) — Variations in Stature with Age, according to Sex(118) 
— Variations due to Mechanical Causes(119) — Variations due to Adaptation in 
connection with various Causes, Social, Physical, Psychic, Pathological, etc. (124) 
— Effect of Light, Heat, Electricity(132) — Variations in Growth according to the 
Season(138) — Pathogenesis of Infantilism (151) — Stature affected by Syphilis 
(157), Tuberculosis (158), Malaria(160), Pe]lagra(161), Rickets(164)— Moral and 
Pedagogical Considerations(168) — Summary of Stature(170). 


The Weight considered as Total Measure of Mass(172) — Weight of Child at Birth 
(173)— Loss of Weight (176)— Specific Gravity of Body(178)— Index of 





The Head and Cranium(187) — The Face(188) — Characteristics of the Human Cra- 
nium (191) — Evolution of the Forehead; Inferior Skull Caps; the Pithocanthro- 
pus; the Neanderthal Man(192) — Morphological Evolution of the Cranium 
through different Periods of Life(197) — Normal Forms of Cranium(202) — the 
Cephalic Index (207)— Volume of Cranium (220)— Development of Brain (220)— 
Extreme Variations in Volume of Brain(229) — Nomenclature of Cranial Capac- 
ity (242) — Chemistry of the Brain (247) — Human Intenigence(252) — Influence of 
Mental Exercise (254) — Pretended Cerebral Inferiority of Woman (256) — Limits 
of the Face (259)— Human Character of the Face (260)— Normal Visage (262)— 
Prognathism(268)— Evolution of the Face(272)— Facial Expression(276)— the 
Neck (282). 



Anatomical Parts of the Thorax(281) — Physiological and Hygienic Aspect of Thorax 
(286)— Spirometry (288)— Growth of Thorax(294)— Dimensions of Thorax in 
relation to Stature(295)— Thoracic Index (297)— Shape of Thorax (299)— Anoma- 
lies of Shape(301) — Pedagogical Considerations: the Evil of School Benches(302). 



Anatomical Parts of the Pelvis (304) — Growth of Pelvis (306) — Shape of Pelvis in 
relation to Child-birth (307). 



Anatomy of the Limbs (308) — Growth of Limbs (309) — Malformations: Flat-foot, 
Opposable Big Toe(311), Curvature of Leg, Club-foot (3 12)— The Hand(312)— 
Cheiromancy and Physiognomy; the Hand in Figurative Speech; High and Low 
Types of Hand(312) — Dimensions of Hand(315) — Proportions of Fingers(316) 
—the Nails(317)— Anomalies of the Hand (3 17)— Lines of the Palm(318)— Papil- 
lary Lines (3 19). 



Pigmentation and Cutaneous Apparatus (320) — Pigmentation of theHair(323) — of the 
Skin (325)— of the Iris(325)— Form of the Hair (327)— Anomalies of Pigment: 
Icthyosis, Birth-marks, Freckles, etc. (329) — Anomalies of Hair (330). 


Synoptic Chart of Stigmata(332) — Anomahes of the Eye(333) — of the Ear(334) — of 
the Nose(335)— of the Teeth(336)— Importance of the Study of Morphology (338) 
— Significance of the Stigmata of Degeneration (342) — Distribution of Malforma- 
tions (344) — Individual Number of Malformations (347) — Origin of Malforma- 
tions(355) — Humanity's Dependence upon Woman(357) — Moral and Pedagogi- 
cal Problems within the School(358). 




The Form(361)— Measurement of Stature(362)— the Anthropometer(363) — the 
Sitting Stature(365)— Total Spread of Arms (367)— Thoracic Perimeter(368)— 
Weight(368) — Ponderal Index(368) — Head and Cranium(369) — Cranioscopy 
(370)— Craniometry(373)— Cephahc Index (376)— Measurements of Thorax(385) 
—of Abdomen (386). 


Need of Practical Experience in Anthropology (387) — Average Personal Error (388) — 
Susceptibility to Suggestion (389). 

Mean Averages(391) — Seriation(396) — Quetelet's Binomial Curve(398). 



Biographic Histories (404) — Remote Antecedents (406) — Near Biopathological Ante- 
cedents (407) — Sociological Antecedents (411 ) — School Records (411) — Biographic 
Charts(422) — Psychic Tests(425) — Typical Biographic History of an Idiot 
Boy(434) — Proper Treatment of Defective Pupils(446) — Rational Medico-peda- 
gogical Method(448). 



Theory of the Medial Man(454) — Importance of Seriation(455) — De Helguere's 
Curves(460)— Viola's Medial Man(463)— Human Hybridism (466)— the Medial 
Intellectual and Moral Man(469) — Sexual Morality(473) — Sacredness of Mater- 
nity (474) — Biological Liberty and the New Pedagogy (477). 

Table of Mean Proportions of the Body According to Age (480). 
Tables for Calculating the Cephalic Index (485). 
Tables for Calculating the Ponderal Index(491). 
General Index: 

A. Index of Names(501). 

B. Index of Subjects(503). 



Human Hygiene 

The Old Anthropology. — Anthropology was defined by Broca 
as ''the natural history of man," and was intended to be the appli- 
cation of the "zoological method" to the study of the human 

As a matter of fact, as with all positive sciences, the essential 
characteristic of Anthropology is its ''method." We could not 
say, if we wished to speak quite accurately, that "Anthropology 
is the study of man" ; because the greater part of acquirable knowl- 
edge has for its subject the human race or the individual human 
being; philosophy studies his origin, his essential nature, his 
characteristics; linguistics, history and representative art inves- 
tigate the collective phenomena of physiological and social orders, 
or determine the morphological characteristics of the idealised 
human body. 

Accordingly, what characterises Anthropology is not its sub- 
ject: man; but rather the method by which it proposes to study 

The selfsame procedure which zoology, a branch of the natural 
sciences, applies to the study of animals, anthropology must apply 
to the study of man; and by doing so it enrolls itself as a science 
in the field of nature. 

Zoology has a well-defined point of departure, that clearly 
distinguishes it from the other allied sciences: it studies the living 
animal. Consequently, it is an eminently synthetic science, 
because it cannot proceed apart from the individual, which repre- 
sents in itself a sum of complex morphological and psychic char- 
acteristics, associated with the species; and which furthermore, 
during life, exhibits certain special distinguishing traits resulting 
from instincts, habits, migration and geographical distribution. 



Zoology consequently includes a vast but well-defined field. 
Fundamentally, it is a descriptive science, and when the general 
character of the individual living creatures has been determined, 
it proceeds to draw comparisons between them, distinguishing 
genus and species, and thus working toward a classification. Down 
to the time of Linnaeus, these were its limits; but since the studies 
of Lamarck and Charles Darwin, it has gone a step further, and 
has proceeded to investigate the origin of species, an example 
that was destined to be followed by botany and biology as a whole, 
which is the study of living things. 

When anthropology attained, under Broca, the dignity of a 
branch of the natural sciences, the evolutionary theory already 
held the field, and man had begun to be studied as an animal in 
his relation to species of the lower orders. But, just as in zoology, 
the fundamental part of anthropology was descriptive; and the 
description of the morphology of the body was divided, according 
to the method followed, into anthropology , or the method of inspec- 
tion, and anthropometry, or the method of measurements. 

By these means, many problems important to the biological 
side of the subject were solved — such, for instance, as racial 
characteristics — and a classification of ''the human races" was 
achieved through the evidences afforded by comparative studies. 

But the descriptive part of anthropology is not limited to the 
inspection and measurement of the body; on the contrary, just 
as in zoology, it is extended to include the habits of the individual 
living being; that is to say, in the case of man, the language, the 
manners and customs (data that determine the level of civilisation), 
emigration and the consequent intermixture of races in the orig- 
inal formation of nations, thus constituting a special branch of 
science properly known by the name of ethnology. 

In this manner, while still adhering rigorously to zoological 
methods, anthropology found itself compelled to throw out nu- 
merous collateral branches into widely different fields, such as those 
of linguistics and archaeology; because man is a speaking animal 
and a social animal. 

One strictly anthropological problem is that of the origin 
of man, and its ultimate analogy with that of the other animal 
species. Hence the comparative studies between man and the 
anthropoid apes; while palseontological discoveries of pre-human 
forms, such as the pithecanthropus, were just so many arguments 


calculated to bring the human species within the scheme of a 
biological philosophy, based upon evolution, which held its own, 
for nearly half a century, on the battle-ground of natural sciences, 
under the glorious leadership of Darwin. 

Yet, notwithstanding that it offered studies and problems of 
direct interest to man, anthropology failed to achieve popularity. 
During that half century (the second half of the Nineteenth), 
which beheld the scientific branches of biology multiply through- 
out the entire field of analytical research, from histology to bio- 
chemistry, and succeeded especially in making a practical appli- 
cation of them in medicine. Anthropology failed to raise itself 
from the status of a pure and aristocratic, in other words, a super- 
fluous science, a status that prevented it from ranking among the 
sciences of primary importance. As a matter of fact, while zool- 
ogy is a required study in the universities. Anthropology still 
remains an elective study, which in Italy is relegated to three or 
four universities at most. The epoch of materialistic philosophy 
and analytical investigation could naturally hardly be expected 
to prove a field of victory for man, the intelligent animal, and 
nature's most splendid achievement in construction. 

The impressive magnificence of this thought, that bursts like 
pent-up waters from the results of positive research into man con- 
sidered as a living individual, was forced to await the patient 
preparation of material on which to build, such as the gathering 
of partial and disorganised facts, which were accumulated through 
rigorous and minute analyses, conducted under the guidance of 
the experimental sciences. It was in this manner that anthro- 
pology slowly evolved a method and, by doing so, raised itself 
to the rank of a science', without ever once being" utilised for prac- 
tical purposes or recognised as necessary as a supplemental or 
integral element of other sciences. 

One branch of learning which might have utiHsed the important scientific 
discoveries regarding the antiquity of man, his nature considered as an animal, 
his first efforts as a labourer and a member of society, is pedagogy. 

What could be more truly instructive and educative than to describe to 
children that first heroic Robinson Crusoe, primitive man, cast away on this 
vast island, the earth, lost in the midst of the universe? Mankind, weak and 
naked, without iron, because it still remained mysteriously hidden in the bowels 
of the earth, without fire because they had not yet discovered the means of pro- 
curing it; stones were their only weapons of defense against the ferocious and 
gigantic beasts that roared on all sides of them in the forests. The rude, splin- 


tered stone, the first handiwork of intelligent man, his first instrument and his 
first weapon, could be prepared solely from one kind of mineral, of which the 
local deposit began to fail — a state of things which, let us suppose, occurred 
on some ocean island. Thereupon the men constructed a small boat from the 
bark of trees, and sped over the waters, in search of the needed stone, passing 
from island to island, with scanty nourishment, without lights in the night-time, 
and without a guide. 

These marvelous accounts ought to be easily understood by children, and 
to awaken in them an admiration for their own kinship with humanity, and a 
profound sense of indebtedness to the mighty power of labour, which to-day is 
rendered so productive and so easy by our advanced civilisation, in which the 
environment, thanks to the works of man, has done so much to make our lives 

But pedagogy, no less than the other branches of learning, has disdained to 
accept any contribution from anthropology; it has failed to see man as the 
mighty wrestler, at close grips with environment, man the toiler and transmuter, 
man the hero of creation. Of the history of human evolution, not a single ray 
sheds light upon the child and adolescent, the coming generation. The schools 
teach the history of wars — the history of disasters and crimes — which were pain- 
ful necessities in the successive passages through civilisations created by the 
labour and slow perfectioning of humanity; but civilisation itself, which abides 
in the evolution of labour arid of thought, remains hidden from our children in the 
darkness of silence. 

Let us compare the appearance of man upon the earth to the discovery of 
the motive power of steam and to the subsequent appearance of railways as a 
factor in our social life. The railway has no limits of space, it overruns the world, 
unresting and unconscious, and by doing so promotes the brotherhood of men, 
of nations, of business interests. Let us suppose that we should choose to 
remain silent about the work performed by our railways and their social signifi- 
cance in the world to-day, and should teach our children only about the accidents, 
after the fashion of the newspapers, and keep their sensitive minds lingering in 
the presence of shattered and motionless heaps of carriages, amid the cries of 
anguish and the bleeding limbs of the victims. 

The children would certainly ask themselves what possible connection there 
could be between such a disaster and the progress of civilisation. Well, this is 
precisely what we do when, from all the prehistoric and historic ages of humanity, 
we teach the children nothing but a series of wars, oppressions, tyrannies and 
betrayals; and, equipped with such knowledge, we push them out, in all their 
ignorance, into the century of the redemption of labour and the triumph of uni- 
versal peace, telling them that "history is the teacher of life." 

Modern Anthropology : Cesar e Lombroso and Criminal Anthro- 
pology. The Anthropological Principles of Moral Hygiene. — The 
credit rests with Italy for having rescued Anthropology from a 
sort of scientific Olympus, and led it by new paths to the perform- 
ance of an eminent and practical service. 

It was about the year 1855 that Cesare Lombroso applied the 


anthropological method first to the study of the insane, and then 
to that of criminals, having perceived a similarity or relationship 
between these two categories of abnormal individuals. The 
observation and measurement of clinical subjects, studied especially 
in regard to the cranium by anthropometric methods, led the 
young innovator to discover that the mental derangements of the 
insane were accompanied by morphological and physical abnor- 
malities that bore witness to a profound and congenital alteration 
of the entire personality. Accordingly, for the purposes of diagno- 
sis, Lombroso came to adopt a somatic basis. And his anthropo- 
logical studies of criminals led him to analogous results. 

The method employed was in all respects similar to the natural- 
istic method which anthropology had taken over from zoology; 
that is to say, the description of the individual subject considered 
chiefly in his somatic or corporeal personality, but also in his 
physiological and mental aspect; the study of his responsiveness 
to his environment, and of his habits {manners and customs); 
the grouping of subjects under types according to their dominant 
characteristic {classification) ; and finally, the study of their origin, 
which, in this case, meant a sociological investigation into the 
genesis of degenerate and abnormal types. Thus, since the prin- 
ciples of the Lombrosian doctrine spread with a precocious rapidity, 
it is a matter of common knowledge that criminals present anoma- 
lies of form, or rather morphological deviations associated with 
degeneration and known under the name of stigmata (now called 
malformations), which, when they occur together in one and the 
same subject, confer upon him a wellnigh characteristic aspect, 
notably different from that of the normal individual; in other 
words, they stamp him a^ belonging to an inferior type, which, ac- 
cording to Lombroso's earlier interpretation, is a reversion toward 
the lower orders of the human race (negroid and mongoloid types), 
as evidenced by anomalies of the vital organs, or internal animal- 
like characteristics (pithecoids) ; and that such stigmata were 
often accompanied by a predisposition to maladies tending to 
shorten life. Side by side with his somatic chart, Lombroso pains- 
takingly prepared a physio-pathological chart of criminal subjects, 
based upon a study of their sensibility, their grasp of ideas, their 
social and ethical standards, their thieves' jargon and tattoo- 
marks, their handwriting and literary productions. 'I 

And, by deducing certain common characteristics from these 


complex charts, he distinguished, in his classic work. Delinquent 
Man, a variety of types, such as the morally insane, the epileptic 
delinquent, the delinquent from impulse or passion (irresistible 
impulsion), the insane delinquent, and the occasional delinquent. 

In this way, he succeeded in classifying a series of types — 
what we might call sub-species — diverging from the somatic and 
psycho-moral charts of normal men. But the common bio- 
pathological foundation of such types (with the exception of the 
last) was degeneration. We may well agree with Morselli that, 
in many parts of his treatise, Lombroso completed and amplified 
Morel, whose classic work, A Study of the Degeneration of the 
Human Species, was published in France at a time when Lombroso 
had hardly started upon his anthropological researches. 

Both of these great teachers based their doctrine upon a 
naturalistic concept of man, and then proceeded to consider him, 
through all his anomalies and perversions, in relation to that 
extraneous factor, his environment. Morel, indeed, considers 
the social causes of degeneration, that is to say, of progressive 
organic impoverishment, as more important than the individual 
phenomena; they act upon posterity and tend to create a human 
variety deviating from the normal type. Such causes may be 
summed up as including whatever tends to the organic detriment 
of civilised man: such (in the first rank) as alcoholism, poisoning 
associated with professional industries (metallic poisons), or with 
lack of nutriment (pellagra), conditions endemic in certain locali- 
ties (goitre), infective maladies (malaria, tuberculosis), denutrition 
(surmenage). It may be said that whatever produces prolonged 
suffering, or whatever we class under the term vices, or even the 
neglect of our duties, chief among which is that of working (para- 
sitism of the rich), or any of the causes which exhaust, or paralyse, 
or perturb our normal functions, are causes of degeneration, of 
impoverishment of the species. 

Such is the doctrine which underlies the etiological concept of 
abnormal personality in psychiatry as well as in criminology, or 
points the way to its bio-social sources. 

Accordingly, just as general Anthropology sought to investigate 
the origins of races or that of the human species in the very roots 
of life, so criminal Anthropology searches the origins of defective 
personality in its social surroundings. 

The ethical problems which are raised by such a doctrine 



cannot fail to be of interest to us. The Lombrosian theories, 
by raising these problems, have not only shaken the foundations 
of penal law, but have even brought about a moral renovation of 
conscience. We will leave to the jurists the great civic labor 
resulting from having brought the individual as well as the crime 
under consideration, in relation to the social phenomenon of 
delinquency — in other words, of having substituted an anthro- 
pological for a speculative attitude. Whether the delinquent 
should be cured, or simply isolated, or even subjected to punish- 
ment; whether the prison should be transformed into an asylum 
for the criminal insane ; whether the penal laws should be reformed 
on principles of a higher order of civil morality : these are problems 
which interest us only secondarily. 

What does interest us directly as educators is the necessity of 
laying our course in accordance with the standard of social morality 
which such a doctrine reveals and imposes upon us: since it is our 
duty to prepare the conscience of the rising generation. And, 
furthermore, to consider whether the organisation of our schools 
and of their methods is in conformity with such social progress. 

If we cast a general glance at social ethics, from the primitive 
beginnings of human intercourse, we witness the evolution of the 
vendetta. There was, first, the individual vendetta. It was a 
form of primordial justice, with which were associated the senti- 
ments of dignity, honour and solidarity; the injured party avenged 
himself by slaying; and the family of the slain retaliated by a new 
vendetta against the family of the slayer; and thus from generation 
to generation the tragic heritage continued to be handed down. 
Even now, in certain districts of civilised countries there exist 
survivals of these primitive forms of justice. In such cases, the 
slayer is held to be, not only honourable but virtuous. Analogously, 
in course of time, the individual vendetta, regulated by special 
formalities, developed into the duel for a point of honour. 

At a more advanced period, in the course of the organisation 
of society, the task of vengeance was taken away from the indi- 
vidual, and the social administration of justice was established. 
Thereafter, the act of an offender was punished by the people 
collectively, and the victims of the act had no other recompense 
from society than that of a sense of satisfied hatred. 

But throughout all civil progress, from the most primitive 
forms of society down to our own times, there persisted, as a 


fundamental principle, the concept of vengeance, coupled with the 
two great moral principles, individually and collectively, of human 
society: honour and justice. The naturalistic concept introduced 
by the Lombrosian doctrine, namely, living man entering as a 
concrete reality into the midst of abstract moral principles, 
shatters this association of ideas, and by so doing prepares the 
way for a new order of things — which is not a progess of evolution, 
but the beginning of an epoch. Vengeance disappears in the new 
conception of the defense of society and of an active campaign 
for the progress of humanity; and it ushers in an epoch of redemp- 
tion and of solidarity, in which all limitations of human brother- 
hood are swept away. 

The theories of Morel and Lombroso have resulted in calling 
the attention of civilised man to all the types of the physiologically 
inferior; the mentally deficient, epileptics, delinquents; shedding 
light upon their pathological personality, and transforming into 
interest and pity the contempt and neglect that were formerly 
the portion of such creatures. In this way science has accom- 
plished in their behalf a work analogous to that of certain saints 
on behalf of lepers and sufferers from cancer in the middle ages. 
At that epoch, and even down to the beginning of modern times, 
the sick were abandoned to themselves and languished, covered 
with sores, in the midst of the horrors of infection; lepers were 
universally shunned, and their bodies decomposed without succor. 
It was only when these miserable beings began to awaken pity, 
in the place of loathing and repulsion, and to attract the charity 
of saints, instead of spreading panic among egoists and cowards, 
that the care of the sick began upon a vast scale, with the founda- 
tion of hospitals, the progress of medicine, and later of hygiene. 

To-day those purulent plague-spots of the middle ages no 
longer exist; and infection is being combated with progressive 
success, in the triumph of physical health. 

Yet, we are standing to-day on the selfsame level as the middle 
ages, in respect to moral plague-spots and infections; the phe- 
nomenon of criminality spreads without check or succor, and up to 
yesterday it aroused in us nothing but repulsion and loathing. 
But now that science has laid its finger upon this moral fester, it 
demands the cooperation of all mankind to combat it. 

Accordingly we find ourselves in the epoch of hospitals for the 
morally diseased, the century of their treatment and cure; we have 


initiated a social movement toward the triumph of morality. We 
educators must not forget that we have inaugurated the epoch 
of spiritual health; because I beheve that it is we who are destined 
to be the true physicians and nurses of this new cure. From the 
middle ages until now, the science of medicine has slowly been 
evolving for us the principles required to guarantee our bodily 
health; but we know very well that while cleanliness and hygiene 
are signs of civilisation, it is its moral standard that establishes 
its level. 

This moral solidarity is something which it is our duty to under- 
stand thoroughly, if we wish to undertake the noble task of edu- 
cators in the Twentieth Century, which was prepared in advance 
by the intensive intellectual activity of the century of science. 

Granting the social phenomenon of crime, we ought to ask our- 
selves : where does the fault lie? If we are to acquit the individual 
criminal of responsibility, it falls back necessarily upon the social 
community through which the causes of degeneration and disease 
have filtered. Accordingly, it is we, every one of us, who are at 
fault : or rather, we are beginning to awaken to a consciousness that 
it is a sin to foster or to tolerate such social conditions as make 
possible the suffering, the vices, the errors that lead to physiolog- 
ical pauperism, to pathology, to the degeneration of posterity. 
The idea is not a new one : all great truths were perceived in every 
age by the elect few; the fundamental principles of the doctrine 
of Lombroso are to be already found in Greek philosophy and in 
that of Christ; Aristotle, in his belief that there is some one par- 
ticular organism corresponding to each separate manifestation of 
nature, foreshadows the concept of the correspondence between the 
morphological and psychic personality; and St. John Chrisostom 
expounds the principle of moral solidarity in the collective respon- 
sibility of society, when he says: ''you will render account, not 
only of your own salvation, but of that of all mankind; whoever 
prays ought to feel himself burdened with the interests of the entire 
human race." 

Now, if it is not yet in our power to achieve a social reform 
based on the eradication of degenerative causes — since society 
can be perfected only gradually — it is nevertheless within our 
power to prepare the conscience for acceptance of the new morality, 
and by educational means to help along the civil progress which 
science has revealed to us. The honest man, the worthy man, the 


man of honour, is not he who avenges himself; but he who works 
for something outside himself, for the sake of society at large, in 
order to purify it of its evils and its sins, and advance it on its path 
of future progress. In this way, even though we fail to prepare 
the material environment, we shall have prepared efficient men. 

In addition to this momentous principle of social ethics, the 
Lombrosian doctrines confront us squarely with the philosophic 
question of liberty of action, the controverted question of Stuart 
Mill, namely that of ''free will." The libertarians admit the 
freedom of the will as one of the noblest of human prerogatives, 
on which the responsibility for our acts depends; the determinists 
recognise that the act of volition obeys certain predetermined 
causes. Now the Lombrosian theories find these causes, not after 
the fashion of the Pythagoreans, in cosmic laws or astrology, but 
in the constitution of the organism, thus serving as a powerful illus- 
tration of that physiological determinism, under whose guidance 
modern positive philosophy draws its inspiration.* 

In the case of criminality, the actions of the degenerate delin- 
quent are dependent upon a multiplicity of internal factors, that 
are almost necessarily governed by special predispositions. But, 
also in accordance with the Lombrosian doctrine, there are external 
factors which concur in determining acts of volition, factors 
relating to the environment, studied in accordance with rather 
vast conceptions: the actions of the individual are determined 
in advance by that social intercourse in which the great phenomena 
of any given civilisation have their necessary origin — phenomena 
such as crime, prostitution, the grade of culture accessible to the 
majority, the character of industrial products, the limits of general 
mortality. Now, just as there are necessary fluctuations in the 
tables of mortality, so also there are fluctuations in the quantity 
and quality of those individual phenomena that are looked upon 
as crimes: and in the one case no less than in the other, those who 
are predisposed are the ones in whom occurs the necessary outbreak 
of phenomena having their origin in society. 

This constitutes in criminology, as well as in psychiatry, the re- 
sultant of all etiological concepts, pertaining to the interpretation 
of individual phenomena. It is precisely the same concept as that 
so exhaustively demonstrated by Quetelet, with the aid of European 
statistics, in his Social Physics, and it has come to represent in 

* From a work by E. Morselli: Cesare Lombroso and Scientific Philosophy. 


modern science that fundamental concept which was to be found 
in all the great religions, of the dependence of the individual upon 
a governing force that is superior to him. This interpretation of 
individual phenomena cannot be ignored in the great problems 
of education; because the more literally we interpret the doctrine 
here set forth, just so much the less trust must be placed in the 
efficacy of education as a modifying influence upon personality, 
while it will acquire new importance as a co-worker in the interpre- 
tation of social epochs and individual activities, over which it 
should exercise a watchful guidance. 

But meanwhile it is of interest to us to note how the anthro- 
pological movement, introduced with great simplicity of method, 
without any scientific or philosophical preconceptions, has led the 
investigations of psychiatry into vast and unsuspected fields of 
social ethics, bringing into practice fundamental reforms, analo- 
gous to those relating to penal law. 

Achille De Giovanni and Physiological Anthropology; Anthro- 
pological Principles of Physical Hygiene. — Another practical devel- 
opment of anthropology is that instituted by Professor De Gio- 
vanni, who has introduced into his medical clinic at Padua the 
anthropological method in the clinical examination of patients. 
He applies the well-known naturalistic procedure, namely, the 
discription of individuals, their classification into types, according 
to common fundamental characteristics, and the etiological study 
of their personality. But while Lombroso took note of malforma- 
tions solely in relation to other symptoms of degeneration, 
De Giovanni has established a strictly physiological basis for his 
investigations. Accordingly, he considers the human individual 
in his entirety, as a functionating organism,, and he regards all 
inharmonious bodily proportions as signifying a necessary predis- 
position to certain determined forms of illness. With this end in 
view, he does not concern himself about single malformations, 
such for example as prognathism, the frontal angle, etc., but rather 
with the general relations of development between the bust which 
contains the organs essential to vegetative life, and the limbs; and 
from the external morphology of the bust, determined by measure- 
ments, he seeks to establish the reciprocal relations in development 
within the visceral cavities: 'Hhe proportions of the human body 
depend upon the development of its organs; and equally with its 
proportions, the whole physiological strength of the body depends 


upon its organs taken collectively." Whoever has a defective 
chest capacity not only possesses a smaller allowance of organs 
fitted for respiration and circulation of the blood, but as a result 
of such anomaly of development he is also predisposed to at- 
tacks of special maladies, such for example as chronic catarrh of 
the bronchial tubes or pulmonary tuberculosis. Whoever, on the 
contrary, is over-developed in abdominal dimensions, will be sub- 
ject to disturbances of the digestive system and of the liver. In 
his classic work, Morphology of the Human Body, De Giovanni 
proceeds to elaborate a doctrine of temperaments, and of their 
several predispositions to disease, the tendency of which is to 
transfer the basis of medicine from a study of diseases to that of 
the individual patients, and to revive in modern days the ancient 
concepts of the Greek school of medicine, which from the time of 
Hippocrates and Galen drew up admirable charts of the funda- 
mental physical types. In place of the ancient classification of 
temperaments into nervous, sanguine, bilious and lymphatic, we 
have to-day a,s substitutes, according to the school of De Giovanni, 
morphological types that are very nearly equivalent, and in which 
the predominant disorders are respectively diseases of the heart, 
the nervous system, the liver and the lungs. 

In short, the result of this theory has been to establish an 
internal factor of predisposition to disease, analogous to that 
established by Lombroso as a predisposition to the phenomena of 
crime. And even here the mesogenic factors, that is, the influence 
of environment, must be taken into consideration: but environ- 
ment acts equally upon all individuals : nearly everyone encounters, 
in his surroundings, that nerve-strain which leads to cardiac 
disorders and to neurasthenia; almost everyone encounters the 
bacilli of tuberculosis; the causes of general mortality are dictated 
by the very conditions of civilisation. But among the vast major- 
ity who pass unharmed along the insidious paths of adaptation, 
only a few fall victims to the particular disease to which some spe- 
cial anomaly of their organism predisposes them. In this way we 
can understand how it happens that certain ones have reason to 
dread a cold that will develop into bronchitis, and others on the 
contrary must guard themselves from errors in diet which will 
lead to intestinal disorders. 

The part of De Giovanni's theory which is of special interest 
is that which leads to a consideration of the ontogenetic development 


in relation to the anomalies of the physio-morphological personal- 
ity: "At every epoch of life this principle is applicable: Namely, 
that the reason for a special predisposition to disease is to be found 
in a special organic morphology. The individual is in a ceaseless 
state of transformation, and consequently at different periods of 
his life he may show a susceptibility to different diseases." A 
person who is predisposed to suffer continually from some com- 
plaint during his adult years, was usually unwell during the greater 
part of his childhood, although from some other disease; and 
with this as a basis, a scientific system of observation could speak 
prophetically regarding the physio-pathological destiny of a 
child. It is known, for example, that children subject to scrofula 
are predisposed to arrive at maturity with an undeveloped chest 
and a tendency to pulmonary tuberculosis. 

From our point of view as educators, the doctrine of tempera- 
ments, and of their respective predispositions to disease, offers a 
deep interest, the nature of which is made evident by the author 
of the theory himself : for he points out that the period of childhood 
is the one best fitted in which to combat the abnormal predisposi- 
tions of the organism, wisely guiding its development, to the final 
end of achieving an ideal of health, which depends upon the har- 
mony of form and consequently of functions, in other words, upon 
the full attainment of physical beauty. 

Here also, as in the Lombrosian doctrines, etiology fulfils the 
lofty task of throwing light upon the causal links between the bio- 
sociologic causes and the congenital anomalies of the physiological 
personality. The hereditary tendencies to disease, the errors of 
sexual hygiene, especially those regarding maternity, reveal to us 
the principal causes of that accumulation of imperfections that 
oppress and deform the average normal human being. It is be- 
cause of such errors and such ignorance that hardly any of us 
attain that harmonic beauty that would render us immune to 
the treacheries of environment, and enable us to achieve, in 
the triumphant security of good health, our normal biological 

It is not too much to say, that it is etiology which, applied 
to the Lombrosian doctrines, reveals the faults of society, the 
sins of the world, and, applied to the theories of De Giovanni, 
reveals its errors; and that from the two together there results a 
sort of ethical guide leading toward the supreme ideal of the 



purification of the world and the perfectionment of the human species. 
These are ideals which were in part cherished by the Greeks, who 
made their system of education the basis of their physical develop- 
ment. Such physiological doctrines are precisely what we also 
need to round out our plan for a moral education. 

Giuseppe Sergi and Pedagogic Anthropology: Anthropological 
Bases of Human Hygiene. — It is also an Italian to whom we owe 
that practical extension of anthropology that leads us straight into 
the field of pedagogy. It was my former teacher, Giuseppe Sergi, 
who, as early as 1886, defended with the ardor of a prophet the 
new scientific principle of studying the pupils in our schools by 
methods prescribed by anthropology. Like the scientists who 
preceded him, he was thus led to substitute (in the field of pedagogy) 
the human individual taken from actual life, in place of general 
principles or abstract philosophical ideas. 

As a matter of fact, while the doctrines of Lombroso and De 
Giovanni are profoundly reformatory, they nevertheless offer us 
nothing more substantial than certain new ideals of morality and 
social improvement. But the really practical field in which these 
ideals might in a large measure be realised is the school. 

What progress would result for humanity if, on the basis of 
these new ethical principles, we contented ourselves with trans- 
forming our prisons into insane asylums? Such scanty fruit might 
well be compared to the mercy of that mediaeval Icrdling who, 
out of consideration for a gentleman, commuted his sentence from 
hanging to decapitation. And scanty fruit would also be reaped 
by the science of medicine if, in its new anthropological develop- 
ment, it should content itself merely with diagnosing the personal- 
ity of the patient, in addition to the disease; that is to say, for 
example, if, instead of telling a patient that his attack of bronchitis 
would be cured within twenty days, it should go on to predict, 
on the basis of the morphology of his body, that he would infallibly 
fall ill every year, until such time as pulmonary tuberculosis should 
put a fatal ending to his days. 

On the contrary, behind the light of ideality that shimmers 
through and across these doctrines, we perceive our plain duty to 
trace out a path that will lead to a regeneration of humanity. If 
some practical line of action is to result, it will undoubtedly have 
to be exerted upon humanity in the course of development, in other 
words, at that period of life when the organism, being still in the 


course of formation, may be effectively directed and consequently 
corrected in its mode of growth. 

Accordingly, the possible solution of the most momentous 
social problems, such as those of criminality, predisposition to 
disease, and degeneration, may be hoped for only within the limits 
of that space which society sets aside for guiding the new genera- 
tions in their development. 

In the school, we have hitherto retained, almost as a principle 
of justice, a leveling uniformity among the pupils: an abstract 
equality which seeks to guide all these separate childish individu- 
alities toward a single type which cannot be called an idealised 
type, because it does not represent a standard of perfection, but 
is on the contrary a non-existent philosophical abstraction: the 
Child. Educators are prepared for their practical services to 
childhood, by studies based upon this abstract infantile personality; 
and they enter upon their active work in school with the precon- 
ception that they must discover in every pupil a more or less faith- 
ful incarnation of the said type; and thus, year after year, they 
delude themselves with the idea that they have understood and 
educated the child. Now, this supposed uniformity cannot exist 
in the children of a human race so varied that it can produce, at 
the selfsame time, a Musolino* and a Luccheni,* a Guglielmo 
Marconi and a Giosue Carducci. All the different social types 
of men who labor with their hands and with their brains, the 
transformers of their environment, the producers of wealth, the 
directors of governments, equally with the undistinguished crowd 
of parasites, the enemies of society, all lived together in childhood, 
sitting side by side, upon the same school benches. 

It was in 1898 that the first Italian Pedagogical Congress was 
held in Turin, and was attended by about three thousand educators. 
Under the spur of a new passion, that made me foresee the future 
mission and transformation of a chosen social class, setting forth 
upon a glorious task of redemption — the class of educators — I 
attended the Congress. I was at that time an interloper, because 
the subsequent felicitous union between medicine and pedagogy 
still remained a thing undreamed of, in the thoughts of that period. 
We had reached the third day of our sessions, and were all awaiting 
with interest an address by Professor Ildebrando Bencivenni, 
who was announced to speak upon the theme of "The School that 

*MusoLiNO was a brigand, and Luccheni an anarchist and regicide. 


Educates." The discussion of this subject was expected to con- 
stitute the substantial work of the Congress, which seemed to 
have been called together chiefly in order to solve the problem of 
the greatest pedagogic importance: how to give a moral education. 
It was that very morning, just as the session was opening, that the 
frightful news burst upon us like a thunderbolt, that the Empress, 
Elizabeth of Austria, had been assassinated, and that once again 
an Italian had struck the blow! The third regicide in Europe 
within a brief time, that was due to an Italian hand! 

The entire public press was unanimously stirred to indigna- 
tion against the educators of the people; and as a demonstration 
of hostility, they all absented themselves that day from partici- 
pating in the Congress. 

There was something approaching a tumult in the ranks of 
teachers; inasmuch as they felt themselves innocent, they pro- 
tested against the calumny of the newspapers in thus unjustly 
holding them responsible. 

Amid the intense silence of the assembly, Bencivenni delivered 
a splendid discourse regarding the reform of educative niethods 
in the school. Next in order, I took the platform and, speaking 
as a physician, I said: It will be all in vain for you to reform the 
methods of moral education in our schools, if you do not bear in 
mind that certain individuals exist, who are the very ones capable 
of committing such unspeakable deeds, and who pass through 
school without ever once being influenced in any manner by educa- 
tion. There exist various categories of abnormal children, who 
will fruitlessly go through the same grade over and over again, 
disturbing the routine and discipline of the class: and in spite of 
punishments and reprimands, they will end by being expelled 
without having learned anything at all, without having been modi- 
fied in any manner. What becomes of these individuals who, 
even in childhood, reveal themselves as the future rebels and ene- 
mies of society? Yet we leave such a dangerous class in the most 
complete abandonment. Now, it is useless to reform the school 
and its methods, if the reformed school and the reformed methods 
are still going to fail to reach the very children who, for the pro- 
tection of society, are most in need of being reached ! Any method 
whatever suffices to fit a sane and normal child for a useful and 
moral life. The reform that is demanded in school and in 
pedagogy is one that will lead to the protection of all children 


during their years of development, including those who have 
shown themselves refractory to the environment of social life. 

Thus I laid the first stone toward the education of mentally 
deficient children and the foundation of special schools for them. 
The work which followed forms, I think, the first historic page of 
a great regeneration in the whole class of teachers and of a profound 
reform in the school; a question so momentous that it spread rap- 
idly throughout all Italy and was followed by the establishment 
of institutes and classes designed expressly for the deficient; and, 
most important of all, by the universal conviction which it carried, 
it also constituted the first page of pedagogy reformed upon an 
anthropological basis. 

This is precisely the new development of pedagogy that goes 
under the name of scientific: in order to educate, it is essential to 
know those who are to be educated. '^ Taking measurements of 
the head, the stature, etc." (in other words, applying the anthro- 
pological method), ''is, to be sure, not in itself the practice of 
pedagogy," says Sergi, in speaking of what the biological sciences 
have contributed to this branch of learning during the nineteenth 
century, ''But it does mean that we are following the path that 
leads to pedagogy, because we cannot educate anyone until we 
know him thoroughly." 

Here again, in the field of pedagogy, the naturalistic method 
must lead us to the study of the separate subjects, to a description 
of them as individuals, and their classification on a basis of char- 
acteristics in common; and since the child must be studied not by 
himself alone, but also in relation to the factors of his origin and 
his individual evolution — since every one of us represents the 
effect of multifold causes — it follows that the etiological side of the 
pedagogical branch of modern anthropology, like all its other 
branches, necessarily invades the field of biology and at the same 
time of sociology. 

Among the types which it will be of pedagogic interest to trace 
in school-children, we must undoubtedly find those that corre- 
spond to the childhood of those abnormal individuals already stud- 
ied in Lombroso's Criminal Anthropology, and in De Giovanni's 
Clinical Morphology. 

Nevertheless, it is a new study, because the characteristics of 
the child are not those of the adult reduced to a diminutive scale, 
but they constitute childhood characteristics. Man changes as he 


grows; the body itself not only undergoes an increase in volume, 
but a profound evolution in the harmony of its parts and the com- 
position of its tissues; in the same way, the psychic personality of 
the man does not grow, but evolves; like the predisposition to 
disease which varies at different ages in each individual considered 
pathologically. For all those anomalous types which to-day are 
included under the popular term of deficients, for the pathological 
weaklings who reveal symptoms of scrofula or rickets, there is no 
doubt that special schools and methods of education are essential. 
We teachers would like, through educative means, to counteract 
the ultimate consequences of degeneration and predisposition to 
disease: if criminal anthropology has been able to revolutionise the 
penalty in modern civilisation, it is our duty to undertake, in the 
school of the future, to revolutionise the individual. And by achiev- 
ing this ideal, pedagogic anthropology will to a large extent have 
taken the place of criminal anthropology, just as schools for the 
abnormal and feeble, multiplied and perfected under the protection 
of an advanced civilisation, will in a large measure have replaced 
the prisons and the hospitals. 

We owe to the intuitive genius of Giuseppe Sergi the conception 
of a form of pedagogic anthropology far more exact in its methods 
of investigation than anything which had hitherto been fore- 
shadowed. This master takes the ground that a study of abnormal 
and weakly children is a task of absolutely secondary importance. 
What is imperative for us to know, he claims, is normal humanity, 
if we are to guide it intelligently toward that biological and moral 
perfection, on which the progress of humanity must depend. If 
general pedagogy is destined to be transformed under a naturalistic 
impulse, this will be effected only when anthropology turns its 
investigations to the normal human being. 

Educators are still very far from having a real knowledge of that 
collective body of school-children, on whom a uniformity of method, 
of encouragement and punishment is blindly inflicted; if, instead 
of this, the child could be brought before the teacher's eyes as a 
living individuality, he would be forced to adopt very different 
standards of judgment, and would be shaken to the very depths 
of his conscience by the revelation of a responsibility hitherto 

Let us take one or two examples; let us consider, among the 
pupils, one child who is very poor. 


Studied by the anthropological method, he is revealed, in 
every personal physiological detail, as an inferior type. The child 
of poverty, as Niceforo has well shown, is an inferior in stature, 
in cranium, in weight, in muscular and intellectual strength; and 
the malformations, resulting from defects of growth, condemn 
him to an aesthetic inferiority; in other words, environment, mode 
of living, and nutrition may result in modifying even the relative 
beauty of the individual. The normal man may bear within him 
a germ of physical beauty inherited from parents who begot him 
normally, and yet this germ may not be able to develop, because 
impeded by environment. Accordingly, physical beauty consti- 
tutes in itself a class privilege. This child, weak in mind and in 
muscular force, when compared with the child of wealth, grown up 
in a favorable environment, shows less attractive manners, because 
he has been reared in an atmosphere of social inferiority, and in 
school is classed as a pariah. Less good looking and less refined, 
he fails to enlist the sympathy which the teacher so readily con- 
cedes to the courteous manners of more fortunate children; less 
intelligent himself, and unable to look for help from parents who, 
more than likely, are illiterate, he fails to obtain the encouragement 
of praise and high credit marks that are lavished upon stronger 
children, who have no need of being encouraged. Thus it happens 
that the down-trodden of society are also the down-trodden in the 
school. And we call this justice; and we say that demerit is pun- 
ished and merit is rewarded; but in this way we make ourselves 
the sycophants of nature and of social error, and not the adminis- 
trators of justice in education! 

On the other hand, let us examine another child, living in an 
agreeable environment, in the higher social circles ; he possesses all 
the physical attraction and grace that render childhood charming. 
He is intelligent, smiling, gentle-mannered; at the cost of small 
effort he gives his teacher ample satisfaction by his progress, and 
even if the teacher's method of instruction happens to be somewhat 
faulty, the child's family hasten privately to make up for the defi- 
ciency. This child is destined to reap a harvest of praise and re- 
wards; the teacher, egotistically complacent over the abundant 
fruit gathered with so little effort, and the moral and aesthetic 
satisfaction derived from the fortunate pupil, gives him unmeasured 
affection and smooths his whole course through school. But 
if we study the rich, intelligent, prize- winning child carefully, we 


find that he, too, is not perfect in his anthropological development; 
he is too narrow-chested. This is the penalty of the rich and the 
studious; every privilege brings its own peril; every benefit 
contains a snare; every one of us to-day, without the light of science, 
runs the risk of diminishing our physiological equilibrium, by living 
in an environment that contains so many defects. The child of 
luxury, living continually indoors, diligently studying in his well- 
warmed home, under his mother's vigilant eye, is impeding the 
development of his own chest; and when he has completed his 
growth and his education, will find himself with insufficient lungs; 
his physical personality will have been permanently thrown out of 
equilibrium by a defective environment. This highly cultured 
man may some day find himself urged on to big endeavour; his 
intelligence will create vast ideals, but he will not have at his 
disposal the physical force that is so strictly associated with the 
power to draw from the surrounding air a sufficient quantity of 
oxygen by means of respiration. The spirit is ready, but the fiesh 
is weary; and all his ambitious hopes may be shattered in the 
very flower of life by pulmonary tuberculosis, to which he has 
himself created an artificial predisposition. 

It is our duty to understand the individual, in order to avoid 
these fatal errors; and to arise to higher standards of justice, 
founded upon the real exigencies of life — guided by that spirit of 
love which is essential to the teacher, in order to render him truly 
an educator of humanity. 

Love is the essential spirit of fecundity whose one purpose is to 
beget life. And in the teacher, love of humanity must find 
expression through his work, because the very purpose of love is to 
create something. Accordingly, this spirit of fecundity ought to 
produce the teacher's mission, which to-day is the mission of 
reforming the school and accepting the proud duty of universal 
motherhood, destined to protect all mankind, the normal and 
abnormal alike. This is a reform, not only of the school, but of 
society as a whole, because through the redeeming and protective 
labours of pedagogy, the lowest human manifestations of degenera- 
tion and disease will disappear; and, more important still, it will 
make it henceforth impossible for normal human beings, conceived 
from germs that promise strength and beauty, little by little to lose 
that beauty and strength along the rough paths of life, through 
which no one has hitherto had the knowledge to guide them. 


*'In the social life of to-day an urgent need has arisen," says our 
common master, Giuseppi Sergi, "a renovation of our methods of 
education and instruction; and whoever enrolls himself under this 
standard, is fighting for the regeneration of man." 

Enrico Morselli and Scientific Philosophy. — Among the names 
of Italian scientists that must be called to mind, in discussing the 
modern developments of anthropology, a special lustre attaches to 
that of Enrico Morselli, who has earned the right to call himself 
the critic, or rather, the philosopher of anthropology. Notwith- 
standing that he has made his name famous in the vast field of 
psychiatry, this distinguished Genoese practitioner has found 
time to assimilate the most diverse branches of science and the 
most widely separated avenues of thought, qualifying himself 
as a critic, and systematising experimental science on the lines of 
scientific philosophy. 

His great work. General Anthropology, is developed on synthetic 
lines, embracing in a single scientific system all the acquired 
knowledge of the past two centuries, and may rightfully be called 
the first treatise on philosophic anthropology. While the experi- 
mental sciences, by collecting and recording separate phenomena, 
were gradually preparing, throughout the nineteenth century, 
a great mass of analytical material, chosen blindly and without 
form, they apparently engendered a new trend of thought posi- 
tively hostile to philosophy: the odium antiphilosophicum, as 
Morselli calls it. And conversely, the speculative positivism of 
Ardigo remained throughout its development a stranger to the 
immediate sources of experimental research, and adhered strictly 
to the field of pure philosophy. It remained for Morselli to per- 
ceive that the scientific material prepared by experimental science 
was in reality philosophical material, for which it was only neces- 
sary to prepare instruments and means in order to systematise 
it and lead it into the proper channels for the construction of a 
scientific philosophy. 

Throughout the whole period of his intellectual activity, 
Morselli sought to unite experimental science and philosophy, by 
taking his content from the former and his form from the latter. 
To gather and catalogue bare facts could not be the scope of 
science; such labour could result only in sterilising the mind. 
''The human mind," says Morselli, ''does not stop at the objective 
study of a phenomenon and its laws; it wants also to fathom their 


nature; the how does not content it, but it must also have the 
wherefore." It must mount from facts to synthesis, constantly- 
achieving a new and fuller understanding. But what determines 
the content of philosophy is not speculative thought, but facts 
that have been collected objectively. Such is the view of Enrico 
Morselli, expressed in the introduction to his Review of Scientific 
Philosophy: "We think the moment has come for professional 
philosophers to allow themselves to be convinced that the progress 
of physical and biological sciences has profoundly changed the 
tendencies of philosophy; so that it is no longer an assemblage of 
speculative systems, but rather the synthesis of partial scientific 
doctrines, the expression of the highest general truths, derived 
solely and immediately from the study of facts. On the other 
hand, we hope also that in every student of the separate sciences, 
whether pure or applied, the intimate conviction will take root 
that no science which applies the method of observation and 
experiment to the particular class of phenomena which form its 
subject, can call itself fully developed so long as it is limited to the 
collection and classification of facts. Scientific dilettantism of 
this sort must end by sterilising the human mind, whose natural 
tendency is to advance from observed phenomena by successive 
stages to the investigation of their partial laws, and from these 
to the research of more and more general truths. But philosophy, 
thus understood, can never confine itself within the dogmatism 
of a system, but rather will leave the individual mind free to 
make constant new concessions, in the pursuit of the truth. 

''The human mind is condemned to search forever, and perhaps 
never to find, the ultimate solution to the eternal problem which 
it offers to itself; accordingly, let it keep itself at liberty to accept 
to-day as probable, a solution which further researches or newly 
discovered facts will compel it to reject to-morrow in favor of 
another. We must admit that in philosophic concepts there is a 
constant evolution, or rather natural selection, thanks to which 
the strongest concepts, those best constituted, those that are 
fitted to make use of scientific discoveries with the broadest 
liberality, are predisposed to prove victorious or at least to hold 
their own for a long time in the struggle."* 

It is this liberty that makes it possible for us to pursue experi- 

* From a study by Prof. E. Troilo, Enrico Morselli as a Philosopher. In the volume by 
MoESELLi, Milan: Vallabdi, 1906. 


mental investigations, without fear that our brains may become 
sterile. And by liberty we mean the readiDess to accept new 
concepts whenever experience proves to us that they are better 
and closer to the truth which we are seeking. Even though the 
absolute truth were never reached, the experimental method is 
the path most likely to lead us toward it step by step. 

'~ Accordingly, what we should demand of investigators is not a 
creed, a philosophic system, but "the objective method in their 
researches and in the sources of their inductions." For this is the 
way to train the workers and philosophers of experimental science. 
And the same lines must serve us for building up a philoso- 
phy capable of shaping a regenerated method of pedagogy. 

The Method 

The determining factor in anthropology is the same that 
determines all experimental science: the method. A well-defined 
method in natural science applied to the study of living man 
offers us the scientific content, which we are in the course of 

The content bursts upon us as a surprise, as the result of 
applying the method, by means of which we make advances in the 
investigation of truth. 

Whenever a science prescribes for itself, not a content but a 
method of experimenting, it is for that reason called an experi- 
mental science. 

It is not easy for those who come fresh from the pursuit of 
philosophic studies to adapt themselves to this order of ideas. 
The philosopher, the historian, the man of letters prepare them- 
selves by assimilating the content of one particular branch of 
learning; and thereby they define the boundaries of their indi- 
vidual knowledge and close the circle of their individual thought, 
however vast that circle may be. 

Indeed, the elaboration of human thought, the series of historic 
deeds, the accumulated mass of literature, may offer immense 
fields ; but after the student has little by little assimilated them, he 
cannot do otherwise than contain them within him precisely as 
they are. Their extent is limited by the centuries that cover the 
history of civilised man, and it is invariable, since it exists as a 
work accomplished by man. 


Experimental science is of an entirely different sort. We must 
look upon it as a means of investigation into the field of the infinite 
and the unknown. If wo wish to compare it to some branch of 
learning that is universally familiar, we may say that an experi- 
mental science is similar to learning to read. When as children we 
learn to read, we may, to be sure, estimate the effort that it costs 
us to master a mechanical device; but such a mechanical device 
is a means, it is a magic key that will unlock the secrets of 
wisdom, multiply our power to share the thoughts of our con- 
temporaries, and render us dexterous in despatching the practical 
affairs of life. 

Thus considered, reading is a branch of learning that has no 
prescribed limits. 

It is our duty to learn to read the truth, in the book of nature; 

I. by collecting separate facts, according to the objective method; 

II. by proceeding methodically from analysis to synthesis. The 
subject of our research is the individual human being. _' 

1. The Objective Collecting of Single Facts. — In the gathering of 
data, our science makes use of two means of investigation, as we 
have already seen : observation or anthroposcopy; and measurement 
or anthropometry. In order to take measurements, we must know 
the special anthropometric, instruments and how to use them; and 
in making observations, we must treat ourselves as instruments, 
that is, we must divest ourselves of our own personality, of every 
preconception, in order to become capable of recording the real 
facts objectively. For since our purpose is to gather our facts from 
nature and await her revelations, if we allowed ourselves to have 
scientific preconceptions, we might distort the truth. Here is 
the point which distinguishes experimental science from a specula- 
tive science; in the former, we must banish thought, in the latter 
we must build by means of thought. ' Accordingly at the moment 
when we are collecting our data, we must possess no other capacity 
than that of knowing how to collect them with extreme exactness 
and objectivity. 

Accordingly we need a method and a mental preparation, that 
is, a training which will accustom us to divest ourselves of our 
own personalities, in order to become simple instruments of investi- 
gation. For instance, if it were a question of measuring the heads 
of illiterate children and of other children of the same age, who 
are attending school, in order to learn whether the heads of 


educated children show greater development, we need not only to 
know how to use the millimetric scale and the cranial calipers 
which are the instruments adapted to this purpose; we need not 
only to know the anatomical 'points at which the instruments must 
be applied in the manner established by the accepted method; but 
we need in addition to be unaware, while taking the measurements, 
whether the child before us at a given moment is educated or illit- 
erate because the preconception might work upon us by sugges- 
tion and thus alter the result. Or again, to take what in a certain 
sense is an opposite case, and nevertheless analogous, we may 
undertake a research into some absolutely unknown question, as for 
instance, what are the psychic characteristics of children whose 
development has kept fairly close to the normal average, and of 
those whose anthropological measurements diverge notably from 
the average: in such a case we ought to measure all the children, 
make the required psychological tests separately, and then compare 
the results of the two investigations. 

A woman student in my course, last year, undertook precisely this 
sort of investigation, namely, to find out what was the standing in 
school of children who represent the normal average anthropo- 
logical type, that is to say, those whose physical development had 
been all that was to be desired : and she found that normal children 
are vivacious (happy), very intelligent, but negligent; and conse- 
quently their number never includes the heads of the classes, the 
winners of prizes. 

In addition to gathering anthropological data, which requires a 
special technique of research, we need to know how to proceed to 
interpret them. 

We are no longer at the outset of our observations. No sooner 
was the method established, than there were a multitude of students 
in all parts of the world capable of objective research, that is to 
say, of anthropological investigations. The sum total of all 
these researches forms a scientific patrimony, which needs to be 
known to us, in order that our own conclusions may serve to 
complete those of other investigators, who have preceded us, and 
thus form a contribution to science. 

In other words, there have already been certain principles es- 
tablished and certain laws discovered, on an experimental basis; 
and all this forms a true and fitting content of our science. It will 
serve to guide us in our researches, and to furnish us with a stand- 


ard of comparison for our own conclusions. Thus, for example, 
when we have measured the stature of a boy of ten, we have un- 
doubtedly gathered an individual anthropological fact; but in order 
to interpret it, we must know what is the average stature of boys 
of ten; and the average will be found established by previous 
investigators, who have obtained it from actuality, by applying 
the well-known method of measuring the stature, to a great 
number of individuals of a specified race, sex, and age, and by 
obtaining an average on the basis of such research. 

Accordingly, we ought to profit from the researches of others, 
whenever they have been received, as noteworthy, into the litera- 
ture of science. Nevertheless, the patrimony which science 
places at our disposition must never be considered as anything 
more than a guide, an expression of universal collaboration, in 
accordance with a uniform method. We must never jurare in 
verba magistri, never accept any master as infallible : we are always 
at liberty to repeat any research already made, in order to verify 
it; and this form of investigation is part of the established method 
of experimental science. One fundamental principle must be 
clearly understood; that we can never become anthropologists 
merely by reading all the existing literature of anthropology, 
including the voluminous works on kindred studies and the in- 
numerable periodicals; we shall become anthropologists only at 
the moment when, having mastered the method, we become 
investigators of living human individuals.) 

We must, in short, be producers, or nothing at all; assimilation 
is useless. For example, let us suppose that a certain teacher has 
studied anthropology in books: if, after that, he is incapable of 
making practical observations upon his own pupils, to what end 
does his theoretical knowledge serve him? ' It is evident that 
theoretic study can have no other purpose than to guide us in the 
interpretation of data gathered directly from nature^ 

Our only book should be the living individual; all the rest 
taken together form only the necessary means for reading it^ 

2. The Passage from Analysis to Synthesis. — Assuming that we 
have learned how to gather anthropological data with a rigorously 
exact technique, and that we possess a theoretic knowledge and 
tables of comparative data: all this together does not suffice to 
qualify us as interpreters of nature. The marvellous reading of 
this amazing book demands on our part still other forms of prepara- 


tion. In gathering the separate data, it may be said that we have 
learned how to spell, but not yet how to read and interpret the 
sense. The reading must be accomplished with broad, sweeping 
glances, and must enable us to penetrate in thought into the very 
synthesis of life. And it is the simple truth that life manifests 
itself through the living individual, and in no other way. But 
through these means it reveals certain general properties, certain 
laws that will guide us in grouping the living individuals according 
to their common properties; it is necessary to know them, in order 
to interpret individual differences dependent upon race, age, and 
sex, and upon variations due to the effort of adaptation to environ- 
ment, or to pathological or degenerative causes. That is to say, 
certain general principles exist, which serve to make us interpreters 
of the meaning, when we read in the book of life. 

This is the loftiest part of our work, carrying us above and be- 
yond the individual, and bringing us in contact with the very 
fountain-heads of life, almost as though it were granted us to 
materialise the unknowable. In this way we may rise from the 
arid and fatiguing gathering of analytical data, toward conceptions 
of noble grandeur, toward a positive philosophy of life; and un- 
veil certain secrets of existence, that will teach us the moral norms 
of hfe. 

Because, unquestionably, we are immoral, when we disobey the 
laws of life ; for the triumphant rule of life throughout the universe 
is what constitutes our conception of beauty and goodness and 
truth — in short, of divinity. 

The technical method of proceeding toward synthesis, we may 
find well defined in biology : the data gathered by measurement can 
be grouped according to the statistical method, be represented 
graphically and calculated by the application of mathematics to 
biology: to-day, indeed, biometry and hiostatistics tend to assume 
so vast a development as to give promise of forming independent 

The method in biology, considered as a whole, may be compared 
to the microscope and telescope, which are instruments, and yet 
enable us to rise above and beyond our own natural powers and 
come into contact with the two extremes of infinity; the infinitely 
little and the infinitely large. 

Objections and Defences. — One of the objections made to peda- 
gogical anthropology is that it has not yet a completely defined con- 


tent, on which to base an organic system of instruction and reliable 
general rules. 

It is the method alone that enables us to be eloquent in defence 
of pedagogic anthropology, against such an accusation. For the 
accusation itself is the embodiment of a conception of a method 
differing widely from our own : it is the accusation made by specula- 
tive science, which, resting on the basis of a content, refuses to 
acknowledge a science that is still lacking and incomplete in its 
content, because it is unable to conceive that a science may be 
essentially summed up in its method, which makes it a means of 

How could we conceive of the content of pedagogic anthropology 
otherwise than as something to be derived by the experimental 
method from the observation of school-children? And where could 
we conceive of a possible laboratory for such a science, if not in the 
school itself? The content will be determined little by little, by 
the application of the anthropological study to school-children in 
the school, and never in any other manner. 

Now, if it were necessary to await the completion of a content 
before proceeding to any practical application, where could we 
hope to get this content from — especially since we look for no help 
either from speculative philosophy or divine revelation? 

When a method is applied to any positive science, it results in 
giving that science a new direction, that is to say, a new avenue of 
progress: And it is precisely in the course of advance along that 
avenue that the content of the science is formed: but if we never 
made the advance, the science would never take its start. Thus, 
for example, when the microscope revealed to medicine the existence 
of micro-organisms, and bacteriology arose as the positive study 
of epidemiology, it altered the whole procedure in the cure and pro- 
phylaxis of infective maladies. Prior to this epoch people believed 
that an epidemic was a scourge sent by divine wrath upon sinners; 
or else they imagined it was a miasma transported by the wind, 
which groves and eucalyptus trees might check; or they pictured the 
ground ejecting miasmatic poisons through its pores: — and human- 
ity sought in vain to protect itself with bare-foot processions and 
religious ceremonies, attended by jostling throngs and cruel flagel- 
lation; or else they betook themselves to the shade of eucalyptus 
trees, in the midst of malarial lowlands. Entire cities were de- 
stroyed by pestilence, and malarial districts remained uncultured 


deserts, because entire populations, in the brave effort to perform 
their work, were destroyed by successive impoverishment of the 

It is bacteriology that has put to flight this darkness of ignorance 
that was the herald of death, and has created the modern condi- 
tions of environment, which, by a multitude of means, defend 
the individual and the nation from infective diseases; so that to- 
day civilised society may be said to be advancing toward a triumph 
over death. 

But the microbes have not all of them been discovered ; bacteri- 
ology and general pathology are still very far from having com- 
pleted their content. If we had been obliged to wait for such com- 
pletion, we should still be living quite literally in the midst of 
mediaeval epidemics; or, to state the case better, where in the 
world would the science of medicine ever have attained its new 
content? For it has been building it up, little by little, hy directing 
medicine upon a new path. It was the introduction of this new 
method of investigating the patient and his environment that 
experimentally reaped the fruit of new etiological discoveries, and 
new means of defence : the microscope became perfected because it 
came into universal use in practice; bacterial cultures owe their 
perfectionment to the fact that they became the common means 
of investigation for the purpose of diagnosis; just as tests in clinical 
chemistry have become perfected through practical use. Without 
which, who would ever have perfected the microscope, or the 
science of bacteriology? In a word, whence are we to get the 
content of any positive science, if not from practical application? 

A direction and an applied method represent a triumph of 
progress ; and in progress, a content cannot have defined limits. We 
do not know its goal; we know only that at the moment when it 
finds its goal, it will cease to be progress. 

It is many years since medicine abandoned the speculative 
course, and we see it to-day hourly enriching itself with new 
truths; its triumphal march is never checked, and it moves 
onward toward the invasion of future centuries. In the wake 
of its progress, that frightful phenomenon which we call mortality 
tends to fall steadily to a lower level; giving rise to the hope that 
through future progress it will cease to be the mysterious, menacing 
fate, ever watchful and ready to sever the invisible threads of 
human life. These threads are to-day revealing themselves as 



the resistant fibres of a fabric; because, humanity by engaging 
collectively in the audacious search after truth, and by thus pro- 
tecting the interests of each individual through the common in- 
terests, has succeeded in offering a powerful resistance to the 
mysterious sheers. 

Accordingly, we may say that the substitution to-day of an 
anthropological development of pedagogy, in the place of a purely 
philosophical and speculative trend, does not offer it merely an 
additional content, an auxiliary to all the other forms of teaching 
on which it now comfortably reposes; but it opens up new avenues, 
fruitful in truth and in life; and as it advances along these avenues, 
regenerated from its very foundations upward, it may be that 
pedagogy is destined to solve the great problem of human 

The Method to be Followed in These Lectures 

Lastly, just one more word regarding the didactic method that 
I intend to follow, in delivering this course of lectures. From the 
purpose already stated, it follows that this Course in Anthropology 
must be eminently practical. Of the three weekly lectures, only 
one will be theoretical; that is to say, only one in which I shall 
expound the content of our science; a second lecture will treat of 
the technique of the method; that is to say, I shall devote it to 
describing the practical way of gathering anthropological data, 
and how we must study them and re-group them in order to 
extract their laws; and finally, the third lecture will be practical 
and clinical; I shall devote it to the collection of anthropological 
data from human subjects, and little by little I shall try to work 
toward the individual study of pupils, until we reach the compila- 
tion of biographic charts. At the lectures of the third type, we 
shall have present subjects who will be, for the most part, normal, 
but some of them will be abnormal, and all will be drawn from the 
elementary schools of Rome. 

Finally, in further illustration of our course, we shall make 
excursions, visiting certain schools that offer some particular in- 
terest from our scientific point of view; to the end that we may 
supply what is lacking and what is needed to complete a University 
Course in Scientific Pedagogy, namely a ''Pedagogical Clinic," 
where pupils of the widest variety of types might be educated, 


and where it might be possible to lay practical foundations of a 
faiw-eaching reform in our schools, 

' Accordingly, I shall repeat myself three times, in these lectures; 
first, by setting forth the scientific content, secondly, by expound- 
* ing the methods of investigation, and thirdly, by applying in prac- 
tice what I have already taught in theory. The didactic method 
of repeating the same instruction under different forms, is also a 
feature of scientific pedagogy, because it represents the method 
by which positive science must be taught and acquired; and 
furthermore, it is the method that deserves to be applied wherever 
induction of any sort is to be given. 

Hitherto, we have not learned how to study; we know only, 
or at least the majority of us do, how to absorb the contents of 
books. The only true student is the scientist, who knows how to 
advance slowly; we educators on the contrary plunge in a dizzy, 
headlong rush, through all acquirable knowledge. To study is to 
look steadily, to stand still, to assimilate and to wait. We should 
study for the sake of creating, since the whole object of taking 
is to be able to give again; but in this giving and taking we ought 
not to be mere instruments, like high-pressure suction pumps; in 
work of this sort we ought to be creators, and when we give back, 
to add that part which has been horn and developed within us from 
what we acquired. It is wise to give our acquired knowledge time 
not only to be assimilated but also to develop freely in that fertile 
psychic ground that constitutes our innermost personality. In 
other words: assimilate by every possible means, and then waitj 

In order to start from a point of established knowledge, let us 
consider what is meant by meditation: to meditate means to isolate 
one's thoughts within the limits of some definite subject, and wait 
to see what that subject of its own accord may reveal to us, in the 
course of assimilation. The Jesuits succeeded in winning souls 
merely by encouraging the people to meditate; meditation opened 
up an unsuspected inner world, which fascinated the type of person 
accustomed to flit lightly in thought across a multitude of diverse 
matters; and under the spell of such fascination, their consciences 
could attribute to nothing less than some occult power, what was 
really the application of a great pedagogic principle. 

' There is a great difference between reading and meditating: we 
may read a voluminous novel in a single night; we may meditate 
upon a verse of Scripture for an entire hour. | Anyone who reads 


a novel in a night undoubtedly squanders his physical powers, like 
a wind that passes over arid ground; but one who meditates assimi- 
lates in a special manner that surprises the meditator himself, 
because he feels something unforeseen coming to life within him, 
just as though a seed had been planted in fertile soil and, while 
remaining motionless, had begun to germinate. Accordingly, the 
act of holding acquired knowledge within ourselves for a period of 
time results in self-development; superficial learning, on the con- 
trary, means the exhaustion of our personal resources. We become 
steadily more exhausted and more inefficient, through too much 
study; and instead, we ought to become all the time more flourish- 
ing and more robust, if we studied in the proper way: and this is 
because we squander our psychic powers, instead of acquiring new 
energy. The consequence of this mistaken method is that we 
rapidly forget all that we have learned. Everything is acquired 
at the cost of effort; what we need is to labor patiently, in order 
to acquire in the real sense. To-day it is the fashion to study in 
order to enter upon that particular business or profession that is 
destined to be our life's work; what we ought to do instead, is to 
devote our energies to the conquest of thought and the elevation 
of the spirit. 

The didactic method that I am trying to illustrate is not a new 
one; it dates back to the first precursors of scientific pedagogy. 
Half a century ago, a marvellous work on pedagogy, based on 
similar principles, was issued from the press; it was the method 
elaborated by Seguin, based on thirty years of practical experi- 
ence in the education of idiotic children. Such a system cannot 
be foreign to the interests of schools intended for average, normal 
children, because it is not a specialised method, like that for deaf- 
mutes or for the blind. Being designed for the mentally deficient, 
this method applies to any class of undeveloped beings who are 
striving to grow bigger; we may even apply it to ourselves, and 
thereby increase our own mental stature. In short, pedagogically 
considered, it is a rational method. 

Perhaps it is already familiar to a good many of you; but an 
example or two will serve to illustrate it. Let us suppose that we 
have to impart a lesson in history to a deficient pupil : first of all, 
a picture is shown him, representing an historic fact; then the 
same fact v/ill be shown him in as many different ways as possible — 
through the cinematograph, for example. Finally it will be acted 


on the stage; and in this case, it is the children themselves who 
prepare the setting and endeavor, to the best of their ability, to 
impersonate the historic figures. Now, it is precisely at ijie 
moment when they are reproducing the scene that these children 
feel it, and it is only then that they learn. But this is ^ot peculiar 
to deficient children: the same path is the common path for all; it 
is necessary for all of us to assimilate mentally and to feel, before 
we can say: I have learned. If there is a latent tendency in the 
mind of a normal child to love historic happenings, then he will 
love them, and thus reveal to his teacher_^ne of his intimate and 
secret tendencies; in other words, we shall have developed a taste, 
of which the hidden germs already existed. Perhaps it was in some 
such way that Sabatier succeeded in realising the environment and 
the life of St. Francis of Assisi. 

Let us suppose, again, that we have to teach a child what is 
meant, in geography, by a mountain, a lake, or an island. Accord- 
ing to Seguin's method, we should take the child out into the 
garden, and make him construct a miniature mountain with 
earth, a lake with water, etc., than make him trace their geograph- 
ical outline with chalk, then make him paint them in oils or water- 
colours, so that in the end he will have, as the result of his handi- 
work, a little monument, so to speak, of the acquired lesson. It is 
only after a child has worked that he begins to learn and to be in- 
terested. Does not everyone know that, as between the one who 
receives, and the one who confers a favor, it is the latter who 
cares the more, because he has done something? The next step 
is to take the pupil to the top of some hill, so that he may see with 
his own eyes the things that we have taught him in the garden 
and through the medium of work; and in the silent contemplation 
of nature, it may happen that a normal child will hear the call of 
her mysterious voice, and reveal a dormant tendency to become 
some day, perhaps, a geographer, or an explorer, like the Duke of 
the Abruzzi; or perhaps he will feel that lure of nature which, 
some day or other, when he reaches maturity, will lead him to 
investigate the secrets of the earth and of meteorological phenom- 
ena, even to the point of such heroic sacrifice as was exemplified 
by Professor Matteucci, during the eruption of Vesuvius. 

Repeating the same things over and over, keeping the mind 
fixed upon the selfsame lesson, teaching how to reproduce objects 
by the work of the hands, bringing the pupil into direct contact 


with the object that he is desired to study, such is the true way to 
enable him to learn. The man who has been educated according 
to this method has not fruitlessly expended his energy in fatiguing 
study; he has preserved his forces unimpaired; indeed, if anything, 
they are all the sounder and more flourishing. By such a system 
of education, we launch upon the world a sturdy generation, 
imbued with that living energy, that constitutes the one and only 
mainspring that really makes the world move. 

Accordingly this is the method that we shall follow: studying, 
repeating, working experimentally: the subject of our study is 
humanity; our pupose is to become teachers. Now, what really 
makes a teacher is love for the human child; for it is love that 
transforms the social duty of the educator into the higher con- 
sciousness of a mission. 

The Limits of Pedagogical Anthropology 

In concluding this preamble, it may be well to define the form 
of study and the purposes of pedagogical anthropology; in order 
to distinguish it clearly from general anthropology and from the 
allied branches of applied anthropology (criminal and medical 
anthropology) . 

Pedagogical anthropology, like all the other branches of anthro- 
pology, studies man from the naturalistic point of view ; but, unlike 
general anthropology, it does not concern itself with the philo- 
sophic problems related to it, such, for instance, as the origin of 
man, the theories of monism or polygenism, of emigration, and 
classification according to race; problems which, as everyone knows, 
are difficult of solution, and which constitute the pivot on which 
biological anthropology revolves. Thus, for example, bacteri- 
ology has its origin in biology, in so far as it has certain orders of 
living organisms for the subject of its research; but it well nigh 
ignores the problems of biological philosophy associated with 
them, such as the origin of living matter and of the primitive cell; 
the fixity or variability of monocellular species; the possibility 
of life in the isolated nucleus (the microbe), or in the isolated 
protoplasm (the monera), but it devotes itself to the direct study 
of microscopic organisms, both in themselves alone and in their 
influence upon their environment; in short, bacteriology has for 
its purpose the acquirement of that practical knowledge necessary 


for a successful campaign against the causes of infective maladies, 
and for rendering infected districts sanitary. In much the same 
way, pedagogical anthropology, considered as a form of study, 
departs from general anthropology. It studies man from two 
different points of view: his development (ontogenesis), and his 

Since many causes concur in producing variations in the indi- 
vidual during his development (social causes, pathological causes, 
etc.), we have to take into consideration, and frequently invoke the 
aid of subsidiary sciences (sociology, pathology, hygiene). Varia- 
tions constitute the most important subject of inquiry in pedagogic 
anthropology, just as iixed characteristics constitute the essential 
matter of research in general anthropology: because the latter 
endeavours, by the help of fixed characteristics, to trace back to 
the origin of species, while the former tries, through the help of 
variable characteristics, to discover a way for the future perfec- 
tionment of the human species and the individual: indeed, this is 
precisely what constitutes the practical purpose of its application 
to pedagogy. 

In comparison with criminal and medical anthropology, peda- 
gogic anthropology differs substantially in its declared intentions. 
These other two kindred branches endeavour to diagnose the per- 
sonality of the individual; we must admit that both psychiatry 
and general medical practice profit by the application of anthro- 
pology to the extent of securing greater accuracy in diagnosis and 
prognosis; but whenever the study of a patient's 'personality sheds 
light upon decisions of this sort, it generally follows that the 
personality is fixed and unalterable. For instance, when, in 
medical practice an individual constitution is shown to be fatally pre- 
disposed to certain definite diseases, that is precisely one of the cases 
where medical treatment is most impotent; and the same may be 
said when, in the practice of criminal law we find a defendant 
whose personality is profoundly degenerate. It follows that the 
application of these new anthropological methods is substantially 
diagnostic; furthermore, they are limited to special classes of 
human beings, to those who are physiologically the most impover- 
ished, such as criminals and the diseased. Pedagogic anthropology, 
on the contrary, embraces all humanity; but it pays special atten- 
tion to that part of it which is psychologically superior : the normal 
human being. Its purpose is none the less diagnostic; but it 


regards diagnosis as constituting a means, and not merely indicat- 
ing an end; because the end projected by pedagogic anthropology 
is a far-reaching and rational system of hygiene. 

More than that, the proposed system is the one true one, a 
hygiene that pays more attention to the man himself than to 
his environment; striving to perfect him in his physiological 
functions, or to correct any tendency to abnormal and patho- 
logical deviations. 

It follows that, in pedagogic anthropology, the direction taken 
by the naturalistic study of man is predominantly physiological. 

In the same manner as the other two kindred branches of anthro- 
pology, this branch which has joined forces with pedagogy has 
severed connection with the original parent stock of general 
anthropology, and abandoned its dogmatisms and to a large extent 
its phraseology. 

Criminal anthropology, for example, shows great daring and 
scant accuracy in its affirmations and its researches; and to a large 
extent it has acquired a nomenclature of its own; and medical 
anthropology lays down laws that general anthropology never 
took into consideration, and neglects to bestow particular attention 
upon the head, which formed the object of fundamental research in 
general anthropology. 

In the same way, pedagogic anthropology has had to emancipate 
itself from the general science from which it has sprung, in order to 
proceed unhampered along the practical line of research, which 
consists essentially in a study of the pupil and the compilation of 
biographic charts, from which a fund of material will result, 
destined to enrich the scientific content of this branch of learning. 

But since the study of the pupil must not be morphological 
alone, but psychological as well, it is necessary for anthropology to 
invoke the aid of experimental psychology, in order to achieve 
its purpose. Now it is essential to psychology, no less than to 
pedagogic anthropology, to study the reactions of the physiological 
and psychical personality of the child in the environment which we 
call school. Consequently it is reserved for the teacher to make a 
large contribution to these two parallel sciences, which are coming 
to assume the highest social importance. 

It follows further that pedagogic anthropology differs from the 
other two allied branches in its practical applications; the progress 
of criminal and medical anthropology requires, as a matter of fact, 


only the labors of medical specialists; in the case of pedagogic 
anthropology there is equally a need of medical specialists, to 
whom the diagnosis and the treatment of abnormal pupils must be 
entrusted, as well as the hygiene of their development ; but in addi- 
tion to these, the teachers also are summoned to a vast task of 
observation, which, by its continuity, will supplement and com- 
plete the periodic observations of the physician. 

Furthermore, the teacher will acquire under the guidance of 
anthropology certain practical rules in the art of educating the 
child; and it is this especially that makes the anthropological and 
psychological training of the modern teacher so necessary. 

The school constitutes an immense field for research; it is a 
''pedagogical clinic," which, in view of its importance, can be 
compared to no other gathering of subjects for study. Thanks to 
the system of compulsory education, it gathers to itself every 
living human being of both sexes and of every social caste, normal 
and abnormal; and it retains them there, throughout a most 
important period of their growth. This is the field, therefore, 
in which the culture of the human race can really and practically 
be undertaken; and the joint labour of physician and teacher 
will sow the seed of a future human hygiene, adapted to achieve 
perfection in man, both as a species and as a social unit. 



In order to understand the practical researches that must be 
conducted for anthropological purposes, it is necessary to have 
an adequate preparation in the science of biology. The inter- 
pretation of the data that have to be gathered according to tech- 
nical procedure, demands a training; and this training will form our 
subject in the theoretic part of the present volume. The limits, 
however, not only of the book itself, but' of pedagogic anthropology 
as well, preclude anything more than a simple general outline; 
but this can be supplemented by those other branches of study 
which are either collateral to it or constitute its necessary basis 
(i.e., general biology, human anatomy and physiology, hygiene of 
environment, general anthropology, etc.). 

The Mateeial Substeatum of Life 
The Synthetic Concept of the Individual in Biology 

According to the materialistic theories of life, of which Haeckel 
is the most noted supporter, life was derived from a form of matter, 
protoplasm, which not only has a special chemical composition, 
but possesses further the property of a constant molecular move- 
ment of scission and redintegration; vital metabolism or inter- 
change of matter, by which the molecules are constantly renewed 
at the expense of the environment. 

It was Huxley who defined protoplasm as the physical basis of 
life; and, as a matter of fact, life does not exist without protoplasm. 
But Schultze and Haeckel carried this doctrine further, to the 
point of maintaining that a minute particle of protoplasm was all 
that was needed to constitute life; and that such a particle could 
be formed naturally, whenever the surrounding conditions were 
favorable, like any other inorganic chemical substance; and in 
this way the materialists endeavoured, with great ingenuousness, 
to maintain the spontaneous origin of life. And when Haeckel 



thought that he had discovered the monerce or living cells composed 
of a single particle of protoplasm, he held that these were the first 
species to have appeared on earth. 

But the further researches of physiologists and the improve- 
ments in the technique of the microscope proved that protoplasm 
does not exist independently in nature; because living cells are 
always a combination of protoplasm and a nucleus. If the nucleus 
is extracted from a radiolarium, the latter mortifies, and the proto- 
plasm also dies; if an amoeba is severed in such a manner that one 
part contains nucleus and protoplasm and the other protoplasm 
alone, it will be found that the latter part mortifies and dies, 
while the first part continues to live. If an infusorium is divided 
in such a way that each of the separate sections contains a part of 
the nucleus and a part of the protoplasm, two living infusoria are 
developed similar to the original one. Experiments of this kind, 
to which Verworn has given high authority, serve to prove that 
life does not exist except in cells divisible into protoplasm and 
nucleus. Further discoveries confirm this theory, as for instance 
the presence of a nucleus in hemacytes or red blood corpuscles, 
which were formerly believed to be instances of anuclear cells; 
and the discovery of protoplasm in microbes, which had formerly 
been considered free nuclei. 

Now, when we have an independent living cell, it represents an 
individual, which not only has, as a general feature, this primitive 
complexity of parts, but also certain special characteristics of 
form, of reaction to environment, etc., that mark the species to 
which this particular living creature belongs. 

Accordingly, we cannot assert, without committing the error 
of confining ourselves to a generic detail, that life originates in pro- 
toplasm or in a combination divisible into protoplasm and nucleus; 
we should say that life originates in living individuals; since, aside 
from abstract speculation, there can be no other material substra- 
tum of life. 

Such a doctrine is eminently synthetic, and opens the mind to 
new conceptions regarding the properties that characterise life. 

Formerly when life was defined as a form of matter (proto- 
plasm) subject to constant movement (metabolism), only a single 
general property had been stated; for that matter, even the stars 
consist of matter and movement; and, according to the modern 
theory of electrons, atoms are composed of little particles strongly 


charged with electricity and endowed with perennial motion. 
Accordingly, these are universal characteristics, and not peculiar 
to life; and metabolism may be regarded as a variation of such 
a property, which is provoked by, or at least associated with the 
phenomenon of life. 

The properties which are really characteristic of life have been 
summed up by Laloy in two essential groups; final causes and 
limitations of mass, or, to use a term more appropriate to living 
organisms, limitations of form and size. 

The term final causes refers to a series of phenomena that are 
met with only where there is life, and that tend toward a definite 
purpose or end. Living organisms take nutriment from their 
environment, to the end of assimilating it, that is, transforming it 
from an inert, indifferent substance into a substance that is a 
living part of themselves. 

This phenomenon is undoubtedly one of the most characteristic. 
But there are still other forms of final cause, such for example as 
the transformation of the fertilised ovum into the fully developed 
individual, predetermined in its essential characteristics, such as 
form, dimensions, colour, activities, etc. There are ova that to all 
appearances are exactly alike; the human ovum itself is nothing 
more than a simple cell composed of protoplasm and nucleus, 
measuring only a tenth of a millimeter ( = -^-q inch) ; yet all 
these ovum cells produce living organisms of the utmost diversity; 
yet so definitely predetermined that, if we know to what species 
the ovum belongs, we are able to predict how many bones will 
compose the skeleton of the animal destined to develop from it, 
and whether this animal will fly or creep upon the ground, or rise 
to take a place among those who have made themselves the lords 
,of the earth. Furthermore, knowing the phases of development, 
we may predetermine at what periods the successive transforma- 
tions that lead step by step to the complete development of the 
individual will take place. 

Another form of final cause is seen in the actions of living 
creatures, which reveal a self -consciousness; a consciousness that 
even in its most obscure forms guides them toward a destined end. 

Thus, for example, even the infusoria that may be seen through 
a microscope in a drop of water, chasing hither and thither in 
great numbers, avoiding collision with one another, or contending 
over some particle of food, or rushing in a mass toward an un- 


expected ray of light, give us a keen impression of their possession 
of consciousness, a dim ghmmering of self-will, which is the most 
elementary form of that phenomenon that manifests itself more 
and more clearly, from the metazoa upward, through the whole 
zoologic scale : the final cause of psychic action. 

Again, in multicellular organisms there are certain continuous 
and so-called vital phenomena, which some physiologists attribute 
to cellular consciousness: for example, the leucocytes in the blood 
seem to obey a sort of glimmering consciousness when they rush 
to the encounter of any danger threatening the organism, and 
ingest microbes or other substances foreign to the blood; and it is 
also due to a phenomenon that cannot be explained by the phys- 
ical laws of osmosis, that the erythrocytes or red blood corpuscles 
and the plasma in the blood never interchange sodium salts for 
those of potassium; and lastly the cells of each separate gland seem 
to select from the blood the special substances that are needed for 
the formation of their specific products : saliva, milk, the pancreatic 
juice, etc. 

Still another manifestation of iinal cause is the tendency ex- 
hibited by each living individual to make a constant struggle for 
life, a struggle that depends upon a minimum expenditure of force 
for a maximum realisation of life, thanks to which life multiplies, 
invades its environment, adapts itself to it, and is transformed. 

Another fundamental synthetic characteristic of life is the 
limitation of form and size that is a fixed and constant factor in 
the characteristics of each species ; the body of the living individual 
cannot grow indefinitely. 

Living creatures do not increase in quantity by the successive 
accumulation of matter, as is the case with inorganic bodies, but 
by reproduction, that is, the multiplication of individuals. 

Through the phenomenon of reproduction, life has a share in 
the eternity of matter and of force, that is, in a universal phenom- 
enon. But what distinguishes it is that the individual creatures 
produced by other living individuals form, each one of them, an 
indivisible element in which life manifests itself; and this element 
is morphologically fixed in the limits of its form and size. 

The peculiarities which are attributed to the chemical action 
of protoplasm are of an analytic character, so far as they concern 
the fundamental characteristics of life. The constant inter- 
change of matter, namely, metabolism, constitutes undoubtedly a 


phenomeDon peculiar to living matter, protoplasm; but protoplasm 
does not exist apart from living organisms. And what constitutes 
its chief characteristic is that, when brought into contact with it, 
inert substances are assimilated, i. e., they become like it, or 
rather, are transformed into protoplasm; mineral salts such as the 
nitrates or nitrites of sodium and potassium are transformed in the 
case of plants into living plasma capable of germinating either into 
a rose bush or a plane tree or a palm, and inert organic substances 
such as bread or wine are transformed into human flesh and blood. 
So that the phenomenon of assimilation outweighs, as a character- 
istic of life, the molecular chemical action through which it is 
accomplished. Since metabolism does not occur in nature as a 
chemical phenomenon, and cannot be produced artificially, but 
is found only in the matter composing living organisms, it follows 
that life is the cause of this form of dynamic action, and not that 
this dynamic action is the cause of life.* 

Even the latest theory, developed especially by Ludwig in 
Germany — that protoplasm contains a separate enzyme for each 
separate function appointed to a particular task — amounts to 
nothing more than an analysis of the living organism. 

The Formation of Multicellular Organisms 

We cannot say that the cell is the element of life, because, in 
an absolute sense, it is not alive; it lives only when it constitutes 
an individual. Even the brain cells, the muscular fibres, the leuco- 
cytes, etc., are cells; but they do not live independently; their life 
depends upon the living individual that contains them. We may, 
however, define the cell as the means, the morphological material, 
out of which all living organisms are formed: because, from the 
algse to the orchids, from the coelenterata up to man, all complex 
organisms are composed of an accumulation of those microscopic 
little bodies that we call cells. 

The manner of union between the cells in the most primitive 
living colonies, whether vegetable or animal, is analogous to that 
followed in the segmentation of the ovum in its ontogenetic {i.e., 
individual) development. 

*See further, as to these fundamental ideas: Laloy, L' Evolution de la Vie. Petite En- 
cyclopedie dii XX Sihcle; Claude Bernard, Legons sur les Phenomhnes de la Vie; Le 
Dentu, in La Matihre Vivante, et Theorie nouvelle de la Vie; Luciani, Fisiologia Umana, 
in the first chapter: "Material Substratum of Vital Phenomena." 


But the manner of construction differs notably, as between 
animal and vegetable cells. 

Vegetable cells, on the one hand, have a resistant and strongly 
protective membrane; animal cells, on the contrary, have either 
a very thin membrane or none at all. Vegetable cells, as though 
made venturesome by their natural protection, proceed to invade 
their environment in colonies — in other words, the cells dispose 
themselves in series of linear ramifications — witness the formation 
of primitive algae; and analogously the expansion of the higher 
types of vegetation into their environment, with branches, leaves, 
etc. And just as though the vegetable cell acquired self-confi- 
dence because it is so well protected, it becomes stationary and 
strikes its roots into the soil. 

To this same fact of cellular protection must be attributed the 
inferior sensibility and hence the permanent state of obscured 
consciousness in vegetable life. 

This protection against the assaults of environment, and the con- 
sequent lack of sensibility, constitute from the outset an inferior 
stage of evolution. 

Animal cells have an entirely different manner of forming 
themselves into colonies; acting as though they were afraid, they 
group themselves in the form of a little sphere, enclosing their 
environment within themselves, instead of reaching out to invade 
it; and subsequent developments of the animal cell consist in suc- 
cessive and complex invaginations, or formations of layers, one 
within another — instead of ramifications, after the manner of 
vegetable cells. 

Accordingly, if we advance from that primitive animal type, the 
volvox, consisting of a simple group of cells arranged spherically, 
like an elastic rubber ball, to the coelenterata, we meet with the 
phenomenon of the first invagination, producing an animal body 
consisting of two layers of cells and an internal cavity, communicating 
with the exterior by means of a pore or mouth. The two layers 
of cells promptly divide their task, the outer layer becoming pro- 
tective and the inner nutritive; and in consequence of their different 
functions, the cells themselves alter, the outer layer acquiring a 
tougher consistency, while the inner remains soft in order to absorb 
whatever nutriment is brought by the water as it passes through 
the mouth. In this way, there is a division of labor, such that all 
the external cells protect not only themselves, but the whole 



organism; while the internal cells absorb nutriment not only for 
themselves but for the others. This is the simplest example of a 
process that becomes more and more complex in the formation of 
higher organisms; in adapting themselves to their work, the cells 
become greatly modified (formation of tissues) and perform 
services that are useful to the entire organism. And at the same 
time, because of the very fact that they have been differentiated, 
they become dependent upon the labors of others, for obtaining 
the means of subsistence. Similar laws seem to 
persist even at the present day in the formation 
of social organisms, in human society. 

During the development of the embryo, all 
animals pass through similar phases; and to this 
man is no exception. 

He traces his origin to an ovum-cell formed 
of protoplasm, nucleus and membrane, measur- 
ing only a tenth of a millimetre, yet vastly large 
in comparison with the spermatic cell destined 
to fertilise it by passing through one of the innumerable pores 
that render the dense membrane penetrable. 

After the ovum-cell is fertilised, it consti- 
tutes the first cell of the new being; that is, it 
contains potentially a man. But as seen through 
the microscope, it is really not materially any- 

FiG. 1. — Human 
Ovum, Magnified. 
a. Vitelline mem- 
brane; b. Vitellus; c. 
Germinal Vesicle. 

Fig. 2. — First 
Segmentation of a 
Fertilised Ovum. 

Fig. 3.— a Morula 
as seen from the 

Fig. 4. — An Egg and 
Spermatozoon of the 
same Species, about to 
Fertilise It. Note the 
difference in the pro- 
portional size of the 
two cells. 

thing more than a microscopic cell, undifferentiated, and in all 
things similar to other independent cells or to fertilised ovarian 
cells belonging to other animals. That which it contains, namely, 
man, often already predetermined not only in species, but in 


individual characteristics — as, for instance, in degenerative in- 
feriority — is certainly not there in material form. 

At an early stage of the embryo's development, it exhibits a 
form analogous to that of the volvox; namely, a hollow sphere, 
called the morula; and subsequently, by the process of invagi- 
nation, two layers of cells, an inner and an outer, are formed, 
together with the first body cavity, destined to become the 
digestive cavity, and also a pore corresponding to the mouth. 

This formation has received the name of gastrula (Fig. 10, facing 
page 72), and the two layers of cells are known as the primary 
layers, otherwise called the ectoderm and the entoderm. To these a 
third intermediate layer is soon added, the mesoderm. These three 
layers consist of cells that are not perceptibly differentiated from 
one another; but potentially each and every one contains its own 
special final cause. In each of the three layers, invaginations take 
place, furrows destined to develop into the nervous system, the 
lungs, the liver, the various different glands, the generative organs; 
and during the progress of such modifications, corresponding 
changes take place in the elementary cells, which become differ- 
entiated into tissues. From the ectoderm are developed the nerv- 
ous system and the skin tissues; from the entoderm, the digestive 
system with its associate glands (the liver, pancreas, etc.) ; from 
the mesoderm, the supporting tissues (bones and cartilage) and 
the muscles. But all these cells, even the most complex and spe- 
cialised, as for example those of the cerebral cortex, the fibres of 
the striped muscles, the hepatic cells, etc., were orginally em- 
bryonic cells — in other words, simple, undifferentiated, all starting 
on an equal footing. Yet every one of them had within it a 
predestined end that led it to occupy, as it multiplied in number, 
a certain appointed portion of the body, in order to perform 
the work, to which the profound alterations in its cellular tissues 
should ultimately adapt it. 

Like children in the same school, these embryonic cells, all 
apparently just alike, contain certain dormant activities and des- 
tinies that are profoundly different. This unquestionably con- 
stitutes one of the properties of life, namely, the final cause; it 
is certainly associated intimately with metabolism and nutrition, 
considered as a means of development and not as a cause. Upon 
metabolism, however, depends the more or less complete attain- 
ment of the final cause of life. In man, for example, strength, 


health, beauty, on the one hand, degeneration on the other, stand 
in intimate relations with the nutrition of the embryo.* 

The Theories of Evolution. — At the present day, there is a 
general popular understanding of the fundamental principles 
involved in the mechanical or materialistic theories of evolution 
which bear the names of Lamarck, Geffroy-Saint-Hilaire, and 
more especially the glorious name of Charles Darwin. 

According to these theories, the environment is regarded as 
the chief cause of the evolution of organic forms. Charles Darwin, 
who formulated the best and most detailed theory of evolution, 
based it on the two principles of the variability of living organisms, 
and heredity, which transmits their characteristics from generation 
to generation. And in explanation of the underlying cause of 
evolution, he expounded the doctrines of the struggle for existence 
and the natural selection of such organic forms as succeeded to a 
sufficient degree in adapting themselves to their environment. 

Whatever the explanation may be, the substantial fact re- 
mains of the variability of species and the successive and gradual 
transition from lower to higher forms. In this way, the higher 
animals and plants must have had as antecedents other forms of 
inferior species, of which they still bear more or less evident traces; 
and in applying these theories to the interpretation of the person- 
alities of human degenerates, he frequently invoked the so-called 
principle of atavism, in order to explain the reappearance of atavis- 
tic traits that have been outgrown in the normal human being, 
certain anomalies of form more or less analogous to parallel forms 
in lower species of animals. 

There are other theories of evolution less familiar than that of 
Darwin. Naegeli, for instance, attributes the variability of 
species to internal, rather than external causes — namely, to a 
spontaneous activity, implanted in life itself, and analogous to 
that which is witnessed in the development of an individual organ- 
ism, from the primitive cell up to the final complete development; 
without, however, attributing to the progressive alterations in 
species that predestined final goal which heredity determines in 
the development of individual organisms. 

The internal factor, namely life, is the primary cause of progress 
and the perfectionment of living creatures — while environment 

* Consult: H aeckel,, Anthropogenie; E. Perkier, Les Colonies animales et la Formation 
des Organismes; Richet, L' Effort vers la Vie, et la Theorie des Causes finales. 


assumes a secondary importance, such as that of directing evolu- 
tion, acting at one time as a stimulus toward certain determined 
directions of development; at another, permanently establishing 
certain useful characteristics; and still again, effacing such forms 
as are unfit. 

In this way the external causes are associated with evolution, 
but with very different effects from those attributed to them by 
Darwin, who endowed them with the creative power to produce 
new organs and new forms of life. 

Naegeli compared the internal forces to invested capital; it 
will draw a higher or lower rate of interest, according as its environ- 
ment proves to be more or less favourable to earning a profit. 

The most modern theory of evolution is that of De Vries, who, 
after having witnessed the spontaneous and unforeseen transfor- 
mations of a certain plant, the (Enohtera Lamarckiana, without 
the intervention of any external phenomenon, admitted the pos- 
sibility of the unexpected occurrence of other new forms, from a 
preexistent parent form — and to such phenomena he gave the 
name of mutations. 

It is these mutations that create new species; the latter, although 
apparently unheralded, were already latent in the germ before they 
definitely burst into life. Consequently, new species are formed 
potentially in the germinating cells, through spontaneous activity. 

The characteristics established by mutations are hereditary, 
and the species which result from them persist, provided their 
environment affords favourable conditions, better suited to them 
than to the preexisting parent form. 

Accordingly new species are created unexpectedly. De Vries 
draws a distinction between mutations and variations, holding 
that the latter are dependent upon environment, and that in any 
case they constitute simple oscillations of form around the normal 
type determined in each species by mutation. 

Species, therefore, cannot be transformed by external causes or 
environments, and the mechanism of transformation is not that 
of a succession of very gradual variations, which have given rise 
to the familiar saying: natura non facit saltus. On the contrary, 
what produces stable characteristics is a revolution prepared in 
a latent state, but unannounced in its final disclosure. A parallel 
to this is to be found, for example, in the phenomena of puberty 
in its relation to the evolution of the individual. 


Now, when a species has once reached a fixed stability as 
regards its characteristics, it is immutable, after the analogy of an 
individual organism that has completed its development; hence- 
forth its further evolution is .ended. In such a case, the oscilla- 
tions of variability are exceedingly limited, and adaptation to 
new environments is difficult; and while a species may offer the 
appearance of great strength (e.g., certain species of gigantic 
extinct animals), it runs the risk of dying out, because of a lower 
potentiality of adaptability; or, according to the theory of Rosa, 
it m.ay even become extinct spontaneously. 

Accordingly it is not the fixed species that continue the process 
of evolution. If we compare the tree of life to a plant, we may 
imagine evolution as soaring upward, sustained by roots far below; 
the new branches are not put forth by the old branches, but draw 
their sustenance from the original sources, from which the whole 
tree draws its life. When a branch matures and flowers, it may 
survive or it may wither but it cannot extend the growth of the 

Furthermore, the new branches are always higher up than the 
old ones; that which comes last is the highest of all. 

Thus, the species which are the latest in acquiring a stable form 
are the highest up in the biological scale, because the privilege 
of carrying forward the process of evolution belongs to those 
species which have not yet become fixed. An apparent weakness, 
instability, an active capacity for adaptation, are consequently 
so many signs of superiority, as regards a potential power of evolu- 
tion — just as the nudity and sensibility of animal cells, for example, 
are signs of superiority, as compared with vegetable cells — and of 
man, as compared with the lower animals. 

In order to show that the inferiority of a species is in propor- 
tion to its precocity in attaining fixed characteristics, Rosa con- 
ceived the following striking comparison. Two animals are 
fleeing, along the same road, before an advancing flood. One of 
the two climbs to the top of a neighboring tree, the other continues 
in its flight toward a mountain. As the level of the water rises, 
it threatens to isolate and engulf the animal now stalled upon the 
tree; the other animal, still fleeing toward the heights, reaches, on 
the contrary, a higher and more secure position. 

The animal on the tree stands for an inferior species that has 
earlier attained a fixed form; the other represents a higher species 


that has continued to evolve; but the animal upon the mountain 
never was on the tree at all, because, if he had mounted it and 
become caught there, he would have lost his chance of continuing 
on his way. In other words, the higher species never was the lower 
species, since the characteristics of the latter are already fixed. 

Some eloquent comparisons might be drawn from the social 
life of to-day. We are all of us spurred on to choose as early as 
possible some form of employment that will place us in a secure 
and definite place at the great banquet of existence. The idea of 
continuing to follow an indefinite and uncertain path, leading 
upward toward the heights is far less attractive than the safe and 
comfortable shelter of the shady tree that rises by the wayside. 
The same law of inertia applies to every form of life. Biological 
evolution bears witness to it, in the /orms of the different species; 
social evolution, in the forms of the professions and trades; the 
evolution of thought, in the forms of the different faiths. And 
whoever first halts in any path of life, the path of study, for 
instance, occupies a lower place than he who continues on his road. 

The salaried clerk, armed only with his high-school certificate, 
has an assured income and the pleasures of family life, at a time 
when the physician, with an independent profession, is still strug- 
gling to establish a practice. But the obscure clerk will eventu- 
ally hold a social position below that of the physician; his income 
will always be limited, while the physician may acquire a fortune. 
Now, the clerk, by adapting himself to his bureaucratic environ- 
ment, has acquired certain well-defined characteristics; we might 
even say that he has become a representative type of the species, 
clerk. And the same will be true of the physician in his independ- 
ent and brilliant life as high priest of humanity, scientist and man 
of wealth. Both men were high-school students, and now they 
are two widely different social types; but the physician never 
represented the type of clerk; or, in other words, he did not have 
to be a clerk before he could be a physician; on the contrary, if he 
had been a clerk, he never could have become a physician. It is 
somewhat after this fashion that we must conceive of the sequence 
of species in evolution. It follows that man never was an anthro- 
poid ape, nor any other animal now living around us. Nor was 
the man of the white race ever at any time a negroid or a mongo- 
lian. Consequently, the theory is untenable which tries to ex- 
plain certain morphological or psychic malformations of man, on 


the principle of atavism — because no one can inherit if he is not a 

So, for example, reverting to our previous comparisons, if the 
animal on the mountain should climb a tree, or if the physician 
should become pedantic, this would not prove that the animal 
from the mountain was once upon a time the animal in the tree, 
nor that the physician recalled, by his eventual pedantry, certain 
by-gone days when he was a clerk. 

The theories of evolution seemed for a time to illumine and 
definitely indicate the origin of man. But this illusion has so far 
resulted only in relegating to still deeper darkness the truth that 
the biologists are seeking. We do not know of whom man is the 

Even the earlier conceptions regarding the mechanics of evolu- 
tion are essentially altered. The mystery of the origin of species, 
like that of the mutability of forms, has withdrawn from the forms 
that are already developed, and taken refuge in the germinal cells; 
these cells in which no differentiation is revealed, yet in which the 
future organism, in all its details, exists in a potential state; in 
which, we may even say, life exists independent of matter, are the 
real laboratorium vitce. The individual, in developing, does noth- 
ing more than obey, by fulfilling the potentiality of the germs. 

The direction of research has shifted from the individual to its 
germs. And just as the early Darwinian theories evolved a 
social ethics, seemingly based upon the facts of life, to serve as a 
guide in the struggle for existence, so in the same way, to-day, 
there has arisen from the modern theories a new sexual ethics, 
founded upon a biologic basis. 

The Phenomena of Heredity. — The most interesting biological 
researches of to-day are in regard to the hereditary transmission 
of characteristics. 

To-day the phenomena of heredity are no longer absolutely 
obscure, thanks to the studies of Mendel, who discovered some 
of its laws, which seemed to open up new lines of research prolific 
in results. Yet even now, although this field has been invaded 
by the most illustrious biologists of our time, among others, 
De Vries, Correns, Tschermack, Hurst, Russell, it is still in the 
state of investigation. Nevertheless, the general trend of researches 
relative to Mendel's laws is too important to permit of their 
enlightening first steps being neglected by Anthropology. 


The first phenomena observed by Mendel, and the ones which 
led him to the discovery of the laws of heredity which bear his 
name, were revealed by a series of experiments conducted with 

Exposition of the Phenomena of Hybridism. — If two strains of 
peas are crossed, one of them having red flowers and the other 
white flowers, the result in the first generation is, that all the 
plants will have red flowers, precisely similar to those of one of 
the parent plants. 

Accordingly, in hybridism, the characteristic of one of the 
parents completely hides that which is antagonistic to it in the 
other parent. We call this characteristic (in the case cited, the 
red flowers), dominant; in distinction to the other characteristic 
which is antagonistic to the first and overcome by it; namely, the 
recessive characteristic (in the present case, the white flowers). 
This is the law of prevalence, and constitutes Mendel's first law, 
which is stated as follows: 

MendeVs First Law: ''When antagonistic varieties or charac- 
teristics are crossed with each other, the products of the first 
generation are all uniform and equal to one of the two parents." 

This result has been repeatedly reached in a host of researches, 
which have experimentally established this phenomenon as a law. 

Thus, for example, if we cross a nettle having leaves with an 
indented margin, with a nettle having leaves with a smooth margin, 
the product of the first generation will all have leaves with in- 
dented margins, and apparently identical with the parent plant 
having indented margins, in other words, having the character- 
istic that has proved itself the dominant one (Russell) . 

These phenomena discovered by Mendel have been observed 
in many different species of plants, such as wheat, Indian corn, 
barley and beans. 

They have also been verified in certain animals, such as mice, 
rats, rabbits, caveys, poultry, snails, silk-worms, etc. One of the 
most typical experiments was that of Cuenot, who, by crossing 
ordinary mice with jumping mice, obtained as a result a first 
generation composed wholly of normal mice; the characteristic of 
jumping was thus shown to be recessive. 

Notwithstanding that the first generation is apparently in 
every way similar to the parent with the dominant character, 
there is in reality a difference. 


Because, if we cross these hybrids together, we meet, in the 
second generation, with the following phenomenon : to every three 
individuals possessing the dominant character, one is born having 
the recessive character. To go back to Mendel's first example, 
that of the peas with red flowers (dominant) and with white 
flowers (recessive), we find, by crossing together the hybrids of 
the first generation, that for every three plants with red flowers, 
there is one plant with white flowers. 

And similarly, the crossing of hybrid nettles with indented 
leaves will result in a second generation composed of three plants 
with indented leaves to every one with smooth-edged leaves (see 
Fig. 5). 


W^ jL 


H «il* 1114 ii 

Fig. 5. 

That is, the characteristics which belonged to the first two 
parents all survive, even though in a latent form, in the descen- 
dants; and they continue to differentiate themselves in well 
established proportions. In one offspring out of four, the charac- 
teristics of the grandfather, which have remained dormant in the 
father, once more reappear. This intermittent heredity of 


characteristics, that are passed from grandfather to grandson, 
overleaping the father, is one of the best-known laws of path- 
ological heredity in man; and it is called atavistic heredity, to dis- 
tinguish it from direct heredity, which denotes the transmission 
from parent to offspring. But no explanation had ever been 
found for this sort of phenomenon. Undoubtedly, it must be 
connected with the phenomena of Mendelism. 

Accordingly, in the second generation Mendel's second law has 
been established, the law of disjunction, which is stated as follows : 

MendeVs Second Law: "In the second generation obtained by 
reciprocal fertilisation of the first hybrids, three quarters of the 
offspring will exhibit the dominant character, and one quarter the 

MendeVs Hypothesis, Designed to Explain the Phenomena of 
Heredity. — Mendel's great service is to have conceived a hypoth- 
esis that seems to have disclosed the key adapted to unlock all 
the secrets of heredity. 

While the body of an individual is the resultant of forces so 
mutually exclusive that the appearance of one characteristic 
means the disappearance of its antagonist; in the development of 
the sexual cells the two antagonistic characters are distributed in equal 
proportion. That is to say, one-half of the male cells contain the 
dominant character, and one-half the recessive; and the same 
holds true for the female cells. The characters of the two parents, 
in other words, never merge in the reproductive cells, but are 
distributed in equal measure, independently of the question 
whether they are dominant or recessive. Thus for example: in 
the case already cited of the first hybrid generation of the peas 
with red flowers, in every one of the plants, without distinction, 
half the pollen has potentially the red character and half has the 
white; and in the same way the female cells have, half of them a 
red potentiality and half of them a white. Such hybrids of the 
first generation, therefore, although apparently similar to the 
parent with red flowers, differ in their germinative powers, which 
are not made apparent in the individual. And the same may 
be said of hybrid nettles with indented leaves, etc. 

Granting Mendel's hypothesis, we have on the one hand pollen 
and on the other seed ready to come together in every manner in- 
cluded within the range of possible combinations ; the individual 
is, in its characteristics, nothing else than the product of a combi- 



nation which must necessarily manifest itself in accordance with 
the well-known mathematical laws of probability. 

For instance, let us proceed to diagram the possible disposition 
of the sexual cells of the hybrids of peas, all of them having red 
flowers. In terms of percentage, they will give, out of every 
hundred, fifty red and fifty white. 

P = pollen; O = ova; jB = red, dominant; ty = white, recessive: 
The possible number of combinations between the pollen 
grains and the ova are four; namely, RR, Rw, wR, ww. But where 
a dominant characteristic encounters a recessive (Rw, wR), the 
recessive disappears, to make way in the individual for the domi- 
nant characteristic alone. The definitive result is three individuals 
of dominant character, to one of recessive character. 

{50 R 

{50 W-*^ 

{50 R ^ 
{50 W 



Fig. 6. 

Nevertheless, the hybrids of dominant character are not all 
equal among themselves. Those belonging to the combination 
RR, indeed, are permanent in character and in all respects alike, 
and they reproduce the original red-flower progenitor. The 
other red-flower hybrids, belonging to the groups Rw and wR are, 
on the contrary, similar to the hybrids of the first generation and 
contain reproductive cells differentiated in character; such hybrids, 
if reciprocally fertilised, will again give three dominant offspring 
to every one recessive; that is, they will obey the law of disjunction. 
The hybrids belonging to the fourth group, on the contrary, are 
constant, like those of the first group, and are permanently of 
recessive character; and they will reproduce the original pro- 
genitor with white flowers. 

The same results may be attained with nettles with smooth 


and indented leaves, and with all other types of plant and animal 
life that obey the laws of Mendelism. 

The figure given actually represents the third generation of 
nettles; from a combination corresponding to RR, there result 
only indented leaves, and from another combination corresponding 
to our WW there result only smooth-edged leaves, and from the two 
mixed groups there come three offspring with indented leaves to 
every one with smooth leaves. 

It is possible to represent, by means of a general diagram, the 
mathematical succession of characteristics in hybrids, after the 
following manner; denoting the dominant character by D, and the 
recessive by r. 

In each successive generation, provided the fertilisation takes 
place only between uniform individuals, as indicated in the 
diagram, and as may be effected by actual experiment with plants, 




l.D. 2.D. r 

JJ). 2.D.r l.r 

r First crossing of individuals with antagonistic 

First generation of hybrids, all alike, and simi- 
lar to the progenitor D (dominant). 

Second generation: for each recessive there are 
three dominant: but of these only one is 

Third generation: disjunction of 
the hybrid groups takes place 
and new permanent groups are 

Fig. 7. 

groups identical with the original progenitors will continue to be 
formed, through successive disjunction of the hybrids; the sexual 
phenomenon operating in obedience to the laws of probability. 

An effective experiment, that anyone may repeat for himself, 
is the one originated by Darbishire. He took two boxes, typifying 
respectively the male and female organ, and placed in them black 
and white disks of equal size, so distributed that each box contained 
fifty disks of each colour. After mixing these disks very carefully, 
he proceeded to take at random one disk at a time alternately 
from each box; and he piled up each pair of disks in such a manner 


that the black ones should be on top and the white underneath. 
The result was that for every three black disks on top of the piles 
there was one white disk; but of the black groups one consisted of 
two black disks, while in the other two the lower disk was white. 
This is simply one of the many games dependent on the laws of 

Now, supposing that instead of one, there are two character- 
istics that are in antagonism; in that case, we have the occurrence 
of double hybridism (dihybridism). 

Let us take the strains of peas already considered, but let us 
choose for observation the character of their seed. One of the 
plants has round seed and yellow cotyledons; and the other 
angular seed and green cotyledons. These two characteristics, 
therefore, are both inherent in the seed; condition of surface 
(rough, smooth), and colour (green, and yellow). 

After fertihsation, Mendel's first law, that of the prevalence 
of the dominant character, will operate, and all the plants of the 
first generation will have round seed and yellow cotyledons. 
Hence these are the dominant characteristics, which we will 
represent by capital letters: R (round), Y (yellow), to distinguish 
them from the recessive characteristics, which we will designate 
with small letters: q, (angular), and g (green). 

According to Mendel's hypothesis, all these hybrids with round 
seed and yellow cotyledons, contain sexual cells of opposite poten- 
tialities, numerically equal and corresponding to the antagonistic 
characters of the parent plants. That is, they must have in their 
pollen grains and their ovarian cells all the possible combinations 
of their different potentialities. 

They should produce in equal quantities: 

pollen grains (P) with round seed and yellow cotyledons: R Y 

a n 


R g 

angular " 


a Y 

ii ii 


a g 

ovarian cells (0) with round " 


R Y 

11 ii 


R g 



a Y 

a it 


' a g 

The total number of combinations that may result is sixteen; 
that is, each one of the four combinations of pollen may unite 
with any one of the ovarian cells; thus constituting four groups 


of four. And these groups represent the combinations (of pollen 
and ova) capable of producing individuals: 

R Y - 

- RY = RY 

aY - 

RY = RY 

R Y - 

- R g = RY 


R g = RY 

R Y - 

- a Y = RY 

aY - 

a Y = a Y 

R Y - 

-a g = RY 

aY - 

a g = a Y 

R g - 

- RY = RY 

a g - 

RY = RY 

R g - 

- R g = R g 

a g - 

R g = R g 

R g - 

-a Y = RY 

a g — 

a Y = a Y 

R g - 

-a g = R g 

a g - 

a g = a g 


Fig. 8. 

Every time that a dominant characteristic encounters a reces- 
sive one (R with a or F with g), it overpowers and hides it: conse- 
quently the results of the different combinations are quite definitely 
limited as determining forms of different individuals. In fact, 
the results of the sixteen combinations are as follows : 

R Y 

R Y 

R Y 

R Y 

R Y 

a Y 

R Y 

a Y 

R Y 

R Y 

R g 

R g 

R Y 

a Y 

R g 

a g 


That is to say, the only forms which occur are the following: 

a Y, a g 

whose relative probability of occurrence is : 

RY 9 times in 16 = 56.25% 

R g 3 times in 16 = 18.75% 

a Y 3 times in 16 = 18.75% 

a g 1 time in 16 = 6.25% 

Now, as a result of actual experiment, the forms obtained show 
the following relative percentage: 

Results of experimenta according to the combinations 

with plants and laws of probability 

R Y 56.5% 56.25% 

R g 19.75% 18.75% 

a Y 18.2% 18.75% 

a g 5.8% 6.25% 

The correspondence between these figures is close enough to 
warrant the acceptance of Mendel's hypothesis as the true inter- 
pretation of the phenomena that are shown to take place within ths 
sexual cells; the germinal cells of the hybrid contain potentialities 
belonging to one or the other only of the parents, and not to both; 
one-half of the cells contain one of these potentialities, and the 
other half the other potentiality. 

But in the phenomena of hybridism, we have seen the results 
of another fact which determines Mendel's third law; the Law of 
the Independence of Characteristics. 

That is, that while the original progenitors had angular seed 
and green cotyledons, and round seed and yellow cotyledons, 
certain hybrid plants inherited the round seed of the one and the 
green colour of the other; or the angular seed of the one and the 
yellow colour of the other. In the same way, it may happen, for 
example, that the colour of one plant may combine with the height 
of another, etc. That is, that each separate characteristic of the 
progenitor is independent and may combine with the characteris- 
tics of the other progenitor — even to the point of separating the 
colour from the form, as in the case cited. 

What we find in hybrids, then, is not a separation into two 
types of generative cells, considered as united and complex entities; 
but every separate germ cell may break up into as many different 
potentialities as there are separate characteristics in the individual; 


and that, too, not only as regards the separate minute parts of the 
individual body, but, within the same organ, as regards the shape, 
colour, character of the surface, etc. 

Such phenomena of Mendelism cannot as yet be generalised; 
yet it has already been established by a host of experiments that 
a great number of characteristics obey the laws of Mendel, such, 
for example, as the character of the hair or plumage; the gra- 
dations of colour, the abundance or absence of hair; physical 
malformations, such as cerebral hernia in poultry; the character 
of locomotion, as in the jumping mice: and even normal physio- 
logical attributes connected with the epoch of maturity in certain 

But the manner in which the dominant character asserts itself 
is not always uniform. There are times when a fusion of antago- 
nistic characters takes place. Thus, for example, when two varie- 
ties of the mirabilis jalapa are crossed, one having red flowers and 
the other white, a fusion of the colours takes place in the first 
generation, and all the plants have pink flowers. In the second 
generation we get, for every plant with red flowers, two with pink 
flowers and one with white. That is, the law of disjunction has 
again asserted itself, but the individual hybrids merge their antago- 
nistic attributes, which remain, nevertheless (as their differentiation 
proves), separate one from the other in the sexual cells. 

Another phenomenon observed in individual hybrids is the in- 
termingling of characteristics. For instance, there are cases where 
the flowers of a hybrid produced by a plant with red flowers and 
another with white are variegated with red and white stripes. 

Accordingly, the transmission of antagonistic attributes through 
the individual may be divided into three different methods : 

[ Exclusive. 
Transmission ^ By fusion. 

[ By intermingling. 

In the first case, the character of one of the parents is trans- 
mitted intact; in the second, the formation of a new characteristic 
results, constituting a form more or less nearly midway between 
those from which it comes and whose fusion it represents; in the 
third case (which is very rare and seems to obey Mendel's laws in 
quite an uncertain way), the result is a mosaic of the fundamental 


Of special interest to us are the two first methods of hereditary 
transmission of characteristics. Even before Mendel's discoveries, 
anthropologists had observed that in the intermixture of races 
certain human attributes remained distinct while others merged. 
In the first case they called the individuals hybrids, and in the 
second case they called them metics. Take, for example, the colour 
of the skin when black and white merge in the so-called mulatto. 

Other characteristics, instead of merging, intermingle, as for 
instance those that are internal or related to the skeleton, and those 
that are external or related to the soft tissues and the skin. It 
may happen, for example, that where one race has an elongated 
head and black hair and another has a round head and blond 
hair, the result of their union will be hybrids with elongated heads 
and blond hair or vice versa. Similarly, if one of the parents is 
tall of stature and fair complexioned, and the other of short stature 
with a dark skin, these characteristics may be interchanged in the 
hybrids. A very common occurrence, as regards the colour of the 
hair, is the fusion of blond and brunette into chestnut; while 
parents with chestnut hair may have either fair-haired or dark- 
haired children. In his book entitled Human Races and Varieties, 
Sergi says in regard to hybridism: '^It is impossible to ignore 
human hybridism, which, for that matter, has been demonstrated 
under various forms by all the anthropologists; America, in itself 
alone, offers us a true example of experimental anthropology in 
regard to this phenomenon. Already the result of investigations 
shows that human hybridism is multiform among all the peoples 
of the earth; but what is best known of all is the exchange of 
external characteristics and their intermingling with the internal; 
that is, the combination of external characteristics of one type 
with internal characteristics of another type. It is easy, for in- 
stance, to find cases in which a certain colour of skin and hair, with 
the special qualities proper to them, are found combined with pe- 
culiarities of the skeleton that do not rightfully belong to types of 
that particular colouring, and vice versa; and this same phenom- 
enon may be observed regarding certain separate attributes, and 
not all of them — such as the stature, or the face with its outer 
covering of soft tissues, or the shape of the skull alone. 

''If we observe our European populations, that call themselves 
a white-skinned race, but whose whiteness has many different gra- 
dations, we are convinced of the great intermixture of characters, 


and, what is more, a varied mixture resulting in a great variety of 
individual types, consisting of characters differing widely from 
one another. It requires a very accurate and very minute analysis 
to distinguish the different elements that are found in the compo- 
sition of ethnic characters in individuals and peoples. Undoubt- 
edly these intermixtures and combinations of character differ in 
their constituent elements and in the number of such elements in 
the different nations, according to whether we study those of the 
south, or the centre, or the north of Europe; and this results from 
different degrees of association with mongrel races. 

''But a more important fact, and one that seems to have 
escaped the attention of anthropologists, is the absence of fusion 
of internal and external characteristics in the product of such inter- 
mixture. We find only a positional relationship between the dif- 
ferent ethnic elements, a syncretism or superposition of characteris- 
tics, and a consequent readiness to disunite and form other unions. 
This phenomenon has already been demonstrated in America, on 
a mass of evidence; but it is apparent also in Europe, among the 
peoples that are seemingly most homogeneous, if by careful obser- 
vation we separate the characteristics that constitute the ethnic 
types; and not only the types, but the individuals belonging to 
the different peoples." 

And in the following passage, Sergi expresses himself still more 
clearly : 

''From my many observations, it follows, further, that human 
hybridism, or meticism, as others choose to call it, is a syncretism 
of distinct characteristics of great variety, and that these do not 
modify the skelital structure or the internal characteristics, ex- 
cepting by way of individual variation; it may happen that sepa- 
rate parts of the skeleton itself acquire characteristics peculiar to 
themselves. The stature, the chest formation, the proportion of 
the limbs, may all be in perfect correlation and be united with 
external characteristics of diverse forms, as for instance with differ- 
ent forms of cranium, or the cranium may be associated with differ- 
ent facial forms, and conversely. Furthermore, the forms adapted 
separately and in part in hybrid composition remain unvaried in 
their typical formation. The face retains its typical characteristics 
in spite of its union with different forms of cranium; and similarly 
the cranium preserves its architectural structure when combined 
with different types of face. The stature maintains its propor- 


tions in spite of combinations with diverse cranial and facial types, 
and in spite of varied colours of skin and hair." 

The foregoing page, that I have borrowed from this masterly- 
investigator, is most eloquent testimony that, in regard to the 
phenomena of hybridism, man also comes within the scope of 
Mendel's laws. There is something wonderful in the power of 
observation and intuition shown by Sergi, who, running counter 
to the convictions of the majority of anthropologists, arrived 
through these conclusions at a truth the key to which was destined 
to be discovered later on through studies, very far removed from 
anthropology, such as were pursued by the botanists Mendel and 
De Vries. While Mendel was led by his experiments to the dis- 
covery of the laws based upon his ingenious hypothesis, Sergi was 
drawn simply by observation to conclusions that to-day are con- 
firmed by experience. And from difficult observations of single 
characteristics taken separately, Sergi demonstrated, in his ingenious 
studies, their persistence through innumerable generations; while, 
through the identification of separate characteristics, he achieved 
that brilliant analysis of the races which revealed to his anthro- 
pological insight that the European varieties of man originated 
among the peoples of Africa and Asia. Unquestionably, the laws 
of Mendel confirm what hitherto were considered, in the scientific 
world of Europe, simply as the individual hypotheses of Sergi, 
but which American anthropologists recognise and welcome as a 
scientific truth, brilliantly observed and expounded by the Italian 

Thus, through single characteristics, through particularities, 
we may read the origins of races; and recognise which are the con- 
stant characteristics and which the transitory ones. 

Accordingly, let us keep these principles in mind, as we pro- 
ceed further in our investigation of the phenomena of heredity. 

Mendel's laws, however much they may be discredited or illumi- 
nated by further experience, serve in the meanwhile to give an 
absolutely new conception of the individual and to shed light upon 
many obscure problems relating to heredity. 

The individual is the product of a combination of germ poten- 
tiahties, which, in the case of hybrids (and consequently always in 
the case of man, who is the product of racial intermixture) , meet 
in accordance with the mathematical laws of probability. One 
might almost conceive of a formula, or, better yet, a calculation, 


in accordance with which the individual resulting from any given 
germs might be predetermined; if it were not for the fact that 
the calculations would become infinitely complicated through 
the multiplication of characteristics. With only ten pairs 
of characteristics it is already possible to form upward of 1024 
kinds of germinal cells and these give rise to 1,000,000 different 

Furthermore, through the law of dominant characteristics, the 
combinations of germs would produce in the descendants 1000 
varieties distinguishable by their external appearance, and 60,000 
differing only internally, that is, in their germinal cells. 

There remains, however, one general principle: the individual 
contains not only his personal attributes, but also other attributes 
which belonged to his ancestors, and which are latent in him, and 
may reappear in his descendants. Consequently, if the individual 
is a hybrid, he must be interpreted not only through himself alone, 
but through the history of his family; and the characteristics which 
he may transmit are not those of his own body, but those of his 

The individual body is nothing more than a "temporary ex- 
pression" of those germinal characteristics which have united to 
give it consistency; but the complex transmission of character- 
istics rests wholly with the germinal cells. The problem of heredity 
is transferred from the individual and from the series of individ- 
uals, who are simple and transitory products of combinations, to 
the sexual cells and their potentialities. And this is unquestionably 
an absolutely new scientific concept, and a revolutionary one as well, 
capable of drawing in its wake a lengthy evolution of thought. 
Since the germinal potentialities determine the single character- 
istics, they may be considered as the atoms of the biologist. ''The 
field of investigation," says Bateson, "does not appear to differ 
greatly from that which was opened to the students of chemistry 
at the beginning of the discovery that chemical combinations are 

governed by definite laws In the same way that the 

chemist studies the properties of every chemical substance, the 
characteristics of organisms ought to be studied, and their com- 
position determined." {First Report, p. 159). 

This brings us to two widely diverse facts that demand con- 
sideration: first, the subdivision of antagonistic characteristics in 
the germinal cells that form, so to speak, the atomic and chaotic 


substratum of characteristics — characteristics that combine accord- 
ing to the mathematical laws of probability; and, secondly, the 
dominance of characteristics, or else their fusion, which, independ- 
ently of anything that may happen in the germinal cells, serves to 
determine and define the individual. 

What sort of characteristics are the dominant ones? 

According to the latest researches of Mendelism, the domi- 
nant characteristics are those acquired latest in the course of evolu- 
tion, in other words, the youngest, or, if you prefer, the most highly 
evolved. Accordingly, in hybrids, the most perfected character- 
istics and forms are the ones that triumph in the end. 

This is quite a new principle. Hitherto it was held that the 
pure species or race was the most perfect; and the hybrid or bastard 
was under a cloud of contempt. And, as a matter of fact, the first 
crossings of different races may result in some combinations lack- 
ing in harmony, and calculated to sanction the old-time conception 
of the aesthetic inferiority of the bastard. 

But it is necessary to leave time for new generations and further 
crossings, in order that all of the more highly evolved characteristics 
may unite and end by triumphing in reciprocal harmony. This 
the followers of Mendel cannot yet give us, because it would require 
decades or centuries, according to the species, to produce experi- 
mentally such aesthetic forms of hybridism. 

But in the human race we have an experiment already. accom- 
plished, which actually shows us the (Esthetic triumph achieved 
in the region where the races have for the greatest length of time 
been crossed and recrossed, through the agency of the most an- 
cient civilisation: the Europeans surpass in physical beauty the 
people of any other continent; and the Neo-Latin races, the most 
ancient hybrids of all, seem to be nearing the attainment of the 
greatest aesthetic perfection. In fact, when I was engaged in 
compiling an anthropological study of the population of Latium, 
in accordance with Sergi's principles, and was making a most 
minute examination of all the different characteristics and their 
prevalence, as a possible basis for a delineation of the fundamental 
racial types, I found that complete beauty is never granted to 
any one race, but distributed among different races: ''as a result 
of my labours, I find perfect artistic proportion as to certain facial 
features, in a race having inferior hands and feet; and, vice versa, 
I find facial irregularities in the race having the smallest ex- 


tremities, and the most artistically proportioned hands. What we 
now consider as standards of human beauty, and delight in 
bringing together artificially in a single figure in a work of art, 
are found in nature scattered and distributed among different 
races." (See Physical Characteristics of Young Women of Latium, 
p. 69.) 

Upon the combination of all the different points of beauty in 
a single individual depend Quetelet's biological theories of the 
medial man (I'homme moyen), lately revived and extensively 
developed by Viola. The new importance acquired by the recon- 
struction of the medial man is due precisely to the fact that the 
new method of reconstructing him is by bringing together all the 
single characteristics taken separately and worked out mathemat- 
ically according to the laws of individual variations that behave 
precisely like those of probability. (See Biometry and the Theory 
of the Medial Man.) 

Viola considers, in its relation to the physiological laws of 
health, the combination in a single individual of the maximum 
number of average characteristics, which at the same time are the 
characteristics numerically prevalent in individuals (dominant 
characteristics?). The man who accumulates the greater number 
of average characteristics, escapes diseases and predisposition to 
disease; he is consequently sounder and more robust and hand- 
somer. De Giovanni, on the contrary, through an ingenious 
conceit, bestows the name of morphological combination upon the 
union in a single individual, of parts that are mutually inharmonic 
and incapable of performing their normal functions together, in 
consequence of which such an individual's morphological person- 
ality is predisposed to special maladies. 

Accordingly the meeting and union of germinative poten- 
tialities may be either more or less propitious; as for instance the 
result sometimes produced by the combination of a platyopic 
(broad) face and an aquiline and extremely leptorrhine (narrow) 
nose; in other words, combinations that are discordant from the 
aesthetic standpoint, but harmless as regards health; or again, there 
may be a lack of harmony between the internal organs, incom- 
patible with a healthy constitution. There may even exist mal- 
formations due to the meeting of forms that clash violently; each 
of which parts may be quite normal, when considered by itself, 
but cannot adapt itself to the other parts with which it is united. 


It is as though the dominant characteristic in respect to an 
organ had been overpowered by another, which ought on the 
contrary, in this special case, to have been recessive. 

It is precisely on this question of the dominance of charac- 
teristics that the researches of the Mendelists are at present being 
expended. It has been observed in the course of experiments 
that there exist certain special correlations between potentialities, 
in consequence of which certain characteristics must always go 
together; as, for example, when two characteristics, having once 
been united, must continue to recur together, although they each 
exist separately. These laws, which are not yet clearly deter- 
mined, may serve to explain the final harmony of the sum total 
of individual attributes. 

But in general the dominance of characteristics is not absolute, 
but subject to many causes of variation, associated with environ- 
ment. Thus, for example, just as a change in nutrition of a 
young plant will result in a different height, it is also possible in 
the mechanics of reproduction that the original relations of germs 
may be altered by external causes, and the dominant character- 
istics be made recessive.* Many deviations are attributable to the 
influences that act upon the germinative cells of hybrids, after 
the latter have already been determined in their potentiality; 
thus for example when certain germinal cells are less resistant 
during maturation; or again when combinations between poten- 
tialities are difficult to achieve. That is to say, there may exist 
certain phenomena associated with environment, thanks to which 
Mendel's natural laws concerning the dominance of character- 
istics may become inverted. 

Another fact of great significance is this : that, in the course of 
extensive experimental plantings, for the purpose of verifying the 
laws of Mendel, a widespread sickliness and mortality occurred 
among cryptograms, at the expense of the plants of recessive 
character; which would go to prove that a lower power of resist- 
ance accompanies the appearance of recessive characteristics. 
The dominant characteristics accordingly are not only the most 
highly evolved, but they also possess a greater power of resist- 
ance. So that, to-day, the dominance of the strong tends through 
the workings of the phenomena of Mendelism, to do away, little 
by little, in the course of generations, with characteristics that are 

* CoKBENS: Concerning the Laws of Heredity. 


weak or antiquated. This has an important bearing upon human 
pathology, because it opens the way to hope for a possible regener- 
ation in families branded with hereditary disease. 

The germinal potentialities that contain beauty and strength 
seem predestined to that predominance which will achieve the 
triumph of life in the individual. To learn the laws of the union, 
in one individual and definitive unity, of the infinite dominant 
and recessive potentialities that must encounter one another in 
the mysterious labyrinth in which life is prepared — therein lies 
the greatest problem of the present day. 

It is that which should constitute our guiding purpose. 

Form and Types of Stature 

The Form. — Fundamental Cannons regarding the Form. — Types of Stature, Macroscelia 
and Brachyscelia; their physiological Significance. — Types of Stature in relation to 
Race, Sex, and Age. 

A few years ago, when anthropology first began to be studied, 
the skull was taken as the point of departure ; because in the ana- 
lytical study of the human body it represents the principal part. 
Indeed, the same thing was done by Lombroso, when he applied 
anthropology to the practice of psychiatry and later to the study 
of criminals. It is a matter of fact that degenerative stigmata of 
the gravest significance are to be found associated with the skull; 
and this he could not fail to take into account, because of its bear- 
ings upon criminal anthropology. 

But to-day anthropology is reaching out into vaster fields of 
science and striving to develop in diverse directions, such as those 
of physiology and pathology; and revolting from the collection of 
degenerative details, it undertakes to study normal man in regard 
to his external form as related to his functional capacity, or else 
the man of abnormal constitution, who in his outward form 
reveals certain predispositions to illness; and starting on these 
lines, it proposes to investigate principally the metamorphoses of 
growth, through the successive periods of life. 

From this new point of view, it is not any single malformation, 
but the individual as a whole in the exercise of his functions, who 
assumes first importance. The study of the cranium (formerly 
so important as to be the basis of a special science, craniology), 
becomes only one detail of the whole. As a matter of fact, the 


brain, which is what gives the cranium its importance, is not only 
the immediate organ of inteUigence, but it is also the psychomotor 
organ; and as such exercises control over all the striped muscles, 
and is morphologically associated with the development and the 
functional powers of the whole body. 

It follows that, the larger the body, the bigger brain it needs to 
control it, independently of the question of intelligence. There- 
fore the first point of departure should be eminently synthetic, 
and should include the morphological personality considered as a 

One of the properties of living bodies is that of attaining a 
determinate development, whose limits, both in regard to the 
quantity of its mass and the harmony of its form, are defined by 
that biological final cause which is implanted in the race and trans- 
mitted by heredity. Consequently every living creature has 
determinate limits: and these constitute a fundamental biological 

The causality of such limits has not yet been determined by 
scientific research ; nevertheless it is a phenomenon over which we 
must pause to meditate. If the philosopher pauses to contem- 
plate the immensity of the ocean from the sea shore, marvelling 
that the interminable and impetuous movement of the waves 
should have such exact and definite limits that it cannot overpass 
by so much as a metre the extreme high-water line upon the 
beach, we may similarly pause to meditate upon the material 
limits that life assumes in its infinitely varied manifestations. 

From the microbe to the mammal, from the lichen to the palm, 
all living creatures have inherited these limits, which permit the 
zoologist and the botanist to assign to each a measure as one of its 
descriptive attributes. 

This is the first attribute which we must take into consideration 
in the study of anthropology: namely, the mass of the body, and 
together with the mass, its morphological entirety. The Italian 
vocabulary lacks any one word which quite expresses this idea, 
[and in this respect English is scarcely more fortunate*]. The 
stature which represents to us the most synthetic measure of the 
body in its entirety (a measure determined by the vertical linear 
distance between the level on which the individual's feet are 
placed, up to the top of his head as he stands erect), does not 

* Translator's note. 


represent the entire body in the sense above indicated. It may 
rather be considered as a linear index of this entirety. The French 
language, on the contrary, possesses the word taille, which may be 
rendered in ItaUan by the word taglia [and in Enghsh by the word 
form *], provided that we understand it to signify the conception of 
the whole morphological personality. 

No single measurement can express the form; the weight of 
the body, indeed, may give us a conception of the mass but not 
of the shape; and the latter, if it needs to be determined in all its 
limits, requires a series of measurements, mutually related, and 
signifying the reciprocal connection and harmony of the parts 
with the whole; in other words, a law. We may establish the 
following measurements as adapted to determine the form, in 
other words, as fundamental laws: the total stature, the sitting 
stature, the total spread of the arms, the circumference of the thorax, 
and the weight. Of these measures, the two of chief importance 
are the stature and the weight, because they express the linear 
index and the volumetric measure of the entire body. The other 
measurements, on the contrary, analyse this entirety in a sweeping 
way: thus, the sitting stature, in its relation to the total stature, 
indicates the reciprocal proportions between the bust and the 
lower limbs; the perimeter of the chest records the transverse and 
volumetric development of the bust; and the total spread of the 
arms denotes a detail that is highly characteristic in the case of 
man: the development of the upper limbs, which, while they 
correspond to organs of locomotion in the lower animals, assume 
in the case of man higher functions, as organs of labour and of 
mimic speech. 

Such measurements constitute a law, because they are in con- 
stant mutual relationship, when the normal human organism has 
reached complete development. The stature, in fact, is equal to 
the total spread of the arms; the circumference of the thorax is 
equal to one-half the stature, and the sitting stature is slightly 
greater than the perimeter of the chest. As regards the weight, 
it cannot be in direct proportion to any linear measure; neverthe- 
less, an empirical correspondence in figures has been noted that 
may be recorded solely for the purpose of aiding the memory: 
the normal adult man usually weighs as many kilograms as there 
are centimetres in his stature, over and above one metre (for 

* Translator's note. 


instance, a man whose height is L60 metres will weigh 60 kilo- 
grams, etc.)- 

To make these laws easier to understand, we may resort to 
signs and formulae. Thus, if we denote the stature by St, the total 
spread of the arms by Ts, the circumference of the thorax by Ct, 
the essential or sitting stature by Ss, and the weight by W, we 
may set down the following formulae, which will result in practice 
in more or less obvious approximations : 


St=Ts; Ct = ^; Ct = Ss 

And for the weight, the following wholly empirical formula: 

W = Kg{St-lm.). 

Stature. — Among all the measurements relating to the form, 
the principal one is the stature. It has certain characteristics that 
are essentially human. What we understand by stature is the 
height of a living animal, when standing on its feet. Let us com- 
pare the stature of one of the higher mammals, a dog for instance, 
with that of man. The stature of the dog is determined essen- 
tially by the length of its legs, while the spinal column is supported 
in a horizontal position by the legs themselves. Such is the atti- 
tude of all the higher mammals, including the greater number of 
monkeys, notwithstanding that these latter are steadily tending 
to raise their spinal column in an oblique direction, in proportion 
to the lengthening of their fore-limbs, which serve them as a 
support in walking — a form of locomotion half way between that 
of quadrupeds and of man. Man alone has permanently acquired 
an erect position, that renders the bust ( = sum of head and trunk) 
vertical, and leaves the upper limbs definitely free from any 
duty connected with locomotion, thus attaining the full measure 
of the human stature, which is the sum of the bust and the lower 
limbs. Thus, we may assert that one fundamental difference 
between man and animals consists in this : that in animals the spinal 
column does not enter into the computation of stature; while in 
man, on the contrary, it is included in its entirety. Consequently, 
in man the stature assumes a characteristic and fundamental im- 
portance, because part of it (that part relating to the bust) rep- 
resents, as a linear index, all the organs of vegetative life and of 
life in its external relations. 


If we examine the human skeleton in an erect position (Fig. 9), 
it shows us the varying importance of the different parts of its 
structure, according as they are destined to protect, or simply to 
sustain. At the top is the skull, an enclosed bony cavity; and this 
arrangement indicates that it is designed to contain and protect 
an organ of the highest 
importance. By means 
of the occipital foramen, 
this cavity communicates 
with the vertebral canal, 
also rigourously closed, 
that is formed by the 
successive juxtaposition 
of the vertebrae. Such 
protective formation is 
in accord with the high 
physiological significance 
and the delicate structure 
of the organs of the cen- 
tral nervous system, 
which represent the su- 
preme control over physi- 
ological life and over the 
psychic activities of life 
in its external relations. 
Below the skull, the struc- 
ture of the skeleton is 
profoundly altered; in 
fact, the framework of 
the thorax is a sort of 
bony cage open at the 
bottom; still, the external 
arrangement of the bones 
renders them highly protective to the organs they enclose, namely, 
the lungs and the heart — physiological centres, whose perpetual 
motion seems to symbolise the rhythm and consequently the con- 
tinuity of life. 

Continuing to descend, we come to a sort of hollow basin, the 
pelvis, which seems merely to contain, rather than protect, the 
abdominal organs: the intestines, kidneys, etc. Such a structure 

Fig. 9. 


seems to be in accord with the minor physiological importance 
of these organs, whose function (digestion) is periodic and may be 
temporarily suspended, in defiance of physiological stimuli, 
without suspension of life. In the lower part of the skeleton, on 
the contrary, the arrangement between the soft and bony tissues 
is inverted: the long bones of the limbs constitute the inner part; 
and they are covered over with thick, striped muscles, organs of 
mechanical movement for the purpose of locomotion. Here the 
function of the skeleton is exclusively that of support, and in its 
mechanism it represents a series of levers. 

Accordingly, the structure of the skeleton also shows us how 
the stature is composed of parts that differ profoundly in their 
physiological significance; life as a complete whole, the living man, 
is contained within the bust, which holds the organs of the individ- 
ual, vegetative life; those of life in relation to its environment, 
and those of life in relation to the race, namely, the organs of 

Deprived of arms and legs, man could still live; the limbs are 
nothing more than appendages at the service of the bust, in all 
animals; they serve to transport the bust, that is, the part which 
constitutes the real living animal, which without the limbs would 
be as motionless as a vegetable, unable to go in pursuit of nourish- 
ment or to exercise sexual selection. 

The embryos of different animals, of a dog, a bat, a rabbit and 
of man (as maybe seen in Fig. 11) show that the fundamental 
part of the body is the spinal column, which limits and includes 
the whole animal in the process of formation. 

If we next examine the embryonic development of man, as 
shown in Fig. 13, we may easily see how the limbs develop, at first 
as almost insignificant appendages of the trunk, remaining hidden 
within the curve of the spinal column; and even in an advanced 
stage of development (15th week), they still remain quite accessory 
parts in their relation to the whole. 

Having established these very obvious principles, we may ask 
ourselves : of two men of equal stature, which is physiologically the 
more efficient? Evidently, that one of the two who has the 
shorter legs. 

In other words, it is of fundamental importance to determine 
the reciprocal relation, in the stature, between the bust and the 

Fig. 10. — Gastrula of a sponge. 
External surface. Internal section. 

(Showing the inner and outer primary 
layers, and the mouth orifice.) 

Fig. 11. 
Dog. Bat. Rabbit. 

(From the work by E. Haeckel: Anthropogeny.) 


Fig. 12. 

Four skeletons of anthropoid apes. 



lower limbs, that is, between the height of the bust and the total 
height of the body. 

The height of the bust was called by Collignon the essential 
stature, a name that indicates the biological significance of this 
measurement. It may, however, also be called the sitting stature, 
from the method of taking the measure, which equals the vertical 
distance from the level on which the individual is seated to the top 
of his head. The other is the total stature. 

Accordingly, in anthropology we may define the physiological 
efficiency of a man by the relation existing between his two statures, 

Fig. 13. 
14 days, 3 weeks, 4 weeks, etc. (natural size). 

the total and the essential. If we reduce the total stature (which 
for the sake of brevity we will call simply the stature) to a scale 
of 100, we find that the essential stature very slightly exceeds 50, 
oscillating between 53-54; yet it may fall to 47 and even lower, or 
it may rise above 56. In such cases we have individuals of pro- 
foundly diverse types, whose diversity is essentially connected with 
the proportional differences between the several parts of their 

Hence, we may distinguish the type of stature; understanding 
by this, not a measure, but a, ratio between measures, expressed by 


a number; that is, "the type of stature is the name given to the ratio 
between the essential stature and the total stature reduced to a scale 
of 100." The number resulting from this ratio, since it indicates 
the ratio itself, is called the index of stature (See ''Technical Les- 
sons: on the Manner of Obtaining and Calculating the Indexes"). 
Manouvrier has distinguished the type with short limbs and pre- 
ponderant trunk, by the name of brachyscelous; and those of the 
opposite type, that is, with long legs, by the name of macroscelous; 
reserving the term mesatiscelous to designate the intermediate type. 
These types differ not only in the reciprocal relation between 
the two statures, but in all the recognised laws of the form. The 
brachyscelous type has a circumference of chest in excess of half 
the stature, because the trunk is more greatly developed in all its 
dimensions; and the total weight of the body exceeds the normal 
proportion in relation to the stature. The contrary holds true of 
the macroscelous type; their trunk, being shorter, is also narrower, 
and the circumference of the chest can never equal one-half the 
stature, while the total weight of the body is below the normal. 

Canons of Form 

Passing next to a consideration of the total spread of the arms, 
since there is an evident correspondence between the upper and 
lower limbs, it follows that in the brachyscelous type the total 
spread is less than the stature, while in the macroscelous it sur- 
passes it to a greater or less degree, according to the grade of 
type; the two types consequently differ in the level reached by 
the wrist, when the arms are allowed to hang along the sides of 
the body. 

This is a very interesting fact to establish, since at one time 
it was held that excessive length of arm was an atavistic feature, 
in other words, an anthropoid reminder. To-day, since the old 
interpretation of the direct descent from species to species has 
been abandoned in the light of modern theories of biological evo- 
lution, we can no longer speak of atavistic revivals. It is true that 
the anthropoid apes, as may be seen in Fig. 13, have extremely 
long forelimbs, and that man is characterised by the shortness 
of his arms, free to perform work and obedient instruments of 
his brain. But if it happens that certain individual men have 
excessively long arms, even if they should coincide with an inferior 


capacity for work and social adaptation, such a simple coincidence 
must not be interpreted by the laws of cause and effect. The 
modern theories of evolution tend to admit between the anthro- 
poid apes and man, only a common origin from lower animals not 
yet fixed in a determined species. So that in phylogenesis men 
are not considered as the children or grandchildren of apes, but 
rather their brothers or cousins of a more or less distant degree; 
and their resemblance must be attributed to a parallel evolution. 

Consequently, it is not possible to speak of direct transmission 
of characters. 

Therefore, we must interpret an excessive length of arm, or 
an excessive shortness, after the same fashion, namely, in its rela- 
tion to the type of stature, or to the established canons of the form — 
in other words, as a detail of individual human types. 

Let us sum up the three canons in the following table: 




St = Ts 
W = K(St -1 m.) 

St > Ts 


W > K(St -Im.) 

St < Ts 

W < K(Sr - 1 m.) 

From these measurements are derived certain types of individ- 
uality which we may now describe in detail. 

The brachyscelous type has an excess of bust, consequently a 
preponderance of vegetative life; the great development of the 
abdominal organs tends to make a person of this type a hearty 
eater, a man addicted to all the pleasures of the table; his big heart, 
abundantly irrigating the body, keeps his complexion constantly 
highly coloured, if not plethoric. We can almost see this man of 
big paunch, corpulent, with an ample chest, fat, ruddy, coarse, 
and jolly; an excess of nutrinient and of blood-supply are favour- 
able to the ready accumulation of adipose tissue, and as the body 
constantly grows heavier it steadily becomes more difficult for the 
undersized legs to support it ; so that inevitably this man will tend 
to become sedentary, and he will select a well-spread table as his 
favourite spot for lingering. Whatever elements of the ideal the 


world contains, will escape the attention of this type of man, who is 
far more ready to understand and engage in commerce, which leads 
by a practical way to the solution of the material problems of life. 

In the other type, on the contrary, the macroscelous, the organs 
of vegetative life are insufficient and the central nervous system 
is defective. Such a man feels, even though unconsciously, that 
the abdominal organs are incapable of assimilating sufficient 
nutriment, and that his lungs, unable to take in the needed quan- 
tity of oxygen, render his breathing labourious. His small heart 
is inadequate for circulating the blood through the whole body, 
which consequently retains an habitual pallor; while the nervous 
system is in a constant state of excitation. We can almost see 
this man, so tall and thin that he seems to be walking on stilts, 
with pallid, hollow cheeks and narrow chest, suffering from lack 
of appetite and from melancholia; nervous, incapable of steady 
productive work and prone to dream over empty visions of poetry 
and art. The man of this type is quite likely to devote his entire 
life to a platonic love, or to conceive the idea of crowning an ideal 
love by committing suicide; and so long as he lives he will never 
succeed in escaping from the anxieties of a life that has been an 
economic failure. 

It is interesting to examine the types of stature from different 
points of view : such, for example, as the height of stature, the race, 
the sex, the age, the social conditions, the pathological deviations, etc. 

The Types of Stature According to the Height of the Total Stature. 
— There exists between the bust and the limbs a primary relation 
of a mechanical nature, already well known, even before Manouvrier 
directed the attention of anthropologists to the types of stature. 
When one individual is very tall and another is very short, the 
consequence of this fact alone is that the taller of the two has much 
longer limbs as compared with the shorter. This is because, 
according to the general laws of mechanics, the bust grows less 
than the limbs and is subject to less variation. 

But notwithstanding this general fact, other conditions intervene 
to determine the comparative relations between the two portions of 
the stature. Indeed, Manouvrier exhibits, within his own school, 
specimens of equal stature but of different types; and further- 
more, he notes that the inhabitants of Polynesia are of tall stature 
and have a long bust, while negroes, who are also of tall stature, 
have a short bust. 


Types of Stature According to Race. — Among the character- 
istics of racial types, present-day anthropology has included the 
reciprocal proportions between the two statures. This means 
that the medium type in the different races is not always contained 
within the same limits of fluctuation in regard to stature : but some 
races are brachyscelous, others are macroscelous, and still again 
others are mesatiscelous. The most brachyscelous race is the Mon- 
golian, prevalent in the population of China; the most macroscel- 
ous is the Australian type that once peopled Tasmania. Other 
races, as for example the negroid, while in a measure macroscelous, 
approach nearer to the mesatiscelous type, characteristic of the 
population of Europe. Let us examine the psycho-ethnic charac- 
ters of these various peoples. The Chinese are the founders of 
the most ancient of all oriental civilisations, and have established 
themselves in a vast empire, solid and stable in its proportions, 
as well as in the level of its civilisation. It would seem as though 
the Chinese people, having accomplished the enormous effort of 
raising themselves to a determined civic level, were no longer 
capable of advancement. Individually, they have a singularly 
developed spirit of discipline, and are the most enduring and 
faithful workers; it is well known that in America the Chinese 
Mongolian does not fear the competition of labourers of any other 
race, because no others can compete with him in parsimony, in 
simple living, and in unremitting toil. 

The Tasmanians constituted a people that was considered as 
having the lowest grade of civilisation among all the races on earth. 
Even English domination failed to adapt them to a more advanced 
environment, and their race was consequently scattered and 

Accordingly, we find associated with extreme macroscelia 
(Tasmanians) an incapacity for civic evolution; and with the 
corresponding extreme of brachyscelia an insuperable limitation 
to civic progress. Consequently, the triumph of man upon 
earth cannot bear a direct relation to the volume of the bust, 
or in other words, we cannot assume that the man most favour- 
ably endowed on the physiological side is the one who has the 
largest proportion of viscera. As a matter of fact, the con- 
quering race, the race which has set no limit to the territory of 
its empire nor to the progress of its civilisation, is composed of 
white men, whose type of stature is mesatiscelous, that is to say. 


representative of harmony between its parts. This conception 
will serve us in establishing a fundamental principle in morpho- 
logical biology: namely, that perfectibility revolves around a 
centre, which represents a perfect equilibrium between the various 
parts constituting an organism. Hence, in order to determine the 
deviations of the individual type, we must always start from 
those central data, which represent, as the case may be, normality 
or perfection. 

Even among the populations of Europe, and within the Italian 
people themselves, fluctuations occur in the degree of mesati- 
scelia, approaching to a greater or less degree the eccentric forms of 
brachyscelia or macroscelia; and such fluctuations are an attribute 
of race. 

We should draw a distinction between a people and a race. 
The term race refers exclusively to a biological classification, and 
corresponds to the zoological species. On the other hand, we mean 
by a people a group of human individuals bound together by 
political ties. Peoples are always made up of a more or less pro- 
found intermixture of races. It is well known that one of the most 
interesting and difficult problems of ethnology is that of tracing 
out the original types of races in peoples that represent an inter- 
mixture centuries old. Without entering too deeply into this 
question, which lies outside of our present purpose, it will suffice to 
point out that in the people of Italy it is possible to trace types of 
races differing from one another, yet so closely related as to render 
them apparently so similar that they might almost be regarded 
as a single race. 

Now, in an anthropological study of mine on the young women 
of Latium, I succeeded in tracing, within the confines of that 
region, different racial types that show corresponding differences 
in degrees of mesatiscelia. Thus, for example, in Castelli Romani 
there exists in an almost pure state a dark-haired race, short of 
stature, slender, elegantly modelled in figure and in profile, and 
showing within the limits of mesatiscelia a brachyscelous tendency, 
in contrast with another race, tall, fair, massive, of coarse build, 
which within the limits of mesatiscelia shows a macroscelous 
tendency, and which is found in almost pure groups around the 
locality of Orte, that is, on the boundaries of Umbria. It is 
interesting to note the importance of researches in ethnological 
anthropology conducted in small centres of habitation. If it is 


still possible to trace out groups even approaching racial purity, 
they will be found only in localities offering little facility to emigra- 
tion and to the consequent intermixture of races. The fact that 
we still find in Castelli Romani types so nearly pure, is due to the 
isolation of this region, which up to yesterday was still in such primi- 
tive and rare communication with the capital as to permit of the 
survival of brigandage. On the contrary, in localities that have 
attained a higher civic advancement, and in which the inhabitants 
are placed in favourable economic and intellectual conditions, the 
facilities of travel and emigration will very soon effect an altera- 
tion in the anthropological characters of the race. Hence it 
would be impossible, in a cosmopolitan city like Rome, to accom- 
plish any useful studies of the sort that I accomplished in the 
district of Latium, and which led me to conclude that in the small 
and slender race of Castelli Romani we may trace the descendants 
of the ancient conquerors of the world: descendants that belong 
to one variety of the great Mediterranean race, to whom we owe 
the historic civilisations of Egypt, Greece and Rome. 

It would seem that this race, disembarking on the coast of 
Latium, must have driven back, among the Apennines, the other 
race, blond and massive, whose pure-blooded descendants are still 
found in numerical prevalence at Orte, an ancient mediaeval town 
and a natural fortress from the remotest times, through its fortu- 
nate situation on the crown of a rocky height, that easily isolates 
it from the surrounding country (see the ancient history of the 
town of Orte). 

Accordingly, within the limits of mesatiscelia, it appears that 
the race which in early times won the victory was the more brachy- 
scelous, i.e., the one which had the larger bust, and consequently 
the larger brain and vital organs. In other words, within the 
limits of normality, brachyscelia is a physiologically favourable 

Variations of Type of Stature According to Social Conditions. — 
Independently of race, and from such a radically different point of 
view as that of the social condition, or adaptation to environment, 
we may still distinguish brachyscelous and macroscelous types. 
Brachysceles may readily be met with among the labouring classes, 
habituated from childhood to hard toil in a standing position, 
thus interfering with a free development of the long bones of the 
lower limbs ; while the macroscelous type will be found among the 


aristocratic classes, whose members, spending much time sitting 
or reclining, give the long bones an opportunity to attain their 
growth (mechanical theories of stature). Without stopping to 
discuss the suggested causes of such differentiation in types, we 
may nevertheless point out that the brachyscelous type is emi- 
nently useful to society, constituting, one may say, the principal 
source of economic production, while the macroscelous and unpro- 
ductive type settles comfortably down upon the other like a 
parasite. But the progress of the world is not due to the labour- 
ing class, but to the men of intellect, among whom the prevailing 
type is the medium, harmonic type, with mesatiscelous stature. 

Types of Stature in Art. — The existence of these different 
individual types, which combine a definite relationship of the 
parts of stature with the complete image of a well-defined indi- 
viduality, was long ago perceived by the eye, or rather by the 
delicate intuition of certain eminent artists. These immor- 
talised their several ideals, investing now the one type and 
now the other with the genius of their art. Thus, for example, 
Rubens embodies in his Flemish canvases the brachyscelous type, 
robust and jovial, and usually represents him as a man of mighty 
appetite revelling in the pleasures of the table. 

Botticelli, on the contrary, has idealised the macroscelous 
type, in frail, diaphanous, almost superhuman forms, that seem, 
as they approach, to walk, shadow-like, upon the heads of flowers, 
without bending them beneath their feet and without leaving any 
trace of their passage. Accordingly, these two great artists have 
admirably realised, not only the two opposite types of stature, 
but also the psychic and moral attributes that respectively belong 
to them. But it was not granted to these artists to achieve the 
supreme glory of representing perfect human beauty in unsur- 
passed and classic masterpieces. The art of Greece alone succeeded 
in embodying in statues which posterity must admire but cannot 
duplicate, the medial, normal type of the perfect man. 

Variations of Stature According to Sex. — It is not always neces- 
sary to interpret the type of stature in the same sense. Even 
from an exclusively biological standpoint, it may lend itself to 
profoundly different interpretations. 

Thus, for example, the type of stature varies normally 
according to the sex. Woman is more brachyscelous than man; 
but the degree of brachyscelia corresponds to a larger development 


of the lumbar segment of the spinal column, which corresponds 
to the functions of maternity. 

In fact all the various segments of the spinal column show different propor- 
tions in the two sexes. 

As we know,. the spinal column consists of three parts ; the cervical (correspond- 
ing to the neck), the thoracic (corresponding to the ribs), and the abdominal, 
including the os sacrum and the coccyx. 

Now, Manouvrier, reducing the height of the spinal column to a scale of 100, 
expresses the relations of these different parts in the two sexes as follows : 















In woman the thoracic segment is shorter and the abdominal is longer than in 
man; but the total sum in woman is relatively greater in proportion to the whole 

In a case like this we have no right to speak of a morphological 
or psychosocial superiority of type; nor would a fact of this sort 
have any weight, for example, in establishing the anthropological 
superiority of woman. Nevertheless, it may be asserted that, if 
the day comes when woman, having entered the ranks of social 
workers, shall prove that she is socially as useful as man, she will 
still be, in addition, the mother of the species, and for that reason 
preeminently the greater producer. 

Now, it is beyond question that this indisputable superiority 
is in direct relation with the type of stature. But without insist- 
ing unduly on a point Uke this, we should note the connection 
between the brachyscelous type and the tendency shown by 
women to accumulate nutritive substances, adipose tissue; con- 
sequently, as compared with man, she is the more corpulent — as 
are all brachysceles as compared with macrosceles. 

Types of Stature at Different Ages. — Another factor that influ- 
ences the types of stature is the age; or rather, that biological 
force which we call growth. 

Growth is not an augmentation of volume, but an alteration 
in form; it constitutes the ontogenetic evolution, the development 



of the individual. The child, as it grows, is transformed. If we 
compare the skeleton of a new-born child with that of an adult, 
we discover profound differences between the relative proportions 
of the different parts. The child's head is enormously larger 
than that of the adult in proportion to its stature; and similarly, 
the chest measure is notably greater in the child. If we wish to 
compare the fundamental measurements of the new-born infant 
with those of the adult, we get the following figures, on a basis of 
100 for the total stature : 


Child at birth 

Total stature 
= 100 

Essential stature 

Perimeter of thorax. . . . 
Height of head 























S 3 -^ e 6 7 8 9 ^O // 72 J<3 /■f /ff /S /r 

Fig. 14. 

Accordingly, the 
child has to acquire, 
in the course of its 
growth, not only the 
dimensions of the 
adult, but the har- 
mony of his forms; 
that is, it must reach 
not only certain de- 
termined limits of 
dimension, but also a 
certain type of beauty. 

Among the funda- 
mental differences be- 
tween the new-born 
child and the adult 
one of the first to be 
noted is the reciprocal 
difference of propor- 
tion between the two 
statures. The child 
is ultrabrachyscelous, 
that is, he presents a 


type of exaggerated brachyscelia, calling to mind the form of the 
human foetus, in which the limbs appear as little appendages of 
the trunk. In the course of growth, a successive alteration takes 
place between the reciprocal proportions of the two parts, so 
that the lower limbs, growing faster than the bust, tend to ap- 
proach the total length of the latter. Godin has noted that 
during the years before puberty the lower limbs acquire greater 
dimensions, as compared with the bust, than are found in the 
fully developed individual ; in other words, at this period a rapid 
growth takes place in the long bones of the lower limbs, and 
accordingly at this period of his life the individual passes through 
a stage of the macroscelous type. Immediately after puberty, 
there begins, in turn, an increase in the size of the bust, which 
regains its normal excess over the lower limbs, thus attaining the 
definite normal type of the adult individual. After the age of 
17 years, by which time these metamorphoses have been com- 
pleted, the individual may increase in stature, but the propor- 
tions between the parts will remain unaltered. In Fig. 14 we 
have a graphic representation of the relative proportions between 
the height of the bust and the length of limbs at different ages, 
the total stature being in every case reduced to 100. The upper 
portion of the lines represents the bust, and the lower portion 
the limbs, while the transverse line corresponding to the number 
50 indicates one-half of the total stature. From such a table, it 
is easy to see how the bust, enormously in excess of the limbs at 
birth, gradually loses its preponderance. 

It was drawn up from the following figures calculated by me: 


At birth 












12 13 























Godin furnishes the following figures, relating to the type of 
stature at the period preceding and following puberty: 




OF 100 (GODIN) 


13 1/2 


14 1/2 


15 1/2 


16 1/2 


17 1/2 

Ratio . . . 










Hrdlicka has calculated the index of stature for a thousand white 
American children and a hundred coloured, of both sexes, and 
has obtained the following figures, some of which, based upon an 
adequate number of subjects, (10-13 years) are what were to be 
expected, while others, owing to the scarcity of subjects (under 
6 and above 15 years) are far less satisfactory: 


(American Children) 

Age in 


Number of 

subjects of 

each age 



Number of 

subjects of 

each age 









• — 
































































































Which goes to prove (in spite of the inaccuracies due to the 
numerical scarcity of coloured subjects of any age) that the females 
are more brachyscelous than the males; and that the blacks are 
more macroscelous than the whites. 

The above table of indices of stature was worked out by 
Hrdlicka from the following measurements : 



Age in 


















































































Age in 
























































































The following chart, prepared by MacDonald, on the growth 
of the total stature and the sitting stature of male white children, 



born in America, gives a very clear idea of the rhythm of each of 
the two statures. The sitting stature increases quite slowly, 
and its greatest rate of growth is immediately after puberty 
(from 15 to 17 years) (Fig. 15) 

Mac Donald. 













■ / 























































A^e 6 7 8 9 W J1 12 13 n 15 16 17 

Fig. 15. 

Lastly, in order to make this phenomenon still more clear, I 
have reproduced an illustration given by Stratz, consisting of a 
series of outlined bodies of children representing the proportions 
of the body at different stages of growth; and not only the pro- 


portions between the bust and the lower Hmbs, but also between 
the various component parts of the bust, as for instance the head 
and trunk. The transverse lines indicate the changes in the prin- 
cipal levels: the head, the mammary glands, and the bust 

(Fig. 16). 

The different types of stature at different ages deserve our 
most careful consideration, yet not from the point of view already 
set forth regarding the different types in the fully developed 
individual. In the present case for instance, we cannot say of a 

Fig. 16. 

youth of sixteen that, because he is macroscelous he is a weakling 
as compared with a boy of ten who is brachyscelous ; nor that a 
new-born child represents the maximum physical potentiality, 
because he is ultra-brachyscelous. Our standards must be com- 
pletely altered, when we come to consider the various types as 
stages of transition between two normal forms, representing the 
evolution from one to the other. At each age we observe not 
only different proportions between the two fundamental parts of 
the stature, but physiological characteristics as well, biological 
signs of predispositions to certain determined maladies, and 
psychological characteristics differing from one another, and each 


typical of a particular age. From the purely physical and mor- 
phological point of view, for example, a child from its birth up to 
its second year, the period of maximum brachyscelia and con- 
sequent visceral predominance, is essentially a feeding animal. 
After this begins the development of psychic life, until finally, 
just before the attainment of full normal proportions, the function 
of reproduction is established, entailing certain definite character- 
istics upon the adult man or woman. In accordance with its 
type of stature, we see that the child from its birth to the end of 
the first year shows a maximum development of the adipose system 
together with a preponderance of the digestive organs; while the 
adolescent, in the period preceding puberty, shows in accordance 
with his macroscelous type of stature, and reduction in the 
relative proportion of his visceral organs, a characteristic loss of 

These evolutionary changes in the course of growth having 
been once established, it remains for us to consider the individual 
variations. The alterations observed at the various ages, or 
rather, the notable characteristics of each age, s'erve as so many 
fundamental charts of the normal average child; and we may con- 
sider each successive type of stature, from the new-born infant to the 
adult man, in the same light as we do the average type of the 
mature mesatiscelous type. In the case of the latter, we found 
that both above and below the medium stature, there were a 
host of individual types departing more or less widely from it, 
and tending toward brachyscelia on the one hand and toward 
macroscelia on the other, thus constituting the oscillations of 
type in the individual varieties. Similarly, in the case of the 
medium type of each successive age we may find brachyscelous 
or macroscelous individuals whose complex personal character- 
istics may be compared to those already observed in the adult, 
and may be summed up as follows : that the macroscele is a weak- 
ling; and that the brachyscele may be, according to the 
degree of variation, either a robust individual or an individual that 
has been arrested in his morphological development, and retained 
the type of a younger age. 

Pedagogic Considerations. — From the above conclusion, we 
may deduce certain principles that can be profitably applied to 
pedagogy, especially in regard to some of the methods suited to 
our guidance in the physical education of children. Let us begin 


with the happy comparison drawn by Manouvrier, who describes 
an imaginary duel with swords between a macroscelous and a 
brachyscelous type. The duel, according to social conventions, 
must take place under equal conditions: hence the seconds take 
rigorous care in measuring the ground, the length of the swords, 
and determine the number of paces permitted to the duelists. 
But since they have forgotten the anthropologic side, the con- 
ditions are not entirely equal : by having a longer arm, the macro- 
scele is in the same position as though he had a longer sword; and 
because he has a greater development of the lower limbs, the 
established number of strides will take him over a greater space 
of ground than his adversary. Consequently, the conditions as a 
matter of fact are so favourable to the macroscele, that is, to the 
weaker individual, that the latter has a greater chance of victory. 
The brachyscele might, to be sure, offset this by a different 
manoeuvre depending on his superior agility; but both he and the 
macroscele were trained in the same identical method, which 
takes into consideration only the external factor, the arms of 
defence, and the immutable laws of chivalry. 

Well, something quite similar happens in the duel of life, 
which is waged in school and in the outside social environment. 
We ignore individual differences, and concern ourselves solely 
with the means of education, considering that they are just, 
so long as they are equal for all. The fencing-master, if he had 
been an anthropologist, might have counteracted the probability 
that the stronger pupil would be beaten by the weaker, by advising 
the brachyscele always to choose a pistol in place of a sword, or 
by teaching him some manoeuvre entirely different from that 
which affords the macroscele a favourable preparation for fencing. 
And in the same way, it is the duty of the school-teacher to select 
the arms best adapted to lead his pupil on to victory. 

That is, the teacher ought to make the anthropological study 
of the pupil precede his education; he should prepare him for 
whatever he is best adapted for, and should indicate to him 
the paths that are best for him to follow, in the struggle for 

But, aside from general considerations, we may point out that 
something very similar to the above-mentioned duel takes place 
in school when, in the course of gymnastic exercises, we make the 
children march, arranging them according to their total height. 


We expect them to march evenly and walk, not run, yet we do 
not trouble to ask whether their legs are of equal length. When we 
wish to know which of our pupils is the swiftest runner, we start 
them all together, macrosceles and brachysceles alike, neglecting 
to measure their lower limbs, the weight of their bodies, the 
circumference of their chests. Then we say "bravo!" to the 
macroscele, that is, the pupil who is most agile but at the same time 
the weakest, and we encourage him in a pride based upon a physi- 
ological inferiority. When we practise exercises of endurance, 
we find that certain children weary sooner, suffer from shortness 
of breath, and frequently drop out of the contest, in which the 
victory is reserved for others. The latter are the brachysceles, 
who have big lungs and a robust heart at their disposal. In this 
case we say ''bravo!" to the brachysceles. Then we try to arouse 
a noble rivalry between the two types, encouraging emulation, 
and holding up before the brachyscele the example of the macro- 
scele' s agility, and before the macroscele the example of the 
brachyscele's endurance — and perhaps we reward the two types 
with different medals. Such decisions by the teacher evidently 
have no such foundation in justice as he supposes; the diverse 
abilities of the two types of children are associated with the con- 
stitution of their organisms. A modern teacher ought instead to 
subject the brachyscelous child to exercises adapted to develop 
his length of limb, and the macroscelous to gymnastics that will 
increase the development of his chest; and he will abstain from all 
praise, reward, exhortation and emulation, that have for their sole 
basis the pupil's complete anthropological inefficiency. 

'' The judgment passed by the teacher in assigning rewards and 
punishments is often an unconscious diagnosis of the child^s 
anthropological personality.^' 

Similar unconscious judgments are exceedingly widespread. 
Manouvrier gives a brilliant exposition of them in the course of 
his general considerations regarding the macroscelous and brachy- 
scelous types. A brachyscelous ballet-dancer, all grace and endur- 
ance in her dancing, thanks to the strength of her lungs, can never 
be imitated in her movements by a macroscelous, angular woman, 
with legs ungracefully long. The latter, on the contrary, wrapped 
in a mantle, may become the incarnation of a stately matron, ex- 
tending her long arms in majestic gestures. Yet it often happens 
that the stately actress envies and seeks to imitate the grace of 


the dancer, while the latter envies and emulates the grave dignity 
of the actress. 

In any private drawing-room the same thing occurs, in the 
shape of different advantages distributed among persons of differ- 
ent types. There are some gestures that are inimitable because they 
are associated with a certain anthropologic personality. Every one 
in the world ought to do the things for which he is specially 
adapted. It is the part of wisdom to recognise what each one of us 
is best fitted for, and it is the part of education to perfect and utilise 
such predispositions. Because education can direct and aid nature, 
but can never transform her. 

Manouvrier is constantly observing how the macroscelous and 
brachyscelous types are adapted to different kinds of social labour; 
thus, for example, the macroscele will make an excellent reaper, 
because of the wide sweep of his arms, and he is well adapted to be 
a tiller of the soil; while the brachyscele, on the contrary, will 
succeed admirably in employment that requires continuous and 
energetic effort, such as lifting weights, hammering on an anvil, 
or tending the work of a machine. 

In the social evolution now taking place, the services of the 
macrosceles are steadily becoming less necessary; intensive modern 
labour requires the short, robust arm of the brachyscele. Such 
considerations ought not to escape the notice of the teacher, who 
sees in the boy the future man. He has the high mission of pre- 
paring the duelists of life for victory, by now correcting and again 
aiding the nature of each. And the first point of departure is 
undoubtedly to learn to know, in each case le physique du role. 

Abnormal Types of Stature and General Principles of 
Biological Ethics 

Abnormal types of stature in their relation to moral training. — Macroscelia and brachy- 
scelia in pathologic individuals (De Giovanni's hyposthenic and hypersthenic types).— 
Types of stature in emotional criminals and in parasites. — Extreme types of stature 
among the extrasocial classes: Nanism and gigantism. 

Let us start from a picture traced in the course of the preceding 
lessons; the types of stature as related to race. The Chinese, 
being brachyscelous, ought to be hearty eaters; instead, they are 
the most sparing people on earth. Such parsimony, equally with 
religion and social morality, may be considered as a racial obli- 
gation. The whole life of the Chinese is founded upon duty: 


fidelity to religion, to the laws, to the spirit of discipline, to the 
spirit of sacrifice, which always finds the Chinese citizen ready to 
die for his ethics and for his country, are strong characteristics 
of these invincible men. Their whole education rests solely upon 
a mnemonic basis; and their laws, which are highly democratic, 
make it possible for anyone to rise to the highest circles, pro- 
vided he can pass the competitive examinations. . In other words, 
the laws aid in the natural selection of the really strong, and regard 
favouritism as a crime against the State. On such individual and 
national virtues is founded the survival of the race and of the 
massive empire. If tomorrow the Chinese should renounce his 
creed, become a glutton, a pleasure-seeker, and follow the instincts 
of nature, he would be advancing in mighty strides on the path 
that leads to death. Accordingly, what we call virtue may have a 
biologic basis, . and represent the active force that tends to correct 
the defects of nature. 

We can conceive of a type of man, whose life is associated with 
sacrifice; and whose path of evolution is necessarily limited, first 
because his personality is imperfect, secondly because a part of his 
individual energy is necessarily expended in conquering, or if you 
prefer, in correcting his own nature. Evolution ought to be free; 
but instead, such a type is necessarily in bondage to duty, which 
stops its progress. Accordingly, the civilisation of China remains 
the civilisation of China; it cannot invade the world. 

The European on the contrary has no such racial virtues; what- 
ever virtues he has are associated with transitory forms of civili- 
sation, and are ready to succeed one another on the pathway of 
unlimited progress. The race can permit itself the luxury of not 
being virtuous on its own account; its biological conditions are 
so perfect, that they have reached the fullness of life. If virtue is 
the goal of the Chinese, happiness is the goal of the European. 
The race may indulge freely in the joys of living; and dedicate its 
efforts solely to the unlimited progress of social civilisation, and to 
the conquest of the entire earth. 

The Tasmanian, on the other hand, sparing by nature, lacking 
sufficient development of the organs of vegetative life, avoids every 
form of civilisation, and precipitates himself, an unconscious 
victim, upon the road to death. His natural parsimony, the 
scantiness of his needs, have prevented him from ever feeling 
that spur toward struggle and conquest which has its basis in 


the necessities of life. Neither virtue, nor fehcity, nor civilisation, 
nor survival were possible to that race, whose extermination began 
with the first contact with European civilisation. Hence we may 
draw up a table that will serve to make clear certain fundamental 
ideas that may prove useful guides along our pedagogic path : 

Biological types 




Races and peoples . . . 





Stable civilisation, 

Changeable civil- 

Outside the pale of 

but limited. 

isation, with un- 
limited powers of 


Psycho-moral types . . 

High ideal of virtue 
and sacrifice. 



We ought to strive for the supreme result of producing men who 
will be happy; always keeping clearly before us the idea that the 
happy man is the one who may be spared the effort of thinking 
of himself, and dedicate all his energies to the unlimited progress 
of human society. The preoccupation of virtue, the voluntary 
sacrifice are in any case forces turned back upon themselves, 
that expend upon the individual energies that are lost to the 
world at large; nevertheless, such standards of virtue are necessary 
for certain inferior types. There exist, besides, certain individuals 
in rebellion against society, outcasts whose lives depend upon the 
succor of the strong, or may be destroyed by their adverse inter- 
vention, but in any case have ceased to depend upon the will of 
the individuals themselves. 

Between two inferior types the one with the better chances is 
the one with the larger chest development; apparently, in the case 
of biological deviations, melius est abundare quam deficere. 

Accordingly, let us draw up a chart. Human perfectionment 
tends toward harmony. If we wish to represent this by some 
symbolic or intuitive sign, we could not do so by a mere line; 
because perfection is not reached by the quantitative increase of 
favourable parts; robustness, for instance, cannot be indefinitely 
increased by augmenting the degree of brachyscelia ; nor can intel- 
ligence be increased by augmenting the volume of the head; but 




perfection is approached, in the race and in the individual, through 
a central harmony. It is accordingly in the direction of this centre 
that progress is made; and whoever departs furthest from this 
centre, departs furthest from perfection, becomes more eccentric, 
more untypical, and at the same time also loses the psycho-moral 
potentiality to attain the highest civic perfection. 

In Fig. 17, we have a graphic representation in three con- 
centric circles. 

Let us begin by considering the middle circle, that of the 
abnormals. Here we have inscribed, as psycho-moral and physio- 
pathological traits, abstemi- 
ousness, anti-social tendency, 
predisposition to disease. 
Abstemiousness represents a 
corrective, without which the 
individual tends toward an 
anti-social line of action and 
contracts diseases. Abstemi- 
ousness is present within 
the circle of abnormal human 
beings, as a more or less at- 
tainable ideal; but it must be 
regarded as the pedagogic 
goal, when the problem arises 
of educating an untypical 
class of individuals. In 
other words, there are certain abnormal individuals who, if they 
are not to turn out criminals, must exercise a violent corrective 
influence over their psycho-physical personality, and they must be 
trained to do so; for it is an influence unknown to the normal 
man, who not only has no inclination to commit a crime, but 
recoils from doing so, and on the contrary may arise to degrees 
of moral perfection that are inconceivable to the abnormal man. 
Consequently, in order to maintain a relatively healthy condition, 
certain abnormal individuals are constrained to submit themselves 
to a severe hygienic regime throughout their entire life; a regime use- 
less to the normal man, who indulges naturally in all the pleasures 
which are consistent with the full measure of physical health, 
and which remain forever unknown, and unattainable, to the ab- 
normal individual organically predisposed to disease. 

Fig. 17. 


Such self-restraint we may call the culte of virtue, a necessity 
only to certain categories of men; and we may also call it the 
virtue of inferior individuals. It applies and is limited almost 
wholly to the individual. 

Meanwhile, there is the normal man's high standard of virtue, 
which is an indefinite progress toward moral perfection; but the 
path it follows lies wholly in the direction of society collectively, 
or toward the biological perfectionment of the species. In life's 
attainment of such a triumph, man both feels and is happy rather 
than virtuous. 

The separation between the circles, or rather between the differ- 
ent categories of indviduals, the normal and the abnormal, is not 
clear-cut. There always exist certain imperceptibly transitional 
forms, between normality and abnormality; and furthermore, 
since no one of us is ideally normal, no one who is not abnormal 
in some one thing, it follows that this ''some one thing" must be 
corrected by the humbling practice of self-discipline. At the same 
time it is rare for a man to be abnormal in all parts of his personality; 
in such a case he would be outside the social pale, a monstrosity; 
the high, collective virtues can, therefore, even if in a limited 
degree, illuminate the moral life of the abnormals. St. Paul felt 
that it "is hard to kick against the pricks"; and the picciotto oi 
the Camorra feels that he is obeying a society that protects the 

It is a question of degree. But such a conception must lead to 
a separation in school and in method of education, for the two 
categories of individuals. 

Abnoemal Types According to De Giovanni's Theory 

Certain very important pathological types have been distin- 
guished and established in Italy by De Giovanni, the Paduan 
clinical professor who introduced the anthropological method into 
clinical practice. Through his interesting studies, he has to-day 
fortunately revived the ancient theory of temperaments, explaining 
them on a basis of physio-pathological anthropology. 

De Giovanni distinguishes two fundamental types; the one 
hyposthenic (weak), the other hypersthenic (over-excitable); these 
two types obey the following rules: morphologically considered, 
the hyposthenic type has a total spread of arms greater than the 


total stature and a chest circumference of less than half the stature: 
these data alone are enough to tell us that the type in question is 
macroscelous; as a matter of fact, the chest is narrow and the abdo- 
men narrower still. De Giovanni says that, owing to the scant 
pulmonary and abdominal capacity the organs of vegetative life 
are inadequate; the heart is too small and unequal to its function 
of general irrigator of the organism ; the circulation is consequently 
sluggish, as shown by the bluish net-work of veins, indicating 
some obstacle to the flow of blood. 

The type is predominantly lymphatic, the muscles flaccid, 
with a tendency to develop fatty tissues, but very little muscular 
fibre; there is a predisposition to bronchial catarrh, but above all 
to pulmonary tuberculosis. This hyposthenic type, which corre- 
sponds to the lymphatic temperament of Greek medicine, is in reality 
a macroscelous type somewhat exceeding normal limits and there- 
fore physiologically inefficient and feeble. 

The following is De Giovanni's description: 

Morphologically. — Deficient chest capacity, deficient abdominal 
capacity, disproportionate and excessive development of the limbs; 
insufficient muscularity. 

Physiologically.— Insuffi-cieiit respiration, and consequent scanty 
supply of oxygen (a form of chronic asphyxia of internal origin), 
insufficient circulation, because the small heart sends the blood 
through the arteries at too low a pressure; and this blood, insuffi- 
ciently oxygenated, fails to furnish the tissues with their normal 
interchange of matter, and therefore the assimilative functions in 
general all suffer; finally, the venous blood is under an excessive 
pressure in the veins, the return flow to the heart is rendered 
difficult and there results a tendency to venous hyperemia (con- 
gestion of the veins), even in the internal organs. This is accom- 
panied by what De Giovanni calls nervous erethism (in contradis- 
tinction to torpor), which amounts to an abnormal state of the 
central nervous system, causing predisposition to insanity and to 
various forms of neurasthenia (rapid exhaustion, irritability). 

This type is especially predisposed to maladies of the respira- 
tory system, subject to bronchial catarrh recuning annually, liable 
to attacks of bronchitis, pleurisy, and pneumonia, and easily falls 
victim to pulmonary tuberculosis. 

Here are a few cases recorded by De Giovanni.* (It must be 

* De Giovanni, Op. cit., p. 236. Cases referring to the first morpliologic combination. 


borne in mind that the total spread of the arms, Ts, ought to equal 
the total stature, St. The measurements are given in centimetres.) 

F. M. — St 147; Ts 151. — Extremely frail; frequent attacks of 
hemorrhage of the nose; habitually pale and thin. Certain 
disproportions of the skeleton, hands and feet greatly en- 
larged; extreme development of the subcutaneous veins. 
Pulmonary tuberculosis. 

A. M. — St 161; Ts 193. — Nervous erethism; from the age of 
twelve subject to laryngo-bronchial catarrh; every slight ill- 
ness accompanied by fever; habitually thin. Pulmonary 

F. M. — St 150; Ts 150; Ct 67. — Lymphatic, torpid, almost chronic 
bloating of the abdomen. Enlargement of the glands; scars 
from chilblains on hands and feet. Primary tuberculosis of 
the glands, secondary tuberculosis of the lungs. 

A. M. — St 172; Ts 179. — Extreme emaciation, heart singularly 
small. Chronic bronchial catarrh. 

If it is important for us, as educators, to be acquainted with 
this type in the adult state, it ought to interest us far more 
during its ontogenesis, that is, during the course of its individual 

Since, in the process of growth, man passes through different 
stages, due to alteration in the relative proportions of the different 
organs and parts, it follows that this hyposthenic type corre- 
spondingly alters its predisposition to disease. Its final state, 
manifested by various defects of development, gave unmistakable 
forewarnings at every period of growth. 

In early infancy symptoms of rickets presented themselves, 
and then disappeared, like an unfulfilled threat: dentition was 
tardy or irregular; the head was large and with persistent nodules. 
This class, as a type, is weak, sickly, easily attacked by infec- 
tious diseases, tracoma, purulent otitis. 

When the first period of growth is passed, glandular symptoms 
begin, with liability to sluggishness of the lymphatic glands (scrof- 
ula) or persistent swelling of the lymphatic ganglia of the neck. 
This is supplemented by bronchial catarrh, recurring year after 
year; finally intestinal catarrh follows, accompanied in most cases 
by loss of appetite. 


Such conditions are influenced very slightly or not at all by 
medical treatment. 

During the period of puberty, cardiopalmus (palpitation of the 
heart) is very likely to occur, often accompanied by frequent and 
abundant epistasis, or by the occurrence of slight fever in the 
evening, and by blood-stained expectorations, suggestive of tuber- 
culosis. The patient is pale (oligohsemic), very thin, and shoots 
up rapidly (preponderant growth of the limbs) ; he is subject to 
muscular asthenia (weakness, exhaustibility of the muscles) and to 
various forms of nervous excitability. 

These symptoms also (some of them so serious as to arouse 
fears, at one time of rickets and at another of tuberculosis), are all 
of them quite beyond the reach of medical treatment (tonics, etc.). 

Now, a fact of the highest importance, discovered by De 
Giovanni, is that of spontaneous corrections, that is, the develop- 
ment of compensations within the organism, suited to mitigate 
the anamolous conditions of this type, and hence the possibility of 
an artificial intervention capable of calling forth such compensations. 
Such intervention cannot be other then pedagogic; and it should 
consist in a rational system of gymnastics, designed in one case 
to develop the heart, in another the chest, in another to modify 
the intestinal functions or to stimulate the material renewal of 
the body; while every form of over-exertion must be rigorously 

''I think that we should regard as an error not without conse- 
quences what may be seen any day in the gymnasiums of the public 
schools, where pupils differing in bodily aptitude, and with differ- 
ent gymnastic capacity and different needs are with little dis- 
cernment subjected to the same identical exercises, for the same 
length of time. 

''And day by day we see the results : there are some children who 
rebel outright against the required exercise which they fear and 
from which they cannot hope to profit, because it demands an 
effort beyond their strength. Some have even been greatly 
harmed; so that one after another they abandon these bodily exer- 
cises, which if they had been more wisely directed would assuredly 
have bettered their lot. 

''Experience also teaches that one pupil may be adapted to 
one kind of exercise and another to another kind. Accordingly 
a really physiological system of gymnastics requires that those 

Fig. 18. Fig. 19. 

Brachyscelous type (from Viola). 

Fig. 20. Fig. 21. 

Macroscelous type (from Viola). 


movements and those exercises which are least easily performed should 
be practised according to special methods, until they have strength- 
ened the less developed functions, without ever causing illness or 
producing harmful reactions.*" 

So that the final results are an improvement in the morpho- 
logical proportions of the organism, and consequently a correction 
and improvement in the relative liability to disease. 

The other fundamental pathological type described by De 
Giovanni is the hypersthenic (second morphological combination), 
corresponding in part to the sanguine temperament of Greek 
medicine, and in part to the bilious temperament. In this type 
the total spread of the arms is generally less than the stature, and 
the perimeter of the chest notably exceeds one-half the stature. 
Consequently we are dealing with the brachyscelous type. 

This type has a greatly developed thorax, a large heart, an 
excessive development of the intestines ; hence he is a hearty eater, 
subject to an over-abundance of blood; he is over-nourished, the 
ruddy skin reveals an abundant circulation, there is an excess of 
adipose tissue and a good development of the striped muscles. 
Such a constitution accompanies an excitable, impulsive, violent 
disposition, and conduces to diseases of the heart. ''This type is 
characterised in general by robustness and a liability to disorders 
of the central circulatory system," f 

But there are still other forms of disease that await the in- 
dividuals of this class, such for example as disorders affecting 
the interchange of organic matter (diabetes, gout, polysarcia = 
obesity) and attacks of an apoplectic nature. In the case of acute 
illness individuals of this class suffer from excess of blood and may 
be relieved by being bled. They are readily liable to bloody 

Here are a few cases illustrating this morphological combination, 
which is characterised by an exorbitant chest development (it 
must be borne in mind that the circumference of the thorax, Ct, 
should equal one-half the stature, St). 

P. A. — St 156; Ct 93.— Endocarditis; insufficient heart-action. 

Z. C. — St 168; Ct 95. — Cerebral hyperemia of an apoplectic nature. 

Hypertrophy of the left ventricle of the heart. Polysarcous 

(gluttonous) eater. 

* De Giovanni, Op. cit. 
t De Giovanni, Op. cit. 


B. G. — St 166; Ct 104. — Diabetic, obese, subject to diabetic 
ischialgia (neuralgia), frequent recurrence of gravel in the 
urine. Tendency to excesses of the table. 

D. G. — St 160; Ct 96. — Polysarcia, the first symptoms of which 
appeared in early youth. At the age of sixteen, suffered from 
all the discomforts of obesity. Shows atheroma (fatty degen- 
eration) of the aorta, irregular heart-action, hypertrophy 
and enlargement of the heart. 

In this brachyscelous type it may happen either that the whole 
trunk (that is, both the thoracic and abdominal cavities) is in 
excess, or else that the excessive development is confined to the 
abdomen. This latter case is very frequent, and may easily be 
found even in early childhood. Such children are hearty eaters, 
are very active and, for this reason, the pride and joy of their 
parents. Nevertheless, there are many signs that should give 
warning of constitutional defects; constant digestive disturbances 
(diarrhoea), frequent headaches, pains in the joints, apparently 
of a rheumatic character, tendency to pains in the liver which is 
excessively enlarged; excess of adipose tissue; a tendency to fall 
ill very easily, of maladies that are almost always happily overcome 
(but the truly robust person is not the one who recovers from ill- 
ness, but the one who does not become ill), and finally an excessively 
lively disposition, irritability and above all, impulsiveness. 

Such individuals ought, like the macrosceles, to live under the 
necessary and perpetual tyranny of a hygienic regime, adapted to 
correct or to diminish the morbid predispositions associated with 
the organism. A special dietetic, a regular hydrotherapic treat- 
ment, a moderate gymnastic exercise designed to direct the child's 
motive powers, and thus to prepare the man for that form of 
existence to which it is necessary for him to subject himself, if he 
does not wish to shorten his own life, or at least his' period of 
activity — all these things are so many duties which the school 
ought in great part to assume. 

In this way we have briefly considered the abnormal types of 
brachyscelia and macroscelia, which by their very constitution 
are predisposed to incur special and characteristic forms of disease, 
which may be avoided only by subjecting the organism to a special 
hygienic regimen. Men cannot all live according to the same rules. 


Types of Stature in Criminals 

In these latter times, some very recent researches have been 
made by applying De Giovanni's method to the anthropological 
study of criminals, especially through the labours of Dr. Boxich. 
He has found that the great majority of parasitic criminals, 
thieves for example, are macrosceles. They exhibit the stigmata 
already revealed by Lombroso : great length of the upper limbs, 
with elongated hands; furthermore, a narrow chest and a small 
heart, insufficient for its vital function; such individuals are 
singularly predisposed to pulmonary tuberculosis, and hence in 
their physical constitution they are already stamped as organisms 
of inferior biological value — having little endurance and almost no 
ability as producers — consequently they are forced to live as they 
can, that is like parasites, profiting by the work of others. On 
the contrary, the great majority of criminals of a violent character 
present the brachyscelous type: the thorax is greatly developed, 
the heart hypertrophic, the arterial circulation superabundant. 
This class of criminals, including a large proportion of murderers, 
have a special tendency to act from impulse, corresponding to 
their large heart which sends an excess of blood pulsing violently 
to the brain, obscuring the psychic functions; or, in the speech 
of the people, such a man has '4ost his reason," ''the light goes 
from the eyes when the blood goes to the brain." 

Here are some notes regarding these two different types: we 
will select as measures of comparison the stature and the weight, 
bearing in mind that in the macrosceles the weight is scanty and 
that the opposite is true of the brachysceles, while normally there 
ought to be a pretty close correspondence betwen the weight in 
kilograms and the centimetres of stature over and above one 

Types of Non-violent Criminals (Parasites) 

Case No. 24. — St. 168; Wt. 56. Farm steward, three years' 
sentence for theft. Pallid complexion, visible veins, scant 
muscles. Heart small and weak, pulse feeble and slow. 

Case No. 34. — St. 175; Wt. 61. Baker, comfortable financial 
circumstances, has received a number of sentences for theft, 
amounting altogether to ten years. Is twenty-four years of 
age. Cyanosis of the extremities (bluish tinge, due to 


excessive venous circulation). Cardiac action feeble. Scant 

Case No. 43. — St. 156; Wt. 51. Peasant. Straitened circum- 
stances. Four years' sentence for theft. Rejected by the 
army board for defective chest measurement. Dark com- 
plexion. Extensive acne. Scant muscles. Bronchial catarrh. 
Has had hemoptysis (spitting of blood). Cardiac action 
weak. Pulse very feeble. 

Case No. 52.— St. 173; Wt. 66. Book-binder. Prosperous cir- 
cumstances. Four years' sentence or thereabouts, for theft; 
age, twenty-four. Conjunctivitis and blepharitis from early 
childhood. Frontal and parietal nodules prominent. Muscles 
scant; cardiac action weak; lymphatic glands of the neck 
The following is an example of the typical thief :* 

St. 162; Wt. 46. — Exceedingly small heart, feeble cardiac action. 
Suffers from chronic bronchial catarrh. Cranial nodules 
very prominent. Began as a small child to steal in his own 
home, and since then has received sentence after sentence 
for theft, up to his present age of twenty-nine. 

Types of Violent Criminals {Assault, Mayhem, Homicide) 
Case No. 54. — St. 157; Wt. 62. Peasant. Good financial circum- 
stances. Condemned to thirty years in prison for homicide. 
Well-developed muscles. Blood vessels congested. Strong 
heart action; the pulsation extends as far down as the epi- 
gastrium. Ample pulse. 
Case No. 60. — St. 156; Wt. 70. Shoemaker. Bad financial cir- 
cumstances. Condemned to fifteen years' imprisonment for 
homicide, after having been previously convicted three times 
for theft. The chest circumference exceeds one-half the 
stature by 11 centimetres. Subject to frequent pains in the 
head. Good muscles. Corpulent. Full pulse. (It should 
be noticed that the florid complexion, accompanying this 
type of stature, persists in spite of straitened circumstances!) 
Case No. 85. —St. 168; Wt. 70. Turner in iron. Comfortable 
circumstances. Sentenced to thirty years in prison after one 
previous conviction for criminal assault. Ruddy complexion. 
Veins not visible. Abdomen very prominent. Gastrectasia 

*Boxich, Contribution to the Morphological, Clinical and Anthropological Study of 


(dilation of the stomach). Entire cardiac region protuberant. 
Laboured breathing. Cardiac action abundant. 

Hence we perceive, in the etiology of crime, the importance 
of the organic factor, connected directly with the lack of harmony 
in the viscera and their functions, and consequently accompanied 
by special morbid predispositions. 

As a result of this line of research, criminality and pathology 
are coming to be studied more and more in conjunction. For 
that matter, it was already observed by Lombroso that in addition 
to the various external malformations found in criminals, there 
were also certain anomalies of the internal organs, and a wide- 
spread and varied predisposition to disease. In short, his statis- 
tics reveal a prevalence of cardiac maladies and of tuberculosis 
in criminals, as well as a great frequency of diseases of the liver 
and the intestines. 

Extreme or Infantile Types, Nanism and Gigantism, Extra- 
social Types 

Whenever the disproportion between the bust and the limbs 
surpasses the extreme normal limits, the whole individual reveals 
a complex departure from type. Thus, for example, in connection 
with extreme brachyscelia, there exists a characteristic form of 
nanism (dwarfishness), called achondroplastic nanism, in which, 
although the bust is developed very nearly within normal limits, 
the limbs on the contrary are arrested in their growth so as to 
remain permanently nothing more than little appendages of the 
'trunk. This calls to mind the foetal form of the new-born child, 
and the resulting type, because of this morphological coincidence, 
is classed among the infantile types. 

Achondroplastic nanism is associated with a pathological 
deformity due to foetal rickets. It is not only the child after 
birth, but the foetus also which, during its intrauterine life, may 
be subject to diseases. Rickets (always a localised disease, 
usually attacking some part of the skeleton) in this case fastens 
upon the enchondral cartilages of the long bones. As we know, the 
long bones are composed of a body or diaphysis and of extremities 
or articular heads, the epiphyses. Now, these different parts, 
which form in the adult a continuous whole, remain separate 
throughout the foetal and the immediate post-natal period : so that 


the heads of the humerus and the femur, for example, in the case 
of the new-born child, are found to be joined to the diaphysis by- 
cartilages (destined to ossify later on), which are the chief seat of 
growth of the bones in the direction of length. Well, in these 
cases of pre-natal rickets, the union of the bony segments takes 
place prematurely, and since the bones can hardly grow at all 
in length, they develop in thickness, and the result is that the 
limbs remain very short and stocky. Meanwhile the bust, 
the bones of which have in no way lost their power of growth, 
develops normally. 

Now, these dwarfs, who have abundant intelligence, because 
they have the essential parts of stature in their favour, constituted 
the famous jesters of the mediaeval courts, whose misfortune served 
to solace the leisure hours of royalty. Paolo Veronese went so 
far as to introduce a dwarf buffoon, of the achondroplastic type, 
into his famous painting. The Wedding at Carta. 

Conversely, in connection with an exaggerated macroscelia, we 
have gigantism. 

Ordinarily, a giant has a bust that is not greatly in excess of 
normal dimensions. The limbs, on the contrary, depart ex- 
tremely from the normal limits, in an exaggerated growth in the 
direction of length : so much so that the bodies of giants present 
the appearance of small busts moving around on stilts. 

Nevertheless, many different forms of gigantism occur. The 
pathology of this phenomenon is quite complex; but we can 
not concern ourselves with it here. It is a scientific problem 
of no immediate utility to our pedagogic problems. Dwarfs 
and giants, whatever their type and their pathological etiology, 
constitute extra-social individuals, who have been at all times 
excluded from any possibility of adaptation to useful labour, 
and employed, whether in the middle ages or in the twentieth 
century, to a greater or less extent as a source of amusement to 
normal beings, because of their grotesque appearance, either at 
court or in the theatres, or in moving pictures, or (in the case of 
giants) as figures suited to adorn princely or imperial gateways. 
These individuals are as completely independent of the social 
conditions of the environment in which they were born as if they 
were extraneous to humanity. In relation to the species, they are 

From the biological side, a consideration of these types serves 


merely as an illustration of an important law: the essential part 
of the organism (the vertebral column) is less variable than the 
accessory parts (the limbs). 

Summary of the Types of Stature 

According to the relative development of bust and limbs we 
have distinguished three types, the macrosceles, the brachysceles 
and the mesatisceles, within their respective limits of oscillation. 

Since the type of stature gives us a proportion between the 
different parts of an individual, it constitutes a fundamental criter- 
ion for a morphological judgment of the personality. That is, it 
leads to a diagnosis of the individual constitution, with which are 
associated not only the "character" but also certain predisposi- 
tions to disease. 

A knowledge of these types shows us the necessity we educators 
are under of taking into consideration the individual pupils, each 
of whom may have separate needs, tendencies and forms of develop- 
ment; and of demanding separate schools, in which even the methods 
of moral education must differ. Because men are not only not all 
adapted to the same forms of work, but they are not even all 
adapted to the same standards of morality. And since it is our 
duty to assume the task of aiding the biological development and 
the social adaptation of the new generations, it will also be part of 
our task to correct defective organisms, and at the same time to 
correct the types of mental and moral inferiority. 

In the following chart we may summarise the points of view 
from which we have studied the types of stature : 


Types of stature 





Variations in 

types of 

Normal , 



long legs, short bust. 

short legs, long bust. 

Mongols (brachysceles) . 

Tasmanians (macrosceles). 

Dark Mediterranean race (mesatis- 
celes tending toward brachyoscelia). 

Blond race (mesatisceles tending to- 
ward macroscelia). 

Woman more brachyscelous. 
\ Man more macroscelous. 
/ Childhood brachyscelous. 
\ Old age macroscelous. 



SYNOPTIC CUAnT— Continued 

Variations in 
types of 



Infantile types 

De Giovanni's f Macrosceles pre- 
hyposthenic disposed to tu- 

types. berculosis. 

De Giovanni's -j Brachysceles pre- 
hypersthenic disposed to dis- 

types. eases of the 


Macrosceles parasites. 

Brachysceles violent. 

Achondroplastic nanism. 


Summary of the Scientific Principles Illustrated in the 
Course of our Discussion 

Biological Laws. — a. Growth is not only an augmentation in 
volume, but also an evolution in form. 

b. The more essential parts vary less than the accessory parts 
in the course of their transformations. 

The Index. — The index is the mathematical relation between the 
measurements belonging to the same individual, and as such it 
gives us an idea of the form; since the form is determined by the 
relations between the various parts constituting the whole. 

The Stature 

While the figure and the type of stature tend to delineate the 
individual considered by himself, the different measurements con- 
sidered separately may guide us in our study of individuals in their 
relation to the race and the environment. 

Among the measurements of the form, we will limit ourselves 
to a study of the stature and the weight, which serve to give us 
respectively the linear index of development and the volumetric 
estimate of the body taken as a whole. We shall reserve the study 
of the other measurements, such as the total spread of the arms 
and the perimeter of the thorax, until we come to the analytical 
investigation of the separate parts of the body (limbs, thorax). 

The stature is expressed by a linear measure determined by the 
distance intervening in a vertical direction between the plane on 
which the individual is standing in an erect position and the top 
of his head. 

It follows that the stature is a measurement determined by the 
erect position; on the other hand, when a man is in a recumbent 


position, what we could determine would be the length of body, 
which is not identical with the stature. 

In fact, a man on foot, resting his weight upon articulations 
that are elastic, and therefore compressible, is a little shorter than 
when he is recumbent. 

If we examine the skeleton (see Fig. 9), we discover that the 
single synthetic measure that constitutes the stature results from 
a sum of parts that differ greatly from one another. To be spe- 
cific, it is composed of the long and short bones of the lower limbs; 
of flat bones, such as the pelvis and the skull; of little spongy 
bones, such as the vertebrae; all of which bones and parts obey 
different laws in the course of their growth. Furthermore, inter- 
vening between these various bones are soft, elastic parts, known 
as the articulations, which, starting from below, succeed each other 
in the following order: 

1. Calcaneo-astragaloid, between the calcaneus and the superimposed astraga- 


2. Tibio-astragaloid, between the astragalus and the superimposed tibia. 

3. Of the knee, between the tibia and the femur. 

4. Of the hip, between the femur and the os innominatum. 

5. Sacro-iliac, between the os iliacum and the sacrum. 

6. Sacro-vertebral, between the sacrum and the last lumbar vertebra. 

7. Of the vertebrce, consisting of 23 intervertebral disks, that is to say inter- 

posed between the vertebrae, which include the following: 5 lumbar, 
12 thoracic, 7 cervical. 

8. Occipito-atloid, between the first cervical vertebra, called the atlas and the 

OS occipitale of the cranium. 

Accordingly, there are thirty articulations in all; and of these, 
23 are the intervertebral disks, which constitute, taken together, a 
fourth part of the complex height of the vertebral column. 

Furthermore, the height of the body cannot be considered sim- 
ply the sum of the component parts, since these are not superim- 
posed in a straight line. As a matter of fact, if we examine the 
vertebral column, we see that it is not straight as in the case of 
animals, but exhibits certain curves that are characteristic of the 
human species, and must be taken into consideration in their rela- 
tion to the erect position. In fact, the vertebral column presents 
two curvatures, the one lumbar, and the other cervical, which 
together give it the form of an S. These curvatures are acquired 
along with the erect position, and are not innate; one of the points 
of difference between the skeleton of the new-born child and that 


of the adult is precisely this, that the former has a straight vertebral 

A fact of no small importance to note, since in the course of 
growth a certain determined form of normal curve, and no other, 
ought to establish itself; otherwise, abnormal deviations in the 
vertebral column will become established. And for the very 
reason that it is plastic and destined to assume a curve, the vertebral 
column may very easily be forced into exaggerating or departing 
from its morphological destiny. In such a case, the resulting 
stature would be inferior to what it should normally have been. 

Accordingly, the stature is the resultant of the sum of anatom- 
ical parts and of morphological conditions. 

Hence it is a linear index not only of biological man, that is, of 
man considered in relation to his racial limitations; but also of 
social man, that is, of man as he has developed in the struggle for 
adaptation to his environment. 

The limits of stature, according to race. Stature is an anthro- 
pological datum of great biological value, since it is a definite racial 
characteristic and is preserved from generation to generation by 
heredity. The first distinguishing trait of a race is the height of 
the body in its natural erect position. It is also the first charac- 
teristic that strikes us when a stranger comes toward us for the 
first time. And that is why we make it the leading descriptive 
trait: a person of tall, or of low stature. If, for a moment, we 
should picture to ourselves the legend of Noah's Ark — quite incred- 
ible, because emigration and embarkation of all the known species 
would have required more than a century of time (it is enough 
merely to think of the embarkation of the tortoises and the 
sloths!), and the necessity of an ark as big as a nation, what must 
inevitably have struck Noah and his sons would have been the 
stature of the individuals belonging to each separate species. 

The stature is the linear index of the limit of mass. 

Among the human races the variations in stature are included 
between fairly wide oscillations: coming down to facts, the 
average stature of the Akkas is L387 m. (4 ft. 6 1/2 in.) for the 
males; and that of the Scotchmen of Galloway is 1.792 m. (5 ft. 
10 1/2 in.). Accordingly between the average heights of the two 
races that are considered as the extremes, there is a difference of 
40 cm. (15 3/4 in.) ; but since the averages are obtained from a com- 
plex mass of normal measurements, some of which are above and 


others necessarily below the average itself, we may assert that the 
'^ normal human individuals" may differ in stature to an extent of 
more than half a metre; the oscillations of normal individuals on 
each side of the racial average being estimated at about 10 cm. 
(3.937 in.). 

If we should see a httle Akka 4 ft. 4 in. (1.33 m.) in height 
alongside of a Scotchman 6 ft. (1.83 m.) high we should say "a. 
dwarf beside a giant." But such terms are pathological and should 
never be employed to indicate normal individualities. As a matter 
of fact dwarfs and giants are as a class extra-social and sterile; 
normal individuals, on the contrary, represent the physiopsychic 
characteristics of their respective races. Consequently we may say 
that normal people have a low stature, or a high stature; or if it is 
a question of extremely low stature (such as that of the Akkas) 
we may make use of the term pigmies or of the pigmy race, in speak- 
ing of such individuals. Sergi has proved the existence, among 
the prehistoric inhabitants of Europe, of various pigmy races. 

In the field of anthropology the scientific terminology ought 
always to be based upon certain determined limits. The author- 
ities indicate the normal extremes of individual stature, beyond 
which we pass over the into realm of pathology, incompatible with 
the survival of the species; and even in the pathological cases they 
determine the extreme limits, obtained from the individual mon- 
strosities that have actually existed in the course of the centuries, 
and that seem to indicate the furthest limits attained by the human 

Deniker, in summing up the principal authorities, assigns the 
following limits: 

Normal statures, range of oscillations among the races 


1.25 m. 


low in- 







high in- 


2 m. 



1.25 m. 

1.35 m. 

1.387 m. 

men of 
1.792 m. 

1.90 m. 

1.99 m. 




The pathological extremes that would seem to indicate the 
limits of stature compatible with human life would seem to be on 
the one hand the little female dwarf, Hilany Agyba of Sinai, 
described by Jaest and cited by Deniker,* 15 inches high (0.38 m. — 
the average length of the Italian child at birth is 0.50 m. = 19 1/2 
in.), and on the other, the giant Finlander, Caianus, cited by 
Topinardf, 9 ft. 3 1/2 in. in height (2.83); the two extremes of 
human stature would accordingly bear a ratio of 1:7. On the 
other hand, QueteletJ gives the two extremes as being relatively 
1 :6 — namely, the Swedish giant who was one of the guardsmen 
of Frederick the Great, and was 2.523 m. tall (8 ft. 3 in.); and 
the dwarf cited by Buffon, 0.43 m. in height (16 3/4 in.). 

When there is occasion for applying the terms tall or low 
stature to individuals of our own race, it is necessary at the 
same time to establish hmits that will determine the precise 
meaning of such terms. Livi§ gives as the average stature for 
Italians 1.65 m. (5 ft. 5 in.), and speaking authoritatively as 
the leading statistician in Anthropology, establishes the following 
limits : 

Averages Determining The Terminology of Stature 

1.60 m. and below, low I 1.65 m. and all between 
statures. 1.60-1.70, mean statures 

1.70 m. and above, tall 

The individual extremes among the low statures tend to ap- 
proach the average stature of the Japanese race (1.55 m.), and those 
among the high statures approach the Anglo-Saxon average (the 
Scotch = 1.79 m.) 

There is much to interest us in studying the distribution of 
statures in Italy. 

In Livi's great charts, he has marked in blue those regions 
where the prevailing percentage of stature is high (1.70 m. and 
upward), and in red those where the low statures prevail (1.60 m. 
and below; and the varying intensity of colouration indicates 
the greater or lesser prevalence of the high or low statures. 

* Deniker, Races et peuples de la terre. 

t TopiNARD, Elevienti di Antropologia. 

% QuET^LET, Proporzioni medie {mean Proportions) . 

§ l^TVi, Antropometria Militare {Military Anthropometry). 


Thus it becomes evident in one glance of the eye that tall stat- 
ures prevail in northern Italy and low statures in the south; while 
the maximum of low stature (indicated by the most intense red) 
is found in the islands, and especially in Sardinia. 

In the vicinity of the central districts of Italy (the Marches, 
Umbria, Latium) the two colours fade out ; this indicates that here 
all notable prevalence of stature, either tall or low, ceases ; conse- 
quently we have here, as the prevailing norm, the mean stature 
(1.65 m.). 

Anyone wishing to analyse the natural distribution of stature, 
has only to study these charts by Livi, which are worked out with 
great minuteness. If a study of this sort, extending over the entire 
peninsula, seems too great an undertaking, it is at least advisable 
for a teacher to acquaint himself with the local distribution of 
stature; in order that when it becomes his duty to judge of the 
stature of pupils in his school he will have the necessary idea 
regarding the biological (racial) basis on which so important an 
anthropological datum can oscillate. 

Livi's charts, based upon the male stature, correspond almost 
perfectly with my own regional charts based upon the average 
statures of the women of Latium. Both Livi and I find that in 
the region of Latium the tall statures prevail north of the Tiber, 
especially toward the confines of Umbria; while the lowest statures 
are found in the neighbourhood of the valley of the Tiber, toward 
the sea (Castelli Romani). That is to say, the stature becomes 
lower from north to south, and from the mountains toward the 
sea. Furthermore, there exist certain nuclei of pure race, such as 
at Orte and in Castelli Romani, where we may find the extremes 
of average stature, which for women are found to be 1.61 m. at 
Orte, and 1.47 m. at Castelli Romani; while the extreme individual 
statures, according to my figures, oscillate between 1.42 m (Castelli) 
and 1.70 m (Orte). It would be helpful to the teachers of Rome and 
Latium, if they would acquire some idea regarding the racial types 
of the district, by studying my work on the Physical Characteristics 
of the young Women of Latium, which is the only work on regional 
anthropology taken directly from life that so far exists in anthro- 
pologic literature.* 

The Stature in Relation to Sex. — It is sufficient to point out that 
the stature varies normally between the sexes, so that the average 

* MoNTESsoRi, Caratteri fisici delle giovani donne del Lazio. 


figures differ by about 10 centimetres (nearly 4 in.) in the direction 
of a lower stature for woman. 

Vaeiations in Stature Through the Different Ages 

Nothwithstanding that growth is an evolution, it manifests 
itself also by an absolute augmentation of mass; and the linear index 
of such augmentation is given by the growth in stature, or by its 
variations at different ages. 

This exceedingly important measurement ought to be taken 
in the case of all pupils; and undoubtedly in the course of time 
anthropometry will form a part of our school equipment; because, 
by following the increase of stature in a child, we follow his phys- 
ical development. 

In Chapter VII, in which the technique of the stature is dis- 
cussed, there is a graphic representation of the annual increase of 
stature in the two sexes; the upper parabolic line refers to the 
male sex, and the lower one to the female. On the vertical line 
are marked the measures of growth, from the base upward, and 
on the horisontal line the ages. All the dotted vertical lines 
which rise from the horizontal, each corresponding to a successive 
year of life, and stop at the parabolic line, represent the relative 
proportion of stature from year to year; while the parabola 
which unites the extremities of such lines may be regarded as a line 
drawn tangent to the top of the head of an individual through the 
successive periods of his life. 

If we analyse this table, we find that the greatest increase in 
stature takes place during the first year; in fact, a child which at 
birth has an average length of body of 0.50 m. for males, and 
0.48 m. for females (the new-born child does not have stature, 
but only length of body, since it has not yet acquired an erect 
position) has by the end of the first year augmented the length 
of body by 20 centimetres, which gives an average length of 0.70 m. 
In no other year of life will the stature acquire so notable an 
increase; it is very important for mothers to watch the growth 
of the child during this first year of its life; and the following 
figures may be useful for comparison: 

It will be seen that the maximum increase takes place during . 
the first four months — especially in the first month (4 cm. = 
1.57 in.) the rate diminishing from this point up to the fourth 
month (2 cm. = 0.78 in.), after which the monthly increase remains 
steadily at one centimetre (0.39 in.). 

Fig. 22. — New-born child, seen from in front and from behind. (Stratz.) 

1 year. 8 months. 4 months. at birth. 

Fig. 23. — Skeleton of a child from birth to the age of one year. 



(From Figueira) 

Age in months 

Length of body in 

Monthly increase 



























■ 0.69 



The same facts appear from the combination picture given 
by Stratz, showing an infant's skeleton at four-month intervals 
from birth to the end of the first year. 

During the second year of life, the increase in stature is about 
one-half that of the preceding year, that is, about 10 cm. (4 in.), 
so that at the end of the second year the child attains a height of 
about 80 cm. (31 1/2 in.). After this, the annual increase dimin- 
ishes in intensity (see "Figures of the increase of stature according 
to Quetelet and other authors," in the technical part. Chapter VII), 
as is shown by the horizontal dotted lines, which, starting from a 
vertical line at points corresponding to the height of various 
statures, represent by the intervals of space between them the 
successive growth from year to year. 

This increase is not regular, but proceeds by periodic impulses 
that in early childhood seem to recur at intervals of three years. 

Thus for example the increase 

between 0- 3 years of age is successively 20, 10, 6 cm. 

. between 3- 6 years of age is successively 7, 6, 5 cm. 

between 6- 9 years of age is successively 7, 6, 5 cm. 

between 9-12 years of age is successively 6, 4, 3 cm. 

Accordingly we have a triennial rhythm, decreasing throughout 
the whole period of childhood; the maximum increase is in the 
first triennium, the second and third periods of three years cor- 


respond exactly, while the last period shows a lowered rate of 

At this point the period of approaching puberty begins (13 
years for boys), after which the rate of increase becomes more 
rapid than it had been during the second or third period, attaining 
its maximum during the years 13-15; to be specific, the rate from 
13 to 18 is successively 4, 8, 7, 5, 6, 3 cm. 

When the period of puberty is ended (18 years), the rate of 
growth is much slower; in fact, during the two following years 
(18 to 20) it hardly attains one centimetre. 

Nevertheless, the stature continues to increase up to the 
twenty-fifth year; according to Quetelet's figures, the average 
male stature at the age of eighteen is 1.70 m. (in Belgium) and at 
twenty-one it is 1.72 m. 

From twenty-five to thirty-five the stature remains stable; 
this is the adult age, the full attainment of maturity; at the age of 
forty the period of involution insensibly begins, and after fifty 
in the case of women, and sixty in the case of men, the stature 
begins insensibly to decrease; a decrease which becomes more 
marked with the advance of age, corresponding to an anatomical 
diminution of the soft parts interposed between the bones in the 
sum of parts that make up the stature; more especially the inter- 
vertebral disks; and in connection with this phenomenon the 
vertebral column tends to become more curved. 

According to Quetelet's figures, at the age of eighty the average 
male stature is 1.61 m. (5 ft. 3 2/5 in.), a stature corresponding to 
that of the age of sixteen. 

Accordingly, the variations in stature throughout the different 
periods of life are neither a growth nor an evolution, but a 'parabolic 
curve, including evolution and involution. This curve represents 
the true human stature; the measurements taken successively 
from year to year representing nothing more than transitory 
episodes in the individual life. 

Man, as he really is, we may represent by portraits taken 
successively from time to time, from his birth until his death: 
the occasional photograph which it is the custom to have taken 
represents nothing; following no rule, it seizes a fugitive instant 
in the life of an individual, who is never a fixed quantity but is 
constantly in transition during the whole course of his existence. 
So that the habit of taking a picture annually on a child's birthday 


is an excellent one if we wish to preserve a true likeness; and this 
practice is recommended in pedagogic anthropology, when it is 
desired to preserve the biographic history of the pupil. 

It is interesting to study, side by side with the growth of 
stature and the marked rhythms and periods that constitute its 
laws, the phenomenon of general mortality in its relation to age. 

Lexis gives the following curve of general mortality : the hori- 
zontal line marks the years and the vertical line the corresponding 
number of deaths, while the curved line shows the progress of mor- 
tality, and the highest points in the curve indicate the maximum 
mortality. It is highest of all during the first year and in general 
during early childhood, and is steadily lowered to a point corre- 
sponding to the ages from ten to thirteen, after which it rises again. 

Let us examine the curve up to this point, since it has a bearing 
upon our school work. We can prove that the maximum mortality 


1st year 10-13 years 70 years 

Fig. 24. — Curve of general mortality (Lexis). 

corresponds to the maximum individual growth; in other words, 
an organism in rapid evolution is exposed to death, its powers of 
immunity to infective diseases are weakened; it constitutes what 
in medical parlance is known as a locus minoris resistentice. 

In that period of calm in growth, which would seem to be a 
repose preceding the evolution of puberty, mortality is at the 
lowest; only to rise again rapidly during the period of puberty; 
while the rise becomes less rapid after the eighteenth year, not- 
withstanding that after that age mankind in general are exposed, 
in their struggle for existence, to many causes of death that did 
not exist during the preceding years. Toward the age of seventy 
the line of mortality attains another apex, because the age of 
normal death is reached; after which it drops precipitously because 
of the lack of survivers. 


From these facts we may deduce certain very important prin- 
ciples that throw useful light upon pedagogy: there are certain 
ages at which even the strong are weak; and their weakness is of such 
a nature that it exposes the individual to death. 

Now, whenever the phenomenon of mortality occurs it is always 
an indication of impoverishment in the survivors. For example, of 
every one person that dies, many persons have been ill who have 
recovered from their illness; but there are still many others who, 
although they did not actually fall ill, were weakened even though 
they passed through the peril unharmed. 

In short, for each death, which represents a final disaster, there 
are many victims. And whenever there is a rise in the phenomenon 
of mortality in connection with any one age, it is our duty to give 
special attention to those individuals who are not only weak in 
themselves, but whom the social causes affecting them tend to 
weaken still more and push onward toward illness and death. 
Whenever there are many deaths, there are undoubtedly also 
many sufferers. 

Now, in pedagogy we have no criterion to guide us in this 
matter of respecting the weaknesses characteristic of the various ages, 
as, for example, that of early infancy and of the age of puberty. 

With the most cruel blindness we punish and discourage the 
lad who, having reached the age of puberty, no longer makes the 
progress in his studies that rendered him the brilliant champion 
during the period of physiological repose in his growth ; and instead 
of regarding this as a psychic indication of a great physiological 
transformation that it is necessary to protect, we urge on the 
organism to enforced effort, without even suspecting that, in pro- 
portion to the degree of resistance of our pupil, we may be doing 
our share to induce in him a permanent weakness, or an arrest of 
development, or disease and death. 

Our responsibility as educators is great, because we have the 
threads of life entrusted to our care; man represents a continuous 
transition through successive forms, and each following period has 
been prepared for by the one preceding. 

Whenever we have the misfortune to concur in weakening a 
child, we touch that parabolic line traced in the graphic chart of 
stature, and standing as an index of the life of the body, and we 
give it a shock throughout its whole length; it may either be shat- 
tered or be brought down to a lower grade. 


But the life of an individual does not contain merely that 
individual alone; the cycle of the stature with its violent period of 
puberty and the perfect physiological repose corresponding to the 
years from 25 to 36, or even 45, indicates the eternity of the in- 
dividual in the species: his maturity for reproduction. Man in his 
progress through the different levels of height, as indicated on the 
graphic chart of stature, does not pass through them without re- 
producing himself, save in exceptional cases; he commences the 
ascent alone, but in his descent he attains the majesty of a creator 
who leaves behind him the immortal works of his own creation. 
Well, even the capacity of normal reproduction, and of begetting 
a strong species, is related to the normal cycle of life: whoever 
weakens a child and puts a strain upon the threads of its existence, 
starts a vibration that will be felt throughout posterity. 

The parabolic cycle of stature shows us which is the most 
favourable period for the reproduction of the species; it is undoubt- 
edly that period that stands at the highest apex of the curve, and 
at which the organism has reached an almost absolute peace, as if 
forgetful of itself, in order to provide for its eternity. When it 
has completed its period of evolution, during which the organism 
shows that it has not yet matured; and before the commencement 
of involution, in which period the organism is slowly preparing for 
departure — that is the moment when man may or rather ought to 
procreate his species. 

Careful forethought not to produce immature or feeble fruit, 
will form part of the coming man's regard for his posterity. A 
new moral era is maturing, that is giving birth to a solidarity, 
not only between all living beings, but including also those future 
beings who are as yet unborn; but for whose existence the living 
man of to-day is preparing through his care of his own strength and 
his own virtue. To have intentionally begotten a son better than 
himself will be a proud victory for the man who has attained the 
higher sexual morality; and such pride will be no less keen than 
that of the artist, who by perfecting his marvelous talents has 
created a masterpiece. 

The statistics collected by Quetelet demonstrate that 'Hoo pre- 
cocious marriages either occasion sterility or produce children that 
have a smaller probability of living." 

They prove furthermore that the number of children who die 
is largest in marriages contracted at the age of sixteen or earlier, 



and becomes lowest among the children born of marriages con- 
tracted between the years of 29 and 32. During these years 
also the parents are most fertile: as is shown by the following 
tables : 


Age of parents at 

Percentage of 

deaths of children 

before attaining 

marriageable age 

Average births to 
each marriage 

Percentage of 

births to each 


15 years 




16-19 years- 

20-23 years 

24-27 years 


Age at the time of 
child's birth 

Percentage of deaths to 
each birth 

Average number of births 
in one year of marriage 

16 years 

17-20 years 

21-24 years 

25-28 years 

29-32 years 


. 52 

The results of a recent research show that famous men have 
hardly ever been the first-born, and that the great majority were 
begotten of parents who were at the time between the ages of 25 
and 36 years. 

Variations of Stature with Age, According to the Sexes. — The 
general laws of the growth and involution of stature are pretty 
nearly the same for the two sexes. The female stature, beginning 
at birth, averages throughout life somewhat less than the male. 

But since the development of puberty takes place earlier in 
woman than in man, the female child manifests the characteristic 
increase in stature at an earlier age than the male; consequently 
at that age (about eleven) she overtakes him, and for the time 
being both boy and girl are equal in stature. But as soon as the 
boy enters upon the period of puberty, he rapidly surpasses the 
girl, and his stature henceforth steadily maintains a superiority of 
about ten centimetres (nearly four inches), as is shown by the 


deviations between the two parabolic curves, representing the 
variations of stature in the two sexes. Even the involution of 
stature occurs precociously in women, as compared with man. 

Variations in Stature due to Mechanical Causes of 
Adaptation to Environment 

Variations due to Mechanical Causes. Transitory and Permanent 
Variations. Deformations. — The individual stature is not a fixed 
quantity at all hours of the day; but it varies by several millimetres 
under the influence of mechanical causes connected with the habits 
of daily life. In the morning we are slightly taller than at night 
(by a fraction of a centimetre) : in consequence of remaining on 
foot a good deal of the time during the day, our stature is gradually 
lowered. This is contrary to the popular belief that ''while we 
stand up our stature grows." 

As a matter of fact, in the erect position the soft tissues that 
form part of the total stature are under constant pressure; but 
being elastic, they resume their previous proportions after prolonged 
rest in a horizontal position. 

Consequently at night, especially if we have taken a long walk, 
or danced, we are shorter than in the morning after a long sleep; 
the act of stretching the limbs in the morning completes the work 
of restoring the articular cartilages to their proper limits of elas- 
ticity. Nevertheless, according to the mechanical theory accepted 
by Manouvrier, persons who are habituated from childhood to 
stand on foot much of the time (labourers) interfere with the free 
growth of the long bones in the direction of length and at the same 
time augment the growth in thickness; hence the skeleton is 
rendered definitely shorter in its segments as well as in its bones 
{i.e., a shallower pelvis, shorter limbs, etc.). The result is a stocky 
type with robust muscles: the europlastic type, which is found 
among labourers. On the contrary, a person who spends much time 
reclining on sofas among cushions, and taking abundant nutriment, 
is likely to tend toward the opposite extreme; bones long and slen- 
der, the skeleton tall in all its segments, the muscular system 
delicate; this is the macroplastic or aristocratic type. According 
to Manouvrier, when a person has a long, slow convalescence after 
a protracted infectious malady such as typhoid, recumbent much 
of the time and subjected to a highly nutritive diet, it may happen, 
especially if he has reached the period of puberty at which a rapid 


osteogenesis naturally takes place in the cartilages of the long 
bones, that he will not only become notably taller, but will even 
acquire the macroplastic type. 

The macroplastic type is artistically more beautiful, but the 
europlastic type is physiologically more useful. 

It is not only the erect position that tends to reduce the stature, 
but the sitting posture as well. In fact, whether the pelvis is sup- 
ported by the lower limbs or by a chair, the intervertebral disks 
are in either case compressed by the weight of the bust as a whole. 
If, for example, children are obliged, during the period of growth, 
to remain long at a time in a sitting posture, the limbs may freely 
lengthen, while the bust is impeded in its free growth, and the 
result may be an artificial tendency toward macroscelia. This is 
why children are more inclined than adults to throw themselves 
upon the ground, to lie down, to cut capers, in other words to 
restore the elasticity of their joints, and overcome the compression 
of bones and cartilages. Accordingly, such variations of stature 
recur habitually and are transitory, and since they are associated 
with the customary attitudes of daily life, they are physiological. 

But if special causes should aggravate such physiological condi- 
tions, and should recur so often as not to permit the cartilages to 
return completely to their original condition, in such a case per- 
manent variations of stature might result, and even morphological 
deviations of the skeleton. For example, a porter who habitually 
carries heavy weights on his head, may definitely lower his stature; 
and in the case of a young boy, the interference with the growth of 
the long bones through compression exerted from above down- 
ward, may produce an actual arrest of development of the limbs 
and spinal column, presenting all the symptoms of rickets. Wit- 
ness certain consequences of "child-labour" chief among which must 
be mentioned the deformities of the carusi [victims of child-labour, 
who from an early age toil up the succession of ladders, bearing 
heavy burdens of sulphur from the mines below.*] in the Sicil- 
ian sulphur mines, t As a general rule, all cramped positions that 
are a necessary condition of labour, if they surpass the limits of resist- 
ance and elasticity of the human frame, and especially if they op- 
erate during periods of life when the skeleton is in process of forma- 
tion, result in deformities, and when the skeleton is deformed, the 

* Translator's note. 

t Fig. 25 and those following it, dealing with deformities resulting from labour, are taken 
from Pieraccini's great work, The Pathology of Labour. 

Fig. 25. — Vincenzo Militella of Lercara, a Fig. 26 — Aged field labourer. 

Sicilian caruso. 

Fig. 27. Fig. 28. 

Attitude of woman working in the rice fields as seen from the right and left sides. 

Fig. 29. — A gang of eight workers in the rice fields. 


internal organs and hence the general functional powers of the 
whole organism, suffer even greater alteration. 

Consider the postures that miners must endure, or as Pierac- 
cini phrases it, their "disastrous attitudes." 

The transport galleries are ordinarily too low to permit a man 
of average height to walk erect; along these galleries little trans- 
port-wagons are run by hand, excepting where the carrying is 
done on the backs of the men themselves. 

''Even in the front of the advance tunnels and in the galleries 
that are being worked, miners are to be seen in the most incon- 
gruous attitudes. These anomalous positions of the body main- 
tained throughout long hours of toil react upon the functional ac- 
tion of the heart and lungs, upon the stomach and intestines in 
the proper performance of their tasks, and result in producing 
hernia, varicose veins and eventually deformities of the skeleton 
(vertebral column, thorax)."* 

Field labourers also (Fig. 26) become permanently deformed, 
with diminution of stature, from remaining too long bent over in 
the act of hoeing or reaping. But a still more painful labour is that 
of the women in the rice fields during the period when the weeding 
is done. 

The position necessitated by this work requires a strained and 
prolonged dorsal flexion of the vertebral column, accompanied by 
a strain on the lower dorsal nerves; great elasticity is required to 
endure a position so painful and so apt to induce lumbago; only 
young women can endure it, and even they become deformed, and 
suffer seriously from anemia, intestinal maladies and diseases of 
the uterus, which predispose them to abortion or sterility (Figs. 
27, 28, 29). 

Stone breakers also contract painful diseases and deformities 
from their work. They are constantly bowed over their task, 
performing a rhythmic, alternating movement of flexion, ex- 
tension and torsion of the trunk upon itself, while at the same 
time there is a slight undulation in a backward and forward direc- 
tion, accompanying the rising and falling of the arm holding the 
hammer. These movements of extension and flexion of the trunk 
involve the whole vertebral column, while the pelvis remains prac- 
tically motionless. ''At the end of the day they rise from their 
task bowed over and they walk home bowed over, holding the ver- 

* PlERACCINI, Op. Cit. 


tebral column rigid; any attempt to force the trunk into an erect 
position is extremely painful. In the morning they return to 
their work with their loins still aching." And among these stone 
breakers there are young men, some of them mere boys ! And when 
we think that these injurious attitudes are coupled with malnutri- 
tion, we must realise the extent of the organic disaster that accom- 
panies diminution of stature as a result of adaptation to labour. 

We are naturally horrified at such conditions enforced upon a 
certain portion of humanity; and we pray for a time to come when 
machinery will have universally replaced human labour, in trans- 
portation, in stone-breaking, and in reaping, and when children 
will be spared from hard arid deforming toil. 

But how is it that while we are so sympathetic regarding con- 
ditions at a distance from us, we remain unconscious of similar 
conditions, that are close beside us, and of which we are the direct- 
ors, the cruel enforcers, the masters? 

In the near future, I hope that people will tell with amaze- 
ment, as if citing a condition of inferior civilisation, how the 
school children, up to the opening of the twentieth century repre- 
sented one category of those ''deformed by prolonged and enforced 
labour in injurious positions!" 

Such studies in school hygiene as deal with the type of school 
benches, designed to minimise the danger of deformities of the 
vertebral column in children — will, I hope, be regarded by the 
coming generations with the most utter amazement ! And the 
school benches of to-day will find their place in museums, and 
people will go to look at them as if they were relics of bygone 
barbarism, just as we now visit the collections from old-time 
insane asylums, of series of complicated instruments of wood and 
iron that in bygone centuries were considered necessary for main- 
taining discipline among the insane. 

What in the world would we say, if somebody should propose, 
in order to obviate the deformities and physiological injuries of 
labourers, that certain mechanisms should be applied to them in- 
dividually for the purpose of diminishing the harm? Imagine a 
law being proposed, to the effect that all miners should be obliged 
to wear trusses, to keep their viscera from breaking loose, as a 
result of prolonged compression! What would we think of such 
reforms and such a path toward an orthopedic state of society? 

Our way toward progress and higher civilisation is a very 


different one. To remove man from torturing toil that twists 
the bones and undermines the health — such is the goal that it is 
our duty to set before us! 

For the deformed vertebral column is the extreme sign of a 
great accumulation of evils; the internal organs are correspond- 
ingly affected with disorders fatal to the entire organism; but 
even greater is the corresponding harm done to the human soul! 
What we want is not only that the bones shall not be thrown out 
of their eurhythmic harmony, but that the souls of the labourers 
shall be freed from the inhuman yoke of slavery (progress can con- 
sist solely in a radical alteration of the form of labour). 

So far as concerns the school, which is not limited to a few 
categories of human beings, but is extended to all, hy requirements 
of law, is it not possible for us to adopt a different attitude of mind? 

The established fact that the pupils may even deform their 
skeletons in the course of their work, goes to prove that this work 
contains some error in principle that is fatal to successive gener- 
ations; and so long as this principle is maintained, we may assert 
a priori that even if, with the help of school benches as compli- 
cated and as costly as orthopedic machines, we should succeed 
in checking the deformation of the vertebral column, we should 
fail to check the deformation of the soul. Because whoever is 
condemned to labour that deforms is a slave. 

And as a matter of fact we employ coercive means, "rewards 
and punishments," to enforce upon children a condition that in 
their eyes amounts to serving their first sentence. 

It is not the school bench, but the method that needs reforming; 
it is not the ligaments of the spinal column, but human life in 
evolution that we ought to respect, and lead toward the attainment 
of perfection! Amid the many banners of liberty that have been 
raised in these latter times, one is still missing — one which we 
ought to seize upon as the standard of our cause: the liberty of 
the new generation, which is groaning in the slavery of compulsory 
education, upon iron-bound benches, emblematic of chains! 

I foresee, in a radical reform of pedagogic methods, the practi- 
cal possibility of taking as guiding principles the individual liberty 
of the pupil and a reverential regard for life. And I affirm this all 
the more loudly, because I have applied such a method with indis- 
putable success in the ''Children's Houses," obtaining prodigious 
results in the health and happiness of the children, perfect dis- 


cipline in the classes, marvelously rapid progress in studies, and. 
a surprising awakening of souls, a passionate love for the work. 

Variations Due to Adaptation in Connection with Causes 
OF Various Kinds — Social, Physiological, Physical, 
Psychic, Pathological, Etc. 

Physiology and Social Conditions. — Nutrition. — One of the 
effects of environment, of the highest importance in its relation 
to the development of stature, is nutrition. In order to attain 
the maximum development as biologically determined by hered- 
ity in a race, sufficient nutriment is the first necessity. It is 
a familiar fact that material or physiological life consists essen- 
tially in the exchange and renewal of matter, or in metabolism, 
which is also a renewal of vital force. 

The living molecules are continually breaking up, thus express- 
ing in an active form forces that had accumulated in a potential 
form, and eliminating the rejected matter; only to form again by 
means of new matter, containing potential forces. This break- 
ing up and renewal constitutes the material of life, that never 
pauses in its molecular movement; the cessation of renewal of 
matter is death, that is, scission without reparation; consumption 
without renewal; and consequently a rapid disintegration of the 
body. Living matter consists in metabolism, and is consequently 
directly related to the nutritive substances which renew the ele- 
ments necessary for continual redintegration. 

We may disregard certain individual potentialities, of a purely 
biological nature, and that are capable of manifesting vital forces 
of varying degrees of intensity: but it may be asserted as beyond 
question that every living being, if he is to live according to his 
biological destiny, has need of sufficient nutrition. This is not 
the same as saying that the food determines the life of an individual 
in its final development, in the sense that by eating in excess one 
may attain the stature of a giant, or an imbecile become intelligent 
or a man of talent become a genius. We all bear within us, in 
that fertilised germ that constituted the first cell of our organism, 
predetermined biological conditions, on which depend the physical 
limits of our body, as well as those of our psychic individu- 
ality. But in order that this germ may develop in accordance 
with its potentiality, it is necessary that it shall obtain the requisite 
material from its environment. Because otherwise — and here 


the relation is direct — neither the volumetric development nor 
the morphological development can be accomplished, nor the 
psychic potentiality express itself; in other words, the stature 
will be undersized, in a body defrauded of the degree of beauty 
potential in the germ, and the muscular forces, in common with 
those of the brain, will remain at a level of development below 
that which nature had intended. Consequently, to deprive 
children of their requisite nutriment is stealing from life, it is a 
biological crime. 

While we live, we must eat; and while we labour, that is, while 
we expend the vital forces, it is necessary to repair them. The 
schools should establish a system of luncheons for the pupils; 
this is a principle that has already been generally recognised and 
is already bearing fruit. 

There was a time when a good appetite was regarded as a low 
material instinct; it was also the time when people sang the praises 
of spirituality, but actually indulged in banquets of Lucullian 
lavishness. The vice of the palate and the physiological need of 
nourishment were included under one and the same disdain. 

To-day science has shed its light upon the true conception of 
nutrition and holds it to be the first necessity of life, and conse- 
quently the first social problem to be solved. 

From this point of view, food is not a vulgar material thing, 
nor the dinner-table a place of debauchery. Indeed, there is 
nothing which affords better proof of immateriality than the act 
of eating. In fact, the necessity of eating is itself a proof that 
the matter of which our body is composed does not endure but 
passes like the fleeting moment. And if the substance of our 
bodies passes in this manner, if life itself is only a continual passing 
away of matter, what greater symbol of its immateriality and its 
spirituality is there than the dinner-table? 

*' . . . the bread is my flesh and the wine is my blood; do 
this in remembrance of what life really is." 

Something similar to this is being accomplished to-day by science 
in regard to the sexual relations. We are accustomed to consider 
the sexual instincts as something contemptible, material and low, 
praising abstinence, and leaving these instincts wholly out of con- 
sideration in the course of education, as though they were some- 
thing degrading, or even shameful. And undoubtedly our sexual 
abuses are shameful, and shameful also is the barbaric tolerance of 


the masses regarding prostitution, seduction, illegitimacy and the 
abandonment of new-born children. It is criminal abuse that 
makes us despise sexual relations, just as at one time excesses of 
the table made us despise nutrition. But the day will come when 
science will raise to the dignity of a new sexual morality the 
physiological function which to-day is considered material and 
shameful — and that comprehends the most sublime of human 
conceptions. In it are to be found the words which ancient races 
deposited in their religious tabernacles : creation, eternity, mystery. 
And in it are also to be found the most sublime conceptions of 
modern races : the destiny of humanity, the perf ectionment of the 
human species. 

Accordingly, we must to-day regard the serving of food in the 
schools as a necessity of the first order; but it is well, in introducing 
it into the schools, to surround it with that halo of gladness and 
of high moral significance that ought to accompany all manifes- 
tations of life. The hymn to bread, which is a human creation and 
a means of preserving the substance of the human body, ought to 
accompany the meals of our new generations of children. The 
child develops because the substance of his body passes away, and 
the meals that he eats symbolise all this: furthermore, they teach 
him to think of the vast labour accomplished by men who, un- 
known as individuals, cultivate the earth, reap the grain, grind the 
flour, and provide for all men and for all children. Where they 
are and who they are, we do not know; the bread bears neither 
their name nor their picture. Like an impersonal entity, like a 
god, humanity provides for all the needs of humanity: and this 
god is labour. If the child is destined some day to become him- 
self a labourer, who produces and casts his products to humanity 
without knowing who is to receive his contribution toward pro- 
viding for humanity, it is well that as he lifts his food to his lips 
he should realise that he is contracting a debt toward society at 
large, and that he must give because he takes; he must "forgive 
debts as his have been forgiven"; and since life is gladness, let 
him send forth a salutation to the universal producing power: 
''Our Father, give us our daily bread!" 

The Providence of human labour rules over our entire life; it 
gives us everything that is necessary. The God of the Universe, 
in whose train come cataclysms, is not more terrible than the god, 
Humanity, that can give us War and Famine. While we give 


bread to the child, let us remember that man does not live by bread 
alone : because bread is only the material of his fleeting substance. 

The system of furnishing meals in school constitutes a chapter 
of School Hygiene that cannot directly concern us. Nevertheless, 
there are three rules of this hygiene which should be borne in 
mind: Children should never, in any case, drink wine, alcoholic 
liquors, tea or coffee — in other words, stimulants, which are 
poisons to their childish organisms. On the other hand, children 
need sugar, because sugar has a great formative and plastic power; 
all young animals have sweetish flesh because their muscles, in 
the course of development, are extremely rich in sugar. The 
method of giving sugar to children should be as simple as possible, 
such, for instance, as is endorsed by the very successful English 
system of hygiene for children, which recommends freshly cooked 
fruits, sprinkled with sugar or served with a little syrup. But the 
substantial nourishment for young children should consist of soup 
or broth served hot, since heat is as essential as sugar for organisms 
in the course of evolution. 

The English recommend soups made of cereals and gluten, in 
which it is never necessary to use soup stock, just as it is never 
necessary to use meat iu children's diet. 

That nutrition has a noteworthy influence upon growth, and 
therefore upon the definitive limits of stature, is exhaustively 
proved by statistics. 

In his brilliant studies of the poorer classes, Niceforo has col- 
lected the following average statures :* 

Stature (in 






7 years 

8 years 

9 years 

10 years 

1 1 years 

12 years 

13 years 

14 years 



*Alfredo Niceforo, Lts classes pauvres (the poorer classes). 



from which it appears that, in spite of the strong biological im- 
pulse given by the attainment of puberty, the children of the poor 
continue to show a stature lower than that of the well-to-do. 
Ale§ Hrdlicka has compiled the following comparative table of 
the poor or orphaned children received into the asylums, and the 
pupils of the public schools in Boston: 

Stature of American children: (1) In asylums; (2) in Boston public schools 


Age in 











15 16 



































Even after reaching the adult age these differences are main- 
tained, as may be shown by the following statistics taken from 
various authorities: 

Average statures obtained from soldiers (in centimetres) 




Students and profes- 
sional men 




Professional men. . 



City employees. . . 

. 175 
. 172 
. 171 

. 169 



Day labourers 

.. 169 
. . 166 
. . 165 

from which it appears that while in Italy the class of labourers 
having the lowest stature is the peasant class, which lives under 
the most deplorable economic conditions, in England on the 
contrary it is the workers in the cities who live under worse eco- 


nomic conditions than the peasantry, it being well known that the 
English peasant is the most prosperous in the agricultural world. 

According to Livi, it is nutrition which causes the differences 
of average stature that are usually to be found between different 
social classes, and those between the inhabitants of mountains 
and of plains, or between the dwellers on the mainland and on the 
islands. In general the mountain-bred peasants have a lower 
stature than those of the plains; and this is because the means of 
procuring food are fewer and harder in mountainous regions. 

Similarly, the islanders, because of less ready means of com- 
munication, have less likelihood than those on the mainland of 
obtaining adequate nutrition. 

The same may be said regarding the differences found between 
the statures of cultured persons and of the illiterate, to the dis- 
advantage of the latter (the poorer classes). 

Students show the tallest stature of all, because they have in 
their favour the joint effect of the two chief factors of environment 
that influence this anthropological datum: mechanical causes and 
nutrition. A sedentary life, and above all a hearty diet both 
contribute to the tall stature of students, doctors, and members 
of the liberal professions. In this respect, the average figures of 
all the authorities agree, as appears from the following tables:* 


Professions and callings 

Average stature in 

Students and professional men. 
Small shopkeepers and the like. 





Tailors and shoemakers 





Day labourers in general 


* Taken from Livi: On the Development of the Body in relation to the profession and the 
social condition. Rome, Voghera, 1897. 



Professions and employments 

Average stature in 

Professional men 

Merchants and tradesmen 

Peasants and miners 

City labourers 

Sedentary workmen 






Professions and employments 

Liberal professions 



Other professions 

Workmen employed in the open air. 
Workmen employed in closed rooms 

Tailors, hatters and the like 


Average stature in 




Conditions of nutrition, which are always accompanied by a 
combination of other hygienic conditions all tending toward the 
same effects, have also an influence upon the development of 

Puberty is retarded by malnutrition. As a result of an inquiry 
made among the inmates of the Pia Barolo Society, which offers an 
asylum to reformed prostitutes, Marro* records that out of ninety 
rescued girls only those above the age of fourteen had begun to 
menstruate : notwithstanding that the normal period for the devel- 
opment of puberty in Italian women is between the years of 
twelve and thirteen. Furthermore, among the girls above the 
age of fourteen, menstruation had not yet begun in all cases; on 
the contrary, a large proportion of them still failed to show the 
phenomena of puberty : 

* Marro, Puberty. 


Age in years 

Whole number 

Number menstruating 






All the rest (thirty in number) menstruated for the first time 
after the age of eighteen. 

Among those in whom menstruation had appeared earlier, 
the order of appearance was as follows : 











.... 1 








When we consider that we are dealing with rescued girls, we may 
conclude that direct sexual stimulus does not facilitate the normal 
development of puberty, but on the contrary, in conjunction with 
other causes, retards it. Accordingly, we must not confound 
the normal development of the organism with its disorders : whatever 
aids the natural development of life is useful and healthy. There 
may be conditions unfavourable to the development of puberty, 
which are favourable to the development of sexual vices (see, 
further on, the other causes influencing puberty, and moral con- 
ditions in colleges). 

In his work above cited, Marro compares his figures obtained 
from the Pia Barolo Society with those of Dr. Bianco* taken from 
78 young girls in city institutes representing young women in 
easy circumstances: 

Date of first menstruation 

Girls in the Pia Barolo 



Girls in city institutes for 

the wealthy classes. 


10 years 

11 years 

12 years 

13 years 

14 years 

15 years 

16 years 

17 years 










* Cited by Pagliani, Human Development, according to age, sex, etc. 


It should be noted that the cold climate of Turin retards 
puberty (see below) : but the above table clearly shows the preco- 
cious puberty of young women in easy circumstances ; in the great 
majority, in fact, it occurs between the ages of twelve and fourteen, 
with thirteen for the average; on the other hand, the majority for 
reformed prostitutes is between fourteen and sixteen, with fifteen 
for the average. 

Besides labour and nutrition, there are other factors that, con- 
tribute to the development of stature (which we regard as an 
index to the entire mass of the body). Such factors are: 

Physical Conditions — Heat, Light, Electricity 

Thermic Conditions. — Among the physical conditions which 
may have an influence upon the stature, the thermic conditions 
ought to receive first consideration. 

It is a principle demonstrated by nature that organisms in 
the course of evolution have need of heat. Even the invertebrates, 
as for example the insects, develop during the heat of summer; and 
the eggs of the higher vertebrates such as the birds, develop their 
embryo by means of the maternal warmth. In placental animals 
the development throughout the whole embryonic period takes 
place within the maternal womb, in the full tide of animal heat. 
In order to preserve life in premature babies, that is, in those 
born before the expiration of the physiological term of nine months, 
incubators have been constructed, an oven-like arrangement in 
which the child may be maintained at a temperature considerably 
higher than would be possible in the outside air; the term is also 
specifically used of the structures in which fertilised hens' eggs are 
kept during the required period of time until the chickens are 

Accordingly it is a principle taught us by nature that organisms 
in the course of evolution have need of heat. The most luxuriant 
vegetation, the most gigantic animals, the most variegated birds 
belong to the fauna and flora of the tropics. 

How is this physiological law, which nature expresses in such 
broad, general lines, to be interpreted by us in the environment of 
the school? It is well known that in this regard there are two 
conflicting opinions. There are some who would go to excessive 
lengths in protecting small children from the cold, by dressing 


them entirely in woolen garments and keeping their apartments 
well heated; others on the contrary assert that the physiological 
struggle of adaptation to the cold invigorates the infant organism, 
and they advise that the child's body should never be completely 
protected, as for example that the legs should always be left bare, 
that the child should be lightly clad, that his apartments should 
not be heated, etc. 

Furthermore, it used to be held in the pietistic schools, and still 
is to some extent, that warmth had a demoralising influence, inas- 
much as it tended to enervate both mind and body. 

We educators cannot fail to be interested in such a discussion. 
As often happens in physiological arguments, the two opposite 
contentions each contain a part of the truth. In order to get at 
the truth of the matter, it is necessary to distinguish two widely 
separated facts : on the one hand, physiological exercise in the form 
of thermal gymnastics, and on the other, the development of organ- 
isms in a constantly cold environment. 

To live constantly warm, protected either by clothes or by arti- 
ficial heat, so that the organism remains always at a constant 
temperature, is not favourable to growth, because it deprives the 
organism of the physiological exercise of adapting itself to varia- 
tions in external temperature, an exercise which stimulates useful 
functions. By perspiring in summer, we cleanse our system of 
poisonous secretions, and by shivering in winter we give tone to our 
striped muscles and to our internal organs, as is proved by our gain 
in appetite. Anyone who wishes to be kept on ice in summer and 
to transform his apartment into a hot-house in winter, robs him- 
self of these advantages and enfeebles his system. 

The apparent comfort is not in this case a real physiological 
enjoyment but a weakness of habit that is accompanied by a loss 
of physiological energy. What makes us robust is a rational 
exercise of all our energies. Thermal gymnastics is consequently 
useful. It consists in exposing a healthy, resistant organism to 
changes in temperature, trusting to our physiological resources 
for the means of defense. Thus, for example, a child who is well 
fed and well protected from the cold for many hours of the day in 
the well-heated family apartment, can go out with bare legs into 
the snow; and doing so will make him more robust. In the same 
way, the ancient Romans exposed themselves in their hot baths 
to the steadily increasing temperature of the calidarium, up to 


the point of 60 degrees (140 Fahrenheit), and then still perspiring 
flung themselves into a cold plunge. And it is a familiar fact that 
afterward they held lavish banquets in these same baths. Such 
exercise which in classic times gave vigour to the race that made 
itself master of the world may be summed up as follows: " Thermic 
gymnastics" of organisms "well nourished and strong." 

Our own boatmen also throw themselves into the river in mid- 
winter, half nude, and half nude they ply their long poles. They 
expose themselves to the cold, in the same way that they might 
raise a weight of many pounds with their robust arms, for gymnas- 
tic exercise. 

But all this differs radically from living continually in a cold 
temperature. It is a very different thing from the life of a child 
of the lower classes, who goes bare-foot in winter, clad in a few 
scant rags, half frozen in his wretched tenement, and unable to 
obtain sufficient nourishment to develop the needed heat-units. 
He is already deficient in bodily heat because of malnutrition, and 
the effects of cold are cumulative. In this case it is not a ques- 
tion of thermic exercise but of a permanent deprivation of heat, in indi- 
viduals who are already suffering from an inswfflcient development 
of heat-units. Consequently the organism is enfeebled — it grows 
under unfavorable conditions — and the result is a permanent 
diminution of development. Whoever grows up, exposed to cold 
after this fashion, has, in the average case, a lower stature than 
those who grow up in the midst of warmth, or in the practice of 
that healthful exercise which constitutes the ideal: thermic 

The contradictory ideas that are held as to the efficacy of heat 
in regard to growth, are due to a large extent to a prejudice which 
amounts to this: heat is effective in promoting the evolution of 
life as a whole, and consequently the development of that part 
of life that is centred in the organs of reproduction; from which 
comes the well-nigh antiquated theory that artificial heat should 
be banished from the schools, as one of the factors leading to 
immorality! It is true that warmth accelerates the development 
of puberty; but who is there in this twentieth century who can 
still conceive the idea that it is a moral act to silence the forces of 
nature? Good nourishment also leads to a more precocious 
puberty; and the same is true of the repeated psychic stimulus 
produced by various forms of intellectual enjoyment, by conver- 


sation, and by social intercourse with individuals of the opposite 
sex. Accordingly, if it were a moral act to retard the development 
of puberty and to produce a general impoverishment of sexual 
life, the moral measures to be taken in education would be cold, 
malnutrition, and the isolation of the sexes in the schools, which, as 
a matter of fact, form the stumbling-block of environment in our 
colleges. But it is well known that all this leads on the contrary 
to moral and physical degeneration! As has already been said, 
the normal physiological development stands in counterdistinc- 
tion to immoral habits; consequently, whatever is an aid to 
physiological development is in its very nature moral. 

In warm climates the first manifestations of puberty occur 
precociously in man as well as in woman; and with them come all 
the transformations that are associated with puberty, among 
others the rapid increase of stature. In cold climates, on the 
contrary, such manifestations are more tardy. The women of 
Lapland are latest of all to develop. With them, menstruation 
begins only at eighteen, and they are incapable of conceiving 
under the age of twenty, while the period of the menopause (in- 
volution of sexual life) is correspondingly early; in other words, 
the entire period of sexual life is shortened. Furthermore, the 
fertility of the women of Lapland is low; they cannot conceive 
more than three children. But if these same women leave Lap- 
land and make their home in civilised countries, as for example 
in Sweden, they have a more precocious sexual life, as well as 
longer and more fertile, and altogether quite similar to that of the 
Swedish women.* 

Cabanisf notes that even in cold climates, when young girls 
spend much of their time in the vicinity of stoves, menstruation 
begins at about the same age as in women who live on the banks 
of the Ganges — as is the case with the daughters of wealthy 
Russians, whose development is quite precocious. In Arabia, 
in Egypt, and in Abyssinia the women are frequently mothers at 
the age of ten, menstruation having begun at the eighth year. 
It is even said that Mahomed married Radeejah when she was only 
five and that he took her to his bed at the age of eight. The 
religious laws of India permit the marriage of girls when they are 
eight years old. 

* Raciborski, cited by Mareo, Puberty. 
t Idem. 


Consequently it is true that heat has an influence upon the 
development of the organism independently of other influences; 
in fact, heat acts both in the form of climate, that is, in a natural 
state, and also in an artificially warmed environment. It is also 
one of the causes of the different degrees of growth in stature 
through the successive seasons (see below). 

In conclusion: it is enjoined upon us, as a hygienic necessity, 
to heat the schools in winter, especially the schools for the poorer 
classes; it means more than increased vigour, it may even mean 
giving life to some who otherwise would pine away from depriva- 
tion of heat-units, a condition most unfavourable to organisms in 
the course of evolution. 

Photogenic Conditions. — Light also has a perceptible influence 
upon growth : it is a great physiological stimulant. At the present 
day, physical therapy employs light baths for certain forms of 
neurasthenia and partial enfeeblement of certain organs; and some 
biological manifestations, such as the pigments — and similarly 
the chlorophyl in plants and the variegated colouring of birds — 
receive a creative stimulus from light. 

Light contains in its spectrum many different colours, which 
act quite differently upon living tissues; the ultra-violet rays, for 
instance, kill the bacilli of tuberculosis and sometimes effect cures 
in cases of cancer. Psychiatrists and neuropaths have demon- 
strated that many colours of light have an exciting effect, while 
others, on the contrary, are sedative. 

Hence there has arisen in medicine a vast and most interesting 
chapter of phototherapy. 

In regard to the phenomena of growth, it has been noted that 
certain coloured lights are favourable to it, while certain others, 
on the contrary, diminish or arrest it, as the red and the green. 

Phototherapy ought to concern us as educators, especially 
in regard to schools for the benefit of nervous children: a periodic 
sojourn in a room lit by calming colours might have a beneficent 
effect upon epileptic, irritable, nervous children, in place of the 
debilitating hot bath, or, worse yet, the administration of bro- 
mides ; while light-baths would be efficacious for weak and torpid 

But for normal children we must consider the light of the sun 
as the best stimulant for their growth. A sojourn at the sea-shore, 
so favourable to the development of children, is now believed to owe 


its beneficial effects to the fact that the child, playing half naked 
on the sea-shore, bathes more in the sunlight than he does in the 
salt water. Gymnastics in the sun, while the body is still only 
half dry, is what the younger generations should practise on a 
large scale, if they would bring about the triumph of physiological 

We must not forget this great principle when, by planning 
home work for the pupils, we practically keep them housed during 
the entire day, keeping them for the most part employed in writ- 
ing or reading; in other words, using their sense of sight, which, 
if it is to be preserved unharmed, demands a moderate light. The 
eye ought to rest its muscles of accommodation, and the whole 
body be exposed to the full light of the sun during the greater part 
of the day. Let us remember that often the children of the poor 
live in a home so dark that even in full mid-day they are obliged 
to light a lamp! Let us at least leave them the light of the 
street, as a recompense for wretchedness that is a disgrace to 

According to certain experiments conducted in Rome by 
Professor Gosio, the light of the sun has an intensive effect upon 
life. Living creatures reared in the solar light grow and mature 
earlier, but at the same time their life is shortened; that is, the 
cycle of life is more intense and more precocious; conversely, in 
the shade the cycle of life is slower, but of longer duration. A 
plant matures more quickly in the sun, but its stature is lower 
than that of a plant in the dark, which has grown far 
more slowly, but has become very tall and slender and lacking in 
chlorophyl. Similarly, as is well known, the women in tropical 
countries attain a precocious puberty, while conversely those of 
the North attain it tardily; and this fact must be considered in 
relation to the influence of the sun. A life passed wholly in the 
sunlight would be too intense; an organism that is exposed a few 
hours each day to the rays of the sun is invigourated; the inter- 
change of matter (metabolism) is augmented; all the tissues are 
beneficially stimulated. For this reason sun baths are employed for 
paralytic and idiot children, and consist in exposing the body of 
the child, reclining upon its bed and with its head well protected, 
to the direct rays of the sun for several hours a day; this treatment 
is found to be most efficacious in giving tone to the tissues and 
improving the general condition of the system. 



Variations in the Growth of Stature According to the Seasons. — 
One proof of the beneficent influence of heat and sunhght upon 
the growth of the organism, is afforded by the variations in the 
rate of growth according to the seasons. Every individual grows 
more in summer than in winter. Daffner gives the following 
figures relative to the increase in stature according to the seasons : 



Number of 

Age in 





















































































In the "Children's Houses," I require a record of stature to be 
made month by month in the case of every child, the measurement 
being taken on the day corresponding to the day on which he was 
born in the month of his birth; in addition to which I keep a 
record of the total annual increase. 

The ages of these children vary between three and four years, 
and they all belong to the poorer social classes. 


In the "Children's Houses" 

(In millimetres) 

Cold months 

Warm months 














Another factor of growth is 

Electricity. — One of the most interesting discoveries of recent 
date is that of the influence of terrestrial electricity upon the 
growth of living organisms. 

A series of experiments were made, by isolating cavies (a 
species of small Indian pig) from terrestrial electricity, and 
as a result they were found to be retarded in growth and to 
develop very imperfectly, much as though they had been suffer- 
ing from rickets. In short, they manifested an arrest of organic 

If, in electro-therapy, an electric current is applied to the 
cartilages of the long bones in children whose limbs have ap- 
parently been arrested in development, the result is a rapid in- 
crease in length, amounting to a luxuriant osteogenesis. 

Since we know that the electric current can stimulate the 
nerve filaments and the fibres of the striped muscles when they 
have been rendered inactive from the effects of paresis or even of 
paralysis, we realise that electricity can exert an influence over the 
entire physiological life of an organism. We live not only upon 
nutriment, air, heat, and light, but also upon a mysterious, imper- 
ceptible force, that comes to us from the mother earth. 

In addition to the biological potentialities which control the 
development of every individual, all living creatures owe some- 
thing of themselves to their environment. 

Space. — An empirical contention, without scientific value, 
but nevertheless of some interest, is that there is an ultimate 
relationship between the dimensions of living bodies and the 
territorial space, that is, the environment in which they are destined 
to live. In view of the innumerable varieties of living creatures, 
such an assertion would seem to be utterly unfounded. But 
as a matter of fact we see that while inorganic bodies can increase 
indefinitely in dimension, living creatures are limited in form and 
size. This fact undoubtedly has some primal connection with 
properties innate in corporeal life itself; in fact, in order to attain 
its appointed end, life requires the services of certain very small 
microscopic particles called cells. But the aggregations and 
combinations of cells in living organisms are also limited in their 
turn, and no matter how willingly we would attribute the greatest 
share of causation to biological facts, nevertheless, as always 
happens in life, we cannot wholly exclude environment. 


Both animals and men that are bred on vast continents (Chi- 
nese, Russians) have tended to produce races of powerful and 
giant build: in islands, on the contrary, the men and the animals 
are of small size; it is sufficient merely to cite the men and the 
little donkeys of Sardinia, the small Irishmen who furnish jockeys 
for the race-track, and the small Irish horses or ponies that serve 
as saddle-horses for the children of the aristocracy the world over. 

There is a harmony of associations, as between the container and 
the contained, between environment and life, notwithstanding that 
as yet science has not made serious investigations in regard to it. 

Voltaire, in his Micr omega, avails himself of this intuitive con- 
ception to create the material needed for his satire; he talks amus- 
ingly of the inhabitant of the planet Sirius, who was eight leagues 
in height and at four hundred years of age was still in school, 
while the inhabitant of Saturn was a mere pigmy in comparison, 
being scarcely a thousand rods tall — in fact, the inhabitants of 
Saturn could not be otherwise than pigmies in comparison, since 
Saturn is barely nine hundred times larger than the earth. 

Gulliver makes use of similar standards in his Travels, which 
are read with so much delight by children. 

Psychic Conditions. — Psychic Stimuli. — Accordingly many 
chemical and physical factors associated with the environment 
concur in aiding life in its development. From the light of the 
sun to the electricity of the earth, the whole environment offers 
its tribute to life, in order to cooperate in life's triumph. But, in 
the case of man, in addition to these widely different factors, there 
is still another distinctly human factor that we must take into 
consideration and that we may call the psychic stimulus of life: 
We may scientifically affirm the Bible statement that "man does 
not live by bread alone." 

Without reverting to the basic physiological explanations of 
the emotions, as given by Lange and James, we may nevertheless 
assert that sensations of pleasure stimulate the renewal of bodily 
tissues and consequently promote health, happiness, and strength; 
while, on the contrary, painful events produce physiological effects 
depressing to the tone of the nervous system and to the metabolic 
activity of the tissues. 

But it is precisely these metabolic phenomena that hold the 
key of life, and an organism in the course ot evolution depends 
directly upon them. This problem concerns pedagogy in a very 


special way: when we have given food to the children in our schools, 
we have not yet completed our task of nourishing these children; 
for the phenomena of nutrition which take place in the hidden 
recesses of their tissues are very different from a simple intestinal 
transformation of ahments, and are influenced by the psychic 
conditions of the individual pupil. 

Great workers not only need abundant nutriment, but they 
require at the same time a series of stimuli designed to produce 
''pleasure." The pleasures of life, necessary to human existence, 
include more than bread. In the history of social evolution there 
exist, side by side with the productions of labour, an entire series of 
enjoyments, more or less elevated, that constitute the stimului to 
production, and hence to evolution, and more profoundly still, to 
life itself. 

The further man evolves and the more he produces, the more 
he ought to multiply and perfect his means of enjoyment. 

Without stimuli, nutrition would grow less and less till it ended 
in death. E very-day experience in the punishment of criminals 
gives us proof of this. Confinement to a solitary cell is nothing 
else than a complete deprivation of psychic stimuli. The prisoner 
does not lack bread, nor air, nor shelter from the elements, nor 
sleep; his whole physiological life is provided for, in the strict 
material sense of the word. But the bare walls, the silence, the 
isolation from his fellow men in utter solitude, deprive the prisoner 
of every stimulus, visual, oral and moral. 

The consequences are not merely a state of hopelessness, but 
a real and actual malnutrition leading to tuberculosis, to anemia, 
to death from atrophy. We may affirm that such a prisoner dies 
slowly of hunger due to defective assimilation; the solitary cell is the 
modern donjon, and far more cruel than the one in which Ugolino 
died within a few days, so much so that solitary confinement, 
being incompatible with life, is only of short duration. 

Labour, love, and sensations apt to stimulate ideas, that is, to 
nourish the intelligence, are necessities of human life. 

This is further proved by observations made regarding the 
development of puberty. Psychic stimuli may render such de- 
velopment precocious, and, on the contrary, their absence may 
retard it. Jean Jacques Rousseau relates in Emile that at Friuli 
he encountered young people of both sexes who were still unde- 
veloped, although they were past the usual age and were strong 



and robust, and this he attributed to the fact that ''owing to the 
simpUcity of their customs, their imagination remained calm and 
tranquil for a longer time, causing the ferment in their blood to 
occur later, and consequently rendering their temperament less 

Recent statistical research confirms the intuitive observation 
of that great pedagogist; the women in the environs of Paris 
attain puberty nearly a year later than those who live in the city; 
and the same difference is observed between the country districts 
around Turin and those of the city itself. 

All this goes to prove the fact of psychic influence upon 
physiological life: psychic excitation, experienced with pleasure, 
by developing healthy activities, aids the development of physical 

These principles must be taken under deep consideration when 
it comes to a question of directing the 'physiological growth of chil- 
dren. Fenelon relates a fable about a female bear who, having 
brought into the world ah exceedingly ugly son, took the advice 
of a crow and licked and smoothed her cub so constantly that he 
finally became attractive and good-looking. This fable embodies 
the idea that maternal love may modify the body of the child, aiding 
its evolution toward a harmony of form by means of the first 
psychic stimuli of caresses and counsel. 

Nature has implanted in the mother not only her milk, the 
material nourishment of her child, but also that absolutely al- 
truistic love which transforms the soul of a woman, and creates in 
it moral forces hitherto unknown and unsuspected by the woman 
herself — just as the sweet and nourishing corpuscles of the milk 
were unknown to the red corpuscles of her blood. Accordingly, 
the nature of the human kind protects the species through the 
mother in two ways, which together form the complete nutrition 
of man: aliment and love. After a child is weaned, it obtains its 
aliment from its environment in more varied forms; and it also 
obtains from its environment a great variety of psychic stimuli, 
calculated not only to mould its psychic personality, but also to 
bring its physiological personality to its full development. 

* Rousseau, Emile, cited by Marro. 

t It should be noted that sexual precocity or vice retards the development of puberty, 
while healthful psychic stimuli are favourable to it. Hence it was a right instinct that led 
us to give the name of sin and vice to what retards the normal development of life, and 
virtue and honour to what is favourable to it. — Author's note. 


I have had most eloquent experience of this in the "Children's Houses" in 
the San Lorenzo quarter of Rome. This is the poorest quarter in the city, and 
the children are the sons and daughters of day labourers, who consequently are 
often out of work; illiteracy is even yet incredibly frequent among the adults, 
so much so that in a very high percentage of cases at least one of the parents is 
unable to read. In these "Children's Houses" we receive little children between 
the ages of three and seven, on a time schedule that varies between summer, from 
nine to five, and winter, from nine to four. 

We have never served food in the school; the little ones, all of whom live in 
their own homes, with their parents, have a half hour's recess in which to go home 
to luncheon. Consequently we have not in any way iniiuenced their diet. 

The pedagogic methods employed, however, are of such sort as to constitute 
a gradual series of psychic stimuli perfectly adapted to the needs of childhood; 
the environment stimulates each pupil individually to his rightful psychic 
development according to his subjective potentiality. The children are free in all 
their manifestations and are treated with much cordial affection. I believe that 
this is the first time that this extremely interesting pedagogic experiment has ever 
been made: namely, to sow the seed in the consciousness of the child, leaving free 
opportunity, in the most rigourous sense, for the spontaneous expansion of 
its personality, in an environment that is calm, and warm with a sentiment of 
affection and peace. 

The results achieved were surprising: we were obliged to remodel our ideas 
regarding child psychology, because many of the so-called instincts of childhood 
did not develop at all, while in place of them unforeseen sentiments and intellectual 
passions made their appearance in the primordial consciousness of these children; 
true revelations of the sublime greatness of the human soul! The intellectual 
activity of these little children was like a spring of water gushing from beneath 
the rocks that had been erroneously piled upon their budding souls ; we saw them 
accomplishing the incredible feat of despising playthings, through their insatiable 
thirst for knowledge; carefully preserving the most fragile objects of the lesson, 
the tenderest plants sprouting from the earth — these children that are reputed 
to be vandals by instinct! In short, they seemed to us to represent the childhood 
of a human race more highly evolved than our own; and yet they are really the 
same humanity, marvelously guided and stimulated through its own natural and 
free development! 

But what is still more marvelous is the astonishing fact that all these children 
are so much improved in their general nutrition as to present a notably different 
appearance from their former state, and from the condition in which their brothers 
still remain. Many weakly ones have been organically strengthened; a great 
many who were lymphatic have been cured; and in general the children have 
gained flesh and become ruddy to such an extent that they look like the children 
of wealthy parents living in the country. No one seeing them would behove that 
these were the offspring of the illiterate lower classes! 

Well, let us glance over the notes taken upon these children at the time when 
they first entered the school; for the great majority, the same note was made: 
need of tonics. Yet not one of them took medicine, not one of them had a change 
of diet; the renewed vigour of these children was due solely to the complete satisfac- 


Hon of their 'psychic life. And yet they remain in school continually from nine 
till five through eleven months out of the year! One would say that this was an 
excessively long schedule; yet what is still more surprising is that during all this 
period the children are continually busy; and even more remarkable is the report 
made by many of the mothers to the effect that after their little ones have 
returned home they continue to busy themselves up to the hour of going to bed; 
and lastly — and this seems almost incredible — many of the little ones are back 
again at school by half past eight in the morning, tranquil, smiling, as though 
blissfully anticipating the enjoyment that awaits them during the long day! 
We have seen small boys become profoundly observant of their environment, 
finding a spontaneous delight in new sensations. Their stature, which we 
measure month by month, shows how vigourous the physiological growth is in 
every one of them, but particularly in certain ones, whose blood-supply has 
become excellent. 

Such results of our experiments have amazed us as an unexpected revelation 
of nature, or, to phrase it differently, as a scientific discovery. Yet we might have 
foreseen some part of all this had we stopped to think how our own physical 
health depends far more upon happiness and a peaceful conscience than upon 
that material substance, bread! 

Let us learn to know man, sublime in his true reality! let us learn to know him 
in the tenderest little child; we have shown by experiment that he develops 
through work, through liberty, and through love; hitherto, in place of these, we have 
stifled the splendid possibilities of his nature with irrational toys, with the slavery 
of discipline, with contempt for his spontaneous manifestations. Man lives for 
the purpose of learning, loving and producing, from his earliest years upward; 
it is from this that even his bones get their growth and from this that his blood 
draws its vitality! 

Now, all such factors of physiological development are suffocated by our 
antiquated pedagogic methods. We prevent, more or less completely, the devel- 
opment of the separate personalities, in order to keep all the pupils within the 
selfsame limits. The perfectionment of each is impeded by the common level 
which it is expected that all shall attain and make their limit, while the pupils 
are forced to receive from us, instead of producing of their own accord; and they 
are obhged to sit motionless with their minds in bondage to an iron programme, 
as their bodies are to the iron benches. 

We wish to look upon them as machines, to be driven and guided by us, when 
in reality they are the most sensitive and the most superb creation of nature. 

We destroy divine forces by slavery. Rewards and punishments furnish us 
with the needed scourge to enforce submission from these marvelously active 
minds; we encourage them with rewards! to what end? to winning the prize! 
Well, by doing so we make the child lose sight of his real goal, which is knowledge, 
liberty and work, in order to dazzle him with a prize which, considered morally, 
is vanity, and considered materially is a few grains of metal. We inflict punish- 
ments in order to conquer nature, which is in rebellion, not against what is good 
and beautiful, not against the purpose of life, but against us, because we are 
tyrants instead of guides. 

If only we did not also punish sickness, misfortune and poverty! 


We are breakers-in of free human beings, not educators of men. 

Our faith in rewards and punishments as a necessary means to the progress of 
the children and to the maintainence of discipline, is a fallacy already exploded 
by experiment. It is not the material and vain reward, bestowed upon a few 
individual children, that constitutes the psychic stimulus which spurs on the 
multifold expansions of human life to greater heights; rewards degrade the gran- 
deur of human consciousness into vanity and confine it within the limits of egotism, 
which means perdition. The stimulus worthy of man is the joy which he feels 
in the consciousness of his own growth; and he grows only through the conquest 
of his own spirit and the spread of universal brotherhood. It is not true that the 
child is incapable of feeling a spiritual stimulus far greater than the wretched 
prize that gives him an egotistical and illusory superiority over his companions; 
it is rather that we ourselves, because already degraded by egotism, judge these 
new forces of nascent human life after our own low standards. 

The small boys and girls in our "Children's Houses" are of their own accord 
distrustful of rewards; they despise the little medals, intended to be pinned upon 
the breast as marks of distinction, and instead they actively search for objects 
of study through which, without any guidance from the teacher, they may model 
and judge and correct themselves, and thus work toward perfection. 

As to punishments, they are depressing in effect, and they are inflicted upon 
children who are already depressed! 

Even in the case of those who are adult and strong, we know that it is neces- 
sary to encourage those who have fallen, to aid the weak, to comfort those who 
are discouraged. And if this method serves for the strong, how much more 
necessary it is for lives in the course of evolution! 

This is a great reform which the world awaits at our hands: we must shatter 
the iron chains with which we have kept the intelligence of the new generations 
in bondage!* 

Pathological Variations. — Among the factors that may have a 
notable influence upon the stature are the pathological causes. 
Aside from those very rare occurrences that produce gigantism, 
it may be affirmed that pathological variations result in general 
in an arrest of development. In such a case it may follow that 
an individual of a given age will show the various characteristics 
of an individual of a younger age; that is, he will seem younger 
or more childish. 

In such a case the stature has remained on a lower level than 
that which is normal for the given age; and this in general is the 
most obvious characteristic, because it is the index of the whole 
inclusive arrest of the physical personality. But together with 
the diminution of stature, various other characteristics may exist 

* Compare The method of Scientific Pedagogy applied to infantile education in the " Chil- 
dren's Houses," MoNTESsoRi: Casa Editr. Lapi, 1909. 


that also suggest a younger age; that is, the entire personality 
has been arrested in its development. 

It follows, in school for example, that such pathological cases 
may escape the master's attention; he sees among his scholars 
a type that is apparently not abnormal, because it does not deviate 
from the common type, in fact is quite like other children; but 
when we inquire into its age, then the anomaly becomes evident, 
because the actual age of this small child is greater than his appar- 
ent age. 

A principle of this sort announced in these terms is perhaps 
too schematic; but it will serve to establish a clear general rule 
that will guide us in our separate observations of a great variety 
of individual cases. 

This form of arrested development was for the first time 
explained by Lasegue, who introduced into the literature of 
medicine or rather into nosographism, the comparative term of 

Infantilism has been extensively studied in Italy by Professor 
Sante de Sanctis, who has written notable treatises upon it. I 
have taken from his work Gli Infantilismi, the following table of 
fundamental characteristics necessary to constitute the infantile 

1. Stature and physical development in general below that 
required by the age of the patient. 

2. Retarded development or incomplete development of the 
sexual organs and of their functions. 

3. Incomplete development of intelligence and character. 

In order to recognise infantilism, it is necessary to know the 
dimensions and morphology of the body in their relation to the 
various ages, and to bear in mind that in young children sexual 
development either has not begun or is still incomplete. 

Dimensions and Morphology of the Body at the Various AgesJ — 
What we have already learned regarding stature will give us one 
test in our diagnosis of infantilism: the increase of stature and the 
transformations of type of stature concur in establishing the di- 
mensions and the morphology of the body (See Stature, Types of 
Stature, Diagrams). 

A sufferer from infantilism will have, for example at the age 
of eleven, a stature of 113 centimetres and a statural index of 56, 
while the average figures give: 





7 years 

8 years 

9 years 

10 years 

11 years 











Consequently, in such a case the eleven-year-old patient would 
have the appearance of a child of seven, not only in stature but 
also in the relative proportions of his body. (And if we examined 
him psychically, we should probably find his speech was not yet 
perfected, that he showed a tendency toward childish games, a 
mental level corresponding to the age of seven or thereabouts; 
in school the child would be placed in the first or second elementary 

Accordingly the anthropological verdict of infantilism must 
not be based upon limits of measurement alone, but also upon 
the proportions of the body. Every age has its own morphology. 

Now, such changes are found not only in the reciprocal relations 
between the bust and the limbs, but also between the various 
parts of the bust, as we shall see when we come to an analytical 
study of the morphology of the head, the thorax and the abdomen; 
the detailed anthropological examination of the individual patient 
will furnish us with further accompanying symptoms helpful in 
establishing a diagnosis. Further on we shall give a summarised 
table of the morphology of the body from year to year (laws of 
growth); and of the most notable and fundamental psychological 
characteristics of the different years of childhood ; so that a teacher 
may easily derive from it at a glance a comprehensive picture 
that will aid in a diagnosis of the age, and hence of the arrest of 
development, in subjects suffering from infantilism. 

Before entering upon the important question of pathogenesis 
in its relation to infantilism, I will reproduce a few biographic 
notes of infantile types, taken from various authorities : 

Giulio B. was brought to the clinic because of his continued 
love for toys, notwithstanding his age. At seventeen and a half he 
retained the manners, the games and the language of a child of 
between ten and twelve. In appearance, he gave the impression 


of being between thirteen and fourteen, and was as well pro- 
portioned as a lad of that age. His stature was 1.45 meters 
(at thirteen the average stature is 1.40 m. and at fourteen it is 
1.48 m.; while at seventeen it ought to be 1.67 m.) and his weight 
was 39 kilograms (at fourteen the weight is 40 k. and at seventeen 
it is 57 k.) . His appearance was lively, intelligent, but on the whole 
childish. His genital organs were like those of a boy of twelve 
(Fig. 30). The patient understood all that was said to him, he 
could read, write and sing, but could not apply himself to any 
serious occupation; he did not read the papers, but would amuse 
himself by looking at pictures in illustrated books; he could play 
draughts, but was equally pleased when playing with children's 
toys. During his stay at the clinic he was several times punished 
for childish pranks: he filled his neighbour's chamber vessel with 
stones, and amused himself by making little paper boats and sailing 
them in the urine, etc. He was employed as a page at an all- 
night cafe; his age permitted him to perform this work forbidden 
to children, while his appearance rendered him fitted for the task. 
When questioned discreetly regarding his sexual functions, or 
rather his sexual incapacity, he understood at once, and expressed 
in a childish way his deep regret, because he had heard it said that 
''that was why they wouldn't let him serve in the army." 

Vittorio Ch. Is twenty-two years old and looks about eight 
or ten. Stature 1.15 metres (average stature for the age of seven 
being 1.11 m. ; for eight, 1.17 m.). Has no beard, nor any signs of 
virility; genital organs like those of a child. His intelligence is 
alert, but does not surpass that of a boy of ten. He speaks 
correctly, can read, write and sing; plays draughts, but does not 
disdain children's toys, and prefers looking at pictures in illus- 
trated books to reading the daily papers. After the death of the 
patient, it was found, as a result of the autopsy, that the epiphyses 
of the long bones had not yet united with the diaphyses, and that 
the bones of the skull were still as soft as those of a child (Fig. 31). 

Here is another case, taken from Moige:* 

It is the case of a young working girl, presenting all the appear- 
ance of a child of twelve or fourteen; she had not yet attained 
puberty, although she was thirty years of age. No external sign 
gave evidence that she was undergoing the sexual transition that 
should give her womanhood. Her breasts were reduced to the 

* Moige, Nouvelle Iconographie de la Salpitriere, 1894. 

Fig. 30. — Boy, seventeen and 
one-half years old. 

Fig. 31. — Young man, Fig. 32. — Idiotic cretin, 

twenty-two years old. age 20 years, stature 
1.095 m. 

Fig. 33. — An example of 
myxedematous infantil- 

Fig. 34. — A group of cretins in the valley of Aosta (Pied- 
mont). The alteration of the thyroid gland is of endemic 


mere nipple, as in infancy. Her voice was weak. This woman 
was hysterical and subject to frequent attacks of convulsions. 
Her mental condition remained infantile. She was gentle, docile, 
timid and apprehensive; she was destitute of coquetry or sense of 

"Renato L.,* age twenty-niae; stature 1.30 m. (average stature 
at the age of ten, 1.28 m. ; at eleven, 1.32 m.) weight, 32 kilograms 
(average weight, age of twelve, 31 k.). It appears from his history 
that he developed normally up to the age of nine, after which 
period an arrest of development occurred, both physical and psy- 
chic. An arrest of the genital organs dates back also to early 
childhood. His intelligence is that of a backward child; he has 
never been able to read or write, but can count up to 1000. He 
has never been able to learn a trade, but shows some talent for 

His criminal instincts seem to be especially developed. He 
spends whole hours, turning over the leaves of popular illustrated 
novels, and whenever he comes across a picture representing a 
homicide or an assassination, he utters loud exclamations of 
delight. He has only one passion, tobacco, and only one object 
of adoration, Ravachol. Very violent, extremely irritable; when 
he is angry, he would kill someone, if, as he says, "he had the 
strength for it." Although, as a rule, he docilely obeys the 
orders given him, it is because he is ''afraid of being scolded." 
His ideal is to be able some time to obtain refuge in the Hospice 
de Bicetre. 

From De Sanctis's work, Gli Infantilismi, I obtain the following 
data, that are very suggestive on the anthropological side, regarding 
a case of infantilism observed by the professor in his asylum- 
school for defective children, in Rome. 

Vincenzo P., seven years of age. Father in good health and 
of good character. Mother small, thin, weak, underfed; has had 
nine children, of which five are living, all feeble. Vincenzo was 
born in due time, birth regular; had five wet-nurses ; cut his teeth 
at the normal intervals; began to walk at the end of the second 
year and to speak at the end of the first. According to his mother, 
all went well until the fourth year. At this period, Vincenzo 
became very troublesome and ceased to "grow taller." Later on 
he was sent to the communal school, but the director of the school 

* Apeet, Op. cit. 



in the Via Ricasoli, seeing how undersized and backward he was, 
sent him to the Asylum-School for defective children. 

In appearance the child is eurhythmic, excepting that the head 
appears a little too big in proportion to the rest of his body; but it 
is not of the hydrocephalic type (an infantile characteristic). He 
is slightly asymmetric, the postero-inferior portion of the right 
parietal bone being more depressed than that of the left (infantile 


Of the child 

Normal measurements 
at the age of seven 

Age at which the measure- 
ments of Vincenzo would 
be normal 

Stature, 0.870 m 

Weight, 12.400 kg 

Circumference of chest, 

0.507 m. 
Vital index, 59 

1.10 m. 

20.16 kg. 

0.55 m 

Vital index, 54 

Three years, stature, 0.864 m. 
Two years, weight, 12 kg. 
Four years, circumference of 

chest, 0.505 m. 
Two years, vital index, 59. 

The bust is greatly developed in comparison with the lower 
limbs, which are unquestionably short. (The sitting stature was 
not taken, but this note, recorded from simple observation, reminds 
us of the enormous difference between the indices of stature at the 
age of two or three and at the age of seven: Index at two years 
= 63; at three = 62; at seven = 56.) 

But although we lack the index of stature, we may make use 
of the vital index, which is given by the proportion between the 
circumference of the chest and the stature, and consequently gives 
us an index of the morphology of the bust in its relation to the 
whole personality; thus we find that the vital index corresponds 
in the present case to that of a child of two, as is also true of the 
weight, so that we may deduce that the index of stature was 
probably about 62-63. 

He shows no impairment as to external sensations; on the other 
hand, internal sensations, such as satiety, illness, etc., are blunted. 
His power of attention seems sufficient, both at play and in school 
and when questioned. Neither does his memory show anything 
abnormal. Emotionally, he is below the normal level; he says 
that he is afraid of thunder; occasionally he shows annoyance 
when disturbed; but it is equally certain that he never becomes 


angry, never turns pale and never blushes, as the result of any 
excitement. He is of an indifferent disposition and is passive in 
manner; he is good natured, or rather, a certain degree of apathy 
makes him appear so. 

All things considered, his mental development may be de- 
scribed as that of a three-year-old child; only that he differs from 
children of that age in his lack of vivacity and in his complete 
development of articulate speech (it should be noted, in regard to 
the diagnosis of age made by so distinguished a psychologist as 
De Sanctis, that he judged the child to have a psychic development 
corresponding to the age of three years; while we, studying the 
general measurements of the body, determined that they corre- 
spond to three different ages, namely, two, three and four the aver- 
age of which is precisely three; while the stature, which is the index 
of development of the body as a whole, corresponds almost exactly 
to that average of three years (0.870 m., 0.864 m.). 

Pathogenesis of Infantilism. — At this point it might be asked : 
Why do we grow? We hide the mechanism of growth under very 
vague expressions: biological final causes, ontogenetic evolution, 
heredity. But, if we stop to think, such expressions are not 
greatly different from those which they have replaced: the divine 
purpose, creation. 

In other words, a causal explanation is lacking. But positive 
science refuses to lose itself in the search after final causes, in which 
case it would become metaphysical philosophy. Nevertheless, it 
may pursue its investigations into the genesis of phenomena, 
whenever the results of experiments permit it to advance. 

So it is in the case of growth; certain relatively recent dis- 
coveries in physiology have made it possible to establish relations 
between the development of the individual and the functions of 
certain little glands of ^^ internal secretion." Now, the discovery 
of these relations is certainly not a causal explanation of the 
phenomenon of growth, but only a profounder analysis of it. 

Hitherto, we have considered the organism in regard to its 
chief visceral functions: in speaking of macroscelia and of brachy- 
scelia, we considered the different types in relation to the develop- 
ment of the organs of vegetative life and the organs of external 
relations: the central nervous system, the lungs, the heart, the 
digestive system. Our next step is to enter upon the study of 
certain little organs, which were still almost ignored by the ana- 


tomy and physiology of yesterday. These organs are glands 
which, unlike other glands (the salivary glands, the pancreas, the 
sudoriferous glands, etc.), are lacking in an excretory duct, through 
which the juices prepared for an immediate physiological purpose 
might be given forth; and in the absence of such excretory tubes, 
their product must be distributed through the lymphatic system, 
and hence imperceptibly conveyed throughout the whole organism. 

One of these glands, the one best known, is the thyroid; but 
there are others, such, for example, as the thymus, situated 
beneath the sternum, or breast-bone, and much reduced in size 
in the adult; the pineal gland or hypophysis cerebri, situated at 
the base of the encephalon; the suprarenal capsules, little ear- 
shaped organs located above the kidneys. Up to a short time 
ago, it was not known what the functions of such glands were; 
some of them were regarded as atavistic survivals, because they 
are more developed in the lower animals than in man, and con- 
sequently were classed with the vermiform appendix as relics of 
organs which had served their functions in a bygone phylogenetic 
epoch and remain in man without any function, but on the con- 
trary represent a danger through the local diseases that they may 
develop. The cerebral hypophysis was in ancient times regarded 
as the seat of the soul. 

These glands are very small; the largest is the thyroid, which 
weighs between thirty and forty grams (1 to 1 f oz.); the supra- 
renal glands weigh four grams each (about 60 grains) ; the hypophy- 
sis hardly attains the weight of one gram. 

The importance of these glands began to be revealed when 
antiseptic methods rendered surgery venturesome, and the attempt 
was made (in 1882) to remove the thyroid gland. After a few 
weeks the patient operated on began to feel the effects of the 
absence of an organ necessary to normal life: effects that may be 
summed up as, extreme general debility; pains in the bones and 
in the head; an elastic swelling of the entire skin; enfeebled heart 
action, and anemia; and on the psychic side, loss of memory, 
taciturnity, melancholy. After the lapse of some time the patient 
showed such further symptoms as the shedding of the cuticle of 
the skin, whitening of the hair and fades cretinica. 

But when Sick undertook to operate upon the thyroid of a 
child of ten, the deleterious effects of interrupting the above- 
mentioned function of the gland manifested itself in an arrest of 


development; at the age of twenty-eight the patient operated on by 
Sick was a cretin (idiotic dwarf) 1.27 metres tall (average stature at 
age of ten = 1.28 m.). Since that time certain diseases have been 
recognised that call to mind the condition of patients who have 
undergone an operation for removal of the thyroid glands, and 
in which the subjects have suffered from hypothyroidea, or insuffi- 
cient development of the thyroid. 

Such individuals were characterised by nanism, solid edema 
of the skin, arrest of psychic development, and absence of develop- 
ment of puberty; this malady has taken its place in medical 
treatises under the name of myxedema; and, when serious, is ac- 
companied by nanism and myxedematous idiocy. But in mild 
cases it may result in a simple myxedematous infantilism. 

The other glands of internal secretion are also associated with 
the phenomena of growth. First in importance is the thymus 
which is found highly developed in the embryo and in the child 
at birth, and thereafter diminishes in volume, until it almost 
disappears after the attainment of puberty. In the psychological 
laboratories of Luciani, at Rome, the first experiments were con- 
ducted upon dogs, for the purpose of determining what alterations 
in growth would result as a consequence of the removal of the 
thymus. The dogs thus operated on were weak; furthermore 
they became atrophied, accompanied by roughness of the skin 
and changes in pigmentation. After this, experiments were 
made in the Pediatric Clinic at Padua, under the direction of 
Professor Cervesato, in the application of thymic organotherapy 
(that is, the use of animal thymus as medicine) with notable 
success in the case of atrophic children (infantile atrophy occurs 
in early infancy; this form is known popularly in Italy as the 
''monkey sickness." Nursing children become extremely thin, 
cease to grow in length, the little face becomes elongated and 
skeleton-like, and is frequently covered with a thick down). 

Stoppato also obtained analogous results in infantile atrophy 
and anemia. Hence it is evident that the very rapid growth in 
the embryo is associated with the functional action of the thymus. 
And this is also true of the very rapid growth during the first 
years of a child's life. 

The pituitary gland, or cerebral hypophysis, has also functions 
associated with the general nervous tone and trophism (or nourish- 
ment) of the tissues, and especially of the osseous system. There 


is a disease known as acromegalia (Marie's disease) which is 
characterised by an abnormal and inharmonic growth of the 
skeleton, especially in the limbs and the jaw; the hands and feet 
become enormously enlarged, while the jaw lengthens and thickens 
(an unhealthy formation on which the common people of Italy 
have bestowed the name of ''horse sickness," because of the 
appearance assumed by the face). Such patients complain of 
general and progressive debility of their psychic activities. In 
such cases, an autopsy shows an alteration of the pituitary gland, 
often due to malignant tumors (sarcoma). 

The suprarenal capsules also bear a relation to general trophism 
and particularly to the pigmentation of the skin. It was already 
noted by Cassan and Meckel that the negro races show a greater 
volumetric development of the suprarenal capsules; when in 1885 
Addison for the first time discovered a form of disease associated 
with alterations of the suprarenal capsules, characterised by an 
intensely brown colouration of the skin (bronzed-skin disease), 
general debility of the nervous and muscular systems, progressive 
anemia and mental torpor; the malady ends in death. In the 
case of animals operated on for physiological experiments, not 
one of them has been able to survive. 

Some interesting observations have been made by Zander 
on the connection between the development of the nervous system 
and the suprarenal glands. He found that there was an insuffi- 
cient development of these glands in individuals having terato- 
logical (monstrous) misshapements of the brain, as in the case of 
hemicephalus (absence of one-half the brain), cyclops, etc. 

There exists between all the ductless glands, or those of 
internal secretion, an organic sympathy: in other words, if one 
of them is injured the others react, frequently to the extent of 
assuming a vicarious (compensating) functional action. 

What their functional mechanism is, that is, whether the 
secretions act as formative stimulants or enzymes, ferments of 
growth, or whether as antitoxines to the toxines elaborated by 
various organs in the process of regression, is a question still 
controverted and in anj^ case cannot enter within the limits of our 

It is enough for us to know that the general growth of the 
organism and its morphological harmony, depend not only as 
regards the skeleton, but equally in relation to the cutaneous 


system and its pigmentation, the development of the muscles, 
the heart, the blood, the brain, and the trophic functions of the 
nervous system, upon some formative and protective action of 
all these little glands of '^ internal secretion," with which are 
associated the psychic activities and even the life itself of each 
individual, as though within the embryonic crucible there must 
have been certain substances that acted by stimulating the 
genetic forces and directing the trophism of the tissues toward a 
predetermined morphology. 

To-day it is held that even the mother's milk contains these for- 
mative principles, or enzymes, suited to stimulate the tissues of her 
own child in the course of their formation; consequently, it pro- 
duces results which no other milk in all nature can replace. 

Alterations in these glands of ''internal secretion" may there- 
fore produce an arrest of development — and, in mild cases, forms 
of infantilism. But the gland which in this connection is of first 
importance is the thyroid. 

Now there is one form of arrest of the trophic rhythm of growth 
which may be due to hereditary causes effecting the formative 
glands (myxedematous infantilism), or to exceptional causes occur- 
ring in the individual himself in the course of formation, either at 
the moment of conception, or at some later moment, as may hap- 
pen even during the period of infancy (dystrophic infantilism of 
various origin). 

In all these cases, however, according to Hertoghe, the excep- 
tional causes, deleterious to growth, would first of all exercise their 
influence upon the glands of internal secretion and especially upon 
the thyroid. 

In order to make clear, in connection with such complex patho- 
logical problems, the cases which are important from the point of 
view of pedagogy and the school, let us divide them into : 

Myxedematous infantilism, due to congenital insufficiency of 
the thyroid gland from hereditary causes, and, 

Dystrophic infantilism, associated with various causes dele- 
terious to individual development — and acting secondarily upon 
the glands of internal secretion (syphilis, tuberculosis, alcoholism, 
malaria, pellagra, etc.). 

Myxedematous infantilism is characterised by short stature, by 
excessive development of the adipose system, and by arrest of 
mental development (including speech). Such infantiles very 


frequently have a special morphology of the face, that suggests the 
mongol type, and characteristic malformations of the hands (little 
fingers atrophied). When treated with extracts of the thyroid 
glands of animals, they improve notably; they become thinner, 
they gain in stature, their mentality develops to the extent of. 
permitting them to study and to work. Certain mongoloids 
treated by De Sanctis in the Asylum-School at Rome were im- 
proved to the point of being able to attend the high-school and 
therefore were restored to their family and to society as useful 
individuals — all of which are facts that are of singular importance 
to us as educators ! Medical care working hand in hand with peda- 
gogy may save from parasitism individual human beings who 
otherwise would be lost. We ought to be convinced from such 
evidence of the necessity of special schools for deficients, wholly 
separated from the elementary schools, and where medical care 
combined with a specially adapted pedagogic treatment may trans- 
form the school into a true ''home of health and education." 
The plan of a ''school with a prolonged schedule of hours," includ- 
ing two meals and a medical office, as was conceived and organised 
by Prof. Sante de Sanctis in Rome, has been proved to answer 
admirably to this social need; because without wholly removing 
the children from their families, and therefore without exposing 
them to the disadvantages of a boarding school, it provides them 
with all the assistance necessary to their special needs. 

Dystrophic Infantilism. — Given a case of infantilism, discover- 
able by the teacher through the general measurements of the body 
and psychic examination, it is interesting to investigate the dele- 
terious causes. 

It may be the result of poisoning, as for example from alcohol. 
Alcohol has such a direct influence upon the arrest of development 
that in England jockeys are produced by making the lads drink 
a great deal of alcohol. Children who drink alcohol do not grow in 
stature, and similarly the embryo grows in a less degree when the 
mother indulges in alcohol during pregnancy; some Swiss women 
deliberately resort to this means, in order that a smaller child may 
lessen the pain of child-birth. But alcohol not only diminishes 
the stature, but destroys the harmony of the different parts; that 
is, in the development of the body it arrests both the volumetric 
and the morphological growth. Furthermore, alcohol produces in 
children an arrest of mental development. An acquaintance 


with this principle of hygiene should be looked upon by the teacher 
less as a piece of special knowledge than as a social duty. From 
the point of view of the educator, the fight against alcoholism 
should have no assignable limits! It would be vain for him to 
perfect his didactic methods in order to educate a child that drank 
wine or other still worse alcoholic liquors. It would be better if 
the efforts which he meant to dedicate to such educative work 
could be all turned to a propaganda directed toward the parents 
of such children, or toward the children themselves, to induce them 
to abstain from so pernicious a habit! 

We may also consider in the category oi > poisonings certain 
chronic maladies which act upon the organism with special toxic 
(poisonous) effects. In the foremost rank of such maladies 

Syphilis. — This disease is ranked among the principal causes 
of abortion; in other words, the foetus which results from a syphilitic 
conception lacks vitality, and often fails to complete the cycle of 
intrauterine life. But even granting that the foetus survives and 
attains its complete development, the child after birth grows 
tardily, and very often remains an infantile. It is well known that 
syphilis has been transmitted to new-born infants at the time of 
birth, in consequence of which these infants may in turn transmit 
syphilis to their wet-nurses. In such cases they are really sick 
and need medical treatment from the hour of their birth. Just 
as in the adult patient, syphilis has several successive stages, an 
acute primary stage, with plain manifestations of hard ulcers, 
erythema diffused over the skin of the entire body, glandular 
infiltrations, etc., and then secondary and tertiary manifestations 
that eventually become chronic and exhibit almost imperceptible 
symptoms; so in the case of children, syphilis may be transmitted 
in various degrees of virulence. In the acute stage the result will 
be abortion or the child will be still-born, or else the new-born 
child will plainly exhibit ulcerations and erythema, but at other 
periods of the disease, the child may bear far less evident signs 
of its affliction, as for instance a special form of corrosion in the 
enamel of its teeth; the cervical pleiades or enlargement of certain 
little lymphatic glands like the beads of a rosary, distinguishable 
by touch in the posterior region of the neck; certain cranial mal- 
formations (prominent nodules on the parietal bones. Parrot's 
nodes) ; and in the child's whole personality an under-development 


in respect to its age. In cases like these the teacher's observations 
may be of real social value, because the child has shown no symp- 
toms of such a nature as to cause the parents to have recourse to a 
physician, and it is the child's scholarship (using the word in the 
broad sense of the way in which the child reacts in the environment 
of school, the profit he derives from study, etc.) that may reveal 
an abnormal development to an intelligent teacher. 

The first indication is a stature helow what is normal at a given 
age. Such observations ought to be obligatory upon teachers 
who are in sympathy with the new ideas, for they alone can be the 
arbiters of the rising generations. It is being said on all sides, to 
be sure, with optimistic assurance that argues a deficiency of 
critical insight and common sense, that an adequate education of 
the mothers ought to enlighten all women in regard to the laws of 
growth in children and the abnormalities that are remediable. 
But of what class of mothers are we supposed to be speaking? 
Certainly not of the great mass of working women and illiterates! 
certainly not of the women who have been constrained to hard 
toil from childhood up, and later on condemned to abortion because 
of such unjust labor, while their spirit is brutalized and their 
memory loses even the last lingering notion of an alphabet ! It 
will always be easier and more practical, in every way, to enlighten 
twenty-five thousand teachers regarding these principles than to 
enlighten many millions of mothers; not to mention that if we 
wished to enlighten these mothers in a practical way regarding the 
principles of the hygiene of generation, we should still have to in- 
voke the services of that very class whose assigned task in society 
is precisely that of educating the masses! 

The teacher can and should learn at least how to suspect the 
presence of hereditary syphilis in his pupils, in order to be able to 
invoke the aid of the physician, leaving to the latter the completion 
of the task, namely, the eventual cure. It is well known that iodide 
of potassium and its substitutes, especially if used at an early stage, 
can cure syphilitic children and therefore save innocent boys and 
girls from eventual definite arrest of development and from all 
the resultant human and social misery. 

Another cause that is deleterious to development is 
Tuberculosis. — Although it has now been demonstrated that 
tuberculosis is not hereditary, as an active disease — that is, we 
cannot inherit in our organism localised colonies of the tuberculo- 


sis bacillus, because the bacilli cannot pass through the placenta 
into the foetus during the period of gestation — nevertheless a predis- 
position to infection from the bacillus can be inherited. 

A predisposition which consists in a special form of weakened 
resistance of the tissues, rendering them incapable of immunity, and 
a skeletal formation which is distinguished by a narrowness of 
the chest, and a consequent smallness of lungs, which, being unable 
to take in sufficient air, constitute a locus minoris resistentice 
(locality of less resistance) to localisation of the bacilli. Now, 
since our environment is highly infected by the bacilli of tuberculo- 
sis, we must all necessarily meet with it, we must all have repeat- 
edly received into our mouths and air passages Koch's bacilli, alive 
and virulent ; and yet the strong organism remains immune, while 
the weak succumbs. Consequently those who are predisposed by 
heredity are almost fated to become tuberculous, and in this sense 
the malady presents the appearance of being truly hereditary. 
But such organic weakness in a child predisposed to tuberculosis 
is manifested not only by possible attacks of various forms of the 
disease localised in the glands (scrofula) or the bones, but also 
by a delayed development of the whole personality. 

Now, the environment of school and the educative methods 
still in vogue in our schools, not only are not adapted to correct 
such a predisposition, but what is more, the school itself creates 
this predisposition! In fact, the sitting posture — or rather, that 
of stooping over the desk, to write — and the prolonged confine- 
ment in a closed environment, impede the normal development of 
the thorax and of all the physical powers in general. Many a 
work on pedagogic anthropology has already shown that the most 
studious scholars, the prize-winners, etc., have a wretched chest 
measure, and a muscular force so low as to threaten ruin to their 

Consequently, children who are predisposed to tuberculosis 
ought unquestionably to be removed from our schools and cared 
for and educated in favourable environments. While we are still 
impotent in the face of fatalities due to this deplorable disease, 
we are not ignorant of the means needed to save a predisposed 
child and transform him into a robust and resistant lad. Such 
knowledge, to be sure, was applied to mankind only as a second 
thought ; for the first men to apply and then to teach such means 
of defence were the owners of cattle and the veterinaries. The 


owners of cattle discovered that if a calf was born of a tuber- 
culous cow, it could be saved and become an excellent head of 
cattle, if only it was subjected to a very simple procedure; the 
calf must be removed from its mother and given over to be nursed 
by another cow in the open country; and it must remain in the 
open pastures for some time after it its weaned. 

By taking similar precautions in the case of children, it has 
been shown that the son of a tuberculous woman, if entrusted to 
a wet-nurse in the open country, and brought up on an abundance 
of nourishing food until his sixth year in the freedom of the fields, 
can be made as robust as any naturally sound child. From this we 
get the principle of schools in the open air, or of schools in the woods, 
or on the sea-shore, for the benefit of weak, anemic children, pre- 
disposed to tuberculosis. Such a sojourn constitutes the '^ School- 
Sanatorium," the lack of which is so grievously felt by the parents 
of feeble children, and that might so easily be instituted in our mild 
and luxuriant peninsula, so rich in hillsides and. sea-coast! 

Malaria. — One of the chief causes of mortality and of biological 
pauperism in many regions of Italy is malaria. This scourge 
rages even to the very gates of Rome. The country folk of these 
abandoned tracts pine away in misery and at the same time in 
illiteracy, while their blood is impoverished by disease, and a 
notable percentage of the children are victims of arrested development. 

These unfortunates, forgotten by civilisation, are destined to 
roam the fields, bearing with them, till the day of their death, a 
deceptive appearance of youth, and an infantile incapacity for 
work, an object-lesson of misery and barbarity! Among the 
means of fighting malaria, the spread of civilisation and the school 
ought to find a place. Even the quinine given freely by the govern- 
ment is distributed with difficulty among these unhappy people, 
brutalised by hunger and fever; and some message from civil- 
isation ought to precede the remedy for the material ill. A far- 
sighted institution is that of Sunday classes founded by Signor 
Celli and his wife in the abandoned malarial districts. In these 
classes, the teachers from elementary schools give lessons every 
Sunday, spreading the principles of civic life, at the same time that 
they distribute quinine to the children. 

If we stop to think that wherever malaria is beaten back, it 
means a direct conquest of fertile lands and of robust men, and 
hence of wealth, we must reahse at once the immense importance 


of this sort of school and this sort of struggle, which may be com- 
pared to the ancient wars of conquest, when new territories and 
strong men constituted the prize of battles won, and the grandeur 
of the victorious nations. 

Pellagra.— FellsigTa, is still another scourge diffused over many 
regions of Italy. It is well known that this disease, whose patho- 
logical etiology is still obscure, has some connection with a diet 
of mouldy grain. Pellagra runs a slow course, beginning almost 
unnoticed in the first year, with a simple cutaneous eruption, 
which the peasants sometimes attribute to the sun. The second 
year disturbances of the stomach and intestines begin, aggravated 
by a diet of spoiled corn; but it is usually not until the third 
year that pellagra reveals itself through its symptoms of great 
nervous derangements, with depression of muscular, psychic and 
sexual powers, together with melancholia, amounting to a true 
and special form of psychosis (insanity) leading to homicide, even 
of those nearest and dearest (mothers murdering their children) 
and to suicide. 

This established cycle of the disease is not invariable. Instead 
of representing successive stages, these symptoms may often be 
regarded merely as representing the prevailing phenomena in various 
forms of pellagra; in any case, it constitutes a malady that runs a 
slow course during which the same patient is liable to many relapses. 
While the malady is running its course, the patients may continue 
their usual physiological and social life, and even reproduce them- 
selves. So that it is not an infrequent case when we find mothers, 
suffering from pellagra, nursing an offspring generated in sickness 
and condemned to manifold forms of arrested development, both 
physical and mental. 

Against a disease so terrible that it strikes the individual and 
the species, it is now a matter of common knowledge that there 
is an exceedingly simple remedy: it consists in a strongly nitrog- 
enous diet (^. e. meat) and that, too, only temporarily. In fact, 
in the districts where the pellagra rages, various charitable organ- 
isations have been established, among others the economic kitchens 
for mothers, which by distributing big rations of meat effect a cure, 
within a few months, not only of the sick mothers but of their 
children as well. 

The real battle against pellagra must be won through agrarian 
reforms: but in the meantime the local authorities could in no 


small degree aid the unhappy population with their counsel, by- 
enlightening the peasants regarding the risks they run, as well as 
by informing them of the various forms of organised aid actually 
established in the neighbourhood and often unknown to the public 
or feared by them, because of the ignorance and prejudice with 
which they are profoundly imbued! 

Pauperism, Denutrition, Hypertrophy. — We may define all the 
causes hitherto considered that are deleterious to growth, as tox- 
ical dystrophies, since not only alcohol, but the several diseases 
above discussed — syphilis, tuberculosis, malaria, pellagra — produce 
forms of chronic intoxication. But besides all these various forms 
of dystrophies, we may also cite cases of infantilism due purely 
to defective nutrition, and family poverty. Physiological misery 
may produce an arrest of growth in children. 

But just as denutrition associated with pauperism (social 
misery, economic poverty, lack of nourishment) may cause an 
organism in course of development to arrest its processes of evolu- 
tion through lack of material, the same result is equally apt to 
be produced by any one of a great variety of causes liable to 
produce organic denutrition, physiological poverty. 

For example, too frequent pregnancies of the child's mother, 
which have resulted in impoverishing the maternal organism, 
causing deficiency of milk, etc. 

Infant Illnesses. — In the same way, organic impoverishment 
is caused by certain maladies of the digestive system which impede 
the normal assimilation of nutritive matter: dysentery, for in- 
stance; and the effects may be still more disastrous if symptoms 
of this kind are accompanied by feverish conditions, as in typhus. 

There are cases, however, in which the arrest of development is 
not to be attributed to some wasting disease, or to the denutrition 
resulting from it; but rather to some acute illness occurring in early 
childhood (pneumonia, etc.), after which the child ceased to pro- 
gress in accordance with his former obviously normal development. 

Anangioplastic Infantilism. — Another form of infantilism is 
associated with a malformation of the heart and blood-vessels, 
that is to say, the heart and aorta together with the entire circu- 
latory system are of small dimensions; the calibre of the arteries 
is less than normal. In such a case the restriction of the entire 
vascular system and the scantiness of circulation of the blood 
constitute an impediment to the normal growth of the organism. 


Although in such cases the explanation of the cause of the phenom- 
enon is purely mechanical, nevertheless such abnormality of the 
heart and veins is to be classed as a teratological (monstrous) 
malformation, determined by original anomalies of the ductless 
glands, similar to what is found in cases of cephalic and cerebral 

In this form of infantilism the patient shows not only the usual 
fundamental characteristics already noted, but also symptoms of 
anemia as obstinate to all methods of treatment as chlorosis is; 
in addition to which they often show congenital malformations 
of the heart, in every way similar in their effects to valvular 
affections such as may result from pathological causes (chief of 
which are mitral and aortic stenosis, which consist of a stricture 
of the valves connected with the left ventricle of the heart). 

Accordingly, children who show forms of mitral infantilism are 
inferior to their actual age not only in their whole psychosomatic 
appearance, but they are noticeably weak, pale and suffering from 
shortness of breath and disturbances of the circulation. In such 
cases, neither pedagogy nor hygiene can counteract the arrest of 
development; but it is well that the attention of teachers should be 
called to such cases, in order that cruel errors may be prevented, 
which would unconsciously do additional harm to individuals al- 
ready burdened by nature with physiological wretchedness. 

In conclusion: The normal growth of the organism is asso- 
ciated with the functional action of certain glands known as glands 
''of internal secretion, " such as the thymus and thyroid, first of all, 
as well as the suprarenal capsules and the cerebral hypophysis. 

This group of formative glands presides not only over the entire 
growth of the body, but also over the intimate modeling of its 
structure; so that a lesion or deficiency in any of them results not 
only in nanism and an arrest of mental development, but in various 
forms of general dystrophy. 

That the organism is associated in the course of its trans- 
formations with the functional action of specific glands is shown 
by the development of puberty, which consists in a series of trans- 
formations of the entire organism, but is associated with the es- 
tablishment of funQtional activity of glands that were hitherto 
immature: the genital glands (ovaries, testicles). These glands 
also are functionally in close sympathy with the entire group 
of formative glands: so much so that, if the glands of in- 


ternal secretion are injured, the genital glands usually fail to 
attain normal development (infantilism). Now, the transfor- 
mations which take place in the organism at the period of puberty- 
might be produced at other periods if the functional action of the 
generative glands should show itself at a different epoch. That 
is, these transformations are not associated with the age of the 
organism, but with the development of specific glands. There are 
cases of the genital glands maturing at abnormal ages; or of local 
maladies that have hastened the appearance of the phenomena of 
puberty in children of tender years. A notable case is that de- 
scribed by Dr. Sacchi, * of a nine-year old boy, who had grown 
normally up to the age of five and a half, both in his physiological 
organism and in his psychic personality. At the age of five and a 
half, the child's father noticed a physical and moral alteration; 
the child's voice grew deeper, his character more serious, and the 
skeletal and muscular systems grew rapidly, while on certain 
portions of the body, as for example on the face, a fine down 
appeared. At the age of seven the child had attained a stature 
that was gigantic for his age; he was very diligent and studious 
and did not care to play with his comrades. At nine, he had a 
stature of 1,45 metres (the normal stature being 1.22), a 
weight of 44 kilograms (normal = 24); his muscles were highly 
developed, his powers of traction and compression being equal to 
those of a man; his chin was covered with a thick beard five centi- 
metres long. When he was examined by a physician, the latter 
discovered a tumor in the left testicle. After an operation, the 
child lost his beard and regained his childish voice; his character 
became more timid and sensitive; he began once more to enjoy his 
comrades and take part in boyish games. His muscular force 
underwent a notable diminution. 

Rickets. — It is important not to confound any of the various 
forms of infantilism with rickets. Rickets is a well-defined malady 
whose special point of attack is the osseous system in course of 
formation; but it leaves the nervous system and the genital system 
unimpaired. The sufferer from rickets may be a person of in- 
telligence, capable of attaining the highest distinctions in art or in 
politics; he is normal in his genital powers, so that he is capable of 
normal reproduction, without, in many cases, transmitting any 
taint of rickets to his descendants. 

* Cited by Marro. 


Nevertheless this disease, like all constitutional maladies, occurs 
only in individuals who are weakly. 

Among the characteristics of rickets, the one which assumes 
first importance is inferiority of stature in comparison with the 
normal man. In this connection I quote the following figures 
from Bonnifay:* 


11 months 
2 years. . . 
2-3 years. 
3-4 years . 
5-6 years. 
6-7 years. 
7-8 years. 
8-9 years. 
9-10 years 

But together with diminution of stature there exist in rickets 
various deformities of the skeleton, especially in the bones of the 
cranium, in the vertebral column and in the frame of the thorax; 
although even the pelvis and the limbs have been known to show 
the characteristic deformities. 

An objective knowledge of the first symptoms of rickets ought 
to be regarded as indispensable on the part of mistresses in chil- 
dren's asylums, and in any case to form an important chapter in 
pedagogic anthropology. For it is well known that in the early 
stages of rickets the child may be so guided in its growth as to save 
it from deformities of the skeleton, even though a definite limita- 
tion of the stature may not be prevented. 

That is to say, that through the intervention of hygiene and 
pedagogy the rachitic child may be saved from becoming a cripple 
or a hunchback, and will simply remain an individual of low stature; 
with certain signs and proportions of the skeleton indicative of the 
attack through which he has passed. Even in very severe cases 
it is at least possible to minimize the deformity of the thorax and 
the curvature of the vertebral column. 

* Cited by Figueira, Semejotica Infantile, p. 121. 

» Stature in centimetres 

Rachitic children 

Normal children 





















The precursory signs of rickets in a child are: a characteristic 
muscular weakness, frequently accompanied by excessive develop- 
ment of adipose tissue, giving an illusory impression of abundant 
nutrition; delay in the development of the teeth and in locomo- 
tion, which from the very beginning may be accompanied by curva- 
ture of the long bones of the legs. The bregmatic fontanelle of the 
cranium closes later than at the normal period, and is larger than 
in normal cases, just as the entire cerebral cranium is abnormally 
developed in volume, while the facial portion remains small, 
especially in regard to the jaw bones. 

One of the most salient characteristics, however, is the peculiar 
enlargement of the articular heads of the long bones, easily recog- 
nizable in the size of the wrists: the enlargement is also found in the 
extremities of the ribs, which at their points of union on each side 
of the sternum form a succession of little lumps, like the beads of a 
rosary. In conjunction with these characteristics, it is to be noted, 
at all ages, as appears from the figures given by Bonnifay, that 
there is a notable diminution of stature. 

The treatment of rickets is medical and pedagogical combined. 
Children of this type should be removed from the public school, 
where the school routine might have a fatally aggravating effect 
upon the pathological condition of such children. In fact, gym- 
nastics based upon marching and exercising in an erect position, 
together with a prolonged sitting posture, are likely to produce 
weaknesses of the skeleton and deformities, even where there are 
no symptoms of rickets! 

The establishment of infant asylums for rachitic children is 
one of the most enlightened movements of the modern school. 
We Italians are certainly not the last to found such institutions, 
and Padua possesses one of the oldest and most perfect asylums 
of this sort of which Europe can boast. Asylums for rachitic chil- 
dren ought to have a special school equipment, so far as concerns 
the benches and the apparatus for medical and orthopedic gymnastics; 
furthermore they should be provided with a pharmaceutical stock 
of remedies suited to building up the osseous system and the organ- 
ism in general; and a school refectory should be provided, adapted 
to the condition of the children. The methods of instruction 
should rigorously avoid any form of fatigue, and instead provide 
the child with psychic stimuli designed to overcome a sluggishness 
due to the mental prostration to which he is for the most part 


subject. As regards their situation, these asylums for rachitic 
children may be advantageously located upon the sea-coast. 

The Stature of Abnormals. — The name of abnormals is applied 
to the entire series of individuals who are not normal : hence the 
categories already considered (infantilism, gigantism, rachitis) are 
included by implication. The group of abnormals, however, in- 
cludes besides a long series of other classes, neuropathies, epileptics, 
and degenerates. 

Under the head of abnormals may also be included those who 
are abnormal in character, such as criminals, etc. It is not irra- 
tional to group together the different types of abnormals, for the 
purpose of anthropological research, in contrast with those who are 
normal. In America, for instance, such studies are conducted on 
a large scale, precisely for the purpose of showing the deviation of 
abnormal dimensions of the body from normal dimensions, not 
only in the definitive development of the body, but also during 
growth. The abnormals depart from the mean measurements, 
now rising above and again falling below, as though they were 
intermittently impelled by the biological impulse of their organ- 
ism, which at one time manifests a hypergenesis and at another a 
hypogenesis. A clear illustration of these facts is afforded by 
MacDonald's diagram (see page 168) : the solid line which rises 
regularly represents the growth in stature of normal individuals; 
the dotted line which forms a zig-zag, now rising rapidly above the 
normal line and then falling very much below it, represents the 
growth in stature of the abnormals. Naturally such a chart 
must be interpreted by comparison with the standards of mean 
measurements gathered at successive ages from a large number 
of different children. It shows that normal children are nearly 
uniform among themselves, and in relation to the years of 
their growth: while abnormal children differ greatly one from 
another and do not accord with the mean stature of the age they 

Regarding the stature of criminals there can be nothing special 
to say : criminals do not represent an anthropological entity. They 
belong to a large extent, whenever the criminal act has a psycho- 
physiological basis, to various categories of abnormals. From the 
victim of rickets to the infantile, to the submicrocephalic, to the 
ultra-macroscele or ultra-brachyscele, all abnormal organisms may 
contribute to the number of those predisposed to the social phenom- 




enon of criminality. And it is for this reason that we may say 
in general that the stature of abnormals is sometimes above and 
sometimes below the normal, but with a prevailing tendency to 
fall below. 

Moral and Pedagogic Considerations. — The objection may be 
raised that a medico-pedagogic system of treatment, designed to 
prevent a threatened arrest of development or to minimise its 
progressive symptoms, demands on the part of society an excessive 

effort, out of proportion to the end 
in view. To cure or ameliorate 
the condition of the weak may 
even be regarded as a principle of 
social ethics that is contrary to 
nature, whose laws lead inexorably 
to the selection of the strong and 
to the elimination of all those who 
are unfitted for the struggle for 
life. Sparta has furnished us with 
a practical example that is very 
far from the principles which 
scientific pedagogy is to-day seek- 
ing to formulate as a new neces- 
sity of social progress. 

But we are too far removed 
from the triumphant civilisation 
of Greece, to recur to the author- 
ity of her example: the principle 
sanctioned to-day by modern 
civilisation, that of ''respect for 
human life," forbids the violent 
elimination of the weak: Mount 
Taygetus is no longer a possible fate for innocent babes in a social 
environment the civic spirit of which has abolished the death 
penalty for criminals. Consequently, since the weak have a right 
to live, as many of them as naturally survive are destined to be- 
come a burden, as parasites, upon the social body of normal 
citizens; and they furnish a living picture of physiological wretch- 
edness, a spectacle of admonitory misery, inasmuch as it repre- 
sents an effect of social causes constituting the collective errors of 
human ethics. Ignorance of the hygiene of generation, maladies 






1 1 

























- stature vf noTTTial persons 
Stature of abnormal persons 

Fig. 35. 


due to the vices and the ignorance of men, such as syphilis, other 
maladies such as tuberculosis, malaria and pellagra, representing 
so many scourges raging unchecked among the people, are the 
actual causes that are undermining the social structure, and mani- 
festing themselves visibly through their pernicious fruit : the birth 
of weaklings. To forget the innocent results of such causes, as 
we forget the causes themselves, would be to run the risk of plung- 
ing precipitously into an abyss of perdition. It is precisely these 
disastrous effects upon posterity that ought to warn us and shed 
light upon the errors through which we are passing lightly and 
unconsciously. Accordingly, to gather in all the weaklings is 
equivalent to erecting a barrier against the social causes which 
are enfeebling posterity: since it is impossible to conceive that if 
the existence of such a danger were once demonstrated, society 
would rest until every effort had been made to guard against the 
possibility of its recurrence. 

In addition to such motives for human prophylaxis, a more 
immediate interest should lead us to the pedagogic protection of 
weak children. The establishment of special schools for defective 
children, sanatarium-schools for tuberculous children, rural schools 
for those afflicted with malaria and pellagra, infant asylums for 
rachitic children, is a work of many-sided utility. They constitute 
a fundamental and radical purification of the schools for normal 
children : in fact, so long as intellectual and moral defectives and 
children suffering from infantilism and rachitis intermingle with 
healthy pupils, we cannot say that there really exist any schools 
for normal children, in which pedagogy may be allowed a free 
progress in the art of developing the best forces in the human 

Still another useful side to the question is that of putting a stop 
to the physiological ruin of individual weaklings. Very small 
would be the cost of schools for defective children, asylums for the 
rachitic, tonics, quinine, the iodide treatment, school refectories for 
little children afflicted with hereditary taints and organic disease: 
very small indeed, in comparison to the disastrous losses that society 
must one day suffer at the hands of these future criminals and 
parasites gathered into prisons, insane asylums and hospitals, in 
comparison to the harm that may be done by one single victim 
of tuberculosis by spreading the homicidal bacilli around him. It 
is a principal of humanity as well as of economy to utilise all human 


forces, even when they are represented by beings who are appar- 
ently neghgible. To every man, no matter how physiologically 
wretched, society should stretch a helping hand, to raise him. 
In North America the following principle has the sanction 
of social custom: that the task of improving physiological condi- 
tions and at the same time of instiUing hope and developing 
inferior mentalities to the highest possible limit constitutes an 
inevitable human duty. 

Accordingly it remains for the science of pedagogy to accom- 
plish the high task of human redemption, which must take its 
start from those miracles that the twentieth century has already 
initiated in almost every civilised country: straightening the 
crippled, giving health to the sick, awakening the intelligence in 
the weak-minded — much as hearing is restored to the deaf and 
speech to the mutes — such is the work which modern progress 
demands of the teacher. Because such straightening of mind and 
body naturally lies within the province of those who have the 
opportunity to give succor to the human being still in the 
course of development; while after a defect has reached its 
complete development in an individual, no manner of help can 
ever modify the harm that has resulted from lack of intelligent 

The prevention of the irremediable constitutes a large part of 
the work which is incumbent upon us as educators. 

Summary of Stature 

We have been considering stature as the linear index of the 
whole complex development of the body, taking it in relation 
to two other factors, the one internal or biological, and the 
other external or social. These two factors, indeed, unite in 
forming the character of the individual in his final develop- 
ment; and in each of them education may exert its influence, 
both in connection with the hygiene of generation and through 
reforms instituted in the school. 

In the following table are summed up the different points of 
view from which we have studied stature in its biological character- 
istics and in its variations: 




Ethnic varieties 
and limits of 



due to 


Stature in different races; extreme limits. 

Stature of the Italian people; and its geographical 

Limits of stature: medium, tall, low. 
Difference of stature in the sexes. 
Stature at different ages (growth). 

Transitory or physiological. 
Permanent, often accompanied by 
deformities. (Causes: the atti- 
tudes required by the work.) 
Psychic stimuli. 

( from alcohol. 








Hypotrophic { 

from syphilis, 
from tuberculosis, 
from malaria, 
from pellagra. 

Summary of the Scientific Principles Illustrated in the 
Course of the Exposition of our Subject 

When an anthropological datum is of such fundamental im- 
portance as the stature, its limits of oscillation must be established, 
and its terminology must be founded upon such limits expressed 
in figures that have been measured and established by scientists 
(medium, tall, low). 

The stature is the most important datum in pedagogic anthro- 
pology, because it represents the linear index of the development of 
the body, and for us educators is also the index of the child's 
normal growth. 

Bio-pathological Laws. — In cases of total arrest of development 
of the personality (infantilism) the first characteristic symptom 
usually consists in a diminution of stature in relation to age; the 
morphological evolution, as well as the psychic, fails to progress in 
proportion to the age of the subject; but it corresponds to the mean 
bodily proportions belonging to the age which would be normal 
for the actual stature of the subject. 



The weight is a measure which should be taken in conjunction 
with the stature; because, while the stature is a linear index of the 
development of the body, the weight represents a total measure 
of its mass; and the two taken together give the most complete 
expression of the bio-physiological development of the organism. 

Furthermore the weight permits us to follow the oscillations of 
development; it provides educators with an index, a level of ex- 
cellence, or the reverse, of their methods as educators, and of the 
hygienic conditions of the school or of the pedagogic methods in 

The fact is, that if a child is ill, or languid, etc., his stature re- 
mains unchanged; it may grow more slowly, or be arrested in 
growth; but it can never diminish. The weight, on the contrary, 
can be lost and regained in a short time, in response to the most 
varied conditions of fatigue, of malnutrition, of illness, of mental 
anxiety. We might even call it the experimental datum of the 
excellence of the child's development. 

Another advantage which the measure of weight has over that 
of stature is that it may serve as an exponent of health from the very 
hour of the child's birth; while stature does not exist in the new- 
born child, and begins to be formed (according to the definition 
given) only after the first year of its life, that is, when the child 
has acquired an erect position and the ability to walk steadily. 

Variations. — Weight is one of the measures that have been 
most thoroughly studied, because it is not a fruit of the recently 
founded science of pedagogic anthropology; but it enters into the 
practice of pediatricians (specialists in children's diseases) and of 
obstetricians (specialists in child-birth), while even the general 
practitioner can offer precious contributions from his experience. 

According to Winckel, and practically all pediatricians agree 
with him, ''the weight of a child, if taken regularly, is the best 
thermometer of its health; it easily expresses in terms of figures 
what the nursing child cannot express in words."* 

The new-born child weighs from three to four kilograms; but 
oscillations in weight from 2,500 to 5,000 grams are considered 
normal. Some obstetricians have noted weights in new-born chil- 

* Cited by Figtjeiba (Rio Janeiro) in his volume, Elementi di Semejotica infantile, 1906. 
From this volume, which contains the result of the most modern investigations in pediatry, 
I have taken a number of data regarding the .weight of children. 


dren that are enormous, true gigantism, which, however, while pos- 
sible, are altogether exceptional; nine and even eleven kilograms. 
The oscillations in weight of the child at birth, within normal 
limits, may have been determined by general biological factors, as 
for example the sex (the female child weighing less than the male), 
and the race (especially in regard to the stature of the parents) : 
but the factors which influence the weight of the new-born child 
in a decisive manner are those regarding the hygiene of generation. 

1. ''The children which have the greater weight are those born 
of mothers between the ages of twenty-five and thirty. ' ' (Mathews 
Duncan.) Let us recall what we have said regarding stature; at 
the end of the twenty-fifth year, that is, at the end of the period 
of growth, man is admirably ripe for the function of reproduction; 
and we ought further to recall the views cited regarding the mortal- 
ity of children conceived at this age which is so favourable to 
parenthood; and finally the note in regard to celebrated men, 
almost always begotten at this age. 

2. ''First-born children have in general a weight inferior to that 
of those born later (1,729 first-born children gave an average of 
3,254 grams: while 1,727 born of the second or subsequent 
conceptions gave an average of 3,412 gr." (Ingerslevs). Let us 
remember that celebrated men are scarcely ever the fiirst-horn. 

3. "Very short intervals between successive pregnancies 
interfere with this progression in weight; long intervals on the 
contrary do not interfere with it" (Wernicke). In other words, 
too frequent pregnancy is unfavourable to the result of the 

4. "Mothers who, at the birth of their first child weigh less 
than fifty-five kilograms and are under twenty years of age, have 
children of inferior weight, who are less predisposed to normal 
growth" (Schafer). 

Let us recall what we have said regarding the form and the 
scanty weight in the case of macrosceles; and also in regard to the 
age of procreation in its relation to stature. 

5. "Women who toil at wearisome work up to the final hour 
give birth to children inferior in weight to those born of mothers 
who have given themselves up to rest and quiet for some time 
before the expected birth" (Pinard). 

All these considerations which refer to normal individuals, 
represent a series of hygienic laws regarding maternity, which may 



be summed up as follows: excellence in procreation belongs to 
those mothers who have already attained the age at which the 
individual organism has completed its development, and before it 
has entered upon its involutive period; the mother must herself 
have a normal weight; the pregnancies must be separated by long 
intervals; and during the last weeks of pregnancy it is necessary 
that the mother should have the opportunity of complete rest. 

The increase in weight of the new-born child during the first 
days of its life, may constitute a valuable prognostic of the child's 
life. That is to say, through its successive gains it reveals the 
vitality, the state of health of this new human being. 

Here also the pediatrists can furnish us with valuable experi- 
mental data, which serve to formulate the ^'laws of growth." 
These are: 

1. From the moment of a child's birth, throughout the first 
two days, it suffers a loss in weight of about 200 grams, due to 
various causes, such as the emission of substances accumulated 
in the intestines during the intrauterine life (meconium), and the 
difficulties of adaptation to a new environment and to nutrition. 
But by the end of the first week a normal child should have regained 
its original weight; so that after the seventh day the normal 
child weighs the same as at the moment of birth. 

On the contrary, children born prematurely, or those having 
at the time of birth a weight below the average, or those that are 
affected with latent syphilis, or are weak from any other cause 
whatever, regain their original weight only by the end of the second 

Accordingly, in one or two weeks the family may form a prog- 
nosis regarding future life of the new-born child : a matter of funda- 
mental and evident importance. 

Furthermore, an antecedent detail of this sort may be valuable 
in the progressive history of subjects who, having attained the age 
for attendance at school, come to be passed upon by the teachers. 

To this end, in the more progressive countries, the carnet 
maternel, or mother's note-book, has begun to come into fashion, 
for the use of mothers belonging to the upper social classes (as, for 
instance, in England) : it consists of a book of suitable design, in 
the form of an album, and more or less de luxe in quality, in which 
the most minute notes are to be registered regarding the lives of 
the children from the moment of their birth onward. Various 


authors, especially in France, now give models for the maternal 

registration of the child's physiological progress; true biographic 

volumes that would form a precious supplement to the biographic 

charts of the schools : and the efforts of the family would round out 

and complete those of the school for the protection of the lives of 

the new generations. Such assistance, however, is only an ideal, 

because nothing short of a great and far distant social progress 

could place all mothers (the working women, and the illiterate of 

Italy) in a position to compile 

their carnet maternel. Auvard 

advocates, for registering the 

weight of the child during the 

first days of its life, a table in 

which the successive days from 

the first to the forty-fifth are 

marked along a horizontal line, 

while a vertical column gives a 

series of weights, with 25-gram 

intervals, covering a range of 

700 grams, the multiples of a 

hundred being left blank, to be 

determined by the actual weight 

of the child and filled in by the 

mother or whoever takes her 


In such a table, the graphic 



IB — I— 







y>' 2' J'^-" 6'6' T' a- 9W0' 

Fig. 36. 

sign indicating the changes in 

weight ought to fall rapidly and rise again to the point of departure 

by the seventh day, if the child is robust. 

Another law of growth which may serve as a prognostic docu- 
ment in the child's physiological history is the following : 

2. ''Children nourished at their mother's breast double their 
weight at the fifth month and triple it at the twelfth." In other 
words, before the middle of its first year a healthy child, normally 
nourished, will have doubled its weight. 

On the contrary, ''Artificial feeding retards this doubling of 
weight in children, which is attained only by the end of the first 
year; so that the weight is not tripled until some time in the course 
of the second year." 

And this gives us pretty safe principles on which to judge of the 


personality in the course of formation, at an epoch when stature 
does not yet exist. 

Undoubtedly a great moral and social progress would be accom- 
plished through a wide dissemination of very simple and economical 
carnets maternels; which should contain not only tables designed 
to facilitate the keeping of the required records, but also a state- 
ment of the laws of infant hygiene; or at least, simple and clear 
explanations of the significance of such phenomena, in relation to 
the life and health of the child; and also as to the causes which 
produce weakness in new-born children; or in other words, advice 
regarding the fundamental laws of the hygiene of generation. 
All that would be needed, in such case, would be a progressive 
exposition by means of the carnets, through lessons made as 
simple and as objective as possible, such as the weighing of small 
babies, to make the much desired ''education of the mothers" 
both possible and practical. 

But without this practical means; without this new sort of 
syllabarium on hand, to serve as a constant and luminous guide 
for married women, I do not believe that we shall have much 
success with the scattered lectures, obscure and soon forgotten, 
that at present are being multiplied in an attempt to reach the 
mothers of the lower classes. 

In conclusion, I note this last contribution that comes to us 
from the pediatrists : 

3. ^' There are certain maladies that cause a daily and very 
notable loss in weight"; they are the intestinal maladies; there 
may be an average loss of from 180 to 200 grams a day; but even 
in cases of simple loss of appetite (dyspepsia) the weight may 
decrease by about 35 grams a day. But when a child suffering 
from acute febrile intestinal trouble (cholera infantum), loses a 
tenth of his weight in twenty-four hours, the illness is mortal. 

Now from the point of view of the educator this fact ought to 
be of serious interest, because we very frequently find among the 
recorded details of sickly children, or those suffering from arrested 
or retarded development, a mention of some intestinal malady 
incurred in early infancy. 

Still one further observation: Meunier has noted a fact of 
extreme importance: that while children are passing through the 
period of incubation of an infectious disease, and before they show 
any symptoms likely to cause a suspicion of the latent illness, they 


sustain a daily loss in weight, from the fourth or fifth day after 
exposure to contagion until the appearance of decisive symptoms. 
In children between one and four years old, the daily loss is about 
fifty grams, and the total about 300; but such a loss may rise as 
high as 700 gr. The most numerous observations were taken in 
cases of measles. 

Now, there is no need of explaining the prophylactic impor- 
ance of observations such as these! A child who for a period of 
twenty days is in a state of incubation, is called upon to struggle, 
with all the forces of immunity that his organism possesses, against 
a cause of disease which has already invaded him ; yet no external 
sign betrays this state of physical conflict. Consequently, the 
child's organism continues to sustain the customary loss of energy 
due to the activities of its daily life, and by doing so lessens its 
own powers of immunity. To prescribe rest, if nothing more, 
for a child suspected of passing through the period of incubation 
would in many cases mean the saving of a life, and at the same 
time would protect his companions from infection, which is com- 
municable even during the period of incubation. 

In our biographic records of defective children, which include 
the great majority of the weakly ones, we find in many cases a 
characteristic tendency to relapses in all kinds of infective diseases, 
from which they regularly recovered. Such organisms, feeble 
by predisposition, yet sufficiently strong to recover from a long 
series of illnesses, were exhausted in respect to those biological forces 
on which the normal growth of the individual depends, by this sort 
of internal struggle between the organic tissues and the invading 
microbes. No scheme of special hygiene for children of this type 
can help us, either in the home or at school; the daily variations 
in weight, on the contrary, inight constitute a valuable guide for 
the protection of such feeble organisms ; at the first signs of a dimi- 
nution in weight, such children ought to be subjected to absolute 

The use of the weighing-machine, both at home and in school 
cannot be too strongly recommended. In America the pedagogic 
custom has already been established of recording the weight of 
the pupils regularly once a month; but instead of once a month, 
the weight ought to be taken every day. The children might be 
taught to take their own weight by means of self-registering scales, 
and to compare it with that of the preceding day, thus learning 



to keep watch of themselves: and this would constitute both a 
physical exercise and an exercise in practical living. 

The weight may be considered by itself, as a measurement of 
the body; and it may be considered in its relation to comparative 
mean measurements given by the authorities; just as it may also 
be considered, in the case of the individual, in its relation to the 

a. The weight, taken by itself, is not a homogeneous or rigor- 
ously scientific measurement. In the same manner as the stature, 
it represents a sum of parts differing from one another, the differ- 
ence in this instance being that of specific gravity. As a matter 
of fact, it makes a great difference whether a large proportion of 
the weight of an individual is adipose tissue, or brain, or striped 
muscles. Each of the various organs has its own special specific 
gravity, as appears from the following table: 

Specific Gravity- 
Tubular bones 

Spongy bones : 


Muscles < ^ 



_, . , . / from 

Eipidermis <, 

TT . f from 

Hair< ^ 

(^ to 





Cerebellum . . 

Adipose tissue. 




All these specific gravities are low; we weigh but little more 
than water; and for that reason it is easy for us to swim. But 
because of the difference in their composition, the total weight of 
the body gives us no idea of its constituent parts. 

Take for example the question of increase in weight. We can 
compare the mean figures given by the authorities with the ascer- 
tained weight of some particular child of a given age, so as to keep 
an empirical check upon the normality of its growth. But since 
we know that an individual in the course of evolution undergoes 


profound alterations in the volumetric proportions of the different 
organs in respect to one another, we cannot obtain from the total 
weight any light upon this extremely important alteration in pro- 
portions. Thus, for example, Quetelet gives the following figures 
of increase in weight for the two sexes: 




































































































Weight of body 
in grams 


At birth 


1 inonth , 


2 months . 


3 months 


4 months 


5 months 


6 months 


7 months 


8 months 


9 months 


10 months 


1 1 months 


12 months 



But these figures give no idea of the laws of growth that govern 
each separate organ, and that have been studied by Vierordt. Ac- 
cording to this authority, the total weight of the body increases 
nineteen-fold from birth to complete development. Certain duct- 
less glands, on the contrary, diminish in weight in the course of 
growth; the thymus, for instance, is reduced to half what it v/eighed 

Furthermore, the various organs all differ in such varying de- 
grees, as compared with their respective weights at birth, that it 
facilitates comparison to reduce the weight of each separate organ 
to a scale of L On this basis we find that when complete develop- 
ment is attained, the eyes weigh L7; the brain 3.7; the medulla 
oblongata (spinal marrow) 7; the liver 13; the heart 15; the spleen 
18; the intestines, stomach and lungs 20; the skeleton 26; the 
system of striped muscles 48. 

And these widely different augmentations are not uniform in 
their progress, nor is the complete development of each organ at- 
tained at the same epoch. As a matter of fact, the brain acquires 
one-half its final weight at the end of the first year of age; the 
organs of vegetative life attain half their weight at the beginning 
of the period preceding puberty (eleventh year). To offset the 
lack of indications regarding such increases in weight, we have a 
guide in the morphology of growth, which reveals how differently 
the various parts of the body develop. 

However empirical it may be from an analytical point of view, 
the datum of weight is a valuable index, and represents, taken hy 
itself, a synthetic anthropological measure of prime importance. 

It obeys certain laws of growth which are themselves of great 
interest ; namely, there exist two periods of rapid growth : at birth 
and during puberty; while at various periods in childhood, between 
the ages of three and nine, there are alternations of greater and 
lesser growth analogous to those already noted in relation to 

Accordingly, the weight confirms the fact that the organism does 
not proceed uniformly in its evolution, but passes through crises 
of development during which the forces of the organism are all de- 
voted to its rapid transformation; such periods represent epochs 
at which the organism is more predisposed to maladies, more sub- 
ject to mortality and less capable of performing work (compare 
the observations already made in relation to stature). 


Index of Weight. — Accordingly, weight and stature stand in a 
certain mutual relationship, but the correspondence between 
them is not perfect. In the study of individual physiological de- 
velopment it is necessary to know the anthropological relation be- 
tween weight and stature; in other words, the ponderal index. 
Without this, we cannot get a true idea of the weight of an in- 
dividual. For instance, if two persons have the same weight, 65 
kilograms for example, and one of them has a stature of 1.85 metres 
and the other of 1.55 m. ; it is evident that the first of these two 
will be very thin, because his weight is insufficient, while the second, 
on the contrary, will have an excessive weight. 

A stout, robust child will weigh less, in an absolute sense, than 
an adult man who is extremely thin and emaciated; but relatively 
to the mass of his body, he will weigh more. Now this relative 
weight or index of weight, the ponderal index, gives us precisely 
this idea of relative embonpoint, of the more or less flourishing 
state of nutrition that any given individual is enjoying. Hence it 
is a relation of great physiological importance, especially when we 
are dealing with children. 

The calculation of the ponderal index ought to be analogous to 
that of other indexes; what has to be found is its relation to the 
stature reduced to a scale of 100. In this case, however, we find 
ourselves facing a mathematical difficulty, because volumetric meas- 
urements are not comparable to linear measurements. Conse- 
quently it is necessary to reduce the measurement of weight by 
extracting its cube root, and to establish the following equation: 

St: -^PT^lOO : X _ 

„. lOO^TF 
whence ri = — • 


The application of this formula necessitates a troublesomely 
complicated calculation, which it would be impracticable to work 
out in the case of a large number of subjects. But as it happens, 
tables of calculations in relation to the ponderal index already ex- 
ist, thanks to the labours of Livi* and it remains only to consult 
them, as one would a table of logarithms, by finding the figure cor- 
responding to the required stature, as indicated above in the hori- 
zontal line, and the weight as indicated in the vertical column. 

Some authors have thought that they were greatly simplifying 

* Livi : Antropometria. 




the relation between weight and stature by calculating the pro- 
portional weight of a single centimetre of stature and assuming 
that they had thus reduced the relation itself to a ratio based 
upon a single linear measurement (one centimetre), analogous to 
the ratio established by the reduction of the total stature to a scale 
of 100. But evidently such a calculation is based upon two fun- 
damental errors, namely : first, no comparison is ever possible be- 
tween a linear measure and a measure of volume; and secondly, the 
relation which we are trying to determine is that between synthetic 
measurements, i.e., measurements of the whole, and not of parts. 
In the aforesaid method of computing (which is accepted by 
such weighty authorities as Godin and Niceforo), the number ex- 
_ pressing the weight in grams is divided by the stature 
expressed in centimetres, and the quotient gives the 
average weight of one centimetre of stature ex- 
pressed in grams. This method, which sounds 
plausible, may easily be proved to be fallacious, by 
the following illustration, given by Livi in his 
treatise already cited (Fig. 37). The two rectangles 
A and B represent longitudinal sections of two cylin- 
ders, which are supposed to represent respectively 
(in A) the body of a child so fat that he is as broad 
as he is long (the rectangle A is very nearly square), 
and (in B) that of a man of tall stature and so ex- 
tremely thin that he very slightly surpasses the child 
in the dimensions of width and thickness (note the 
length and narrowness of rectangle B). Evidently 
the ponderal index of A is very high and that of B is very low. 
But if we calculate the proportional weight of one centimetre of 
stature, it will always be greater in the man than in the child, 
and consequently we obtain a relation contrary to that of the 
ponderal index. 

Let us make still another counterproof by means of figures ; let 
us take an adult with a stature of 1.70 metres and a weight of 19 
kilograms; and a three-year-old child 0.90 m. tall and weighing 55 
kg, (the normal weight of a child of four). In the case of the adult 

one centimetre of stature will weigh grams = 382 grams; 


while one centimetre of the child's height will weigh =166 

^ 90 

Fig. 37. 


grams. In other words, one average centimetre of the child's stat- 
ure weighs less than one centimetre of the adult, as it naturally 
should, while the ponderal index on the contrary is 23.6 in the case 
of the adult, and 27.4 in that of the child. 

The reciprocal relations between stature and weight vary from 
year to year. In babyhood, the child is so plump that the fat forms 
the familiar dimpled '' chubbiness, " and Bichat's adipose "fat-pads" 
give the characteristic rotundity to the childish face ; while the adult 
is much more slender. A new-born syphilitic child which, with a 
normal length of 50 centimetres, weighed only two kg. — and 
consequently would be extremely thin — would have the same 
identical ponderal index as an adult who, with a stature of 1.65 
m., weighed 100 kg. 

The evolution of the ponderal index forms a very essential part 
in the transformations of growth; and it shows interesting character- 
istics in relation to the different epochs in the life of the individual. 

In this connection, Livi gives the following figures, for males 
and for females; from which it appears that at some periods of 
life we are stouter, and at others more slender; and that men and 
women do not have the same proportional relation between mass 
and stature. 



Age in 



Age in 



























































































■ — • 




It may be said in general, so far as regards the age, that the 
following is the established law of individual evolution : during the 
first year the ponderal index increases, after which it diminishes 
up to the period immediately preceding puberty (eleventh year 
for males, tenth year for females), the period at which boys and 
girls are exceedingly slender. After this, throughout the entire 
period of puberty, the ponderal index seems to remain remarkably 
constant, oscillating around a fixed figure. At the close of this pe- 
riod (seventeenth year for males, fourteenth for females), the pon- 
deral index resumes its upward course (corresponding to the period 
in which the transverse dimensions of the skeleton increase, and 
in which the individual, as the phrase goes. Mis out), and it con- 
tinues to rise well into mature life (the individual takes on Hesh); 
until in old age, the ponderal index begins to fall again (the soft 
tissues shrink, the cartilages ossify, the whole person is shrunken 
and wasted.) 


m;, 0/23^i6/89/0 // /;? /J /4 /f /a ^7 /S /^ 2/:' 2J J^ 4a sa ^a 


Fig. 38. 

Women, during their younger years are on a par with men in 
respect to the ponderal index, but in later life surpass them, be- 
cause of woman's greater tendency toward embonpoint, since she 
is naturally stouter and plumper than man, who is correspondingly 
leaner and more wiry. 

The following diagram indicates the progressive evolution and 
involution of the ponderal index throughout the successive stages 
of life: 

The ponderal index has revealed certain physiological condi- 
tions in pupils that are extremely interesting. Some authors had 
already noted that the ponderal index was higher in well-nourished 
children (Binet, Niceforo, Montessori); but last year one of my 


own students, Signorina Massa, in a noteworthy study of children, 
all taken from the same social class and quite poor, and who did 
not attend the school refectory or have the advantage of any other 
physiological assistance, established the fact that the more studious 
children, the prize winners, have a lower ponderal index and a mus- 
cular force inferior to that of the non-studious (negligent) pupils. 
That the development of the ponderal index stands in some re- 
lation to the muscular force, might already have been deduced 
from the fact that the greatest increase of weight is due, in the evo- 
lution of the individual, to the system of striped muscles. Studi- 
ous children, accordingly, are sufferers from denutrition through 
cerebral consumption; furthermore, they are weakened through- 
out their whole organism; in fact, I discovered, in the course of re- 
searches made among the pupils in the elementary schools of 
Rome, that the studious children, those who received prizes, had a 
scantier chest measurement than the non-studious. This goes to 
prove that school prizes are given at the cost of a useless holo- 
caust of the physiological forces of the younger generations! 

That the ponderal index has an eminently physiological sig- 
nificance, is further shown by the following comparative figures 
between normal and weak-minded children. The stature, which is 
biologically significant, is lower in the weak-minded; but their pon- 
deral index is greater when they are well fed, as in the asylums in 

Accordingly, the sole cause of the physical' inferiority of studi- 
ous children is study, cerebral fatigue. 


(Simon and Montessori: Based on Children from 9 to 11) 


Weight in kilograms 

Average stature 

Ponderal index 

Weak-minded Normal 













It should be noted that in the foregoing table the normal chil- 
dren include both the studious and the non-studious. 


Having finished the study of general biological questions and 
of the body considered in its entirety, we may now pass on to analyse 
its separate parts, treating in connection with each of such parts 
the social and pedagogic questions which may pertain to it. 

The parts of the body which we shall take under consideration 
are : the head, the thorax, the pelvis and the limbs. 

The Head. — When we pass from the body as a whole to a more 
particularised study of the separate parts, it is proper to begin 
with the head because it is the most important part of the whole 
body. The older anthropology, and biological and criminal anthro- 
pology as well were very largely built up from a study of the head; 
a study so vast and important that it has come to constitute a 
separate branch of science: craniology. 

The fact is that the characteristics manifested by the cranium 
are chiefly in the nature of mutations rather than variations, and 
consequently the anthropological data relating to the cranium 
correspond more directly to the characteristics of the species, or in 
the case of man, to the characteristics of race. Hence they are of 
special interest to the general study of anthropology. But when 
these mutative characteristics, which are naturally constant and 
have a purely biological origin, undergo alterations, they are to be 
explained, not as variations, but as pathological deviations; and for 
this reason criminal anthropology has drawn a very large part of 
its means of diagnosis of anomalies and of degeneration from mal- 
formations of the cranium. 

Furthermore, the cranium together with the vertebral column 
represents not only the characteristics of species, but also those 
of the genus; in fact, it corresponds to the cerebro-spinal axis, 
which is the least variable part of the body throughout the whole 
series of vertebrates; just as, on the contrary, the limbs represent 
the most variable part. Indeed, if we study separately the cranio- 
vertebral system and the limbs, through the whole series of verte- 
brates, we shall discover gradual alterations in the former, and 



sudden wide alterations in the latter. The eerebro-spinal axis 
(and hence the cranio-vertebral system) shows from species to 
species certain progressive differences that suggest the idea of 
a gradual sequence of modifications (from the amphioxus to man) 
to which we could apply the principle, Natura non facit saltus: 
while the limbs on the contrary, even though they preserve cer- 
tain obvious analogies to the fundamental anatomic formation of 
the skeleton, undergo profound modifications — being reduced in 
certain reptiles to mere rudimentary organs, developing into the 
wing of the bird, the flying membrane of the bat, and the hand 
of man. 

Since it is not only a characteristic of species and race, but 
of genus as well, the cranium constitutes one of the most constant 
anatomical features. For the same reason it is less subject to 
variations due to environment, and from this point of view offers 
slight interest to pedagogic anthropology. But since the cranium 
contains the organ on which the psychic manifestations depend, 
we have a deep interest in knowing its human characteristics, 
its phases of development, and its normal limits. 

Head and Cranium 

The term Head is applied to the living man; the Cranium, from 
which this branch of science takes its name, is the skeleton of the 
head. The cranium is composed of two parts, which may be 
virtually separated, in the lateral projection, by a straight line 
passing through the external orbital apophysis and extending to 
the auricular foramen, thus separating the facial from the cerebral 
portion of the cranium. Hence the cranium is the skeleton of 
the head in its entirety, and is divisible into the cerebral cranium 
and the facial cranium. 

The Cranium. — The cranium is a complex union of a number 
of flat, curved bones united together by means of certain very 
complicated arborescent sutures, and forming a hollow osseous 
cavity of rounded form. I will briefly indicate the bones which 
form its external contour. On the anterior part is the frontal 
bone, terminated by the suture which unites it to the two parietal 
bones: the coronal suture; while the two parietal bones are joined 
together by the median or sagittal suture, which forms a sort of 
T with the other suture. 



On the posterior side is the occipital bone, which is also joined to 
the two parietal bones, by means of the occipital or lambdoidal 
suture. Below the two parietal bones, in a lateral direction, are 
the two temporal bones; and between the temporal and parietal 
bones are situated the great wings of the sphenoid. The main 
body of the sphenoid is at the base of the cranium. Besides these 
there is another, internal bone, the ethmoid. 

The Face. — The skeleton of the face is composed of fourteen 
bones; some of these are external and lend themselves to measure- 
ment; others which are in- 
ternal and hidden con- 
tribute to the completion 
of the delicate scaffolding 
of this most important 
portion of the skeleton. 
The principal bones of the 
face are : the two zygomatic 
bones (articulating with the 
temporal, frontal and max- 
illary bones) ; the two nasal 
bones (articulating with the 
frontal and with the as- 
FiG. 39.— Note the line of ceudlug brauch of the 

division between the eercbral .,, ■, ... 

and facial cranium; in addi- maXlUary, aud UUltmg 

above to form the bridge 
of the nose; this is a bone 
of great importance in 
anthropology, because it determines the naso-frontal angle and 
the formation of the nose); the two upper maxillary bones, 
or upper jaw (articulating together in front to form the sub- 
nasal region; laterally with the zygomatic bones; above with 
the nasal bones; internally with each other, to form the palate, 
and posteriorly with the palatine bones); the mandible or lower 
jaw (a single bone, and the only movable bone in the cranium), 
articulating with the temporal bones by means of a condyle, and 
the separate parts of which are distinguished as the body of the man- 
dible and the ascendant branches, which are united to the cranium. 
The bones of lesser importance, which are interior and hidden 
are: the two lacrymal bones (situated at the inner angle of the 
orbitary cavity), the vomer or osseous septum of the nose; the two 

tion to this the sutures are 
shown which divide the frontal, 
parietal, occipital and temporal bones. PD. Coronal Su- 
ture; DL. Sagittal Suture: AL. Lambdoidal Suture. 



bones in the nose which he on each side of the vomer and are 
known as the turbinated bones (concha nasalis) ; and the two palate 
bones (which form the backward continuation of the palatine 
vault constituted by the maxillary bones). 

Human Cranium and Animal Cranium. — The dividing line 
between the cerebral and facial cranium is of great importance in 
anthropology, because the relative proportions between these two 
parts of the cranium form a human characteristic, contrasting 
widely with the animal char- 
acteristics; and they offer a 
simple criterion for determin- 
ing the higher or lower type 
of the human cranium. 
(Compare in this connection 
Fig. 40, skulls of the higher 
mammals and of man.) 

The illustration represents 
a number of different animal 
skulls; and at the top are two 
human skulls, the one of an 
Australian and the other of a 
European. It will be seen 
that the proportions between 
the facial and cerebral por- 
tions are very different; in 
the animals, even in the 
higher orders such as the 
primates (orang-utan, gorilla, 
etc.), the facial and mastica- 
tory parts predominate over 
the cerebral. 

One might even say that the skeleton gives us at a glance the 
characteristic psychological difference; the animal eats, man 
thinks; that is, the animal is destined only to vegetate, to feed 
itself; man is an entirely different species; he has a very different 
task before him; he is the creative being, who, through thought 
and labour, is destined to subjugate and transform the world. 

There are still other characteristic differences between the 
animal and the human skull. The cerebral cranium of the ape 
is not only smaller but it is furnished with strong bony ridges, to 



Fig. 40. 


serve as points of attachment for powerful muscles intended to 
protect the cranial cavity. The human skull is completely devoid of 
such ridges; it is perfectly smooth, with delicate contours; it might 
be described as ''frail and naked"; for the word nakedness pre- 
cisely expresses the absence of those defences with which the 
cranium of the anthropoid ape is so abundantly provided. Accord- 
ingly, the human cranium is undefended by soft tissues; and even the 
bony walls themselves are far from thick. If we take a transverse 
section of the bones of the cranium, we find that they are formed 
of two very thin layers of bone united by a porous, osseous sub- 
stance; the external layer is in direct contact with the muscles 
of the scalp, and the internal layer with the brain. These two 
layers differ widely in their degree of elasticity : the external layer is 
so elastic that if it receives a bruising blow (provided this is not so 
heavy as to surpass its limits of elasticity) it will yield even to the 
point of touching the inner layer and then spring back to its origi- 
nal position without leaving any perceptible trace of the blow re- 
ceived (this is especially true in the case of infants),* while the 
inner layer is so unelastic as to appear almost as brittle as glass: so 
much so, for example, that the indirect shock of the same contusion 
may cause it to splinter into fragments, which may either penetrate 
the substance of the brain, or produce hemorrhages, or inflamma- 
tory reactions in the meninges — and sometimes may constitute 
the sole cause of epilepsy, and various forms of inflammation of the 
brain (even resulting in idiocy), and sometimes of meningitis and 

Contusions on the heads of children, and in general blows 
resulting from falls or other causes, must be taken into serious 
consideration, in the history of the individual, even though they 
have left no profound traces externally. 

This human characteristic of nakedness, of the absence of 
powerful bodily defences, is not limited to the head alone, but is 
diffused over the entire morphological organism. Man, con- 
sidered as an animal, is weak ; he is born naked and he remains naked, 
and destitute of those natural defences which explain the endur- 
ance and the survival of other species; neither the fur nor the plum- 
age of mammals and of birds nor the bony shields of reptiles 
and scales of fishes serve as defences for this vertebrate, who has 

* See the application to pathological surgery of this anatomo-physiological condition 
of the cranium, as given by Tillaux, Anatomia topografica. 


raised himself to the highest eminence in the zoological scale; 
neither the muscular strength and powerful teeth of the felines, 
nor the talons of the birds of prey have been his arms of conquest. 

Nevertheless, man who has conquered the earth and overcome 
all his powerful biological enemies, owes his survival, equally with 
all other living creatures, to his victory over other animals and 
over his environment. Wherein lies the special strength of this 
little, feeble being, who has become the lord of the earth? It 
lies in his brain. The arms of this conqueror are wholly psychic. 
It is his intelligence which has prevailed over the might of other 
animals and enabled him to acquire the means of adapting him- 
self to his environment, or else of adapting his environment to 
himself. His intelligence, which sufficed him as a weapon with 
which to achieve victory in the struggle for existence, is also the 
means which still permits him to continue on the road toward 

The morphological importance attached by anthropologists 
to the cerebral cranium depends precisely upon this: that it is the 
envelope of the brain. If we examine the interior of the human 
cerebral cranium, we find that it has adapted its bony contours 
so faithfully to those of the soft tissues that it bears the imprint 
of the various parts of the brain (cerebrum, cerebellum), the con- 
volutions, and even the blood-vessels of the meninges. Accord- 
ingly, a study of the cerebral cranium amounts to an indirect 
study of the brain itself. 

Characteristics of the Human Cranium. — The characteristics 
of the human cranium are all associated with the great develop- 
ment of the volume of the brain. Let us assume that we have an 
elastic vessel, representing in form an animal cranium, open at 
the base through an orifice corresponding to the occipital foramen. 
If we inflate this vessel, it will not only begin to enlarge at the 
expense of its folds (ridges), and to stretch and distend its walls 
(thinness and fragility of the cranial bones); but furthermore it 
will undergo a change in form, acquiring a more pronounced, 
rotundity and pushing upward in its anterior part above the face. 
This part, rising erect above the face, and determined by the volume 
of the brain, is theforehead. Animals do not have an erect forehead ; 
their orbits continue backward in an almost horizontal line, giving 
them an extremely receding brow. Corresponding to this prepon- 
derance of the cerebral portion, the facial portion retires below the 


brow, the mandibles do not extend beyond the anterior axis of the 
brain, and are so far diminished in volume that they assume, as 
compared with animals, a new function; in short, the mouth is no 
longer merely the organ of mastication, but also the organ of 
speech; its animal part has been spiritualised. 

The Evolution of the Forehead. — Inferior Skull Caps; the Skull 
of the Pithecanthropus; the Skull of the Neanderthal Man. The 
forehead is so distinctly a human characteristic that mankind 
has not needed the help of anthropology in order to realise its 
importance — and as a sign of superiority, nobility or sovereignty, 
has placed upon the forehead the crown of laurel, or the crown of 
nobility or kingship. 

Has the forehead always been a human characteristic, or have 
we acquired it little by little? Such a problem is associated with 
the evolution of the brain. There are in existence certain remains 
of the skeletons of primitive men, which show them to have 
possessed a cerebral cranium inferior in volume to that now attained 
by the human species; and in these remains the forehead is also 
profoundly different from that of to-day, in that it is much lower 
and slants backward, while the supraorbital arches are very promi- 
nent. Such is the evidence of the "cranial caps," discovered 
in the early geological strata. 

In the tertiary strata of the island of Java, which in that remote 
epoch of the earth's history must, together with Sumatra, have 
formed part of the continent of Asia, which is considered as the 
"laboratory of races," a skull was found by Dubois which raised 
the problem whether it should be classed as that of an ape supe- 
rior to those now existing, or of a primitive man. Prior to this 
discovery, it had been maintained that man did not make his 
appearance until the quaternary period. This supposed primitive 
man was called by his discoverer the Pithecanthropus, pithecan- 
thropus erectus. 

Remains that are unquestionably human occur in the quater- 
nary period, in which however skeletons are very rare, as compared 
with relics of human labour or social life, relics which are found 
scattered everywhere throughout Asia and Europe as well (chipped 
flints). The various remains of skeletons show us skulls much 
inferior to those of modern man, but superior to that of the pithe- 
canthropus. In treatises of general anthropology reproductions 
are given of human crania known as the Spy or Neanderthal type, 


belonging to the epoch when the gigantic mammoth still roamed 
the earth. The forehead is very low and receding and the orbital 
arches are enormously developed; while the cerebral capacity 
calculated from the cranial dimensions is inferior to that of mod- 
ern man. 

Consequently, as the brain increases in volume in the course of 
the revolution of the race, the cranium not only shows a corre- 
sponding volumetric increase, but at the same time alters its form, 
thus producing the forehead which little by little rises from a re- 
ceding to an erect position, and becomes high where it was for- 
merly low, while at the same time the prominent orbital arches 
disappear. Accordingly, we may consider the forehead as the skele- 
tal index of the cerebral volume, and hence of the relative anthro- 
pological and intellectual superiority. 

In addition to its above-mentioned value, it also furnishes us 
with a biological principle of much importance: the relation be- 
tween the volume and form of the cranium. 

While the volume has a significance that is relative to the mass 
of the body, the significance of the form is absolute. 

Let us examine these two skulls: normal human skulls of our 
own epoch; one of the Celtic race (Fig. 46) and the other Sardinian 
(Fig. 43) ; that of the Celtic race is much larger and rounder; that 
of the Sardinian is very much smaller and more elongated. 

If we were considering only the volume, we might say that it 
was simply a case of a microcephalic and a macrocephalic: two terms 
(microcephaly and macrocephaly) that fall within the province of 
pathology. On the contrary, these two skulls are normal, but they 
belonged to individuals characterized by differences of race; the 
one (small skull) having a low stature; the other (large skull) hav- 
ing a tall stature. 

The volume of the head therefore bears a relation to that of the 
body; the volume has a relative significance. But the form in both 
of them reveals a state of normality; the two skulls have a high 
and erect forehead, and exhibit in their whole contour a fine and 
regular development. Therefore the form has an absolute signi- 
ficance. It even proves to us the normality of the volume, a fact 
which could not be determined by the volume alone. 

Another mechanical correspondence between volume and form 
is disclosed when we compare the skull of a new-born child with 
that of an adult. The skull of the new-born child is much smaller 


in volume; but the form shows the relatively enormous volumetric 
development of the brain; in fact the skull is protuberant and the 
forehead bulges forward above the face (front bomhe), while cor- 
responding to this index of cerebral development is the enormous 
preponderance of the cerebral cranium over the facial cranium, 
which is so small as to be almost reduced to a simple rudiment. 

Hence the form by itself alone reveals the infantile character 
of the cerebral volume, which, in relation to the bulk of the body 
is of far greater dimensions than in the adult. In fact, if a child 
simply increased in volume and its growth was not the sum total 
of a morphological evolution, the adult man would become a mon- 
ster; his macrocephaly would be so exaggerated that his neck could 
not sustain the weight of the head (If the relations between the pro- 
portions in infancy were maintained through life the adult man 
would have a head with a perimeter of 130 centimetres, = 4ft. 3in.). 

Aside from its mechanical relations to the volume, the form has 
characteristics dependent upon biological factors, such as the sex 
and the race. The female cranium in fact has a straighter forehead 
than the male and the orbital arches are absolutely wanting, while 
the entire surface of the cranium is smoother and more rounded. 

Similarly, the different races exhibit forms determined by bio- 
logical factors and not by mechanical causes — for instance, the 
degree of dolichocephaly (elongated cranium) and of brachyceph- 
aly (short cranium). 

Hence the form is life's manifestation not only of the character- 
istics proper to the species, but also of the mechanical adaptations 
demanded by the material composing the body. 

It may be said that the volume and the form of the cranium are 
dependent upon two different biological potentialities : the volume 
is mainly determined by the cerebral mass; the form, on the con- 
trary, is mainly determined by the bony structure — no matter how 
completely form and volume coincide in their reciprocal mechan- 
ical relations. 

That is, the attainment of a given volume of head depends upon 
the development of the brain; the bone follows this development 
passively, is the index of it, the skeletal representation of it, but 
never the determining factor. 

At one time it was thought, on the contrary, that a precocious 
ossification of the cranial cavity would arrest the development of 
the brain; microcephaly was believed to be caused by a precocious 

Fig. 41. Fig. 42. 

Dividing line in human skull, as compared with that of gorilla. 

Fig. 43. — Rounded ellipsoidal cranium. 

Fig. 44. — Brachycephalic cranium 

(vertical norm) 

Fig. 45. — Remains of spy cranium. 

Fig. 46. — Brachycephalic 



Fig. 47. — Egyptian cranium, 21st dynasty, Fig. 48. — Dolichocephalic cranium, 
ovoid type. from lateral norm. 


closing of the sutures of the cranial bones; and there was a certain 
period when the surgical treatment of microcephaly consisted in 
the removal of a portion of the cranial bone, in order to allow the 
brain to develop freely. 

But the failure of such attempts afforded additional proof of 
the fact that the volumetric development of the cranium depends 
upon the brain alone. 

If a precocious or abnormal suture occurs in the cranial bones, 
there does not follow an arrest of development, but simply a mal- 
formation; which is precisely in proportion to the potentiality of the 
brain, which grows less where the suture has been formed, and in 
compensation grows more than normally where the conditions of 
the bones permit of cerebral expansion; and a deformity results. 
Microcephaly on the contrary shows inferiority of form (smallness, 
receding forehead, etc.), but not malformation. 

Anomaly of form, therefore, results only from anomaly of skele- 
tal development, and is frequently found in conjunction with a 
normal development of the brain. 

Consequently malformations of the cranium do not have the 
grave significance of biological inferiority or of degeneration that 
they were at one time believed to have; but frequently they must 
be considered in connection with pathological conditions resulting 
for the most part in delayed development in the embryo or in early 
infancy, producing a thickening of the bone, or a partial suturation 
of the points, or parts, or of the entire suture (punctiform synos- 
tosis, partial or total) ; sometimes the sutures remain unaltered, and 
the deformation must be attributed to various disturbances con- 
nected with the nutrition of the skeleton in the course of intra- 
uterine evolution (hereditary syphilis, denutrition of the mother 
during pregnancy, etc.). In short, a cranium that is abnormal in 
form is an indication of pathological occurrences or of physio- 
logical errors that have resulted in altering the normal growth 
of the individual. 

There are many anomalies in the form of the cranium, but here 
we will cite only the two principal ones, because they are the most 
frequent and most likely to be encountered in individuals whose 
growth has been retarded (from lack of nutrition) and conse- 
quently constitute signs of physiological inferiority often asso- 
ciated with social caste. These two forms are : scaphocephaly and 


The scaphocephalic cranium (Figs. 51, 52), is characterised by 
being very narrow and flattened laterally; while the forehead and 
the occiput project in front and behind, the two parietal bones 
meet above almost in an angle, so that, if it were turned upside 
down, the vault of the cranium would have the appearance of the 
hull of a ship. 

The plagiocephalic cranium is a cranium which is unsymmetri- 
cal in respect to its longitudinal axis; that is, it is not equally 
developed on the right and on the left. 

As a matter of fact, our bilateral symmetry is an ideal standard 
rather than an absolutely attainable reality; we are all of us a 
little larger on one side and a little smaller on the other, but to so 
slight a degree as to escape superficial observation, so that in 
general we have apparently a bilateral symmetry — that is, we 
appear to be symmetrical according to the testimony of our senses; 
but a more delicate examination proves that this is not true. 
Plagiocephaly therefore represents an exaggerated case of a normal 
fact. Plagiocephaly may be simple or compound; it is simple 
when the asymmetry is partial; namely, when it is confined to 
the anterior or posterior portion; it is compound when it is total; 
and in such case we find a complete diagonal correspondence: for 
instance, if the right nodule in the frontal region is more promi- 
nent, the left nodule is more prominent in the left occipital region, 
or vice versa. In general it may be said that the various forms of 
plagiocephaly are produced by asymmetry of the nodules or of the 
flattened surfaces of the cranium. Even in the case of microcephaly 
and of macrocephaly, which are substantially anomalies of volume, 
we find corresponding characteristic abnormalities of form. The 
microcephalic cranium is of inferior type, suggesting that of the ape 
— in other words, it is a cranium which has mechanically adapted 
itself to a brain of inferior volume: the macrocephalic cranium, 
especially if the abnormality is due to rickets or to hydrocephaly, 
calls to mind the infantile type of cranium; it has the character- 
istic bulging forehead, while mechanical adaptation frequently 
renders it very round (pathological brachycephaly) . We will 
take up this question again when we come to speak in particular 
of malformations and to describe the technical methods of cran- 
ioscopy. What more particularly concerns us now is a considera- 
tion of the normal form of the cranium and its morphological 

Fig. 49. — Cranium of new-born child (lat- Fig. 50. — Cranium of new-born child 
eral norm). (vertical norm). 

Fig. 51. Fig. 52. 

Scaphocephalic cranium. 

Fig. 53. — Cranium of new-born child 
seen from above, showing polyhedric con- 
tour due to nodules of ossification; fonta- 
nelle of the bregma; and suture dividing 
the two frontal bones. 

Fig. 54. — EUipsoides (classified by Sergi) 



The Morphological Evolution of the Cranium through the 
Different Periods of Life. Embryogeny. Order of Appearance of 
the Points of Ossification and of Synostosis of the Sutures. — In its 
successive transitions through the different periods of Hfe, the 
cranium not only acquires successively greater volume, but it 
assumes forms corresponding to the different grades of morpho- 
logical evolution. We may group its transformation under five 
different periods: 1. from conception until birth (embryonic 
evolution); 2. from birth until the end of the third year (infan- 
tile evolution); 3. from three years old until twenty (youthful 
evolution) ; 4. from twenty to forty (adult age) ; 5. from forty to 
the end of life (involution). 

First Period. — In the earliest stages of intrauterine life the 
cranium consists of a membranous skin, enclosing the primitive 
cells of nerve tissue constituting the brain ; it has a cartilaginous 

fontanelle of Breoma /v, . , 

'oj Lambda, 


"lelleof Asierion 
lontane/le of Pierm (kasfo/'d Ji") 

Fig. 55. — Cranium of new-born child. Showing nodules and fontanelles. 

basal part, destined later to form the hase of the skull (basioccipital 
and basisphenoid bones). But all the rest (the vault or cap of the 
cranium) remains in a membranous state, so that at this period 
the head of the embryo has not yet acquired a definite form. 

In the second month of intrauterine life the phenomena of 
ossification have already begun to take place; that is, a fine net- 
work has formed, spreading over almost the entire surface, which 
proceeds to fill up its interstices with calcareous salts. This process, 


however, is more rapid and more intense at certain points (points 
of ossification), from which it cannot properly be said that the 
ossification radiates, but rather that at these points the general 
process is intensified and concentrated. There are five principal 
points of ossification: two frontal, two parietal and one occipital, 
which appear clearly defined and projecting like nodules, imparting 
to the cranium, when seen from above, a pentagonal form, which 
is the normal form of the infant cranium. 

Second Period. — At birth the cranium has not yet completed 
the process of ossification, nor are the normal number of bones 
that will eventually compose the adult cranium, as yet definitely 
determined. Therefore the cranium of the new-born child has 
three distinct characteristics : 

1. It is not yet uniformly rounded, but polyhedral because of 
the noticeable prominence of the five primitive nodules or centres 
of ossification (2 frontal, 2 parietal, 1 occipital, Figs. 53, 55). 

2. Since the process of ossification of the bones is not yet 
completed, certain membranous portions or cranial fontanelles 
still remain, which are especially wide at the points where several 
bones meet. The principal fontanelle is that of the bregma (at 
the juncture of the two frontal with the two parietal bones, quad- 
rangular). Next comes that of the lambda, which is much smaller 
(juncture of the two parietal bones with the occipital, triangular), 
and lastly the fontanelles of the asterion and the pterion, on oppo- 
site sides of the temporal bones, the former being situated behind 
and the latter in front. 

3. Since the process of ossification is incomplete, the fusion of 
bony portions into entire bones, such as they are destined to be 
when complete development is reached, has not yet been accom- 
plished; that is to say, certain bones of the cranium are still divided 
into several portions. For example, the frontal bone in the new- 
born child is composed of two bones, separated by a longitudinal 
suture that is destined to disappear, and the occipital bone is 
composed of four parts, namely, the base, the squama and the 
two condyles (basioccipital, exoccipital and superoccipital bones). 

During the first period of three years, while the brain is increas- 
ing notably and rapidly in volume, the cranium undergoes various 
and interesting transformations. The pentagonal form of the 
cranium tends steadily to become rounder, because the primitive 
nodules are diminishing, or even disappear, although in this 



regard many individual varieties result; and the processes of ossifi- 
cation reach their completion. This is the most important period 
of growth, during which the individual development of the perfect 
cranial form may be attained, provided the rhythm of growth 
between the brain and its envelope remains harmonious; or again, 
certain deformations may be definitely established, owing to the 
intervention of some pathological condition or a disturbance of 
nutrition, altering either the internal volume or the normal process 
of ossification of the bony covering. 

The first closing of the fontanelles takes place, in our race, in 
those of the asterion (posterior to the temporal bones) , and next in 
those of the pterion; and it some- 
times happens, as an anomaly 
of growth that leaves no ex- 
ternal trace in the living man, 
that a little bone is formed, 
duplicating the shape of the 
fontanelle itself; such little 
bones, very common in abnor- 
mal crania, are called Wormian 
bones. They may occur in con- 
nection with any of the fonta- 
nelles, but especially with that 
of the bregma. 

The fontanelle of the lambda 
generally closes during the first 
year; and the last of all the 
fontanelles to close is the largest, which is situated toward the 
front of the head, at the bregma, and is well known, even by the 
common people, and can easily be felt upon a child's head; 
it generally closes toward the end of the second year; and its 
characteristics may furnish valuable indications of abnormality 
or insufficiency of the child's development. For example, if it 
diminishes and disappears ahead of time, this may constitute 
the first symptom of microcephaly, or at all events, of sub- 
microcephaly (i.e., a case of microcephaly that is not very pro- 
nounced). On the contrary, when this fontanelle remains dilated 
and delays its normal closing, this is a sign of organic weakness 
and debilitating disease (cachexia, rickets, myxedema). Further- 
more, the fontanelle in question may alter its characteristic ap- 

FiG. 56. — Cranium of adult with abnormal 
medio-frontal suture. 


pearance in certain forms of sickness. In the case of hydrocephaly 
it becomes distended, while in enteritis, on the contrary, in which 
the organism parts with a large proportion of liquid, it becomes 

The sutures also undergo notable changes during this period of 
life. The first to become effaced is the metopic or medio-frontal 
suture, which is destined to close and form a single bone; by the 
end of the first year it is obliterated throughout the middle third 
of its length, and thereafter the process of suturation spreads 
upward and downward until it is completed at the end of the 
second year (Welcker, Haeckel, Humphry). Sometimes, however, 
this suture is not obliterated until very late, and there are anomal- 
ous cases where it has remained throughout life, giving the fore- 
head a characteristic form (pronounced frontal nodules and a 
slight palpable furrow along the medial line of the forehead). 

During this same time a fusion has also taken place between the 
occipital squama and the two lateral or condyloid portions ; but the 
resultant whole still remains separated from the corpus or base of 
the occipital bone, which will not become welded into one solid 
piece with the rest before the age of seven years. 

At the age of three, the ossification of the cranial vault has been 
completed. In place of being depressed and protuberant, as it was 
at birth, the cranium has grown upward and forward in the frontal 
region, assuming an almost definitive form; the volume of the 
cranium has at the same time undergone an exceedingly rapid 
growth, attaining proportions very near to those of an adult. 

From the age of three onward the head grows slowly, and its 
transformations are much slighter and fewer. The cranial capac- 
ity which at birth is 415 cubic centimetres, becomes at the age of 
three, 1,200, at the age of fifteen, 1,393, and in the adult, 1,400 
cu. cm. respectively. Accordingly we might say that at the age of 
three a sort of repose has been established in the growth both of the 
the brain and of the cranium; this is the age at which an awakening 
begins in the child of that intelligence which is to put him in touch 
with the external world, and it is also the age at which he may begin 
his education in school. 

Third Period. — There follows a slow and parallel growth of both 
brain and cranium. The ossification of the cranium itself reaches 
completion. At the age of seven the occipital is definitely solidified 
into a single bone and between the years of fifteen and twenty the 


body of the sphenoid also becomes welded to the occiput. This 
process of synostosis begins from the interior of the cranium, and 
only subsequently manifests itself externally. Consequently, the 
basilar suture closes at the time when the last large molars, the so- 
called "wisdom teeth," appear. After this period, the base of the 
cranium can no longer undergo any sort of growth, and in the case 
of uneducated persons the complete development of the cranium is 
definitely accomplished. 

Fourth Period. — But in the case of cultured persons, those who 
form the class of brain-workers, the brain continues to grow, 
although extremely slowly, up to the age of thirty-five or even 
forty, thanks to the sutures which still remain completely intact 
and which still make an expansion of the bony envelope possible. 

After this comes the beginning of the 

Fifth Period. — The period of involution, during which the 
synostosis (closing) of all the cranial sutures will successively occur, 
until in advanced old age the cranium becomes composed of a 
single bone, just as in the embryo it was formed of a single 

The synostoses which occurred in the early periods had an 
evolutive significance and were associated with the growth of the 
body and the intelligence. These later synostoses, on the contrary, 
have an involutive significance and are associated with the physio- 
logical decay of the organism and at the same time with that of the 
psychic activities. 

The first point at which synostosis takes place is in the region of 
the obelion, that is, near the middle of the suture which unites the 
two parietal bones; shortly afterward, the fronto-parietal sutures 
begin to unite along the pterion. At the age of forty-five, the 
obeliac synostosis has progressed as far as the lambda, and that of 
the fronto-parietal suture to the bregma; and at fifty the ossifica- 
tion is very nearly accomplished, at least on the right-hand side 
(according to Broca's series of crania). At seventy the squama of 
the temporal bone unites with the parietal, and at eighty the entire 
cranium has become a single bone. 

These processes are subject to no small number of individual 
variations; there have been cases of persons who, although very 
old, still preserved many of their cranial sutures intact and their 
psychic activities remained correspondingly alert (men of genius). 
Conversely, the closing of the sutures sometimes begins as early as 


the thirty-fifth year. A diagnosis of age, as determined by the 
skeleton, is consequently only approximate. 

During the periods of growth the cranium may exhibit transi- 
tory anomalies; it is very common to encounter in the heads of 
children of the lower social classes, who are consequently subject 
to denutrition, malformations which represent various degrees and 
forms of plagiocephaly, and which subsequently disappear com- 
pletely, as the development of the cranium advances. Anomalies of 
form must therefore be judged differently in the case of the child 
than in that of the adult. 

It may even happen that the five primitive nodules persist for 
a long time and even remain as a definitive form of the adult 
cranium constituting, according to Sergi, a distinct variety, the 
pentagonal cranium. But this is quite rare. From the frequency 
with which this form is to be observed in schools attended by 
children of the poorer classes, it is better to regard it as due to a 
delay in morphological evolution, which will probably disappear 
later on. 

Normal Forms of the Cranium 

We are indebted to Sergi for an exact knowledge of the normal 
forms of the cranium. Such forms are racial characteristics and 
are invariable, as Sergi has succeeded in proving by a comparison 
of the most ancient forms of the cranium with recent forms. 
Accordingly this authority takes the cranial formation as the basis 
for his classification of races. We have no direct interest, so far 
as concerns the special scope of our own science, in the value of 
this theory of classification — a theory, by the way, already divined, 
although very imperfectly and under a different form, by French 
and German anthropologists. Sergi's studies of cranial forms 
interest us solely as a diagnostic test of normality as compared with 
abnormality. For it is due to these researches that certain forms 
that used to be considered pathological, have come to be recognised 
as normal. 

The normal forms of the cranium may be grouped, according to 
Sergi, under nine primary varieties, each of which includes sub- 

These nine varieties are named as follows : 

I. Ellipsoid; II. Ovoid; III. Pentagonoid; IV. Rhomboid; 



V. Beloid; VI. Cuboid; VII. Sphenoid; VIII. Spheroid; IX. 

I. Ellipsoid (Fig. 58). — This form is recognised by inspecting 
the cranium according to 
the vertical norm (see in the 
chapter on Technique the 
method of cranioscopy). 

The cranial contour 
recalls an ellipse in which 
no trace of the nodules 
remains, and in which the 
occiput is not in the least 
flattened; while the ante- 
rior half of the cranium 
closely corresponds to the 
posterior half. 

The sub-varieties are differentiated by their greater breadth 
and length, by the form and protrusion of the occiput, and also by 
the height of the cranium measured vertically. 

Fig. 57. — Elliipsoides depressus cranium. 

Fig. 58. — Ellipsoid cranium. 

Fig. 59. — Ovoid cranium. 

Accordingly, the sub-varieties have a binominal nomenclature 
indicating, in addition to the fundamental characteristic (variety) 
the qualitative characteristic of the sub-variety (e.g., ellipsoides 
depressus; compare Fig. 57, showing a cranium seen laterally). 

II. Ovoid. — This form of cranium, seen from above, is that of 



an ovoid, with the broader portion corresponding to the parietal 
bones, at the point where the characteristic embryonal nodules are 
situated. The protrusions of the parietal bones are apparent 

Fig. 60. — Pentagonoid cranium. 

Fig. 61. — Rhomboid cranium. 

(swellings) but not angular (nodules) . 
The occiput protrudes and is broad 
(Fig. 59). 

II L Pentagonoid. — In this form, 
persistent traces of the five primitive 
embryonal nodules are still plainly 
visible, giving the contour of the 
cranium, when seen vertically, the 
appearance of a pentagon. The 
protuberances, however, are quite 
smooth and not pointed, as in the 
embryonal cranium. 

IV. Rhomboid. — This form is sim- 
ilar to the pentagonoid, excepting 
that the parietal breadth is much 
more notable in proportion to the forehead, which is much nar- 
rowed and has lost its nodules. 

Fig. 62. — Beloid cranium. 

Fig. 63. — Ovoides (classified by Sergi). Fig. 64. — Pentagonoides acutus (Sergi's 


Fig. 65. — Beloides lybicus (classified by Fig. 66. — Platycephalus orbicularis 

Sergi). Cclassified by Sergi) . 

Fig. 67.- — -Platycephalus ovoidalis (classi- Fig. 68. — Spheroidal cranium, vertical 
fied by Sergi). norm (Sergi's collection). 



Fig. 69. — Cuboid cranium. 

V. Beloid. — The beloid, or arrow-head cranium is hke the 
ovoid with the occiput more flattened, so that the widest portion 
is further back than in 

the ovoid; toward the 
front it becomes nar- 
rower, constituting al- 
together an admirably 
shaped type of head. 

VI. Cuboid,— Thi^ 
form is most clearly 
perceived when the 
cranium is seen either 
sidewise or from the 
rear. Not only the 
face, but the lateral and 
occipital walls as well 
are flattened; so also is 
the forehead, which in 
general is quite vertical. 

VII. Sphenoid (cu- 
neiform). — The broadening between the two parietal bones is 
usually far back and very evident, while the cranium narrows 

toward the front. The 
occiput is flattened. 

VIII. Spheroid. — Seen 
vertically, it presents the 
appearance of a very broad 
ellipse ; all the curves tend 
to become spherical. The 
forehead, however, is not 
notably vertical. 

IX. Platycephalic. — The 
fundamental characteristic 
of this type of cranium is 
that it is flattened on top, 
or rather, since such flat- 
tening cannot be absolute, 

the arch of its vault is a segment of a circle of very large diameter 
(Sergi), with the result that this cranium has the appearance of 
being very low vertically and very broad laterally. When seen 


Fig. 70. — Sphenoid cranium. 



Fig. 71. — Spheroid cranium. 

vertically it may present a wide variety of contours, ellipsoid, 
ovoid, pentagonoid, etc., but its distinguishing characteristic re- 
mains that of the flattened vault. 
Sub -varieties. — Sphenoides 
trapezoides, or trapezoid cranium. 
Observed from the vertical norm, 
this form appears as a variety 
of the sphenoid; and when seen 
laterally it is characterised by 
the lines of its contour forming 
a trapezium. Starting from the 
vertex of the cranium one line 
slants toward the forehead and 
another toward the occiput, 
which is very massive. In the 
figure given below, the quad- 
rangle drawn in solid lines 
serves to indicate the correct 
position of the cranium, while the trapezium formed of dotted 
lines gives us its characteristic form. 

Among the forms described by Sergi, are several which were 
formerly held to be ab- 
normal, such, for in- , r'^-M-^ 

stance, as the platycepha- 
lic cranium and the 
pentagonoid. Similarly, 
when the surfaces of the 
cranium showed a ten- 
dency toward flatness, or 
when there were cranial 
protuberances, even 
though these were de- 
stined to disappear, they 
were regarded as mal- 
formations. Before this 
high authority offered us 
his guidance, there were 
certain forms, frequently 

encountered, that it was difficult to define, for example, 
the trapezoid cranium, which often presents a notable vertico- 

FiG. 72. — Trapezoid cranium. 


occipital flattening, with the vertex notably higher than the 

There are also certain forms of cranium having the frontal 
region more restricted than the parietal region, or slanting down 
from a much elevated vertex, which have been proved to be 
normal forms; while still another error previously made was that 
of trying to judge the forehead on the criterion of a single model, 
deviations from which were much too readily relegated to the 
category of abnormalities. The most regular and beautiful 
forms, and the ones that are commonest in our racial stocks are 
the ellipsoid, ovoid and sphenoid. In my work on the women of 
Latium, precisely one of the points that I noted was the frequent 
occurrence of certain sub-varieties of the ellipsoid and the sphenoid. 

In order to recognise the forms of the cranium, a certain training 
is necessary which each one must acquire for himself. Observa- 
tions of the cranium will make it easier to judge of the form in 
relation to the head, at least, when the latter is not too much 
hidden by the hair, as often happens in the case of young children. 

A knowledge of the normal forms of the cranium will also guide 
us in our judgment of many abnormal forms, which very often 
present the appearance of exaggerations of normal types. 

Thus, for example, the acrocephalic cranium (much raised in the 
parieto-lambdoideal region and sloping forward toward the brow, 
while the occipito-lambdoideal region is flattened) recalls the 
trapezoid; and the clinocephalic cranium (in which the coronal 
suture forms a slight girdle-like indenture and divides the contour 
of the cranium, when observed along the vertical norm, in two 
curves, a lesser anterior and a greater posterior curve, resembling 
a figure of 8) recalls certain varieties of ovoid cranium described 
by Sergi. This brings us to a principle that is very interesting 
to establish, namely, that frequently anomalies represent exaggera- 
tions of the racial or family type. 

The Cephalic Index 

Retzius was the first to take the cranium under consideration as 
a basis for a classification of the human races; and he attempted 
to determine a concept of its form by means of a numerical formula 
expressing the relation between the length and width of the cranium 
(cephalic index). Thus he distinguished the races into brachy- 
cephalics, or those having a short head; and dolichocephalics, or 


those having a long head. Following Retzius, who may be regarded 
as the founder of craniology, Broca adopted, completed and ex- 
panded this method, deriving from the cranium, or rather from the 
particular character given by the cephalic index, a key, as it were, 
suited to unlocking the intricate mysteries of hybridism among the 
human races. Consequently the cephalic index was not confined, 
as regards its importance, within the same limits as all the other 
indexes, but was raised by the French school, warmly seconded by 
Italian anthropologists, to the dignity of a fundamental determinant 
of the ethnic type, as definitely as, for example, the vertebral column 
serves as basis for a classification including all species of vertebrates. 
The Germans refused to accept the cephalic index as determin- 
ing the classification of races ; but while seeking to prove themselves 
independent of it, they continued to regard the form of the cranium 
as a basis of classification (Rtitimeyer, von Holler, and to-day 
Virchow), but without ever having identified, as Sergi has now done, 
existing forms as normal types of race. 

The cephalic index is obtained by the well-known formula ex- 
pressing the relation between the maximum transverse diameter of 
the skull (see "Technique ") and the maximum longitudinal diameter 

lOOd ^ , 
reduced to 100, and is expressed as follows: Ci= -p^ (the cephalic 

index is equal to a hundred times the lesser diameter divided by 
the greater; in the present ease the lesser diameter is the transverse). 
This proportion between linear measurements cannot properly 
sum up the form of the cranium. We can, for example, conceive of a 
microcephalic cranium having a normal cephalic index, since the 
relation between the two maximum diameters necessary for deduc- 
ing the index, does not tell us, for example, either the dimension of 
the cranium or the form of the forehead. 

If, for instance, we should imagine a photograph of a cranium 
enlarged a hundred diameters, the reciprocal relations between the 
length and the width would still remain unchanged. 

In order to demonstrate that the cephalic index does not deter- 
mine the form of the cranium, Sergi makes use of a number of 
different geometric figures, such as a triangle, an ellipse, a trapezoid 
inscribed within equal rectangles, and which consequently have an 
equal base and equal altitude, that is, the same proportion between 
'length and width. 

It follows that skulls corresponding more or less closely in shape, 


trapezoidal, trigonocephalic, ellipsoidal, plagiocephalic, and hence 
both normal and abnormal, can be expressed by a cephaHc index 
having the same identical figures. 

But, although the cephalic index is far from being descriptive in 
regard to the form of the cranium, it constitutes an anthropological 
datum that has two advantages: 1. It depends upon measure- 
ments and is therefore accessible to those who, not being anthro- 
pologists, lack the trained eye that can distinguish with careful 
accuracy the true forms of the cranium in their manifold variety. 
Furthermore, since the measurement of maximum diameters is 
sure and easy and may be obtained with exactness, regardless of 
the thickness of the hair, it may be applied in anthropological re- 
search to all subjects. 2. The cephahc index, even if it does not 
give us the form, does give us a fact which has a bearing upon the 
form, namely, whether the cranium is long or short ; in othe'r words, 
it substantially represents the most real and evident difference 
between the different types of cranium. And since the cranium 
has a visibly spheroid form, that is, with smooth and rounding 
surfaces, and constantly adheres to this generic delineation, the 
fact of being longer or shorter introduces a definite differentiation 
into the general and accepted form, and gives a very simple and 
concise indication of it, that conveys the idea more clearly than a 
description would. 

Granting the practicality of this line of research, the cephalic 
index may also be accepted as an index of form, so long as there 
is no intention of going deeply into minute differentiations for 
systematic purposes. Professor Sergi himself, author of the 
system that forms the basis of the study of cranial forms, urged 
me to exclude from a practical course in pedagogic anthropology 
the classification of forms, limiting the concept of form to that 
included in the cephalic index. 

The cephahc index has the additional advantage of having 
been extensively studied and consequently of having an abundance 
of mean averages for comparison that are of great practical use. 
Furthermore, the idea it gives regarding the cranium by means 
of one simple figure serves to convey certain fundamental prin- 
ciples with great clearness. 

In dealing with figures that determine an anthropological 
datum of such high importance, it is necessary to define its limits 
and its nomenclature. 



Various authors have introduced their own personal classifica- 
tion of the cephalic index, and no small confusion in nomenclature 
has resulted; so much so that a need was felt of establishing a 
uniformity of numerical limits and of the relative terminology, 
in other words, of simplifying the scientific language. 

Accordingly, a congress was held at Frankfort in 1885, at 
which the following nomenclature was established by international 
agreement : 

CEPHALIC INDEX. — Nomenclature established at Frankfort 
Dolichocephalia = 75 and below 
Mesaticephalia=from 75.1 to 79.9 
Brachycephalia = from 80 to 85 
Hyperbrachycephalia=85.1 and above. 

Previous to this, the most widely varied classifications were in 
use, and the leading authorities had all introduced into the litera- 
ture of the subject their own personal classifications. Here are 
some of the more important : 


Ranke : 


Retzius and 
Davis : 


' 64 

65 ■ 




Dolichocephalics • 

69 , 





Dolichocephalics =75 and below 
Subdolichocephalics=from 75 to 80 
Subbrachycephalics=from 80 to 83.3 
Brachycephalics = 83.3 and above. 

Dolichocephalics = 74.9 
Mesaticephalics = from 75 to 79.9 
Brachycephalics = 80 and above. 

Dolichocephahcs = 73.9 and below 
Mesaticephalics = from 74 to 79.9 
Brachycephalics =from 80 to 86.9 
Hy perbrachycephaUcs = 87 and above. 

Dolichocephalia = 79 and below 
Brachycephalia = 80 and above. 

and below = UltradohchocephaUcs. 

True dolichocephalics. 




_ ; True mesaticephalics. 

Mesaticephalics \ 77 (Mean average.) 

78 1 

Q / Submesaticephalics, 



82 \ Subbrachycephalics. 


Brachycephalics < 85 

True brachycephalics. 

89 . 

90 and above = UltrabrachycephaUcs. 

It remains to determine the extreme limits of oscillation of the 
index, both in relation to the normal mean and in relation to the 
fluctuations of this important ethnic datum in a given population. 

Topinard, as we have seen, gives as his mean figures for the 
extreme normal limits among the human races 64 and 90. 

Deniker gives, as his mean averages for the human races, 
the following figures: For dolichocephaly, 69.4 (natives of the 
Caroline Islands; Australia); For brachycephaly, 88.7 (the Ayssori 
of the Transcaucasus; Asia).* But we know that a mean is 
obtained from figures either greater or smaller than the mean 
itself, so that the limits of individual variation must exceed that 
of the given figures. 

Accordingly the oscillation of the normal cephalic indices 
may be given as ranging from 70 to 90. 

In regard to abnormalities (extreme human limits of the cephalic 
index) the authorities give 58 for dolichocephaly (scapho-cephaly) 
and 100 for brachycephaly (in which case the cranium is round 
and known as trochocephalic; it is met with among the insane). 

Between oscillations of such extremely wide range in the normal 
cephalic index, the number chosen as a medial figure to serve 
the purpose of dividing the dolichocephalics from the brachy- 
cephalics is that of 80, which is included within the division of 
brachycephaly. In spite of the nomenclature established at 
Frankfort, there is a distinct scholastic advantage, because of the 
greater simplicity of memorising and fixing the idea, in reverting 

* Broca gives, not as mean averages, but as extreme limits, 70.9 for dolichocephalics 
(Tasmanians) and 90 for brachycephalics (natives of the Sandwich Islands). 


to the nomenclature of Retzius, who classes as brachycephalics 
all crania from 80 upward, and as dolichocephalic s all those 
below 80. It is certainly strange to class all crania from 80 to 90 
without distinction as brachycephalics, and then to alter the 
name and call a cranium with an index of 79.9 a dolichocephalic. 
It has been found that there is always a slight difference between 
the index taken from measurements of the cranium and that 
obtained from measurements of the head. According to Broca, 
it is necessary to subtract two units from the cephalic index taken 
from a living person, in order to obtain that of the cranium; thus, 
for example, if the cephalic index (taken from life) is 80, the 
cranial index (taken from the skeleton) would be 78. Such 
differences are due to the disposition of the soft tissues. Con- 
sequently, even according to the simple subdivision of Retzius, 
a person who was brachycephalic during life, would become 
dolichocephalic after he was dead. 

But this is what always happens in biology, whenever we try to 
establish definite limits. Life undergoes an insensible transition 
through successive limits and forms, and this fact constitutes the 
grave difficulties and the apparent confusion of biological systems. 
In determining degrees of difference, it is necessary to have recourse 
constantly to special methods, which teach us to recognise general 
properties and to use them as a basis in dividing living creatures 
into separate groups (see in the section on Method, ''Mean measure- 
ments and formation of series in relation to individual variations")- 

Hence, for mnemonic purposes, we need remember only the 
single number, 80. 

But if we wish to adopt the nomenclature of Frankfort, it is 
necessary to keep in mind two figures denoting limits, 75 (inclusive) 
for dolichocephaly, and 80 (inclusive) for brachycephaly. 

75 B 80 





























These constitute, as it were, two centres, beyond which, on this 
side and on that, we may picture to ourselves the individual varia- 
tions drawn up in martial line. In this case, the space between 75 







and 80, in other words, the limits of mesaticephaly, may be inter- 
preted as due to oscillations between dolicho- and brachycephaly 
according to the laws of variability, which is analogous to what 
takes place in the case of oscillations in the opposite direction (TO- 
TS dolichocephaly; 80-85 brachycephaly). From this point of 
view, these two numbers, T5 and 80, constitute median centres of 
two different types. 

But according to Broca and his school — and this view is 
accepted by many anthropologists — mesaticephaly should be re- 
garded as constituting a fusion of the two other types, the brachy- 
and dohchocephalic, whence 
it follows that mesaticephalics 
would be hybrids. Other 
authorities, on the contrary, 
exaggerating the conception 
of the fixity of the cephalic 
index in a given race, admit 
the existence of mesaticeph- 
alic races. 

But it has been observed 
that the greater number of 
mesaticephalics are to be 
found in regions where doli- 
chocephaly prevails; in cer- 
tain districts of Africa, as for 
example, in Somaliland, not a 
single brachycephalic exists, 
yet none the less the mesati- 
cephalics are numerous. Ac- 
cordingly, mesaticephaly may 
be classed with dolichocephaly 
and regarded as one of its variations, while it seems to be inde- 
pendent of brachycephaly. Therefore the nomenclature of 
Retzius may for many good reasons be chosen and adopted in 
our schools. In conclusion, we shall regard the brachycephalics 
and dolichocephalics as the two fundamental types; and shall 
adopt the figure 80, included among the brachycephalics, as the 
limit of separation. The different grades of dolicho- or brachy- 
cephaly are to be determined by mean averages, and the oscillations 
due to individual variations, by series. .. 

8S-S/-- 81-79 

Fig. 73. 


Hence it is important to determine the mean average and the 
oscillation of the cephalic index for the different races ; and this is of 
interest to us as educators, in order to establish the limits of 

The practical method of studying the cephalic index is accord- 
ing to geographical distribution. 

Here are a few general data of the cephalic index relative to its 
distribution : 

The most dolichocephalic of all peoples are found in Melanesia, 
Australia, India and Africa. In the Fiji Islands the mean cephalic 
index is 67 ; in the Caroline Archipelago it is 69 ; in various regions 
of India, 71 ; that of the Hottentots, 74; of the Bantus, 73. Belong- 
ing to the dolichocephalics or mesaticephalics are the populations 
of the extreme south of Europe (Mediterranean race) and at the 
extreme north (English, Scotch). On the contrary, the races of 
western Europe and of central Asia are brachycephalic (Celts, 
Mongols). The most brachycephalic of all these peoples are met 
with in the Transcaucasus; their mean average is 88.7. There also 
exists a notable brachycephalic type in France (Savoyards, 86.9; 
inhabitants of the upper Loire, 87.4) ; also in Dalmatia, 80, while 
the Lapps of Scandinavia are also ultrabrachycephalic, 87.4 

On very general lines, it may be said that the dolichocephalics 
are the Eurafrican races (including the Mediterranean race, with 
which the first civilisations are associated: Egyptian, Greek and 
Roman) who migrated from the Mediterranean basin into Europe; 
and the brachycephalics are the Eurasian races, who on the con- 
trary migrated from continental Asia across western Europe (the 
Aryans) . 

As far as regards Italy, its population is by no means evenly 
constituted. The median index given by Livi for Italy, deduced 
from observation of more than 29,000 subjects is 80; in regard to 
regional distribution, the results are shown in the following table: 

Piedmont 85 . 9 

Emilia 85.2 

Venetia 85.0 

Lombardy 84 . 4 

Umbria 84 . 1 

Marches 84.0 

Liguria 82.3 

Tuscany 82 . 3 

Campania 82 . 1 

Abruzzo and Molise 81 . 9 


Latium 81.0 

Basilicata 80 . 8 

Apulia 79.8 

Sicily 79.6 

Calabria 78.4 

Sardinia 77.5 

Let us remember that if the cephahc index were measured 
directly from the cranium, the result would be one or two units 
less, hence the mean average of the cranial index would be about 78. 
The accompanying map represents still more clearly the 
geographical distribution. The results show that in Piedmont, in 
Emilia, and in Northern Italy in general the inhabitants are more 
brachycephalic; while in the south and more especially in the island 
possessions we find the more dolichocephalic part of the population. 
The highest degree of dolichocephaly is found in Sardinia. 

But if, instead of the cartographic summary herewith repro- 
duced, we could examine the exhaustive one with which Livi has 
illustrated his great work on Anthropometry, we should discover 
that the distribution does not follow the great regional lines; 
but that as a matter of fact certain human groups exist, isolated 
like little islands, which have a cephalic index in marked contrast 
to that of the remaining population of the same region. 

Thus, for example, at Lucca, in the midst of a brachycephalic 
population, there is a pronouncedly dolichocephalic group; and 
in the midst of the dolichocephalic population of Abruzzo and the 
neighbouring provinces, there exists at Chieti a strongly brachy- 
cephalic group. Besides these and similar groups contrasting 
with the regional type, there exist a multiplicity of differences, 
from one successive boundary line to another, so that the limits 
of the cephalic index may be determined with great minuteness 
in the various regions. 

Livi's large charts lend themselves with great clearness to 
this sort of analytical study, which would be found to be very 
profitable to teachers. 

It is also quite instructive to compare the different charts 
representing various anthropological data of ethnical importance; 
such, for example, as that of the distribution of stature and that 
of the distribution of pigmentation. These data are regarded by 
anthropologists as attributes of race. Well, in these three charts 
it is evident at the first glance that there is a notable resemblance 
in distribution, so much so than an eye untrained to observation 



would be likely to confuse them. The cephalic index, the stature, 
the colour of the skin are consequently of almost uniform distribu- 
tion. Corresponding to the most pronounced brachycephaly, we 
have the tallest stature and the fairest complexion; corresponding 
to the most pronounced dolichocephaly, we find instead the lowest 
stature and the most brunette types. Such an accumulative 
coincidence, in certain communities, of characteristics, in contrast 
to those that are found combined in certain other communities, 
reveal the existence in Italy of two different races. One of these 
races seems to have descended from over the Alps; the other, to 
have landed on the shores of the Mediterranean. The first 
belong to the Eurasians; the second to the Euiafricans. 

In my work upon the population of Latium, the mean cephalic 
index obtained by me is 78. The distribution according to the 
localities studied affords the mean averages noted in the following 
table, in which I have also recorded the maximums and minimums, 
and the percentage of brachycephalic and dohchocephalic individ- 
uals who contributed to the given means : 

(According to Montessori) 









per cent. 





































per cent. 


Castelli Romani 




Civitavecchia. . 






The results show a preponderance of brachycephalics or of 
dolichocephalics in the places where the mean cephalic index is 
respectively highest for brachycephaly (Orte) or for dolichocephaly 
(Castelli Romani). Furthermore, the extreme maximum and 
minimum figures are found to be included in these groups (90 at 
Orte and 70 at Castelli). 

It should be noted that at Castelli Romani the mean average 
is mesaticephalic (76), notwithstanding the absence of brachy- 



cephalics; this average is based on figures showing an extremely 
pronounced dolichocephaly (ranging to 70!). The groups at Cas- 
teUi and at Orte also showed characteristics in respect to stature 
(see page 111) ; at Orte the mean stature is 1.61 m., with a maximum 
of 1.70 m. (very tall statures for women), and at Castelli the mean 
stature is 1.47 m., with a minimum of 1.42 m. (low statures). 

Similarly, in regard to pigmentation, I found at Orte a preva- 
lence of blonds, and at Castelli of brunettes. Hence the conclusion 
may be drawn that at Castelli and at Orte there exist groups of 
human beings who are of almost pure race, in the midst of a 
population in which racial types have become attenuated or 
hidden; but in centres like these we still find persistent testimony 
as to the ethnic factors that combined to form the people of 
Latium: the one, a blond, tall, brachycephalic race; the other, 
dark, small, and dolichocephalic. 

The Cephalic Index at Different Ages of Life. — Another quality 
that renders the cephalic index of great importance is that it 
remains constant in the course of growth, since the two maximum 
diameters, the antero-posterior and the transverse, increase at 
very nearly the same rate, excepting during the earliest years, at 
which time the length of the cranium increases slightly more than 
the width. According to some authorities it is in the second year, 
according to others it is in the fourth or seventh, that the cephalic 
index becomes constant (Binet, Deniker, Pearson, Fawcette, 
Ammon, Johannson, and Westermarck) . 

The following table is one that I have drawn up on the basis 
of Quetelet's figures: 




























At birth 

1 year. 

2 years 

3 years 

4 years 
6 years 

6 years 

7 years 

8 years 

9 years 
10 years 

11 years 

12 years 

13 years 

14 years 

15 years 

16 years 

17 years 

18 years 

19 years 

20 years 



Since it has been observed that the cranium in the course of its 
growth may assume forms, amounting even to apparent mal- 
formations (due chiefly to "bumps," either symmetrical or asym- 
metrical), which disappear during the evolution of the individual, 
the cephalic index, for the very reason that it does not represent a 
faithful description of the form, gives us precious aid in judging 
the cranium of the child, because it accurately determines the pro- 
portions between length and breadth which are destined to persist 
even in the adult, and hence serve to give, even in infancy, a sure 
indication of the ethnic type to which the child belongs. 

We owe to Dr. Ales Hrdlicka the extremely important graphic 
chart, which I will proceed to summarise, of the cephalic indices 











^ C 






















S S 

3 S 

s fe 

3 i 

>- 4 

5 S 

s s S 

Per cent. 

Negro Children 

Children born 
in Syria 

Fig. 74. 

Children born in 

Children born 
in Germany 

of children of various races: the central dotted line corresponds 
to the index 80: consequently the brachycephalics are indicated 
on the right, and the dolichocephalics on the left (Fig. 74). 

In the case of Italy, the graphic line extends between the two 
extreme figures of 70 and 90, which are precisely the extreme 
limits that we have already noted for individual adults, in the 
case of the women of Latium: moreover, the curve is perceptibly 
symmetrical, although the brachycephalics are in the majority; 
a fact already established by Livi's mean averages. One might 
say that this curve was a graphic representation of Livi's two- 
colour method in his map of the cephalic index: one-half of Italy 
is brachycephalic and the other half is dolichocephalic; but since 



brachycephaly prevails in the northern half, a wider extent of 
territory is occupied by brachycephalics. 

In America, where emigration brings every variety of humanity, 
the curve is even more symmetrical, and rests on a broader basis, 
representing widely separated extremes. Ireland also shows a 
very perceptible symmetry, the population being a mixture of 
Celts (brachycephahcs) and of Scotch (northern blond dolicho- 
cephalics) . 

In Germany there is a prevalence of brachycephalics; we are 
here approaching the eastern regions from which the Eurasian race 
came through emigration. Here the Slavs and Celts (brachy- 
cephalics who immigrated into Europe at various epochs) are 



















































~~^ ^ 


•} 's 


J- A 

L s. 



-J * 





^^ — 








^ \ 



. — ""^ 










































t s 

s ( 

S t 

] s 


S S 

Per cent. 

Children born in 

White Children born 

Children born 


in America 

in Italy 

Fig. 74. 

intermingled with a notable percentage of dolichocephalics 
(Teutons) . 

But in Russia, a region still further east, and similarly in 
Syria, we find an almost pure race: the curves lie wholly within 
the field of brachycephaly. 

On the contrary, the dark-skinned children given in the last 
chart, and belonging to African races and tribes of American 
Indians, are all of them dolichocephalic. 

According to Binet and other writers, the cephalic index and 
the cranial volume are the two anthropological data on which the 
criterion of normality of children's heads must be based. 

When we observe a child's head which is apparently mal- 


formed, we cannot call it abnormal; it is not abnormal unless it 
has a volume notably too small (submicrocephaly, microcephaly) 
or too large (rickets, hydrocephaly) ; and a cephalic index exceeding 
the normal limits, in other words, exaggerated (scaphocephaly, 
trococephaly, pathological brachycephaly occurring in hydro- 

The Volume of the Cranium 

The volume of the cranium owes its importance, as we have 
already seen, to the fact that the cranium represents the envelope 
of the brain, and is consequently normally determined, as regards 
its dimensions, by the cerebral volume. Accordingly, in normal 
cases, when we speak of the cranial volume, we are speaking by 
implication of the cerebral volume; and all anthropological ques- 
tions regarding the volumetric development of the cranium in 
reality have reference to the brain. 

In abnormal cases, on the contrary, it may happen that the 
bony covering is not a skeletal index of the brain; in fact, patho- 
logical cases may occur analogous to those we have already ob- 
served in discussing the etiology of cranial malformations, in 
which the flat bones of the cranial vault undergo a notable thicken- 
ing, so that as a result the greater volume of the cranium is due to 
the increased quantity of bony substance, and not of brain tissue, 
and is very heavy, so that it readily droops over upon the shoulder: 
pachycephalic cranium. 

Another cause for lack of correspondence between the cerebral 
and the cranial volume may be the abnormal production of 
cerebro-spinal fluid within the brain : hydrocephalic cranium. 

The Development of the Brain. — In the earhest period of 
embryonal life, the brain consists of a single vesicle, the con- 
tinuation of which forms the spinal marrow: later on, this vesicle 
divides into three superimposed vesicles which represent respec- 
tively the embryonal beginnings of the anterior, middle and poste- 
rior brain; continuing their development, the anterior and posterior 
brains each divide in turn into two other vesicles, so that there 
result in all five primitive vesicles of the brain, superimposed one 
upon another (see Fig. 75) ; the anterior vesicle which is destined to 
grow enormously, dividing into two parts, right and left, with a 
longitudinal division, will constitute the cerebral hemispheres; 


the second vesicle will constitute the optic thalami; the third 
vesicle, the corpora quadrigemina; the fourth vesicle, the cere- 
bellum, and the fifth vesicle, the medulla oblongata. 

When complete development is attained, the cerebral hemi- 
spheres completely cover the other parts of the brain, besides 
which they themselves are covered over with .a multiplicity of 
folds constituting the con- 
volutions. If we take a cross- 
section of the hemispheres, 
we find that they consist of 
an outer layer of gray matter 
formed of nerve cells, and of 
a central mass of white mat- 
ter, formed of fibres. 

The study of the convo- 
lutions is quite important 

(. ,1 ,1 1 • 1 Fig. 75. — Brain of a Human Embryo after 

from the anthropological the Fourth Week. 

standpoint, because their 
number is not identical in 

the different branches of the human race, and also because they 
differ both in number and in arrangement from the convolutions 
in the brain of the anthropoid apes. But however interesting they 
may be, considered as differentiating characteristics, we cannot 
linger over a study of this kind, which has a purely theoretic im- 
portance, and for the present cannot be applied in any practical 
and direct way to our problems of pedagogic anthropology. It 
will be sufficient to note rapidly that at the present time the study 
of the convolutions has received a new impulse through the labours 
of certain distinguished investigators, among whom we must once 
more include Dr. Sergio Sergi. Instead of studying the surface 
convolutions, Dr. Sergi studies the internal folds which are dis- 
closed by separating the lips of the cerebral fissures ; and from these 
he draws deductions which to a large extent correct those made by 
previous scientists, in regard to the eventual ancestry of the dif- 
ferent species, the marks of biological superiority or inferiority, 
the differences in the brain due to sex, etc. 

The surface fissures which divide the cerebral hemispheres into 
convolutions are shown in the two accompanying figures (Figs. 76 
and 77) , the first of which shows the outer side of the hemispheres, 
and the second the inner side. 




Of chief importance to us is the arrangement of convolutions 
and furrows on the outer surface of the hemispheres. 

The points to be noted are the following : the two great fissures, 
Rolando's, running longitudinally, and Silvius's running trans- 
versely, which, together with the perpendicular fissure, divide the 
hemisphere into four lobes: the frontal lobe and the parietal lobe, 
situated respectively in front and behind Rolando's fissure; the 
temporal lobe, situated below Silvius's fissure, and lastly, the occip- 
ital lobe at the posterior apex of the hemisphere. 

}iola/2do-s fissure 


/paraiiel sulcus 
Temporal lobe 


Fig. 76. — Cerebral hemisphere; external face. 

In the third frontal convolution are situated Broca's centres, 
which are believed to be the seat of articulate speech; while along 
Rolando's fissure, in the ascendant convolutions, is the locality 
designated by physiologists as the motor centres. 

The occipital lobe is the location of the zone of sight; and the 
temporal lobe, that of hearing. 

It is important for us to observe the volume of the brain, and 
therefore that of the head, in relation to the rest of the body; it is 
enormous in the embryo; and even at birth and during childhood 
the head is quite voluminous as compared with the body, as 



appears from the diagram in Fig. 16, in which a new-born child 
and an adult man are reduced to the same scale, each retaining his 
relative bodily proportions. In Fig. 22 a new-born child is shown 
in two positions: from the front and from behind; the head is very- 
large and the cranial nodules are plainly visible. Figs. 80 and 81 
represent the same child at the age of six months and a year and a 
half; in the first picture the head is stUl very large as compared 
with the body, and the forehead protrudes (infantile forehead); 
in the second, the proportion between head and body has already 

A knowledge of the laws governing the growth of the brain is 
of particular importance in relation to pedagogic anthropology. 

. . Rolando 'S fissure 

/nteradt frontoi 

Fig. 77. — Cerebral hemisphere, internal face. 

Within the last few years anthropologists have established cer- 
tain principles that are well worthy of notice : 

1. The child's head is normal when its volume and cephalic index 
come within the limits of normality (even if the shape appears 
abnormal: Simon, Binet, etc.). 

2. When the volume of the head is too small it frequently indi- 
cates psychic deficiency; when it is too large, even up to the age of 
twenty years, it indicates a predisposition to precocious mortality 
(see below). 

Very frequently when the size of the head is larger than normal 
and is not due to pathological causes (rickets, hydrocephaly, etc.), 



it is associated with an excessive development of the brain, and 
also with an intellectual precocity. A high percentage of this type 
die before reaching the age of twenty years; and this fact confirms 
the popular belief that children who are too intelligent or too good 
cannot live long. 

This indication alone ought to be sufficient to prove the peda- 
gogic importance of the cerebral volume. 

The researches made by various authors in regard to the growth 
of the brain are not rigorously in accord as to the limits of volume: 
but they do agree as to the rhythm of growth. 

Welckej gives the following figures : 


(According to Wblcker) 




At birth 







Two months 


One year 


Three years 


Ten years 


Accordingly, the weight of the brain is doubled before the end 
of the first year; according to Massini it is very nearly doubled at 
the end of the first six months : 



Total weight 


At birth 



68 \ o^r. 

First month 

211 r^^ 

From first to third month 

From third to sixth month 


From sixth month to 1 year 

19 r^ 

Fig. 78. — Spheroidal cranium lateral norm Fig. 79. — Sphaeroides typicus (from Sergi's 
(Sergi's collection). collection). 

Fig. 80. — A child six months old. Fig. 81. — The same child a year and a half old. 



It follows from these figures that by the end of the sixth month 
the weight of the brain is already very nearly doubled; but the 
maximum growth takes place between the ages of one month and 
three, after which it shows a notable diminution of rate. 

But while the weight of the whole body is increased threefold 
by the end of the first year, that of the brain is very far from being 
tripled, since the rate of growth is still further diminished during 
the second six months; in fact even according to Welcker the weight 
at the end of the first year has little more than doubled. 

Accordingly the rhythm of cerebral growth is not identical with 
that of the increase in weight of the body taken as a whole. 

According to Massini, the relation between the cerebral weight 
and the weight of the body, at the various successive ages, is as 
follows : 


(According to Massini) 







At birth 







2 years 

3 years 




First month 

From first to third 



to sixth month. . . 

one year 

25 years 



In other words, the body grows more rapidly than the brain, and 
consequently, than the head: a fact which results in the different 
proportions already noted between head and body. 

The rhythm of brain growth considered by itself has been set 
forth in a most noteworthy and accurate fashion by Boyd, based on 
the study of about two thousand cases; from the figures given by 
Boyd, I have calculated the amount of increase from period to 
period, as well as from year to year, the whole result being set forth 
in the following table: 




{Males: According to Boyd) 






to maxi- 



for each 

for each 


mum re- 




duced to 


At birth 


+ 162 




From birth to 3 months . 


From 3 to 6 months 


+ 110 




From 6 months to 1 year 


+ 174 


1st year 


From 1 to 2 years 


+ 165 

+ 165 

2d year 


From 2 to 4 years 


+ 155 

+ 77 

2d- 4th 


From 4 to 7 years 


+ 43 

+ 14 

4th- 7th 


From 7 to 14 years 


+ 162 

+ 23 



From 14 to 20 years 


+ 72 

+ 12 



From 20 to 30 years 






From 30 to 40 years 


+ 9 

+ 0.9 



From 40 to 50 years 


- 14 

- 1.4 



From 50 to 60 years 


- 9 

- 0.9 



From 60 to 70 years 


- 28 

- 2.8 



From 70 to 80 years 


- 26 

- 2.6 



From 80 to 90 years 


- 5 

- 0.5 



In the above table, the first column of figures gives the mean 
average weight of the brain, obtained by direct observation of in- 
dividual subjects; while from all the others the rhythm of cerebral 
growth and involution throughout the successive periods of life may 
be computed. 

We see that the maximum growth takes place in the first years 
of life, the intensity is greater in the first year than in the second, 
and greater in the first three months than in those that follow. 
Already at the end of the first year the brain has surpassed one- 
half of the maximum weight which the individual is destined to 
attain in adult life (last column : proportions computed on scale of 
100). A notable rate of increase continues up to the age of four, 
after which it moderates, but receives a new impulse at about the 
fourteenth year (period of puberty) ; hence it appears that at this 
important epoch of life the brain not only shares the general rapid 
growth of the body, but that by the end of the fourteenth year the 
brain has already practically completed its development; in fact, 



assuming that 100 represents its complete development, the weight 
of the brain is already 95.3; and at thirty it will be only 99.3. 

By studying the above table we can obtain a clear analysis 
of these phenomena. 

For women, Boyd gives the following figures: 

(Figures Given by Boyd) 



Proportion to the 

maximum reduced 

to 100 

At birth 

















22 8 

Three months 

36 5 

From 3 to 6 months 

45 2 

From 6 months to 1 year 

From 1 to 2 years 

From 2 to 4 years 

From 4 to 7 years 

From 7 to 14 years 

From 14 to 20 years 

From 20 to 30 years 

From 30 to 40 years 

From 40 to 50 years 

From 50 to 00 years 

From 60 to 70 years 

From 70 to 80 years 

From 80 to 90 years 


The rhythm of growth of the female brain is analogous to that 
of the male, except for the more precocious attainment of the 
maximum weight, which corresponds to the more precocious 
evolution of the female organism. 

It should be noted that in the tables above cited the maximum 
is actually given as occurring at the age of twenty; and that after 
this period the weight diminishes again, subsequently increasing 
up to an age that varies according to the sex. But this maximum 
at the age of twenty must be considered as one of the false results 
of mean averages; and it must be explained on the ground that 
after the twentieth year the death rate has eliminated a series of 



individuals whose heads were abnormally large, and that a majority 
of the survivors were those whose whose heads had developed 
within normal limits. 

This fact is further confirmed by Wagner's figures, cited by 
Broca : 

(According to Wagner) 




Under 10 years 

From 11 to 20 years 
From 21 to 30 years 
From 31 to 40 years 
From 41 to 50 years 
From 51 to 60 years 
Above 60 years 















Here again we have a false maximum at twenty, which nature 
subsequently corrects through mortality. 

From such knowledge we obtain certain important rules of 

The normal brain which exceeds the common limits of volume 
is not, in an absolute sense, incompatible with life. We need 
only to call to mind certain men of genius who had the brains of a 

Accordingly a brain which exceeds the limits demands of the 
individual who possesses it that he shall live according to certain 
special rules of hygiene. Children and young people who are 
too intelligent, too good, in other words, children of the elite class 
demand a special treatment, just as much as any other class 
of beings that pass beyond the bounds of average normahty. 
Parents and teachers ought to be enlightened in regard to these 
scientific principles; the growth of individuals who are exceptional 
in regard to their intelligence and their emotions, should be super- 
vised as though it were something precious and fragile. Such indi- 
viduals are destined to be more subject than others to infective 
maladies, which frequently prove fatal, developing symptoms of 



meningitis and cerebral affections. Consequently a hygienic life, 
psychic repose, an avoidance of emotional excitement, moderate 
physical exercise in farm or garden, a prolonged stay in the open 
country, might be the salvation of children of this type, who 
often are over-praised and over-stimulated by friends and rela- 
tives, and consequently subjected to continual excitement and 
surmenage to a degree destructive to their health. 

Extreme Individual Variations of the Volume of the Brain. — 
In regard to individual variations, the authorities give various 
figures, from which the following have been selected as most 
noteworthy for their accuracy of research : 




Age: from 20 to 60 years 



From 60 to 90 



Calori . . 

Broca. . 






Without distinction of age: 

Maximum Minimum 

1,830 1,049 

These figures refer to individuals belonging to European 

Comparison with the Brains of Apes.— The brain of the great 
anthropoid apes (Chimpanzee, Orang-utan, Gorilla), whose 
total weight of body is comparable to that of man, weighs on an 
average 360 grams, and the greatest weight which it can attain 
is 420 gr. 

Specific Gravity of the Human Brain. — In normal individuals, 
the average specific gravity is 1.03; in insane persons it is slightly 
higher: 1.04. 



The Relation between the Weight of the Brain and the Cranial 
Capacity: Figures given by Lebon: 

Weight of the brain 
in grams 

Cranial capacity in 
cubic centimetres 









Figures given by Manouvrier: 

Weight of the brain 
in grams 

Cranial capacity in 
cubic centimetres 









Increase in the Volume of the Brain. — Studies regarding the 
growth of the head, although not yet complete, have gone suffi- 
ciently far to give us some useful ideas. In regard to the volume 
in a general sense, the cranium in its growth obeys the cerebral 

We shall speak in the section on Technique of the methods of 
measuring the head: at present it will suffice to point out that 
the measurements may be made directly upon the cranium, and 
the cranial capacity calculated directly from the head: and that 
the maximum linear measurements are sufficient to indicate the 
volume — -such measurements being the three maximum diameters, 
longitudinal, transverse, and vertical, and the maximum circum- 
ference. Even the forehead, as an index of the general volume 
of the brain, is of interest in researches relating to the volumetric 
growth of the head. 

Regarding the growth of the several cranial dimensions, the 
most accurate and complete knowledge is furnished by Binet's 
researches among the school-children of Paris (1902). 

This author has made special investigations into the rhythm 
of growth of the cranium and of the face, with special reference 
to the period of puberty. The following are the mean averages 
obtained by him, relative to the three diameters corresponding 
to the three maximum dimensions of the head : 




(Binet: From the schools of Paris) 


Lower primary schools 

Upper pri- 
mary schools 

















Antero-post. diameter 
Transverse diameter. . 
Vertical diameter. . . . 


173.9 174.7 
121.6 122 

177.1181.5 181.5 
145.7147.9 150.1 
122.8 127.6 129.7 




It is evident that these figures contain inaccuracies, especially 
in regard to the vertical diameter (where the subsequent two-year 
period gives a smaller measurement than the preceding) due to 
the fact that the averages were obtained from an insufficient 
number of subjects or from subjects differing too widely in intelli- 
gence (from schools of different grades). For this reason Binet 
summarises the differences in growth, that is, the increase in 
relation to the diameters, under broad groups (six year groups, 
from four to ten years, and from ten to sixteen), in order to deter- 
mine whether puberty exerts a sensible influence upon the cranial 
growth. The result is contained in the following table : 


Age in years: from — to — 

4-6; 6-8; 8-10 

10-12; 12-14; 14-16 


Antero-posterior diameter 


4.4; 1.8; 5 


Transverse diameter 

1.1; 3.3;0.7 


2.2; 3.9; 0.5 

4 4 

Vertical diameter 



4.8; 2.3; 2.5 






From which it appears that there exists, in regard to the head, 
a puberal acceleration of growth. 

These conclusions of Binet are indirectly confirmed by the re- 
searches of Vitale Vitali regarding the development of the forehead 
in school-children; since it is well known that the forehead repre- 
sents the index of the general growth of the cerebral cranium. 

Vitale Vitali based his observations upon school-children and 
students between the ages of ten and twenty. He not only meas- 
ured the width of the forehead (frontal diameter; see Technique), 
but also measured its height, obtaining the percentage of its rela- 
tion to the width (frontal index). 

These are his figures: 


(Vitale Vitali: Researches Among Scholars and Students 
FROM 10 TO 20 Years Old) 


Frontal index 


Amount of 






















11 years 

12 years 

13 years 

14 years 

15 years 

16 years 

17 years 

18 years 

19 years 

20 years 



Accordingly, between the years of fourteen and sixteen there is 
a puberal acceleration of growth, accompanied by an elevation of 
the forehead (high frontal index). 

VitaH gives, as extreme limits of the frontal index, 68 and 83. 

But in order to give a better illustration of the author's figures, 
his own words may be quoted: "It appears from our observations 
that the forehead begins to develop in notable proportions during 
the fourteenth year, and that the development of the frontal region 
as compared with the parietal region continues to augment up to 
the sixteenth year; after this it still increases, but only by a few 
millimetres, until the end of the sixteenth year. The cephahc 



development is completed between the sixteenth and eighteenth 
years. This observed fact is of great importance in relation to the 
development of the intellect." 

The most complete figures at the present time on the growth 
of the brain, are those of Quetelet, which follow its development 
from birth until the fortieth year. They are summarised in the 
following table: 



Maximum diameters 


in millimetres 




At birth 

1 year 



























































2 years 

3 years 

4 years 

5 years 

6 years 

7 years 

8 years 

9 years 

10 years 

1 1 years 

12 years 

13 years 

14 years 

15 years 

16 years 

17 years 

18 years 

19 years 

20 years 

25 years 

30 years 

40 years 


It appears from the foregoing table that after the twenty-fifth 
year the growth of the cranium practically ceases in all directions. 
In regard to the rhythm of growth, the problem is rendered clearer 
by the following table, which gives the annual increase : 





(From Figures 

Given by Quet^let) 

























































It appears from the above table that the total growth of the 
cranium takes place to a notable extent during the early years of 
life; as regards the diameters, the longitudinal diameter grows 
faster during the first few months than the transverse; but after 
the first year, the two maximum diameters which determine the 
cephalic index increase in very nearly the same proportion (con- 
stancy of the cephalic index throughout life). The vertical diam- 
eter on the contrary undergoes a relatively much greater increase 
than the two others, since, although much shorter than the trans- 
verse, it nevertheless overtakes and surpasses it in its absolute 
annual increase. 

This corresponds to the fact that the first two diameters are 
indexes of growth relative to the base of the cranium, while the 
vertical diameter is the index of expansion of the cranial vault, 
which more directly follows the growth of the brain and elevates 
the forehead as it pushes upward. 



Quetelet's figures, however, fail to show in the rhythm of growth 
that puberal acceleration which has been observed to take place in 
the growth of the brain. This contradicts the researches of Vitali 
and also those of Binet. 

Similar studies have been made a number of times during the 
last few years, especially in America, but with English tables of 
measurement, and with little uniformity in the results obtained 
by the different investigators. 

Among the most recent and most complete figures should be 
cited those of Bonnifay* in which however the measurement of 
the vertical diameter is lacking, or in other words the third element 
needed, in conjunction with the dimensions of length and breadth, 
to give the volumetric factors. 

(According to Bonnifay) 

Age from — to 

Absolute figures 




Amount of increase 




Birth to 15 days 

15 days to 2 months. . . . 

3 months to 4 months. 

6 months to 1 year. . 

1 year to 2 years . . 

2 years to 3 years. . 

3 years to 4 years . . 

4 years to 5 years . . 

5 years to 6 years . . 

6 years to 7 years . . 

7 years to 8 years . . 

8 years to 9 years. . 

9 years to 10 years . . 

10 years toll years . . 

11 years to 12 years. . 

12 years to 13 years. . 

13 years to 14 years. . 

14 years to 17 years. . 
22 years to 27 years. . 



























* Bonnifay, On the development of the H ead from the point of view of cephalometrical 
measurements taken after birth. Thesis, Lyons, 1897. 



Among the linear measurements of the cranium, the one which 
serves to give the most exact index of volume is the maximum 

This index, nevertheless, is not a perfect one, in the same sense 
that the stature, for instance, is a perfect index in respect to the 
body, because in the case of the cranium another element enters in: 
the form. The cranial circumference of an extremely brachy- 
cephalic cranium (almost circular) may contain a larger surface 
(and consequently include a larger volume), than a maximum cir- 
cumference of the same identical measure, which belongs to an 
extremely dolichocephalic cranium (approaching the shape of an 
elongated ellipse). This may be easily understood if we imagine a 
loop of thread laid out in the form of a circle : if we pull it from two 
opposite sides, the enclosed area diminishes until it finally dis- 
appears as the two halves of the thread close together, while the 
length of the thread itself remains unaltered. 

Nevertheless, the maximum circumference still remains the 
linear index best adapted to represent the volume) indeed, the 
authorities take its proportional relation to the stature as repre- 
senting the reciprocal degree of development between head and 
body at the different successive ages. 

Here are the figures which Daffner gives in this connection: 




























At birth 







106 . 49 








At birth 


















Number of subjects 


Stature in 

Cephalic peri- 
meter in centi- 









































One very important research made by Daffner is in reference 
to the maximums and minimums that are normal for each succes- 
sive age. This is extremely useful for the purpose of diagnosing 
the morphological normality in relation to the age. He naturally 
bases his figures upon subjects studied by him personally, who al- 
together form an aggregate number of 2,230, and are not always 
sufficiently numerous when distributed according to their ages. 
Nevertheless, in the great majority of groups, especially those 
including the younger children, the number of subjects is sufficient 
and even superabundant. 

At all events, Daffner' s researches may serve as a valuable 
guide in the researches that lay the foundation for diagnosis; and 
every future investigator will find it an easier task, under such 
guidance, to make his own contribution to it and to correct those 
inaccuracies which (for certain epochs) are to be attributed to an 
insufficient number of subjects. 

Daffner distinguishes, for each year, a maximum and a minimum 
both for the stature and for the cephalic perimeter; but since the 
person having the maximum stature does not always have the max- 
imum cephalic perimeter, and vice versa, the author indicates, in 
connection with the maximum and minimum figures, the other of 
the two measurements which, as a matter of fact, corresponds to 
them in each given case. 

16 " • " • ■ 



Individual Variations 



S. = Stature 
Cc. = Cranial 


Maximum (M.) 


minimum (m.) in 


Measurements occurring 

in combination with 

the M. or m. 


Males from birth to the age of eleven years 


At birth 

^ . , . . / M.=372 

Cranial circumf . . . < „^„ 

[^ m. =3zD 

c,, , / M.=550 

Stature < . oi-i 

( m. =480 

(S. =625). 
(S. =500). 
(Cc.=369, 365, 354). 
(Cc.=343, 341, 337). 

1 year 

Cranial circumf. . . { ' .-„ 

[ m. =456 

^, , / M.=805 

Stature < „„„ 

\ m. =680 


2 years 

^ . , . . / M.=506 

Cranial circumf .. . < .„„ 

\ m. =462 

Q, , / M.=920 

Stature < ^^c 

\ m. =785 

(S. =855). 
(S. =800). 

3 years 

Cranial circumf .. . < " .„„ 

1^ m. =462 

«, , / M.=995 

btature < _„_ 

\ m. =795 

(S. =915). 
(Cc. =521, 501). 


4 years 

Cranial circumf . . . { ' .„_ 

1 m. =465 

e, , ] M.=1090 

Stature < „„_ 

( m. =835 

(S. =1035). 

(S. =900). 

(Cc.=499, 481). 

5 years 

^ . , . , / M.=527 

Cranial circumf. . . < ._, 

\ m. =481 

o, , / M.=1173 

Stature < „_„ 

\ m. =920 

(S. =1070). 

(S. =930). 

(Cc. =495). 

indicates that the number of subjects is abundant. 
1 indicates that the number of subjects is sufficient, 
indicates that the number of subjects is scarce. 





S. = Stature 
Cc. = Cranial 


Maximum (M.) 


minimum (m.) in 


Measurements occurring 

in combination with 

the M. or m. 


6 years 

^ . , . , / M.=532 

Cranial circumf .. . < .„, 

( m. =481 

Stature < ' „_„ 

( m. =950 

(S. =1090). 
(S. =1045). 
(Cc. =495). 

7 years 

^ . , . , / M.=541 

Cranial circumf. . . < _„^ 

( m. =502 

«, , / M.=1276 

^^^^^^^ 1 m.=1092 

(S. =1232). 

(S. =1156, 1223). 

(Cc. =527). 
(Ca. =514). 

8 years 

^ . , . f j M.=542 

Cranial circumf... j ^.=496 

Stature { ' , „ „ „ 

\ m. =1099 

(S. =1207, 1292). 
(S. =1158). 
(Cc. =537). 

9 years 

Cranial circumf . . . { ' _„„ 

1^ m. =507 

^, , / M.=1383 

Stature < , , „ _ 

( m. = 1185 

(S. =1333). 

(S. =1250). 
(Cc. =546). 
(Cc. =522). 

10 years 

^ . , . , j M.=553 

Cranial circumf. . . < .„_ 

1^ m. =497 

^, , j M. = 1372 

Stature < ,^.,0 

\ m. =1218 

(S. =1303). 
(S. =1270)., 

11 years 

^ . , . f i M.=543 

Cranial circumf. . . < _^_ 

1 m — ^0P\ 

(S. =1350). 

(S. =1307). 




f M.=1466 

t m. =1300 






S. = Stature 

Cc. = Cranial 


Maximum (M). 

minimum (m.) 
in millimetres 

found in combina- 
tion with the M. or 
m. measurements 


At birth 

Cranial circumf. . / M.=372.. 

\ m.=324.. 

Stature f M.=565.. 

m. =475.. 

Cranial circumf. . / M. =486.. 

\ m.=450.. 

Stature f M.=810.. 

m. =705.. 

Cranial circumf. . J M.=495. . 

1 m.=448.. 

Stature / M.=910.. 

\ m.=720.. 

Cranial circumf. . / M.=501.. 

1 m.=457.. 

Stature J M. = 1015. 

\ m. =810.. 

Cranial circumf. . / M. =510. . 

\ m. =455.. 

Stature / M. = 1060. 

\ m. =860 . 

Cranial circumf. . / M.=515.. 

, , \ m. =462.. 

Stature / M. =1140. 

\ m. =875.. 

Cranial circumf. . / M. =522.. , 

\ m.=460... 

Stature / M.=1221. 

\ m. =920... 

(S. =500). 
(S. =480). 
(Cc. =355). 
(Cc.=333, 325). 

(The most frequent 
S. was 550 mm. com- 
bined with Cc. = 
357, 337). 

1 year. . 

(S. = 

(S. =750, 740). 



2 years. 

(S. =850). 
(S. =810). 
(Cc. =464). 

3 years. 

(S. =865). 
(S. =870). 
(Cc. =476). 

4 years. . 

(S. =1050). 
(S. =920, 870). 
(Cc. =507). 

5 years. 

(S. =1035). 
(S. =905). 

(Cc. =481). 

6 years . . 

(S. =1020). 
(S. =965). 


(The maximum S. 
was found in a child 
of 6 years and 11 
months; the next 
highest stature was 
1177 mm., Cc. 512; 
another Httle girl of 
6 years and 11 
months had S. = 
1099; Cc.= 507). 

7 years. 

Cranial circumf. 

Stature . 


m. =479.. 
/ M.=1270. 
\ m. =1058. 

(S. =1215). 
(S. =1185). 





S. = Stature 

Cc. = Cranial 


Maximum (M.) 

minimum (m.) 
in millimetres 

found in combina- 
tion with the M. or 
m. measurements 


8 years. . 

Cranial circumf. . / M. =542. .. 

\ m.=484... 
Stature / M. = 1328.. 

\ m. = 1082.. 

(S. = ). 
(S. = ). 

9 years. . 

Cranial circumf. . / M. =526. . . 

\ m.=493... 
Stature / M. = 1325.. 

\ m. = 1173.. 

(S. =1272). 
(S. =1306). 
(Cc. =520). 

10 years . 

Cranial circumf. . / M. =533 . . . 

1 m. =476... 
Stature J M. = 1403.. 

\ m.=1153.. 

(S. =1291). 
(S. =1204). 

11 years. 

Cranial circumf. . / M. =537. . . 

(S. =1420). 
(S. =1284). 


i m.=478... 

. / M. = 1464.. 

\ m.=1255.. 

(The next higher S. 
was 1495, with a 
Cc. of 529). 

(The figures here given are less exact, because of the great scarcity of subjects) 


13 years. 

14 years. 

15 years. 


S. = Stature 

Cc. = Cranial 


Maximum (M.) 

minimum (m.) 
in millimetres 

Measurements that 

occur in conjunction 

with M. and m. 


Cranial circumf .. . / M.=554.. 

1 m. =492.. 

Stature J M. = 1715. 

\ m. = 1345. 

Cranial circumf .. . f M.=564.. 

\ m.=515.. 

Stature / M. = 1630. 

\ M. = 1405. 

Cranial circumf .. . f M.=567.. 

\ m. =526.. 

Stature / M.=1795. 

\ m. = 1450. 

(S. = ). 
(S. = ). 

(S. =1560). 
(S. =1555). 

(S. =1575). 
(S. =1570). 




S. = Stature 
Cc. = Cranial 


Maximum (M.) 

minimum (m.) 
in millimetres 

Measurements that 

occur in conjunction 

with M. and m. 


16 years. 

17 years. 

18 years. 

19 years. 

20 years. 

21 years. 

22 years. 

Cranial circumf . . . f M. =566. . 

\ m.=519.. 

Stature / M. = 1807. 

\ m. =1330. 

Cranial circumf. . . / M. =582. , 

1 m.=507.. 

Stature f M.=1759. 

I m. =1561. 

Cranial circumf. 

/ M. 


\ m. 


Cranial circumf. 

Stature . 

/ M. 
\ m. 
/ M. 
\ m. 


Cranial circumf. 

/ M. 


\ m. 


Cranial circumf. 


\ m 

/ M 



Cranial circumf. 



\ m 

/ M 


(S. =1675). 
(S. =1460). 

(S. =1757). 
(S. =1610). 


= 1785). 
= 557). 
= 536). 



= 1707). 
= 1693). 
= 545). 
= 549). 


= 1671). 
= 1780). 
= 560). 


= 1700). 
= 1590). 
= 581). 
= 571). 


= 1650). 
= 576). 
= 548). 

Nomenclature Relating to Cranial Volume. Anomalies. — (In 
regard to the method of directly measuring or calculating the cran- 
ial capacity, and of taking and estimating the measurements of 
the skull, see the section on Technique.) 

Limits. — The cranial capacity, according to Deniker, has 
normally such a wide range of oscillation that the minimum is 


fully doubled by the maximum, the limits being respectively 1,100 
and 2,200 cubic centimetres — these figures, however, including 
men of genius. Furthermore, the mean average capacity oscillates 
between limits that change according to race — not only because 
the cerebral volume may of itself constitute an ethnic character- 
istic (superior and inferior races) with which the form of the fore- 
head is usually associated, but also because the cranial volume 
bears a certain relation to the stature, which is another factor that 
varies with the race, 

Deniker gives the following mean averages of oscillations: 

Europeans from 1,500 to 1,600 cu. cm. 

Negroes from 1,400 to 1,500 cu. cm. 

Australians, Bushmen from 1,250 to 1,350 cu. cm. 

The average difference of cranial capacity is 150 cubic centimetres less in woman 
than in man. 

The following nomenclature for oscillations in cranial capacity 
was established by Topinard, based upon the figures and methods 
of Broca : 

Macrocephalic crania from 1,950 cu. cm. upward 

Large crania from 1,950 to 1,650 cu. cm. 

Medium or ordinary crania from 1,650 to 1,450 cu. cm. 

Small crania from 1,450 to 1,150 cu. cm. 

MicrocephaUc crania from 1,150 cu. cm. downward 

To-day, however, the terms macrocephalic and microcephalic 
have come to be reserved for pathological cases. Virchow has 
introduced the term nanocephalic to designate normal crania of 
very small dimensions; while Sergi has adopted a binomial 
nomenclature, calling them eumetopic microcephalics, which sig- 
nifies possessed of a fine forehead: since, as we have seen, it is pre- 
cisely the shape of the forehead which determines normality. And 
in place of macrocephalic, we have for very large normal crania the 
new term megalocephalic. 

Pathological terminology includes the following nomenclature : 
macrocephaly, sub-macrocephaly, sub-microcephaly, microcephaly 

Microcephaly may fall as low as 800 cubic centimetres; macro- 
cephaly may rise as high as 3,000 cubic centimetres, and at these 
extremes the volume alone is sufficient to denote the anomaly. 
But in many cases the volume may fall within the limits of nor- 
mality; in such cases it is the pathological form and an examination 
of the patient which lead to the use of the term sub-microcephalic 
in preference to that of nanocephalic, etc. 



The volume, taken by itself, if it is not at one of the extreme 
limits, is not sufficient to justify a verdict of abnormality. 

The terms macro- and microcephalic are, in any case, quite 
generic, and simply indicate a morphological anomaly, which may 
include many widely different cases, such, for example, as rickets, 
hydrocephaly, pachycephaly, etc., all of which have in common the 
morphological characteristic of macrocephaly. 

In rickets, for instance, macrocephaly may occur in conjunction 
with a normal or even supernormal intelligence (Leopardi). 
Microcephaly, on the contrary, could never occur combined with 
normal intelligence, since it is a sign indicative of atrophy of the 

cerebrospinal axis and diminution 
or, as Brugia phrases it, dehuman- 
ization of the individuality. 

In all the widely varied series 
of pathological and degenerate in- 
dividuals who are included under 
the generic names of 'deficients" 
and ''criminals," there is a notable 
percentage of crania that are ab- 
normal both in volume and in 
form; the percentage of crania 
with normal dimensions is less than 
that of the crania which exceed or 
fall below such dimensions, and 
among these there is a preponder- 
ance of suhmicrocephalic crania: a 
morphological characteristic asso- 
ciated with a partial arrest of cere- 
bral development, due to internal 
causes and manifested from the earliest period of infant life. 

The accompanying chart (Fig. 82) demonstrates precisely this fact. 
It represents the growth of the cranium in normal and in abnormal 
children. The abnormal are at one time superior and at another 
inferior to the normal children; but their general average shows a 
definite inferiority to the normal. Lombroso established the fact 
that among adult criminals there is an inferiority of cranial develop- 
ment, frequently accompanied by a stature that is normal, or even 
in excess of normality. 

Quite recently, Binet has called attention to a form of suh-> 





Normal cfiildren 
Abnormal " 







t ■ 














Fig. 82. — Growth of Cranial Circumference. 


microcephaly acquired through external causes, which is of great 
interest from the pedagogic point of view. Blind children and 
those who are deafmutes have, up to the seventh or eighth year, a 
cranium of normal dimensions, but by the fourteenth or fifteenth 
year the volume is notably below the normal, and this stigma of 
inferiority remains permanently in the adults. This fact, which is 
of very general occurrence, is attributed by Binet to a deficiency 
of sensations, and consequently a deficiency of certain specific 
cerebral exercises. 

This whole question has a fundamental interest for us as educa- 
tors, because it affords an indirect proof that cerebral exercise 
develops the brain, or in other words, that education has a physical 
and morphological influence as well as a psychic one. 

This question, coupled with that of the influence of alimentation 
upon the development of the head, leads to the conclusion that a 
two-fold nutriment is necessary for the normal development of 
man : material nutriment and nutriment of the spirit. ■ 

It follows that education must be considered from two different 
points of view : that of the progress of civilisation, and that of the 
perfectionment of the species. 

In regard to variations of cranial volume, just as in the case of 
variations of stature, there are a number of different factors which 
may be summed up in such a way as to afford us certain determin- 
ing characteristics of social caste. Delicate questions these, which 
we may sum up in a single question equally delicate, that lends 
itself to a vast amount of discussion; namely, what is the rela- 
tion between the volume of the brain and the development of the 

Individual Variations of Cerebral (and Cranial) Volume. Rela- 
tion between the Development of the Cerebral Volume and the Develop- 
ment of the Intelligence. — The series of arguments in reference to 
the cerebral volume ought to be considered independently of the 
biological and biopathological factors which we have up to this 
point been considering; namely, race, sex, age, degeneration and 

That is to say, in normal individuals, other conditions being 
equal, volumetric differences of the brain may be met with, analo- 
gous to those other infinite individual variations, in which nature 
expresses, her creative power, even while preserving unchanged 
the general morphology of the species. _ ' , 


It is due to this fact that the innumerable individuals of a race, 
while all bearing a certain resemblance to one another, are never 
any two of them identically alike. 

Variations of this sort, which might be called biological individ- 
ualisations, are in any case subject to the most diverse influences 
of environment, which concur in producing individual varieties. 

This is in accordance with general laws which are applicable 
to any biological question whatever, but that in our case assume a 
special interest. There are certain men who have larger or smaller 
brains; and there are men of greater or of less intelligence. Is 
there a quantitative relation between these two manifestations, 
the morphological and the psychic? 

Everyone knows that this is one of those complicated, much 
discussed questions that spread outside of the purely scientific 
circles and become one of the stock themes of debate among 
classes incompetent to judge; consequently it has been colored by 
popular prejudice, rather than by the light of science. It is well 
that persons of education should acquire accurate ideas upon the 

If the volume of the brain should be in proportion to the intel- 
lectual development, argues the general public, what sort of a 
head must Dante Alighieri have had? He would have had to be 
the most monstrous macrocephalic ever seen upon earth. And 
on the basis of this superficial observation, they wish to deny any 
quantitative relation whatever between brain and intelligence. 
And yet it is this same general public that keeps insisting: Woman 
has less intelligence than man, because she has a smaller brain. 

A single glance up and down the zoological scale suffices to show 
that throughout the whole animal series a greater development of 
brain is accompanied by a correspondingly greater development 
of psychic activity; and that there is a conspicuous difference 
between the human brain and that of the higher animals (anthro- 
poid apes), corresponding to the difference between the level of 
man's psychic development and that of the higher mammals; and 
this justifies the assertion that, as a general rule, there is a quantita- 
tive relation between the brain and the intellect. 

This suggests the thought that the perfect development of this 
delicate instrument, the brain, demands a variety of harmonious 
material conditions, among others the volume, in order to render 
possible the conditions of psychic perfection. 


From this premise, we may pass on to a more particularised 
study of the material conditions essential to the superior type of 
brain. The volume is the quantitative index; but the quality may 
be considered from various points of view, which may be grouped 
as follows: 

I. The General Morphology of the Brain in reference to : 

{a) The harmonious, relative volumetric proportions between 
the lobes of the brain (namely, the proportion between the frontal, 
parietal, temporal and occipital lobes). It was formerly believed 
that a superior brain ought to show a prevalence of the frontal 
lobes, since a lofty forehead is a sign of intellect; but it was after- 
ward established that there is no direct relation between the devel- 
opment of the forehead and the development of the frontal lobes; 
a higher forehead results from a greater volume of the entire 
cranial contents; the superior brain, on the contrary, is that in 
which no one lobe prevails over another, but all of them preserve 
a reciprocal and perfect harmony of dimensions. 

(6) The form, number and disposition of the cerebral convolu- 
tions, and of the folds of the internal passage (Sergio Sergi). 

(c) The form, number and disposition of the cells in the cortical 
strata of the brain, and the proportion between the gray matter 
and the white, that is to say, between the cells and fibres; in short, 
the histological structure of the brain. 

II. The Chemistry of the brain : 

(a) The chemical composition of the substances constituting 
the brain, which may be more or less complicated. (Recent studies 
of the chemical evolution of living organisms have demonstrated 
that the atomic composition is far more complex in the higher 

(5) The intimate interchange of matter in the cerebral tissues, 
in connection with their nutrition. 

(c) The chemical stimuli coming from the so-called glands of 
internal secretion (thyroid, etc.). 

All these conditions concur in determining the quality of the 
cerebral tissues. In its ontogenetic evolution, for example, the 
brain does not merely increase in volume, and its development is 
not limited to attaining a definite morphology; but its intimate 
structure and its chemical composition as well must pass through 
various stages of transition before attaining their final state. We 
know, for example, that the myelination of the nerve fibres takes 


place upward from the spinal marrow toward the brain, and that 
the pyramidal tracts (voluntary motor tracts) are the last to 
myelinate, and hence the last to perform their functions in the 

The consistence of the cerebral mass and its specific gravity 
also differ in childhood from that of the adult state. The evolution 
of the brain is therefore a very complex process; and this process 
may not be fully completed (for instance, it may be completed in 
volume, but not in form or chemical composition, etc.). 

Consequently, just as in the case of volume, there may be 
various qualitative conditions, such as would produce organic 

But supposing that qualitatively the evolution has been accom- 
plished normally, where there is greater cerebral volume, is there 
a correspondingly greater intellect? 

At this point it is necessary to take into consideration another 
series of questions regarding the brain considered as a material 
organ, and having reference to the relation between the volume of 
the hrain and that of the stature. 

The brain must govern the nerves in all the active parts of the 
body, especially the striped muscles, which perform all voluntary 
movement. Consequently the cerebral volume must be in pro- 
portion, not only to the intellectuality, but also to the physical 

Evidently, a greater mass of body demands a greater nervous 
system to give it motive power. 

The biological law is of a general nature: if the brain of a rat 
weighs 40 centigrams, that of an ox weighs 734 grams, and that of 
an elephant 4,896 grams. 

^^ The absolute volume of the hrain increases with the total volume 
of the body." 

But this correspondence is not proportional. There are two 
facts that alter the proportions. One of these is that the mass of 
the body increases faster than the brain, throughout the biological 
series of species, so that the smaller the body the greater the 
proportional quantity of brain. Just the opposite from what was 
found to hold true for the absolute weight. 

. It may be affirmed as a biological law that "the relative volume 
of the brain increases as the size of the body diminishes." For in- 
atcaiiGe^ the tiny brain of a, rat is a 43d part of the total volume of 


its body; the brain of an ox, on the contrary, is a 750th part. 
Consequently we may say that the httle rat has relatively a far 
larger brain than the huge ox. 

And the same thing holds true among men; those of small 
build have a proportionately larger brain than those of large 

A second fact which alters the absolute proportion between 
the volume of brain and the volume of body has reference to the 
'Afunctional capacity ^^ of the active parts. The muscles which 
are capable of the best activity and the greatest agility are the 
ones more abundantly stimulated through their nerves than those 
which are capable only of slow and sluggish action. The same may 
be said of the organs of sensation; the more highly the sensibility 
is developed, the larger are the corresponding nerves, and conse- 
quently the greater is the corresponding quantity of cerebral cells. 
Accordingly the animal which is nimblest in its movements, and 
most capable of sensations has in proportion to this greater 
functional activity a greater cerebral volume. In this same way we 
may explain the enormous difference in relative brain volume 
between the extremely active, sensitive and intelligent little beast 
which we call the rat, and the sluggish and stupid animal which 
we call the ox. Consequently this functional activity has a corre- 
spondingly greater volume of brain, without a correspondingly 
greater volume of the various highly sensitized organs. In such 
a case it may be stated as a general law that 'Hhe relative volume 
of the brain is in direct proportion to the intelligence (or, more broadly, 
to the functional activity), while the absolute volume is in direct rela- 
tion to the total mass of the body.'' 

Man has a cerebral volume of 1,500 cubic centimetres, a volume 
equal to a fortieth part of the whole body. Consequently he has 
a brain twice the actual size of that of the ox, while considered in 
its relation to bodily bulk, he has more brain than the smallest rat 
(man = ^Vj rat = ^V)- A volume so far exceeding the proportions 
found in animals, is beyond doubt directly related to human 

Relation between Cerebral and Intellectual Development in Man. — 
This ends our examination of the generic question of the relation 
between cerebral volume and intellect. 

Granting these biological principles, and wishing to apply 
them to normal man, let us go back to our first question: "Do 


persons of greater intelligence have a greater cerebral volume, and 
consequently a larger head?" 

There is an extensive literature upon this question, the tendency 
of which is to decide it affirmatively. 

Parchappe has made a comparative study between writers of 
recognized ability and simple manual workers, and has found that 
the former have a development of the head notably in excess of 
the latter. 

Broca took measurements, in various hospitals, of the heads of 
physicians and m.ale nurses, and found a greater development of 
head in the case of the physicians. 

Lebon made a study of cranial measurements in men of letters, 
tradesmen, the nobility and domestic servants, and found the max- 
imum development among the men of letters and the minimum 
among the servants. The tradesmen, who at all events are per- 
forming a work of social utility, stand next to the men of letters; 
while the aristocrats show some advantage over the domestics. 
Bajenoff took his measurements from famous persons on the 
one hand and from convicted assassins on the other, and found a 
greater head development among the former. 

Enrico Ferri has made similar researches among soldiers who 
have had a high-school education and those who are uneducated, 
and has found a more developed cranium among the educated 

I also have made my own modest contribution to this important 
question, by seeking to determine the difference in cranial volume 
between the school-children who stand respectively at the head 
and foot of their class, and have found among children of 
the age of ten a mean cranial circumference of 527 millimetres 
for the more intelligent and of only 518 millimetres for the less 

Similar results were obtained by Binet in his researches among 
the elementary schools of Paris. He found among children of the 
age of twelve that the brightest had a mean cranial circumference 
of 540 millimetres and those at the foot of their class a mean of 
only 530 millimetres. The following table gives a parallel between 
these various cranial measurements: 




Binet Children in the elementary schools of Paris, from 11 to 13 years of age 

Montessori. . . . Children in the elementary schools of Rome, from 9 to 11 years of age 

Binet's figures 

Montessori's figu 









for intel- 

as back- 


for intel- 

as back- 






Maximum circum- 



+ 10 




ference of cranium. 

Length of cranium. . . 







Breadth of cranium. . 







Height of cranium. . . 







Minimum frontal 






+ 1 


Height of forehead. . . 






+ 1 

By calculating the cranial capacities according to Broca's 
method, I obtained: 

Cranial capacity 

/ in the best pupils chosen 1557 cu. cm. 

\ in the worst pupils chosen 1488 cu. cm. 

From all these manifold researches above cited, we can reach 
no other conclusion than that individuals of greater intelligence 
have a larger quantity of brain; or else that individuals with a 
greater quantity of brain are more intelligent. 

There is a subtle distortion of this principle, which many soci- 
ological anthropologists have taken as their starting-point, espe- 
cially in Germany, in their attempt to establish a biological basis 
for the Schopenhauerian theories of Friedrich Nietzsche. 

According to these, the persons who have acquired high social 
positions are biologically superior (possessing a greater cerebral 
mass), and the same may be said of conquering races as compared 
with the conquered. Differences in caste are to be explained in 
the same way, and on this ground nature sanctions the social 
inferiority of woman. 

This is a question of the greatest importance, which merits a 
vast amount of discussion. 

*MoNTESSORi, Sui caratteri antropometrici in relazione alle gerarchie del fanciulli nelle 
scuole, p. 51. ("Anthropometric characteristics in relation to the grading of children in 


What Sort of Man is the Most Intelligent? — Straightway, a 
first serious objection suggests itself: What sort of persons are the 
most intelligent? Are they really those who have attained the 
higher academic degrees and the most eminent social positions? 
Consequently, is the Prime Minister more intelligent than the 
Assistant Secretary of State, and the latter more intelligent than 
the Head of a Department, and he again than the door-keeper? 

Are literary productions and the acquisition of laurels reliable 
tests of intelligence? Is this man a doctor because he is more 
intelligent, and that man a hospital attendant because he is less 
intelligent ? 

It is evident that there exist in the social world certain priv- 
ileges of caste, which may raise to the pinnacle of literary glory or to 
a clamorous notoriety certain persons who owe their rise to favor- 
itism and trickery; or at least, so-called ''literary fame" must be 
dependent upon the possibility of getting writings published, 
which another man perhaps would have had no way of bringing 
before the public so as to make them known and appreciated; just 
as, on the other hand, there are men of genius who are destined 
to feel their inborn intelligence suffocating under the cruel tyranny 
of existing economic conditions, which punish pauperism with 
obscurity and hold protection and favours at a distance. 

A thousand various conditions of our social environment hinder 
powerful innate activities from finding expression and attaining 
elevated social positions. Now, when we start to measure these 
different categories of persons, shall we measure the more or the 
less fortunate individuals, those more or those less favoured by 
economic conditions of birth and environment, or shall we measure 
those persons who are actually the more and the less intelligent? 

And even in school can we be sure that the child whom we 
judge the most intelligent is actually so? Studies in experimental 
psychology made in quite recent times of men whose works justify 
their being placed in the ranks of geniuses, have shown that these 
men of genius were never, in their school-days, either at the head 
of their class, or winners of any competitions. Consequently, we 
have not yet learned the means of judging intelligence. 

If we stop to think of the way in which the intelligence of pupils 
was judged up to only a few years ago, according to pedagogic 
methods that were a remnant of the pietistic schools, this will 
help us to form some idea. The more intelligent ones were those 



best able to recite dogmatic truths from memory. And even to- 
day we have not advanced very far above that level. 

As a general rule that pupil is considered the most intelligent 
who best succeeds in echoing his teacher and in modeling his own 
personality as closely as possible upon that of his preceptor. 

This fact is so well known that it has come to be utilised as 
one of the clever tricks for obtaining higher marks even in univer- 
sity examinations, and for winning competitions; it is known that 
the prize is reserved for the student who can repeat most faith- 
fully and proclaim most eloquently the master's own ideas. 

Here is precisely one of the most fundamental problems offered 
by scientific pedagogy: how to diagnose the human intelligence, 
and distinguish the person who is intelligent from the person who 
is not. A difficult task, or rather a difficult problem; 

The Influence of Economic Conditions upon the Development of 
the Brain. — Certain factors, due to environment, exert an influence 
upon the development of the cerebral volume; this fact opens up 
another whole series of interesting questions. 

Among the factors due to environment, the leading place is 
held by nutrition, dependent upon economic conditions. 

Niceforo contends that among the various social classes, those 
who can obtain the best nourishment have the greatest develop- 
ment of brain, and consequently of head. He offers in evidence 
the figures summarised in the following table : 


Boys of the age of 


Sons of small 

tradesmen and 



11 years 

12 years 

13 years 

14 years 






In short, there is a gradation of cranial volume corresponding 
to the economic status in society. This is a condition easy to 
understand: we simply find repeated in this particular the same 
thing that we have already seen happen to the body as a whole; 
the organism in its entirety and consequently each separate part 



of it — if it is to develop in accordance with its special biological 
potentiality and so attain the limits of finality set for it — must 
receive nourishment. It is only natural that children who, during 
their period of growth, are deprived of sufficient and suitable 
nutrition should remain inferior in development to those who had 
the advantage of an abundance of the proper kind of food. The 
influence of the economic factor is indisputable. Consequently, 
reverting once more to the studies above cited, may we not con- 
clude that the man of letters, the physician, the person of distinc- 
tion have a greater development of head than the manual labourer, 
the hospital attendant, the illiterate, simply because it was their 
good fortune to obtain better nutriment, through belonging to 
the wealthy social classes? 

The Influence of Exercise upon Cerebral Development. — The second 
interesting question is in reference to the influence which exercise 
may have upon the development of the brain. As early as 1861 
Broca investigated this question in a classic work: De V influence 
de r education sur le volume et la forme de la tete ("The influence of 
education on the volume and form of the head), in which he arrived 
at the following conclusion: that a suitable exercise (intellectual 
culture, education, hygiene) does have an influence on the de- 
velopment of the brain, in the same way as with any other organ, 
as, for example, the striped muscles, which gain in volume and 
strength and beauty of form through gymnastic exercise. '^ Con- 
sequently," exclaims Broca enthusiastically, '^ education not only 
has the power of rendering mankind better; it has also the marvel- 
lous power of rendering man superior to himself, of enlarging his 
brain and perfecting his form!" 

"Popular education means the betterment of the race.'' 

Accordingly we might say, relying on the above-mentioned 
studies, that the man of letters, the physician, the person of distinc- 
tion have a more highly developed head than the manual workman, 
the hospital attendant and the illiterate, because they exercised 
their brain to a greater extent, and not because they were more 
intelligent. This, however, is a question which differs profoundly 
from that which we were previously considering, nutrition, be- 
cause in this case exercise, in addition to developing the organ, 
gives its own actual and personal contribution to the intelligence. 

Therefore, we are able to be creators of intelligence and of 
brain tissue, which in turn becomes the creative force of our civili- 


sation. A system of instruction which, in place of over-straining 
the brain, should aid it to develop and perfect itself, stimulating 
it to a sort of autocreation, would truly be, as Broca says, ''capa- 
ble of rendering man superior to himself." This is what is being 
sought by scientific pedagogy, which has already laid the foun- 
dation of ''cerebral hygiene." 

We are still very far to-day from realising this highest human 
ambition ! We do not yet know the basic laws of the economy of 
forces that would lead to a stimulation of the human activities 
to the point of creation; on the contrary, we are still at a primitive 
period, in which many of the environing conditions interfere, to the 
point of preventing the human germ to attain its natural biological 
finality. In short, we know how to obtain artificially an arrest 
of development; but we have not yet learned the art of aiding and 
enriching nature! 

The Influence of the Biological Factor upon Cerebral Development. 
— What conclusion ought we to reach from what has been said 
up to this point? Upon what does the cerebral volume depend, in 
all its individual variations, resting on the common biological 
bases of race, normality and sex? Is individual variation due 
solely to causes of environment, such as nutrition and exercise? 
And does it follow that it is not dependent upon biological potential- 
ities more or less pronounced in separate individuals — in short, 
upon different degrees of intelligence?. 

In the presence of such a multiplicity of questions we must pro- 
ceed, not to a selection but to a sum. Every biological phenom- 
enon is the result of a number of factors. The development of the 
brain depends in precisely the same way as the development of the 
whole body or of a single muscle, upon the combined influence of bio- 
logical factors determining the individual variability, and of factors 
of environment, principal among which are nutrition and exercise. 
A suitable diet aids growth, and so also does a rational exercise; 
but underlying all the rest, as a potential cause, is the biological 
factor which mysteriously assigns a certain predestination to each 
individual. The environment may combat, alter, and impede 
what nature "had written upon the fertilised ovum;" but we 
cannot forget that this scheme, pre-established by the natural order 
of life, is the principal factor among them all, the one which deter- 
mines the '' character of the individual.^ ^ 

Now, on the basis of this influence of the biological factor upon 


the cerebral development, we may affirm that: to greater intelli- 
gence there corresponds a brain more developed in volume. What 
gives us proof of this is the brain of the exceptional man — of men 
of genius, who frequently have heads of extraordinary volume. 

Persons of high celebrity, and not those, for example, who have 
become known through some recent discovery in the field of posi- 
tive science — since a piece of good fortune may coincide with a 
normal cranial volume — but the true creative geniuses who have 
left the deep imprint of themselves upon their immortal works, 
have generally had a cerebral volume that was truly gigantic: 
the poetic brain of the great Schiller weighed 1,785 grams, that of 
Cuvier, the naturalist, 1,829 grams, that of the great statesman, 
Cromwell, 2,231 grams, and lastly, that of Byron, 2,238 grams. 
The brain of the normal man weighs about 1,400 grams. 

Consequently, these are extraordinary volumetric figures that 
could not be acquired, either by much eating, or by being educated 
according to the scientific means of the most advanced peda- 
gogy; they are due to the extraordinary biological potentiality 
of the man of genius. 

In these extraordinary heads the exceptional volume is com- 
bined with a characteristic form: they always have a more than 
normal development of the forehead. Even in the course of 
biological evolution, as we have already seen, in the higher species 
a greater cerebral volume has a correspondingly broader and more 
erect forehead. If we examine portraits of men of genius, what 
strikes us chiefly in them is the high and spacious brow, as though 
men of genius, in comparison with the rest of us, were representa- 
tives of a superior race. But if the portrait shows the face taken 
in profile, it will be easily observed that the direction of the forehead 
is not vertical, but even slightly recessive ; that is, it preserves the 
characteristic male form, with the vault slightly inclined backward 
and the orbital arches slightly pronounced. 

The Pretended Cerebral Inferiority of Woman. — One final argu- 
ment, which is of interest to us, is the great question of the relation 
between cerebral volume and intelligence in woman. Because, as 
you know, there is a very widespread belief of long standing that 
is confirmed in the name of science: that woman is biologically, 
in other words totally, inferior, that the volume of her brain is 
condemned by nature to an inferiority against which nothing can 
prevail. Just as our perfected pedagogy, excellent alimentation 


and improved hygienic conditions could never endow a normal 
man with the brain of a genius, in the same way, so it is said, it is 
impossible ever to augment the size of the brain of woman, who is 
necessarily condemned to resign herself to remain in that state of 
social inferiority to which she is now reduced and from which she 
would in vain attempt to emancipate herself. 

Names as famous as that of Lombroso* which are associated 
with the progress of positive science, lend the weight of their 
authority to this form of condemnation ! And it is not easy to do 
away with this sort of prejudice, which has slowly been dissemi- 
nated among the people under the guise of a scientific theory. But 
to-day there are scientists who have been impelled to make certain 
extremely minute, impartial and objective studies, without any 
preconception on the subject — such men as Messedaglia, Dubois, 
Lapique, Zanolli, and Manouvrier — who, by calculating the 
cerebral mass, at one time in comparison with the whole body, at 
another with the surface of the body, and still again with the 
various active or skeletal parts of the organism — have arrived at 
an opposite conclusion : namely, that they can demonstrate a greater 
development of brain in woman. Among these scientists it gives 
me pleasure to name before all others Manouvrier — one of the 
most gifted anthropologists of our day — who has devoted twenty 
years to an exceedingly minute study of this problem. Here in 
brief outline are his method of procedure and his conclusions. 
That the cerebral volume should be considered in its relation to 
the stature is a familiar principle; but a comparison between man 
and woman based solely upon such a proportion, continues to 
maintain the cerebral inferiority of woman. Have we, however, 
the right to compare a volumetric measure (the cerebral mass) 
with a linear measure (the stature)? Such a comparison is a 
mathematical error, as we have already technically proved. 
Accordingly we find that Manouvrier compares the brain with the 
mass of the whole body, its entire bulk; and he analyzes this entire 
bulk, considering separately its active parts, without troubling 
himself about their functional potentiality. He deduces from them 
certain figures and proportions; more than that, he forms a sort 
of index, which might be called the ''index of sexual mass," between 
woman (minor mass) and man, reduced to a scale of 100 — which 

* Lombroso (who died while this book was in press) defended the principle of the innate 
inferiority of woman and regarded her, in comparison with man, as a case of infantile arrest 
of development. 


may be summed up in an equation: man : 100= woman : the 
following percentual analyses: 

Stature and weight of body 88 . 5 

Weight of brain : 90.0 

Weight of skeleton (femur) 62 . 5 

CO2 exhaled in twenty-four hours 64 . 5 

Vital capacity (at age of eighteen) 72 . 6 

Strength of hands 57 . 1 

Strength of vertical traction . 52 . 6 

Hence it is evident, that, in comparison with her actual organic 
mass, woman differs from man far more than is indicated by the 
differences in stature and in bodily weight. 

Instead of taking all these various separate mean measurements, 
let us take one single comprehensive mean resulting from them: 
woman: man = 80 : 100; there we have the proportion. Now, 
Manouvrier proceeds to reduce all the separate measurements of 
man from 100 to 80, and calculates how much brain man would lose 
if he were reduced to a mass having feminine limits; he finds that 
the loss would be 172 grams. Woman on the contrary has only 
150 grams of brain less than man. Consequently the cerebral 
volume of woman is superior to that of man! 

This is an anthropological superiority which is further revealed 
in the more perfected form of the cranium, insomuch as woman has 
an absolutely erect forehead and has no remaining traces of the 
supra-orbital arches (characteristics of superiority in the species). 

Thus, we have a contradiction between existing anthropolog- 
ical and social conditions: woman, whom anthropology regards as 
a being having the cranium of an almost superior race, continues 
to be relegated to an unquestioned social inferiority, from which 
it is not easy to raise her. 

Who is Socially Superior? — But here again we may ask, as we 
did regarding the question of intelligence : What constitutes social 
superiority? And in our social environment who is superior and 
who is inferior? 

Social superiority, like moral superiority, is the product of 
evolution. In primitive times when men, in order to live, were 
limited like animals to gathering the spontaneous fruit of the earth, 
according to the poetry of the biblical legend, and according to 
what sociology repeats to-day, the superior man was the one of 
largest stature, the giant. People paid him homage because he was 
the most imposing, without troubling themselves to ask whether, 

Fig. 83. — Leptoprosopic face. 

Fig. 84. — Chameprosopic face. 

Fig. 85. — Lina Cavalieri. 

Fig. 86. — Maria Mancini. 


or not, he might be insane. In this way Saul was the first king. 
When the time came that men were no longer content to live on 
the spontaneous fruit of the earth, but were forced to till the soil, 
then a new victory was inaugurated, the victory of the more 
active and intelligent man. David killed Goliath. This great 
Bible story marks the moment when the superiority of man came 
to be considered under a more advanced and spiritual aspect. 
When the men who cultivated the earth began to feel the need of 
other neighbouring lands and became conquerors, then the soldier 
was evolved, until in the middle ages there resulted such a triumph 
of militarism that the nobles alone were conquerors in war; and 
the persons who to-day would be called superior, the men of intel- 
lect, the poets, were considered as feeble folk, despicable and 
effeminate. In our own times, now that the great conquests of 
the earth have been made and the victorious people consequently 
brought into harmony, the moment has come for conquering the 
environment itself, in order to wring from it new bread and new 
wealth. And this is the proud work of human intelligence which 
creates by aiding all the forces of nature and by triumphing over 
its environment; thus to-day it is the man of intelligence who is 
superior. But it seems as though a new epoch were in preparation, 
a truly human epoch, and as though the end had almost come of 
those evolutionary periods which sum up the history of the heroic 
struggles of humanity; an epoch in which an assured peace will 
promote the brotherhood of man, while morality and love will 
take their place as the highest form of human superiority. In 
such an epoch there will really be superior human beings, there 
will really be men strong in morality and in sentiment. Perhaps 
in this way the reign of woman is approaching, when the enigma 
of her anthropological superiority will be deciphered. Woman 
was always the custodian of human sentiment, morality and honour, 
and in these respects man always has yielded woman the palm. 

Face and Visage 

The Limits of the Face. — The face is that part of the head which 
remains when the cranial cavity is not considered. To attempt 
to separate accurately, in the skeleton, the facial from the cerebral 
portion would involve a lengthy anatomical description; for our 
purpose it is enough to grasp the general idea that the face is the 
portion situated beneath the forehead, bounded in front by the 


curves of the eyebrows, and in profile by a line passing in projec- 
tion through the auricular foramen and the external orbital 
apophysis (Fig. 39, page 188). 

It is customary during life to consider the entire anterior por- 
tion of the head as constituting one single whole, bounded above 
by the line formed by the roots of the hair, and below by the chin. 
This portion includes actually not only the face but a portion of the 
cerebral cranium as well, namely, the forehead; it bears the name 
of the visage and is considered under this aspect only during life. 

Human Characteristics of the Face. — One characteristic of the 
human cranium, as we have already seen (Fig. 40), as compared 
with animals, is the decrease in size of the face, and especially of 
the jaw-bones in inverse proportion to the increase of the cranial 

"Man," says Cuvier, ''is of all living animals the one that has 
the largest cranium and the smallest face ; and animals are stupider 
and more ferocious as they depart further from the human 

In man, the cranium, assuming that graceful development 
which is characteristic of this superior species, surmounts the face, 
which recedes below the extreme frontal limit of the brain. 

The different races of mankind, however, do not all of them 
attain so perfect a form; in some of them the face protrudes some- 
what in advance of the extreme frontal limit, and in such cases we 
say that it is prognathous. 

Thus the relations in the reciprocal development between cran- 
ium and face are different in animals and in man; as they also are 
in the various human races. Cuvier gives some idea of these pro- 
portions by comparing the European man with animals, by means 
of the following formulas which he has obtained by calculating 
approximately the square surface of a middle section of the head : 

Cranium : face = 
European man 4:1 

(cranium four times the size of the face) 

Orang-utan and chimpanzee 3:1 

Lower monkeys 2:1 

Carnivora 1:1 

Ruminants 1:2 

Hippopotamus 1:3 

Horse 1:4 

(the reverse of man) 
Whale 1 :20 

Fig. 87. — Portrait of the Fornarina 
(Raphael Sanzio) Rome: Barbarini 

Fig. 88. — Triangular face. 

Fig. 89.— Ellipsoidal face. 

Fig. 90. — Long ovoid face. 


But no general law, no systematic connection can be deduced 
from such relative proportions. They serve only to demonstrate 
a characteristic. 

Upon this characteristic depends preeminently the beauty of 
the human visage. If we are considering the visage from its 
aesthetic aspect and wish to compare it with the muzzle of animals, 
we may say that in regard to its proportions it is as though the 
muzzle had been forced backward from its apex, while the cranium 
had swelled, through the increase of its vertical diameter. The 
muzzle is formed of the two jaws alone, on the upper of which the 
nose is located horizontally; there is neither forehead nor chin along 
the vertical line of the visage. As the jaws recede and the cranium 
augments, the forehead rises, the nose becomes vertical, and when 
the mandible has retreated beyond the frontal limit, the wide 
yawning mouth has been reduced in size, while a new formation 
has appeared below it — the chin. By this, I am trying merely 
to draw a comparison which I trust will be of service by suggesting 
a didactic method of illustrating the reduction of an animal's 
muzzle to human proportions. Whatever forms a part of the 
visage bears the morphological stamp of humanity: the forehead, 
the erect nose and the entire region of the mandible, which contains 
the principal beauty of the human face. 

The narrow opening of the lips, mobile because so richly en- 
dowed with the muscles that unite in forming it, is quite truly the 
charming and gracious doorway of the organs of speech, which by 
shaping the internal thought into words are able to give it utter- 
ance; while the winning smile allures, captivates and consoles, 
thereby accomplishing an eminently social function; and socia- 
bility is inseparable from humanity. 

The animal mouth, on the contrary, is the organ for seizing 
food, the organ of mastication, and, in felines, a weapon of offence 
and a means of destruction. 

Tarde says: ''The mandibles seem to shape themselves in 
accordance to the degree of intelligence; they become more finely 
modeled in proportion as the two social functions of speaking and 
smiling acquire a greater importance than the two individual 
functions of biting and masticating." 

And Mantegazza says: ''Cruelty has localised its imprint 
around the mouth, perhaps because killing and eating are two 
successive moments of the same event." 


The Normal Visage 

The visage is that part of the body which is preeminently 
human; being richly endowed with muscles, it represents the 
''mirror of the soul," through the expressions that it assumes 
according to the successive sentiments, passions and transitions 
of thought. The visage is a true mine of individual character- 
istics, by which different persons may be most easily and clearly 
distinguished from one another; while at the same time it bears 
the stamp of the most general characteristics of race, such as the 
form, the expression, the tone of complexion, etc., in consequence 
of which the face has hitherto held the first place in the classifica- 
tions of the human races. 

Even the peoples of ancient times, such as the Egyptians, made 
a physiognomical study of individual characteristics, founding a 
sort of empirical science that sought to read from the physiognomy 
the sentiments of the soul, the tendencies of character and the des- 
tiny of man. The visage also contains the greatest degree of 
attraction and charm, constituting that physical and spiritual 
beauty by which one person arouses in others feelings of sympathy 
and love. Oriental women cover their faces with thick veils 
through modesty, because the face reveals the entire feminine 
individuality, while the rest of the body reveals only the female of 
the human species, a quality common to all women. 

The visage includes many important parts, which, by develop- 
ing differently alter the physiognomy; the forehead, index of 
cerebral development, surmounts the face like a crown, revealing 
each individual's capacity for thought; furthermore, the visage 
contains all the organs of specific sense: sight, hearing, smell and 
taste, and hence all the ''gate- ways of intelligence." 

The organs of mastication, whose skeleton consists of the maxil- 
laries and the zygomata which reinforce and anchor the upper max- 
illary, are the parts that constitute by far the greater portion of 
the facial mass. In fact, their limits (breadth between the two 
zygomata; breadth between the external angles of the mandible, 
chin) are the determining factors of the contour and general form 
of the face, which is completed by the soft tissues. 

Forms of Face. — The first distinction in facial forms is that which 
is made between long or leptoprosopic faces and short or chamepro- 
sopic faces. Figs. 83 and 84 (facing page 258) represent two faces 

Fig. 91. — Tetragonal face (parallelopipe- Fig. 92. — Pentagonal leptoprosopic face, 
doidal) . 

Fig. 93. — Pentagonal mesoprosopic face. Fig. 94. — Face of inferior type prominence 

of the maxillary bones (prognathism). 


having the same identical breadth between the zygomata or cheek- 
bones; the profound difference between them is due to their differ- 
ent height or length of visage. 

The precise relation between height and breadth constitutes 
the index of visage, which is analogous to the index that we have 
already observed for the cranium. 

Normally there is a correspondence in form between the cran- 
ium and the face; dolichocephalics are also leptoprosopic; and 
brachycephalics are chameprosopics; normally, also, mesaticephaly 
is found in conjunction with mesoprosopy; but owing to the phe- 
nomena of hybridism or pathological causes (rickets), it may also 
happen that such correspondence is wanting; and that we have 
instead, for instance, a leptoprosopic face with a brachycephalic 
cranium or vice versa. 

Accordingly, long and short faces are characteristics of race 
almost as important as the cephalic index. But leptoprosopy and 
chameprosopy are not in themselves sufficient to determine the form 
of the face. On the contrary, in the case of living persons it is 
necessary also to take into consideration the contour of the visage, 
which contains characteristics relating to race, age and sex. The 
races which are held to be inferior hsive facial contours that are more 
or less angular; those that are held to be superior have, on the con- 
trary, a rotundity of contour; men have a more angular facial 
contour, in comparison with that of women; while children have a 
contour of face that is distinctly rotund. 

The angularities of the face are due to certain skeletal promi- 
nences, owing either to an excessive development of the zygomata 
(cheek-bones), or to a development of the maxillaries, which some- 
times produce a salience of the lower corners of the mandible, 
and at others a prominence of the maxillary arch (prognathism). 

Accordingly, the facial contours may be either rounded or angu- 
lar, and that, too, independently of the facial type; because in 
either case the visage may be either long or short. 

Depending upon the rounded facial contours, the visage may 
be distinguished as ellipsoidal or oval; we may meet with faces 
that are long, short or medium ellipsoids (leptoprosopic, chamepro- 
sopic, mesoprosopic faces), even to a point where the contour is 
almost circular : the orbicular face. Similarly, the oval faces may 
be classified as long, short and medium ovals. The so-called typical 
Roman visage is mesoprosopic, with an ellipsoidal contour. The 


faces of Cavalieri and of the Fornarina (Figs. 85, 87), celebrated for 
their beauty, are mesoprosopic ovals — and the exceptionally beauti- 
ful face of Maria Mancini is a mesoprosopic ellipse (Fig. 86). 

Countenances with rounded and mesoprosopic contours belong 
to the Mediterranean race, and the more closely they come to 
the mean average of that type and to a fusion of contours, the more 
beautiful they are. 

Faces with angular contours may be : triangular (due to promi- 
nence of the cheek-bones, or zygomata, and of the chin) ; tetragonal, 
further subdivided into quadrangular (chameprosopic) and parallel- 
epipedoidal (leptoprosopic, due to prominence of zygomata and 
corners of mandible); and polygonal, which may be either penta- 
gonal, formed by the protrusion of the zygomata, the angles of 
the mandible, and the chin; or hexagonal, formed by protrusion 
of the frontal nodules, the zygomata and the angles of the 

There may occur, in certain types of face, a very notable preva- 
lence of one part over another, so much so as to produce sharply 
differentiated and characteristic physiognomies. Thus, for exam- 
ple, a prevalence of forehead characterises the higher and superior 
type of the man of genius (compare the portrait of Bellini or of Dar- 
win). On the other hand, a prevalence either of the cheek-bones, 
or the lower jaw, or the angles of the mandible, together with an 
accompanying powerful development of the masticatory muscles, 
produce three different types, all of them chameprosopic, which 
represent, in respect to the face, inferior racial types, differing 
from one another, but which are frequently met with (at least 
to a noticeable extent) even among our own people, as types 
of the lower-class face, precisely because of the preponderance 
of the coarser features. 

Combined with the general type of face, there are certain speci- 
fied particulars of form of the separate parts; as, for example, in 
the case of the ellipsoid or ovoid types of mesoprosopic face, which 
seem to have attained the most harmonic fusion of characteristics, 
and consequently the highest standard of beauty, the eyes are 
very large and almond-shaped (the Fornarina, Maria Mancini, 
Cavalieri) ; angular faces are characterised by a narrow, slanting 
eye, through all the degrees down to that of the Mongolian; faces 
of low type have an eye characterised less by its form than by its 
smallness. The nose also shows differences; it is long and narrow 

Fig. 95. — Hexagonal face. 

Fig. 96. — Tetragonal face (square). 

Fig. 97. — Faces of inferior type 
(cheek bones prominent). 

Fig. 98. 


(leptorrhine) in the more leptoproscopic faces, and short, broad 
and fleshy (platyrrhine, flat-nosed) in chameprosopic faces, espe- 
cially in the lower types; in mesoprosopic faces it assumes its 
proper proportions, and occurs as the last detail or crowning 
touch of harmony in the perfect faces of the above-mentioned 

When one starts to make the first draft of an ornamental design, 
it often happens that the proportional relations are based upon 
certain geometric figures that might be called the skeleton of the 
ornamental design that is being constructed from them. Ac- 
cordingly, when an artist wishes to judge of the harmony of pro- 
portions in a drawing, a painting, or a statue, he often recon- 
structs with his eye a geometrical design that no longer exists 
in the finished work, but that must have served in its construc- 
tion. In short, there exist certain secret guiding lines and points 
which the eye of the observer must learn to recognise, to trace 
and to judge. 

This is the way that we should proceed in studying the facial 

Let us take or assume a person with the head orientated {i.e., 
with the occipital point resting against a vertical wall, and the 
glance level). The line uniting the point of the tragus (the little 
triangular cartilage projecting from the auricular foramen), with 
the juncture between the nasal septum and the upper lip, ought, 
in the case of an aesthetically regular face, to be horizontal. We 
may call this line the line of orientation. If it proves not to be 
horizontal, but oblique, slanting either forward (long nose) or 
backward (short nose), this in itself denotes an irregularity which 
is plainly perceptible, even to the casual observer. But it is only 
in exceptional cases that this line is not horizontal; its horizontality 
constitutes the norm, in our hybrid races. 

Naturally, it is horizontal only when the head is orientated 
in the manner above stated. Hence in normal cases its hori- 
zontality is an index of the orientation of the head. The orientated 
head is perfectly upright; and the line in question marks its level. 

Everyone knows that this position of the head is known as 
that of ''attention" and constitutes the position which formerly 
only soldiers, but now school children as well, must assume as a 
sign of salutation and respect toward their superiors. It is also 
the anthropologically normal attitude (as we may see in statuary). 


And it is a known fact that it is a position exceedingly difficult to 
assume intentionally with absolute accuracy. 

In fact, it corresponds to an attitude which has to be called 
forth by some inward stimulus of emotion, and for this reason I 
would call it the ''fundamental psychological line." The man 
who is conscious of his own dignity, or who hopes for his own re- 
demption; the man who is free and independent involuntarily 
holds his head orientated. 

It is not the vain man, or the proud man, or the dreamer, pr 
the bureaucratic official, whose head assumes this involuntary 
horizontal level that is characteristic of the most profound senti- 
ments known to humanity; persons of such types hold their heads 
slightly raised and the line shows a slight backward slant. 

The man who is depressed and discouraged, the man who has 
never had occasion to feel the deep, intimate and sacred thrill 
of human dignity, has on the contrary, a more or less forward slant 
in the psychological line of orientation. 

Look at Fig. 99, which shows a very attractive group of Ciociari 
or Neapolitan peasants. 

The man, or rather the beardless youth who is just beginning 
to feel himself a man, and therefore hopes for independence, holds 
his head proudly level; but the very pretty woman seated beside 
him holds her head gracefully inclined forward. For that matter, 
this is woman's characteristically graceful attitude. She never 
naturally assumes, nor does the artist ever attribute to her the 
proud and lofty attitude of the level head. But this graceful 
pose is in reality nothing else than the pose of slavery. The 
woman who is beginning to struggle, the woman who begins to 
perceive the mysterious and potent voice of human conflict, and 
enters upon the infinite world of modern progress, raises up her 
head — and she is not for that reason any the less beautiful. Be- 
cause beauty is enhanced, rather than taken away, by this atti- 
tude which to-day has begun to be assumed by all humanity: by 
the laborer, since the socialistic propaganda, and by woman in her 
feministic aspirations for liberty. 

Similarly in the school, if we wish to induce little children to 
hold their heads in the position of orientation, all that is necessary 
is to instil into them a sense of liberty, of gladness and of hope. 
Whoever, upon entering a children's class-room, should see their 
heads assume the level pose as if from some internal stimulus of 

Fig. 99. — -A group of Roman peasants. 


renewed life, could ask for no greater homage. This, and nothing 
else, is certainly what will form the great desire of the teacher of 
the future, who will rightly despise the trite and antiquated show 
of formal respect, but will seek to touch the souls of his pupils. 

To return to our lines, it follows that the level orientation 
is the true human position for the head; it ought never to be 
abased nor carried loftily, because man ought never to make 
himself either slave or master; it is the normal line, because it 
should be that of the accustomed attitudes; because man cannot 
normally be perpetually meditating, with his gaze upon the ground, 
as if forgetful of himself and of his social ties; nor can he forever 
gaze at the heavens, as though drawn upward by some supernal 
inspiration. The normal attitude is that of the thinking man, 
who cannot lean either in the one direction or the other, because 
he is so keenly conscious of being in close connection with all sur- 
rounding humanity; and he looks with horizontal gaze toward 
infinity, as though studying the path of common progress. 

Now, if from the metopic point of the forehead, we drop an 
imaginary perpendicular to the line of orientation, it ought to form, 
in projection, a tangent to the point of attachment of the nostrils. 
Observe the two lines traced on the profile of Pauline Borghese. 

This line, if prolonged, passes slightly within the extreme 
angle of the labial aperture, and forms the limit of the chin (see 
the portrait of Cavalieri, Fig. 101). In this case the profile is 

When the line does not pass in the aforesaid manner, but the 
facial profile protrudes beyond it, we have a case of prognathism, 
which may be total, when the whole face projects; maxillary when 
the mandibles project, nasal when it is only the nose that projects, 
and mental (or progeneism) when it is only the chin that protrudes. 

Figures 98, 100 and 103 represent forms of normal prognathism 
(related to race, Figs. 98, 100), and of pathological prognathism 
(Fig. 103, form associated with microcephaly). These two micro- 
cephalic profiles call to mind the muzzle of an animal; there is no 
erect forehead, the orbital arch forming the upward continuance; 
the nose is very long and almost horizontal to the protruding jaw; 
the fleshy lips constitute in themselves the anterior apex of the 
visage; while the chin recedes far back beneath them. 

But leaving aside these exceptional profiles, which serve by 
their very exaggeration to fix our conception of prognathism, let 



us examine the series of profiles in Fig. 100, which include some 
forms more or less peculiar, and others that are more or less custo- 
mary, of prognathism; forms that serve to characterise the 

Fig. 100. — (1) Orthognathous face; (2) prognathism limited to the nasal region; (3) 
prognathism limited to the sub-nasal region; (4) total prognathism, including the three 
regions, supra-nasal, nasal and sub-nasal; (5) exaggerated total prognathism, accompanied 
by mandibular prognathism; (6) the same in a child; (7) very marked prognathism, but due 
entirely to the prominence of the supra-nasal section, resulting in an apparent orthog- 
nathism (male of tall stature) ; (8) opposite type to the preceding: pronounced prognathism 
not extending to the supra-nasal region (feminine type) ; (9) misunderstood Greek profile 
(incorrect) resulting in a notable prognathism; (10) correct Greek profile, i.e., conforming 
to that of Greek statues, and incompatible with prognathism.* 

Manouvrier, analysing the forms of prognathism from the point of view of 
physiognomy and cerebral development, notes that varieties 4 and 5 seem to him 
to correspond to a more or less serious cerebral development; variety 2, very 
frequent in France and more particularly, according to the author, among the 
Jews, is not incompatible with a high cerebral inferiority. Variety 3, more 
frequent in the feminine sex, is found in conjunction, sometimes with a weakly 
skeletal system, and frequently with rickets and cretinism; nevertheless, Beeth- 
oven showed an approach to this profile. 

Variety 4 indicates on the contrary an extremely vigorous development of 
the skeleton, with the qualities and defects commonly associated with great 
physical strength; variety 7 is regularly associated with tall stature; in fact, in 
this case the prognathism is determined by excessive development of the frontal 

It is this development, prevalent in the male sex, that renders sub-nasal 
prognathism much rarer in man. As a matter of fact, the feminine type of 
prognathism shown in No. 8 is not greater in degree than the male type. No. 7. 
Variety 9 shows us a form of prognathism in art, due to a false interpretation of 
the Greek profile; it is commonly believed that in the Greek profile the frontal 
line is a continuation of that along the bridge of the nose, and hence we frequently 
meet with commemorative medals, etc., bearing the monstrous profile shown in 
No. 9, with pronounced prognathism and receding forehead. The true Greek 
profile is shown in No. 19, but we can better analyse it by studying the profile 
of the Discobolus (Fig. 105) and of Antinoous (Fig. 106). 

* The above elucidation and illustrations of the face are taken from Manouvrier, 
Cephalometrie Anthropologique. 

Fig. 102. — Head of Pauline Bonaparte Borghese (Rome, Borghese Museum). 














Fig. 103. — Profiles of microcephalics. 



The lines of the facial angle have been traced upon the profile of the Discobolus, 
but the profile of Antinoous has been left untouched, in order that we may trace 
the same lines upon it in imagination, and thus judge of its perfect beauty (facing 
page 270). 

Let us first examine these two Greek profiles, without stopping to analyse 
their separate characteristics, but considering them from the more general point 
of view of the facial profile in general. Reverting, instead, for our analytical 
study to the schematic figure shown in Fig. 104, we see that it also shows the line 
of the facial profile, that of orientation and the vertical, and that these lines form 
certain right-angled triangles; the right angle MP A is not the facial angle, any 
more than the corresponding angle shown in the Discobolus is the facial angle. 
It is said that Greek art considered the right angle as the perfect facial angle; 
but that is not true. In order to obtain the facial angle it is necessary to draw a 
third line (MS) which extends from the metopic point to the point of attach- 
ment of the nasal septum to the upper lip; this is the line of the facial profile, 
and the angle MSA is the facial angle. It is never a right angle (see the Dis- 
cobolus), but it approaches very closely to a right angle. Let us examine the 
triangle AIPS, bounded by the ver- 
tical, the line of profile and the line 
of orientation; it is right-angled at 
P. Hence, the sum of its other 
two angles must be equal to one 
right angle; but the upper angle, 
corresponding to the nasal aperture, 
is of only 15°, and consequently the 
facial angle is 75°. The facial 
angle of the Discobolus also, like 
that of Antinoous, like that of the 
normal human visage, is 75°. 

Examine further this Fig. 104 ; in 
it the line of the facial profile, ex- 
tending from the metopion to the 
septo-labial point also passes through 
the point corresponding to the at- 
tachment of the base of the nose 

The figure is schematic; but 
anyone who will trace it in imagi- 
nation upon the profile of Cavalieri, 
or on that of the seated woman in 

the group of Neopolitan peasants, or on any of the classic profiles known in art 
as the Roman profile, will find that the nasal line, connecting the supra- and 
sub-nasal points, coincides with the line drawn from the sub-nasal point to the 
metopion. But if we observe the Greek profile of the Discobolus, we shall 
find that the line of profile does not coincide with the base of the nose, but 
passes behind it. 

This is the real characteristic difference between the Roman and the Greek 
profile: in the Greek profile, the root of the nose is attached further in front of 


Fig. 104. 


the metopico-subnasal line, and this is due to the special form of the Greek fore- 
head, which, instead of being shghtly flattened at the glabella, as in the equally- 
beautiful Roman forehead, is rounded to such a degree that the transverse section 
of the forehead follows a circular line. Hence, it results that the metopic region 
of the forehead is more prominent and the nose straight, and hence also the hne 
of the forehead is a perceptible continuation of that of the nose (compare the 
Antinoous). This unique and essential difference between the Greek and the 
Roman profile has not hitherto been pointed out, so far as I am aware; it is indi- 
cated by just one of the facial lines, the one which forms an angle of 75° with the 
line of orientation. I had an opportunity to observe these differences in my study 
of the women of Latium, which I pursued side by side with a study of the statues 
in the museums of Rome, under the guidance of distinguished art specialists; 
nevertheless, they had none of them ever defined by mathematical lines the sole 
difference between the two classic types. 

The habit of tracing these imaginary lines renders us far more keen iii recog- 
nising any and every degree of prognathism, even the least perceptible, and any 
other imperfection of the profile, than the most complicated system of goniometry 
would make us. For instance, examine the profile of Pauline Borghese; it is 
certainly not prognathous, since the vertical line reveals a most impeccable 
orthognathism. But let us trace the nasal line: it meets the vertical line before 
reaching the metopic point ; in order to meet it at this point, the nose would have 
had to be narrower from front to back; in that case the profile of Pauline Borghese 
would have been a perfect Roman profUe; but the imperial stigma of the Napo- 
leonic house deprived the beautiful princess of the privilege of perfect classic 

In my studies of the women of Latium, in addition to the Greek and Roman 
forms of profile which are very frequent (the former distinguished by the morpho- 
logical peculiarity of having no definite naso-frontal angle nor metopic flattening 
of the forehead) I found a third profile, less frequent yet quite characteristic, 
among the representatives of the Mediterranean (Eurafrican) race. It is worthy 
of note (Figs. 107, 108). 

First. of all, the forehead has a slight transverse depression along its middle 
line, and the mandible is slightly elongated ; but if we draw our imaginary vertical 
line from the extreme forward point of the brow, we find that none of the forms 
of prognathism is involved, and that the auriculo-subnasal line is horizontal. 
This is the type that has been described by Sergi as Egyptian; and the young 
woman, shown in profile, really does suggest a reincarnation of the proud beauty 
of the daughters of Pharoah; the somewhat fleshy lips and the form of the eyes, 
not almond-like, but very wide and horizontal, complete the characteristics of 
the type immortalised in Egyptian art. 

In the normal profile two forms can be distinguished which are associated with 
the two general forms of leptoprosopic and chameprosopic face, and hence also 
with the dolichocephalic and brachycephalic forms of cranium. In the one case, 
the features are more elongated and seem to be more depressed laterally, with the 
result that the profile is more refined, the visage narrower, along the longitudinal 
line; in this case the profile is proopic (as, for example, in the aforesaid Egyptian 
profile and in the elongated ovoidal English face. Fig. 90); aristocratic faces of 

Fig. 105. — The Discobolus by Miron Fig. 106. — Head of statue known as the 

(Rome, Vatican Museum). Capitoline Antinoous (Rome, Capitoline 

Museum) . 

Fig. 107. 

Fig. 108. 


the finer type are proopic. On the other hand, broad faces are anteriorly flat- 
tened to such an extent that the flatness shows even in the proGle: platyopic 

These general forms are associated with certain special forms of the 
separate organs. 

Thus, for example, in proopic faces the palate is narrow, long and high; in 
platyopic faces, on the contrary, it is broad, low and flat; and the teeth corre- 
sponding to them may present a widely different appearance (long, narrow teeth ; 
broad teeth). 

Loiv Tijpes and Abnormal Forms. — Low types, as we have already noted, 
depend upon the development of the face in its least noble parts (those of masti- 
cation) ; prominence of the cheek-bones and maxillary angles, great development of 
the upper and lower jaw (prognathism). These conditions are frequently accom- 
panied by a low, narrow, or receding forehead, indicating a scanty cerebral develop- 
ment. Lombroso found a great prevalence of similar forms among criminals; 
but recent studies have disclosed the fact that such forms of facial development 
are in some way related to the environment in which the individual has developed, 
so much so that, on the basis of these morphological characteristics, we might 
almost succeed in delineating the physiognomies distinguishing the different 
social castes. In fact, while the aristocratic face is ellipsoidal and proopic, that 
of the peasant is characterised by a pronounced wideness between the cheek- 
bones, and that of the city labourer by a peculiar development in the height of 
the mandible. Thus the peasant has a broad face, and the city workman a 
somewhat elongated face, with very pronounced maxillary angles. 

A real and important abnormality which indicates a deviation from every 
type of race or caste is facial asymmetry or plagioprosopy, analogous to plagioce- 
phaly, and frequently associated with it. 

It is necessary, however, in the case of the face, to distinguish instances of 
functional asymm,etry, due to unequal innervation of the muscles in the two sides 
of the face; either from some cerebral cause, or from some local cause affecting 
the facial nerves. In such cases, the trophic state of the muscles and their con- 
tractibility being unequal, there is a resultant asymmetry, especially evident in 
the play of facial expression. 

This form of asymmetry must necessarily be limited to the soft tissues and 
be due to a pathological cause; consequently it should not be confounded with 
the asymmetry due to a different skeletal development of the two sides of the face, 
an abnormality analogous to plagiocephaly, which is met with among degener- 
ates as a stigma of congenital malformation. We owe to Brugia a most admir- 
able method for demonstrating the high degrees of facial asymmetry v/hich some- 
times reach such an extreme point as to give the two halves the appearance of 
having formed parts of two different faces. This is precisely what Brugia shows 
by the aid of photography, uniting each half with a reversed print of itself, making 
the two prints coincide along the median lin,e. The result is that every asym- 
metric face gives 'two other faces formed respectively from one of the two inequal 
halves, and presenting profoundly different aspects. 

Other abnormahties are revealed by the facial profile. They are due either 
to total or partial prognathism (already analysed), or to orthognathism, where 


the facial angle equals or exceeds a right angle; such a profile occurs in cases of 
hydrocephaly or of macrocephaly in general, usually resulting from infantile arrest 
of development. 

The Evolution of the Face. — The human countenance, that is so marvellously 
beautiful in our superior hybrid races, passes, during its embryonal life, through 
many forms that are very far removed from such perfection. 

Figures 110, 111, and 112 represent the evolution of the face in animals and in 
man: and the complete evolution of a woman's face from the embryo during the 
first weeks of its formation to the attainment of old age. 

The embryonal face, as may be seen even better in animals than in man, is 
surmounted by the brain divided and differentiated into its superimposed prim- 
itive vesicles; furthermore, it consists of one single, widespread cavity, at the 
sides of which may be discerned two diminutive vesicles or bulbs, which are off- 
shoots of the brain and constitute the first rudiments of the eyes. In studying 
a more advanced stage of development, we may note in what constitutes the upper 
lip of this wide facial cavity, two nasal ducts or furrows, which are the first indi- 
cations of the nose. 

The principal differentiation which takes place in the face consists of the 
development from its two lateral walls on left and right, of two thin plates or 
laminae that advance across the cavity itself, in its anterior portion, and proceed 
to unite in a median ridge, the raphe palati; this constitutes the formation of the 
palatine vault, which is destined permanently to divide the single cavity into two 
cavities — an upper or nasal, and a lower or buccal cavity. If this process of forma- 
tion is not completed, the result is a grave abnormality, the cleft palate, popularly 
known in Italy as a "wolf's throat," and consisting in the fact that the nasal 
and buccal cavities to a greater or less extent open into each other; this abnormal- 
ity, due to an arrest of embryonic development, is almost always accompanied 
by a hare-lip. 

Simultaneously with the formation of the palatine vault, another and vertical 
septum is formed, which divides the upper cavity into two halves, right and left. 
This division, however, is limited to the anterior portion; the three cavities thus 
formed have no such division in the rear, but all three open into the gullet or 
oesophagus, which represents the only relic of the single original cavity. 

The maxillary bones are formed in a manner analogous to that of the nasal 
and palatal septa, through extroversions destined to become ossified. 

It is not until later that the external nose is formed (middle of the second 
month of embryonal life). 

After this, the evolution of the embryo becomes evidently a perfectionment 
and a growth, rather than a transformation. 

In the new-horn child the face is extremely small in comparison with the 
cerebral cranium. 

If we compare the head of an adult with that of an infant, and draw the 
well-known line of separation between the facial and the cerebral cranium, the 
difference in the reciprocal proportions between the two parts at once becomes 
apparent. The infant's face seems like a mere appendix to its cranium; and the 
mandible is especially small; in fact, very young children remain much of the time 
with their mouth open and the under lip drawn back behind the upper. 

Fig. 109. — Face of interior type. 
Prominence of angles of jaw (Gonia). 

Fig. 110. 



FiG. 111. Fig. 112. 

a, eye; v, anterior brain; m, middle brain; s, frontal process; h, nasal septum; 
o, u, h, d, r, primitive embryonal formations, explained as being branchial {i. e., gill) 
arches; z, tongue; g, auditory fissure. Note the analogy between the diiJerent parts 
of the head in animals and in man; every species, however, has special embryonal 


Consequently, the growth of the face obeys laws and rhythms differing from 
those of the cranium, in comparison to which the face is destined to assume very 
different proportions by the time that the adult age is reached. The face grows 
much more than the cranium. 

In its characteristic infantile form, the face is quite round (short and broad), 
and, when the child is plump, it often happens that at birth the face is broader 
than it is long. Seen in profile it is orthognathous, and this orthognathism en- 
dures throughout early infancy, because the profile still remains in retreat be- 
hind the plane of the protruding forehead; i.e., the facial angle exceeds a right 
angle, and the mandibular region is further back than the nasal (compare pro- 
file of infant). 

In the course of growth it may be said in a general way that the facial 
index diminishes ; that is, the numerical proportion between width and height 
becomes lowered as the face lengthens; while the facial angle changes from 
somewhat more than a right angle to a right angle, and finally to an acute 
angle of 75°. 

In order to obtain an exact idea of the transformations of the face, children 
should have their pictures taken, full face and profile, on every birth-day, as is 
already customary in England for the purposes of the carnet maternel, the 
"mother's note-book." 

In the illustrations facing this page we have portraits of the same person taken 
at successive ages (Figs. 113, 114, 115, 116), i.e., at the age of six months, one 
year and a half, seven, and lastly twelve years; it will be seen that the face has 
steadily lengthened. 

In this case the individual happens to be noticeably leptoprosopic;but observe 
the rotundity of the infantile face at the age of six months. 

An analogous observation may be made in the case of the girl represented in 
Figs. 118 and 119, at the age of ten months and thirteen years respectively. 

Even in the case of abnormal children the same law holds good ; an examina- 
tion of the three pictures of an incurable idiot boy, taken at the ages of six, eleven, 
and sixteen years (Figs. 121, 122, 123 facing page 276), shows that the face, from 
being originally rotund has become elongated.* 

We owe to Binet the most exact and complete studies that exist in anthropo- 
logic literature on the subject of the growth of the face. He has made a great 
number of facial measurements, both of children and young persons of the male 
sex, from four to eighteen years of age, taking the measurements at intervals 
of two years. The measurements chosen by Binet are all the possible distances 
that will serve to give the various widths of the face, the distance of the ear from 
the various points of the profile, and the heights of the various segments; namely 
(for an exact understanding of these measurements, see section on Technique), 
auriculo-mental diameter, auriculo-nasal diameter, auriculo-subnasal diameter, 
auriculo-ophryac diameter, auriculo-metopic diameter, frontal diameter, bi- 
auricular diameter, bizygomatic diameter, length of nose, length of chin, subnaso- 
mental distance, height of forehead, f 

* From Thulie, Le Dressage des jeunes degSnSres, page 633. ^ 

t Binet, Le croissance du cr&ne et de la face chez les normaux entre 4 ei 18 ans. 


Binet's conclusions are as follows: the growth of the whole 
head may be divided into three rhythms: that of the cerebral 
cranium, that of the face apart from the nose, and that of the nose. 

If the total development of the cerebral cranium from the fourth 
to the eighteenth year shows a proportion of 12 per cent., the facial 
development shows an increase of 24 per cent, and that of the nose 
39 per cent. Consequently the face increases twice as much as 
the cranium, and the nose three times as much. In the growth of 
the face, however, the transverse dimensions must be distin- 
guished from the longitudinal dimensions, because the facial index 
varies greatly according to the age. The width of the face follows 
very nearly the same rhythm as the cranium, never exceeding the 
latter' s proportional increase; the length of the face, on the con- 
trary, follows the special rhythm of the growth of the face, which 
lengthens far more than it broadens. 

If we consider the distances of the various points in the profile 
from the auricular foramen, we find that these distances show a 
greater increase in proportion as the points in question are further 
from the forehead and nearer to the chin. 

The central section (the nose) and the mandible are the por- 
tions which contribute most largely to the increase in length of the 

While in the case of the cranium there is a very slight, and often 
imperceptible puberal acceleration of growth, the puberal trans- 
formations of the head are, on the contrary, most notable in respect 
to the face. 

The entire region of the upper and lower jaws, but more espe- 
cially the lower, undergoes a maximum increase during the period 
of puberty. 

In regard to the nose, its rapid growth begins at the time im- 
mediately preceding puberty; that is, it undergoes a prepuberal 
maximum increase. When a boy is about to complete his sexual 
development, the nose begins to gain in size. 

The puberal growth of the mandible has long been a familiar 
fact, and bears a relation to the development of the sexual glands. 

A special characteristic noted by Binet and by myself is that 
the height of the lower jaw in boys who have reached the pre- 
puberal stage is greater in the boys who are least intelligent; just 
as in the case of these boys the nose is less leptorrhine and the face 
less broad. This means that at the period of puberty the most 

Fig. 113. — A child at six months. Fig. 114. — The same child at a year and a half. 

Fig. 115. — A seven-year-old boy. 

Fig. 116. — The same boy at the 
age of twelve. 



intelligent boys not only have a greater development of head, but 
also certain distinctive facial characteristics. They should have, 
for instance, a more ample forehead, a broader face, especially in 
the bizygomatic diameter (between the cheek-bones), and a leptor- 
rhine nose (infantile leptorrhine type). The backward boys, on 
the contrary, have a longer face, accompanied by a higher mandible 
and a flat or "snub" nose. Here are the comparative figures: 


Binet Children from the elementary schools of Paris from 11 to 13 years of age 

Montessori. . Children from the elementary schools of Rome from 9 to 11 years of age 

Binet's figures 

Montessori's figures 








Minimum frontal diameter 

Height of forehead.. 

Mento-subnasal distance . . 

Bizygomatic diameter 

Bigoniac diameter 

























Measurements and indices Brightest 
in millimetres pupils 



Height of mandible 

34 mm. 
47 mm. 
28 mm. 
59 mm. 

36 mm. 
45 mm. 
29 mm. 
64 mm. 

2 mm. 

Length of nose 

Width of nose 

Nasal index 

2 mm. 
1 mm. 
5 mm. 

These results would seem to prove that there are high and low 
infantile types of face, analogous, let us say, to types of social 
caste; and in school life they correspond to the castes of the 
intelligent and the backward pupils. 

Intelligent children tend to preserve the infantile form of face 
more intact (broad and short) or rather, if we extend our researches 


to pupils who have reached the pre-puberal age, we may conclude 
that intelligent pupils develop according to the normal laws — the 
growth is confined to the nose; backward children invert the order 
of growth — the lower jaw is already enlarged before the nose has 
even begun the acceleration of puberal growth. This difference 
remains permanent in the adult, and we have in consequence low 
types of face characterised by a flat nose and heavy lower jaw. 

Facial Expression. — The study of the human face cannot be 
limited to a consideration of the form alone; because what gives 
character to it is the expression. Internal thought, sensory im- 
pressions and all the various emotions produce responsive move- 
ments of the facial muscles, whose contractions determine those 
visible phenomena corresponding to the inner state of mind. 

The teacher ought to understand facial expression, just as a 
physician must train himself to recognise the fades corresponding 
to various diseases and states of suffering. The study of expres- 
sion ought to form a part of the study of psychology, but it also 
comes within the province of anthropology, because the habitual, 
life-long expressions of the face determine the wrinkles of old age, 
which are distinctly an anthropological characteristic. 

The facial muscles may be divided into two zones : one of which 
comprises the frontal and ocular region, and the other the buccal 
region; corresponding to which are the two upper and lower 
branches of the frontal nerve. 

Accordingly we may speak of a frontal or higher zone of ex- 
pression and of an oral or lower zone. 

The expressions of pure thought (attention, reflection) group 
themselves around the forehead; those of emotion, on the contrary, 
call forth a combined action of both zones, and frequently irradiate 
over the entire body. But as a general rule the man of higher 
intelligence has a greater intensity of frontal expression, and the 
man of low intelligence (uneducated men, peasants, and to a much 
greater degree, imbeciles, idiots, etc.) have a predominance of 
oral expression. 

In children the frontal zone has slight mobility, and the oral 
zone has a preponderance of expression; infantile expression, how- 
ever, is diffuse and exaggerated and is characterised by grimaces. 
Undoubtedly there are certain restraining powers, which develop 
in the course of time and serve to limit and definitely determine 
the facial expressions. 

Fig. 117. — Profile of a child. 

Fig. — 118. A child of ten months. 

Fig. 119. — The same, 13 years old. 



As for the mechanics of expression, they consist of the facial nerve, and the 
surface muscles stimulated by it, which are: the frontal muscle, which covers the 
entire forehead and merges above into the epicranial aponeurosis; the superciliary 
muscle extending transversely along the superciliary arch and concealed by the 
orbicular muscle of the eyelids (m. orbicularis palpebrarum), which surrounds 
the eye-socket like a ring; the pyramidal muscle (m. pyramidalis nasi), which is 
connected with the point of origin of the frontal muscle at the inner angle of the 
eyebrow, and separates below into four symmetrical fasciae, two of which are 
attached to the ala or wing of the nose, and the other two to the upper lip. 

Fig. 120. — The Muscles of the Head and Face. 

A group of very delicate muscles controlling the sensitive movements of the 
wings and septum of the nose (m. compressor narium, m. depressor alw nasi, m. 
levator alee nasi, anterior and posterior, and m. depressor septi) have their points 
of attachment around the nasal alee (just above the upper incisor and canine 
teeth). There is a great wealth of muscles surrounding the mouth; no animal, 
not even the anthropoid ape, is equipped with so many muscles ; it is due to them 
that the human mouth is able to assume such a great variety of positions. The 


greater number of these muscles are arranged like radii around the mouth; and 
there is one which, unlike the rest, surrounds the oral aperture like a ring. 

The radiating muscles, descending from the sides of the nose down along the 
chin are: the levator muscle of the upper lip (m. levator labii superioris, starting 
from the bony margin below the infraorbital foramen) ; the levator muscle of the 
angle of the mouth (m. levator anguli oris, starting from the fossa of the upper 
maxilla) ; the large and small zygomatic muscles (starting from the anterior sur- 
face of the malar bones); the risorial muscle (m. risorius), the smallest of all the 
facial muscles, which has its origin in the soft surface tissues (aponeurosis paro- 
tido-masseterica) ; the depressor muscle of the mouth angle (m. depressor anguli 
oris, or m. triangularis) originating on the lower margin of the maxilla; the de- 
pressor muscle of the lower lip or quadratus muscle of the chin (m. quadratus labii 
inferioris or quadratus menti, also originating on the lower maxilla) ; the levator 
muscle of the chin (m. levator menti) between the two musculi quadrati, also has 
its origin in the lower maxilla; the buccinator muscle, hidden beneath the pre- 
ceding, has its origin behind the molar teeth in the alveolar process of the two 
maxillse, and extends horizontally, terminating in the two lips, in such a manner 
that its two fasciae partly cross, so that the upper fasciae of the muscle starting 
from the mandible extend to the upper lip, and the lower fasciae of the muscle 
starting from the maxilla extend to the lower lip. Consequently the contrac- 
tion of this muscle stretches the angles of the mouth in a horizontal direction only; 
it is the most voluntary of all the muscles, and plays a greater part than the others 
in forced laughter; in consequence it robs this movement of its characteristic 

Lastly we must note the orbicular muscle of the lips (m. orbicularis oris or 
sphincter oris), which constitutes the fleshy part of the Hps and surrounds the oral 
aperture like a ring. 

The contraction of these muscles produces antagonistic motorial action; for 
instance, the orbicular muscle tends to close the mouth into a circular orifice; the 
various muscles which radiate from the corners of the mouth (especially the buc- 
cinator) tend, on the contrary, to enlarge and stretch it in a transverse direction; 
certain muscles tend to raise the mouth, and others to lower it. Accordingly, 
there results a play between the muscles of expression and upon their continual 
antagonism depend the changing expressions of the human countenance. 

Here are a few of the principal facial expressions, described in 
a masterly manner, and for the first time, by Charles Darwin :* 

Expression of Sorrow. — The muscles that are principally 
brought into play are the superciliary, the frontal and the trian- 
gular or depressor muscles of the lips; the eyebrows are furrowed, 
being drawn upward by the action of the frontal muscle; this, how- 
ever, cannot contract completely because drawn downward later- 
ally by the superciliary muscles, and hence the forehead wrinkles 
only at its middle point and together with the slanting eyebrows 
assumes a shape that suggests three sides of a quadrilateral. 

*. Charles Darwin, The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals. 


Simultaneously there is a drooping of the corners of the mouth, 
which, when exaggerated in infancy, forms the characteristic and 
charming grimace of a child who is on the point of crying. Accord- 
ingly, sorrow draws the frontal zone upward, and the labial zone 
downward; in other words, it lengthens the face. 

Expression of Pleasure. — On the contrary, laughter and happi- 
ness shorten the face; all the muscles are brought into play that 
stretch the corners of the mouth, as well as those which raise the 
upper lip, in consequence of which the upper teeth are disclosed. 

The frontal zone remains in repose; excepting that there is a 
contraction of the orbicular muscle of the eyelids, especially in its 
lower portion; the lower lid is drawn upward and the skin is 
puckered at the external angle of the eye; the lachrymal gland is 
compressed, the circulation of blood stimulated, as always results 
from every expression of joy, the secretion of the gland is increased, 
and consequently a few tears are readily shed. The eye, grown 
smaller and half hidden, shines brilliantly, because moistened 
from without and irrigated from within by an abundant flow of 

Expression of Various Emotions: Anger. — During anger the 
superciliary muscles prevail in exceedingly energetic action, drawing 
the forehead strongly downward, wrinkling it vertically, and also 
producing transverse wrinkles on the nose. In the labial zone the 
orbicular muscle is intensely active, and the lips contract. When 
anger endures for a long time, the condition above described di- 
minishes in intensity, leaving only a slight frown, while the closed 
lips protrudfe in tubular form. An expression usually described 
by the terms, to sulk or pout. 

This is the way in which little children express their displeasure; 
and the pouting lips sometimes rise clear to the tip of the little 
nose, in sign of proud defiance. This form of grimace is common to 
the children of every race: it has been observed in the children 
of Hottentots and Chinese, as a sign of prolonged anger and ill 

Hence the contraction of the mouth is a characteristic sign of 
anger; and when the emotion is very strong, even the masticatory 
muscles may enter into play, causing a grinding of the teeth. 

Surprise. — In surprise, on the contrary, the entire labial zone 
is in repose, and there is complete and free contraction of one 
muscle alone, the frontal; consequently it produces longitudinal 


lines across the entire forehead, uplifting the eyebrows, which 
passively follow the elevation produced by the frontal muscle, 
forming two arches around which the wrinkles of the forehead 
form themselves in parallel lines. The eyes in consequence are 
stretched to their widest. The oral zone is so far relaxed that the 
lower jaw droops in obedience to gravity and the mouth gapes 
open : bouche beante. Sometimes a less intense degree of surprise 
fails to do away with the contraction of the orbicular muscle of the 
lips, which, without being actively contracted, but simply because 
relieved from the interference of antagonistic muscles, closes the 
mouth in a rounded or tubular aperture. 

This same facial expression, which is a very striking one, 
exists in all races. 

When children are still too young to contract the frontal 
muscle completely, they show surprise by a gaping mouth, and a 
puckering of the entire forehead, in place of the transverse furrows. 

Expression of Thought. — In addition to the expressions of the 
emotions, the authorities describe those due to thought, and give 
special consideration to the expression of external or sensory atten- 
tion, and internal attention (reflection, meditation). The young 
child is capable of intense sensorial attention, which is manifested 
especially in visual attention. 

I have been able to make many observations in the ''Children's 
Houses," where children two or three years old take part in 
games that demand attention, comparison, and the exercise of 
reason, without tiring their minds or encountering any great 
difficulty. These children wrinkle their foreheads and hold their 
mouths slightly open. 

This is the expression also noted by Darwin, and the one 
which notoriously produces those vertical lines in the middle of 
the forehead, known as the lines of thought. 

When these children are obliged to make an effort of thought 
or when they are for any reason troubled and anxious, slight 
contractions pass across their foreheads, like a continuous succes- 
sion of broken shadows (Darwin).* 

It should be noted that in any case a contraction of the eye- 
brows during intellectual work denotes effort, a difficulty to be 
overcome. Pure thought, by itself alone, produces no such 

* Charles Darwin, Op. cit. 


The contemplative man, absorbed in profound meditation, 
shows a face overspread with serenity, due to muscular repose ; the 
gaze is fixed upon the void, and the head, as though no longer 
sustained by the relaxed muscles, is inclined forward. 

If his eyes retain steadfastly the same original direction, even 
after the body has dropped forward, they give the impression of 
being turned on high. Such is the expression of the man sunk in 
profound thought, so long as his thought follows an uninterrupted 

But when a difficulty arises, see how he begins to knit his brow. 
It is the difficulty which has arisen, and not the course of his 
thoughts, that has produced this muscular reaction. 

The movement is similar to what occurs in the case of any diffi- 
culty to overcome, as, for instance, the threading of a needle. 

Consequently the wrinkles of thought are the wrinkles of the 
faiigue of thought. 

The mystics, who are purely contemplative thinkers, and not 
solvers of difficulties, have a forehead without lines. Similarly 
in art, the faces of the Madonna or of the Saints have an intense 
expression of thought in their gaze, but the serene countenance 
shows neither contractions nor lines. 

De Sanctis* has made some interesting observations regarding 
the facial expression of the mentally deficient. They have a 
singular difficulty in contracting the frontal muscle even at the 
age of eleven or twelve years; even when urged by example and 
command, they frequently do not succeed in contracting the fore- 
head. Labial expression, on the other hand, is much more de- 
veloped, and frequently attention is indicated by a contraction 
of the orbicular muscle of the lips into a circle; and surprise is 
shown in the same way. 

In general, however, what characterises the face of the imbecile, 
the idiot, the epileptic, is its immobility: hypomimia or amimia. 

There are, however, frequent cases of cerebrophlegia (a pro- 
gressive malady of the brain occurring during the early years of 
childhood), in which exaggerated contractions of the face occur 
as the result of the least mental effort. The French give the name 
of grimaciers to children who show such symptoms; from patho- 
logical causes they exhibit a hypermimia that transforms their 
facial expressions into grimaces. Furthermore, there are certain 

* Sante de Sanctis, La Mimica del Pensiero (The Expression of Thought) . 


degenerate children in whom the muscular reactions do not corre- 
spond to the normal expression of their feelings; for example, 
they exhibit sorrow when they mean to show attention, etc. In 
such cases the play of the opposite and contradictory facial muscles 
has become perverted: dismimia. 

One of the most frequent occurrences among the abnormal is 
asymmetry of the facial expressions; the muscles contract more 
on one side of the face than on the other. This symptom, how- 
ever, in a mild degree, is met with also in normal persons. 

From what has been said, it is evident that for the examina- 
tion of the face we must depend, if not exclusively, at least far 
more upon anthroposcopy than upon anthropometry; and since 
the minute description required is too difficult and too lengthy 
a task, especially as regards the facial expressions (which are so 
characteristic of the individual) it is necessary in pedagogic anthro- 
pology to resort to photography. 

The instantaneous photograph, in all progressive countries, 
is already within the reach of mothers. It ought also to form part 
of the equipment of our schools. 

The Neck 

The neck is a part which is anatomically of much importance, 
but not of equal importance from the anthropological side. The 
skeleton of the neck is formed of the seven cervical vertebrae. 
Notwithstanding that in all the higher vertebrates the neck is 
constituted of the same number of vertebrae, it can assume the 
most varied dimensions, all the way from the giraffe to the whale. 
Similarly, at the different ages of man it is at one time barely 
indicated and almost wanting altogether, as in the new-born 
child, and again long and flexible, as in the lovely women of some 
of the higher races. 

Godin has observed that the maximum increase of the neck 
takes place between the fourteenth and sixteenth year, i.e., at 
the epoch of puberty; but at the fourteenth year it undergoes 
such a rapid increase that it surpasses proportionally the puberal 
increase of the total stature. 

This is shown in the following table: 

Age in years: 13| 14 14J 15 15| 16 16| 17 17| 
Proportions: 10 12 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 


Consequently the proportion between neck and stature is a 
datum that tends strongly to remain a fixed quantity. The re- 
sult, however, is different if we study the proportion between the 
neck and the vertebral column as a whole. 

Age in years: 131 14 14^ 15 15§ 16 16§ 17 17^ 
Proportions: 34 35 34 35 35 35 35 35 34 

Accordingly it is about one-third of the trunk. 

The circumference of the neck is also taken, for it shows whether 
the neck is slender or thick; and this often bears a relation to the 
degree of development of the thyroid gland. 

In my work upon the women of Latium I have shown that the 
small, dark women have a longer and more flexible neck than 
those who are fair and of tall stature. Therefore this is a racial 
difference, similar to the difference we have already noted for 
types of stature. The macrosceles have a long and slender neck, 
and the opposite is found in the case of the brachysceles; conse- 
quently, a very long neck is an indication of a weak constitution. 



We have already had occasion to point out, in connection with 
the types of stature, the importance of the thorax. 

The relation of the thoracic perimeter (circumference of the 
chest) to the total stature (see chapter on Technique) was called 
by Goldstein the index of life, in order to indicate that the organic 
resistance of any individual depends upon the proportional relation 
between the thorax and the whole body; whoever has a narrow 
chest is liable to pulmonary tuberculosis, and in his physiological 
entirety is a weakling (see chapter on Macroscelous and Brachy- 
scelous Types). 

Anatomical Parts. — Anatomically the thorax is determined 
in height by the twelve dorsal or thoracic vertebrae, which are 
characterised by having a transverse apophysis, which articu- 
lates with the twelve pairs of ribs, forming the thoracic cage, or 

The first seven pairs of ribs articulate in front, by means of 
cartilages, with the lateral margins of a flat bone, the sternum or 
breast-bone, which is formed of three pieces: the manubrium up- 
permost, then the corpus, then, lowest of all, the ensiform (sword- 
shaped) process. 

The manubrium and the corpus form, at their juncture, an 
angle more or less marked, according to the individual, and the 
lateral articulation of the second rib corresponds to this angle. 
In the new-born child the sternum is a cartilage with points of 
ossification arranged longitudinally like the beads of a rosary. 
The seventh ■ vertebra articulates laterally at the point at which 
the ensiform process is attached to the corpus of the sternum. The 
next three ribs (8th, 9th and 10th) are articulated together and 
with the seventh by means of cartilaginous arches; the last two 
pairs of ribs (11th and 12th) are free or floating. At the top, the 
thoracic cage is reinforced by the thoracic girdle, which serves also 
to afford articulation for the upper limbs, and which consists of 



the clavicles, in front, and of the scapulae, behind. The clavicles 
are long bones placed in an almost horizontal position above the 
thorax, and they determine the width of the chest; at the inner 
extremity they articulate with the manubrium of the sternum 
and at the outer extremity they are attached to the acromial pro- 
cess of the scapulae. The scapulae are flat bones which are attached 
to the posterior surface of the thoracic frame, on which they are 
freely movable, covering a tract extending from the second to the 
seventh rib. At their upper and outer extremity they are provided 
with two bony processes; namely, the acromion, already mentioned, 
which contains the points of maximum width of the shoulders, and 
the coracoid process, which terminates anteriorly and, together 
with the acromion, overhangs the articulation of the humerus with 
the body of the scapula. 

Powerful muscles clothe the thoracic frame, serving partly in 
the movements of respiration and partly in the movements of the 
upper limbs. It may suffice to mention, among the muscles sit- 
uated posteriorly, the cucullaris, the great dorsal (m. longissimus 
dorsi), the rhomboids of the scapulae (m. rhomboidus major and 
minor), and the serratus posterior of the ribs; anteriorly, the large 
and small pectoral and the great serratus; beside which there are 
the intercostal muscles, extending from rib to rib and taking part 
in the movements of respiration. But the most important muscle 
is the diaphragm, which completely closes the thoracic cavity, 
rising into it in a convex vault and separating it from the abdomen ; 
this constitutes the most active of all the muscles which partici- 
pate in the movements of respiration. The thoracic cavity, thus 
determined, encloses the two most important viscera of vegetative 
life — the heart and the lungs. 

The heart is a muscle shaped like a pear or cone, having its base 
turned upward, and its apex or point turned downward and out- 
ward toward the left, corresponding to the fifth intercostal space; 
it is divided, as is well known, into four cavities, and constitutes 
the great motor power of the circulation of the blood. The lungs are 
two in number, right and left, and surround the heart, completely 
filling the thoracic cavity. The lungs are divided into superim- 
posed lobes, three in the right and two in the left lung; they are 
composed essentially of infinitely small ramifications of the bronchi, 
resolving into tiny series of chambers, the pulmonary alveoli or 
air-cells. These alveoli, consisting of a single layer of extremely 



small cells, are surrounded by a dense network of capillary tubes, 
through which takes place the interchange of oxygen and carbon 
dioxide. It has been calculated that if we should estimate and 
sum up the internal surfaces of the pulmonary alveoli, or, what 
comes to the same thing, if we should spread out and join together 
the alveolar walls of the lungs, they would have a superficial area 
of 200 square metres. This area might be compared to the foliage 
of a great human tree (respiratory surface). 

Physiological and Hygienic Aspect. — The importance of the 
thorax is physiological, because it contains the highly important 
viscera of vegetative life; but this importance is especially asso- 
ciated with the lungs. The lungs are the organs that acquire the 
oxygen from the outside environment, and this oxygen, when taken 
up by the hemoglobin in the blood, will serve to oxygenate the 
tissues of the entire organism, and thus aid in the processes of cellu- 
lar metabolism. A large supply of oxygen stimulates this inter- 
change of matter, not only because the organism as a whole is 
enriched in the substance essential to this process (oxygen), but 
because the heart responds to the increased activity of the lungs 
by more energetic pulsations calculated to set the blood circulating 
in far greater quantities. It is no exaggeration to say that our 
whole physiological life is enclosed within the thorax, because the 
digestive system does nothing more than prepare a blood that is 
unfitted to irrigate the tissues for the purpose of supplying them 
with nutriment; it is only after this blood has passed through the 
lungs that it is transformed into oxygenated blood and is adapted to 
assimilation. Consequently the intestines prepare nothing more 
than the raw material, and it is the lungs which perform the service 
of perfecting it; while the heart drives it through its circuit into 
contact with all the tissues of the organism. 

Whoever has inadequate lungs is for that reason alone a person 
who necessarily receives insufficient nutriment (thin and weak 
macroscele), and frequently is also a melancholiac. Melancholia 
accompanies every form of physiological decadence. On the con- 
trary, persons with ample lungs are generally serene of spirit and 
joyous. In fact, the emotion of joy is at the same time both the 
cause and the consequence of an active circulation of oxygenated 
blood (florid or ruddy complexion). 

Certain experiments conducted with birds have proved that if 
free oxygen is introduced under an air-bell in which the birds have 


been enclosed, they gradually become more and more excited, sing- 
ing and fluttering as if possessed by a frensy of joyousness. It is a 
fact that we often rid ourselves of a fit of melancholy by taking 
a walk in the open air; persons possessed of good lungs feel within 
themselves a vital potentiality that perceptibly aids them to make 
what we call an "effort of will" ; when sorrow befalls them, or over- 
exertion has exhausted their strength, persons of this type feel some 
force spring up within them that seems to give them fresh hope and 
courage. It is their oxygenated blood, which neither weariness nor 
depression of spirit can stay in its luxuriant course; the man of 
weak lungs, on the contrary, is mentally depressed, because his 
physiological life has slowed down ; and, instead of aiding him, it is 
his physiological life which demands of him a genuine effort of will 
to reestablish its equilibrium. 

Accordingly, those persons who have a well-developed chest are 
certainly the healthiest and the happiest. 

But this is not the only pulmonary function ; the lungs are also 
the organs of speech. In fact, while speech is manufactured in the 
brain and the cerebral nerves that stimulate the organs of the. 
spoken word, it requires also its "driving power," that is to say, air, 
in order to obtain utterance; and it is the lungs to which singers 
and speakers alike owe the physical strength of their voice. Even 
the respiratory rhythm has a great influence upon speech. 

The spoken word requires a most complicated mechanism, and 
among the details of this mechanism, by no means the least im- 
portant are the acts of inspiration, by which the air is received into 
the lungs, and of expiration, by which it is expelled, simultaneously 
with all the other movements producing speech. Indeed, we know 
that when speech is further complicated by the act of singing, it 
becomes necessary to study special rules for breathing; in short, to 
educate the voice. 

Now, why do we not also educate the voice for its ordinary task 
of the spoken language? Speech is one of the marvels that char- 
acterise man, and also one of the most difficult spontaneous crea- 
tions that have been accomplished by nature. Through the voice, 
the lawyer defends the innocent, the teacher educates the new 
generations, the mother recalls her erring son to the path of virtue, 
lovers unite their souls, and all humanity interchanges ideas. If 
intelligence is the triumph of life, the spoken word is the marvellous 
means by which this intelligence is manifested. 


We trouble ourselves to educate the voice only for the purpose , 
of singing, and neglect the spoken word. We do not stop to think 
that singing appeals only to the senses and emotions, while speech 
appeals to the emotions and the intellect, and therefore charms 
and at the same time convinces. 

Anyone who has heard that wonderfully gifted speaker, Ofelia 
Mazzoni, expounding our great poets to the labouring classes at 
the People's University in Milan, rousing the slumbering intelli- 
gence of the working man, will understand what an immense edu- 
cative force we are neglecting. 

In a century in which we speak of an intellectual reawakening 
and a brotherhood of man, we have forgotten the voice! Yet in 
this new era of humanity that is learning brotherly love and striv- peace, the voice plays a part analogous to that of the trum- 
pet-call in the centuries consecrated to war. 

As a matter of fact, our schools so far neglect defects of speech 
that it is not uncommon to hear a stammerer undergoing examina- 
tions for a degree in jurisprudence. The fact that an otherwise 
cultured man lisps or stammers is treated by us as quite an in- 
different matter, just as among savage tribes a king may have 
unclean nails without anyone observing the fact. 

Yet it is now known that stammering may usually be cured by a 
systematic training in the art of breathing. 

Respiratory gymnastics ought to constitute one of the prin- 
cipal courses of instruction in schools for children. I have intro- 
duced it into the "Children's Houses," among children between 
the ages of four and six, combining it with a special instruction 
in written language (letters of the alphabet), designed to educate 
the movements of the organs of speech, without worrying or tiring 
the children, and this method has borne such good results that our 
little ones, by the time they are five years old, have lost nearly 
all their defects in pronunciation. 

Spirometry. — The pulmonary capacity may be measured directly 
by means of an instrument called the spirometer; the breath must 
be strongly expelled through a tube opening into a hollow cylinder, 
thus raising a graduated piston contained in it; and, by reading the 
figure indicated on the piston-rod, we learn the volume of air ex- 
pelled from the lungs. 

Such an instrument is better adapted for use by adults than by 
children; and if it should ever come to be introduced into the 


schools, it should not in any case be used below the elementary 

The person who is going to measure the capacity of his lungs 
by means of the spirometer, begins by drawing in an unusually 
deep or forced inhalation; then, after holding his breath for a mo- 
ment, he proceeds to expel into the rubber tube all the air in his 
lungs, in a forced exhalation. In an exercise of this sort, all the 
difficulties of respiratory gymnastics are successively surmounted 
— inspiration, respiratory pause, expiration. 

In fact, in accomplishing the forced inspiration, all the pul- 
monary alveoli must be dilated to the maximum extent, and at 
the same time the thorax must reach its maximum dilation. This 
is a very different matter from normal inspiration, which does not 
completely dilate the alveoli. As a matter of fact, the tidal air 
or air of respiration, i.e., the air taken in and expelled in each nor- 
mal respiration, is about 500 cubic centimetres ; but the sum total 
of air habitually contained in the lungs is made up of two quantities : 
first, that which may be emitted by a forced expiration, the supple- 
mental or reserve air, amounting to 1,600 cubic centimetres; and 
secondly, the air which cannot ever be emitted, because no 
amount of effort could completely expel all the air from the lungs; 
residual air or respiratory residuum amounting to 1,200 cubic 
centimetres. To recapitulate, the average pulmonary capacity 
is the sum of the following average quantities of air : 

Residual air, or respiratory residuum (which can never be expelled from the lungs) 

= 1200 cu. cm. 
Respiratory reserve (which can be expelled by a forced expiration) = 1600 cu. cm. 

Tidal air = 500 cu. cm. 

Complementary air (which can be drawn in by a forced inspiration) = 1670 cu. cm. 

Accordingly, the total pulmonary capacity is about 5,000 
cubic centimetres, or five litres. But in normal respiration, the 
capacity is less, i.e., about 3,300 cubic centimetres, the air due to 
a forced inspiration not being included. 

Therefore, in each normal respiration a half litre of pure air 
(assuming that it is pure) is introduced and mingled with the 
vitiated air already within the lungs; and since, in expiration, a 
third only of this 500 cubic centimetres is eliminated, it follows 
that 166 cubic centimetres are mingled with the 3,300 cubic centi- 
metres; in other words, that only one-tenth of the air is renewed 
in each normal act of respiration. 


A very energetic forced inspiration may draw into the lungs, 
in addition to the customary 500 cubic centimetres, an additional 
1,670 cubic centimetres of pure air, complementary air. In this 
case the lungs contain upward of 5,000 cubic centimetres of air. 

The forced expiration which follows upon this extra deep in- 
halation purges the lungs of the vitiated air which has formed 
there. In this way we complete an exercize that is eminently 

Now, these spirometric movements are fraught with difficul- 
ties : 1. The forced inspiration, deep enough to extend the alveoli, 
may be more or less complete. If a cloth wrung out in cold water 
is laid across the shoulders, the inspiration which follows as a result 
of reflex action is far deeper than that produced by an act of will ; 
this proves that the lungs can be dilated to a point beyond that 
which seems to us to be the extreme limit, and therefore that with 
practice we may learn to dilate our lungs still further. 

2. When the attempt is made to hold the breath after a forced 
inspiration, almost everyone at the first trials will allow more or 
less of the air to escape; that is, they will discover themselves 
incapable of controlling their own organs of respiration; therefore, 
a gymnastic exercise for acquiring such control is necessary. This 
is the exercise which will make us masters of the movements 
required to produce vocal sounds at pleasure. 

3. A slow expiration so controlled as to give time for the air 
to penetrate into the spirometer, is accomplished, though some- 
what unevenly, the first few times, and is perfected with practice. 

It results from the above that: 1. We take in less air than we 
are able to take in; 2. part of this air is lost outside the spirometer; 
consequently the spirometer registers a pulmonary capacity below 
that which the lungs actually have; and we shall find that, with 
practice, the volumetric figure will successively augment. But 
the pulmonary capacity has not augmented in proportion; it is 
only that practice hasperfected the respiratory movements. Accord- 
ingly, the spirometer may serve as an instrument to test the prog- 
ress made in respiratory gymnastics, and, in the case of those who 
have already become skilful in its use, it becomes a really valuable 
instrument for measuring the respiratory capacity. 

When we remember that a portion of the air, i.e., 1,200 cubic 
centimetres, never issues from the lungs, it follows that the respira- 
tory capacity is less by 1,200 cubic centimetres than the pulmonary 


capacity, which, as we have seen, is on an average upward of 
5,000 cubic centimetres (5,370) in the adult man. Hence, the 
spirometer directly measures the respiratory capacity, and only 
indirectly the pulmonary capacity. 

When women measure their lungs by means of the spirometer, 
they have difficulty in registering 2,000 cubic centimetres, and 
men have difficulty in attaining 2,600 cubic centimetres. Instead 
of which, a man ought to be able to register between 3,800 and 
4,000 cubic centimetres. 

What keeps the lungs healthy is an abundant aeration with 
air rich in oxygen, and not impure with carbon dioxide and other 
poisonous gases. When the pulmonary air-cells are insufficiently 
dilated, they are predisposed to attack by the bacillus of tuber- 
culosis. Indeed, pulmonary tuberculosis usually begins at the 
apexes of the lungs, which are less thoroughly aerated, and also 
usually attacks persons with narrow chests. The treatment of 
tuberculosis is eminently afresh-air treatment; tuberculous patients 
may be benefited and even cured in a remarkable percentage of 
cases (50 per cent.) if they are exposed day and night to the open 
air. In this way the relation between free respiration and pul- 
monary health is demonstrated. 

In America at the present time the hygienic rule of sleeping 
at night, winter and summer, with the windows open, is gaining 
ground, and even the practice of sleeping in the open air. And 
the various forms of sport also have the beneficial effect of bring- 
ing those who indulge in them into a healthy contact with fresh 
air, which civilised man has shown a fatal tendency to abandon. 

The same exercise which dilates the lungs (the contents) also 
dilates the thorax (the container). The result is that man ends 
by acquiring the thorax corresponding to his vocation, or in other 
words, a thorax corresponding to the life that he leads in conse- 
quence of the form of work to which he devotes himself. Shep- 
herds in mountain districts and mountain peasants have the largest 
thorax, notwithstanding, as we have seen, that they are more 
scantily nourished. In cities, the maximum average circum- 
ference of chest is found among the cart-drivers, and the minimum 
among university students and in general among those who have 
grown up in an inclosed environment, with the thorax artificially 
cramped by the position assumed while writing or reading at a 
desk; yet this is the class of persons who have abundant nutriment. 


Consequently, we find a division of air and bread between 
different social castes ; those who have air, do not have bread, and 
they possess large lungs, out of proportion to bodies which, being 
under-fed, have been unable to grow; and those who have bread 
do not have air, and they possess lungs that are insufficient for 
the needs of bodies that have grown under the influence of abun- 
dant nutrition. Consequently, all civilised men are physiologically 
out of equilibrium, and their physical health is lessened. But 
those who suffer most from this loss of equilibrium are the studious 
class, who have nourished themselves upon hopes and opened their 
minds to great ideas, and deluded themselves into undertaking 
big enterprises; but in real action they find that they are weak, 
and that they easily fall into discouragement and depression, and 
when their will-power forces them onward, their organism responds 
with nervous prostration and melancholia. 

It is a sad fact that at the present day the best energies of man 
reach maturity possessed of insufficient lungs, and consequently 
liable to break down in health, energy and strength. 

A large part of the studious class, such, for instance, as the 
teachers, are at the present day devoting themselves to a form of 
work which is not a pulmonary exercise, but pulmonary destruc- 

We must remember that healthy exercise of the lungs should 
take place in the open air, and consists of indrawn breaths deep 
enough to dilate the air-chambers. Instead of this, the teacher 
speaks, which means that he makes forced expirations, during many 
hours in an enclosed environment and in an assemblage of persons 
who, for the most part, are far from clean. The bacillus of tuber- 
culosis finds in the teacher its favourite camping-ground. In 
fact, statistics indicate that the maximum mortality from tuber- 
culosis is among teachers; higher even than among nurses. It is 
really distressing to think of the ignorance of hygiene in which 
our schools are even yet steeped, so that they seem forgetful of 
the body, in their pursuit of a spirit that eludes them and that, 
as a matter of fact, is not being educated in anything approach- 
ing a rational manner. 

When we enter a class-room, we see rows of benches constructed 
like orthopedic machines, to the end that the vertical columns 
of the pupils shall not be distorted during their enforced labour; 
and the thought arises: this is the spot in which the teacher be- 


comes a consumptive for the sake of transforming the children 
into hunchbacks. What is the reward of so great a sacrifice? 
What sort of a preparation in ideals and in character are they 
giving to the new generations through such disastrous means? 
What are the obstacles which they are being taught, through so 
much suffering, to surmount and to conquer? What, in short, is 
the spiritual gain achieved at the cost of so great an impoverish- 
ment of the body? 

The answering silence that greets these questions indicates 
that we have a great mission to accomplish. 

Anthropological studies made upon pupils have demonstrated 
that school-children rarely attain a sufficient chest development. 
I also have made my modest contribution, proving that the bright- 
est scholars, the prize-winners, etc., who, as a general rule, also 
enjoy an advantage in social position, have a narrower chest measure. 
Among the children that are recognised as the brightest in their 
classes, I have been able to distinguish two categories: those who 
are exceptionally intelligent, and those who are exceptionally 
studious; the former have a better chest development than the 

Signorina Massa, one of my pupils at the University, in the 
course of kindred studies made among pupils of a uniform social 
grade (the poorer classes) observed that the best and brightest 
scholars, etc., have a chest circumference and a muscular strength 
notably inferior to the children who are not studious. There can 
be no doubt that an assiduous application to the study table 
impoverishes the organism and above all impedes the normal 
development of the thorax. This fact has a really overwhelming 
importance. Study the tables of mortality in Italy for infective 
diseases, i.e., those diseases in which mankind meets the assault 
of the microscopic invader either with a strong constitution, or 
with one already predisposed to defeat. The most dreaded dis- 
eases, such as diphtheria, typhoid, measles and scarlet fever are 
all grouped together under a mortality oscillating between five 
and twenty-five thousand deaths a year. But bronchitis and 
pneumonia each cause a mortality that ascends to between seventy 
and eighty thousand deaths; in this group it is evident that we 
must take into consideration, not only the infected environment, 
but also the organic predisposition. Every man and woman has 
been prepared, by their years in school, to have in the form of a 



narrow chest and an insufficient development of the organs of 

respiration, a locu8 minoris resistentice. Whoever talks of the 

war against tuberculosis ought first of all to investigate the school 

and its pedagogic methods. 

Anthropological Aspect. Growth of the Thorax. — In the course 

of its growth the thorax undergoes an evolution, not only in itself, 

but also in its relation to the vertebral column. 

The nature of the transformations undergone by the skeleton 

of the trunk in relation to its different parts is substantially as 

follows : in the child at birth 
the vertebral column is 
straight, and the thorax is 
tk. higher up than in the adult ; 

the pelvis, on the contrary, 
slants forward and down- 
ward. In the adult the ver- 
tebral column is curved in 
the form of an S, showing 
the two - familiar dorsal- 
lumbar curves, and the axes 
of the thorax and pelvis are 

J more perceptibly horizontal; 

neui;bomcmia ^ adult -^ ^j^^^.^^ -^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^ ^^ 

growth a descent of the thorax 
has taken place, together with a rotation of the pelvis (Fig. 124). 

A. Descent of the Thorax. — This is the chief of these character- 
istics : the thorax descends in the course of its growth. 

In the new-born child the upper edge of the manubrium of the 
sternum is in juxtaposition to the body of the first dorsal vertebra, 
while in the adult it is situated on a level with the lower edge of the 
second vertebra. 

Even the tendinous arch of the diaphragm has shifted, being 
lowered by the space of a vertebra; it is situated between the eighth 
and ninth vertebrae in the child at birth, and between the ninth 
and tenth in the adult. 

The outside characteristics are in correspondence with this fact ; 
the shoulders descend in the course of growth. In the adult, the 
acromia or points of the shoulders are on a lower level than the 
incisura or cleft in the sternum (which is visible at the anterior 
base of the neck, and may be felt as an indented half-moon) ; while 



in the new-born child, on the contrary, the shoulders are higher up 
than the upper extremity of the sternum. 

Another external characteristic of the descent of the thorax is 
the change in position of the nipples at successive ages; the mam- 
mary papillae of the adult correspond to the level of the lower ex- 
tremity of the sternum, and are situated respectively at the central 
points of the two halves of the thorax; in the new-born child, on 
the contrary, the mammary papillae are further apart and higher up. 

These characteristics of the descent of the thorax are fully 
established in the period of puberty 
and are of great importance, since, 
if not completed, they indicate 
cases of arrest of development or 
infantilism . 

Quetelet has made a study of 
the triangulation of the thorax 
(Fig. 125). 

If the two nipples and the 
sternal incisura are connected by 
straight lines inclosing an isosceles 
triangle ABB', the length of the 
base in the new-born child is 70 
millimetres, and that of the sides 
BA, B'A is 54 millimetres, and the 
height 41 millimetres. 

In the adult the dimensions 
are as follows: BB' = 197 millimetres; AB, A5' = 184 milli- 
metres ; and the height = 155 millimetres. Comparing the measure- 
ments of the child at birth with those of the adult, we find that 
the base in the adult is 2.81 times, and the side 3.41 times that of 
the child; in other words, the sides of the triangle increase far 
more than the base, and its height in the adult (representing 
very nearly the entire height of the sternum), is 3.78 times that 
in the new-born child. Consequently, in the course of its trans- 
formation the thorax not only descends, but it is also lengthened 
in the adult, as compared with the form that it had at birth. 

B. Dimensions of Thorax in Relation to Stature. — Besides its 
descent, there is a second transformation of the thorax, in regard' 
to its volumetric relations to the rest of the body. The perimeter 
of the thorax and the circumference of the head are pretty nearly 

Fig. 125. — A = vertex of triangle; B B' = 
extremities of base, corresponding to the 
two nipples. 


equal in the new-born child ; if anything, the circumference of the 
thorax is a trifle less than that of the head ; but when it equals it, 
this is a sign of robustness. In the majority of cases it is not until 
the second year or thereabouts that the two circumferences be- 
come equal. If, however, such unequahty should still persist 
after the child had entered upon the third year, it would con- 
stitute a sign of rickets (head too large, chest too narrow). 

As to the relations between the thoracic circumference and the 
stature, it is found that in the child at birth the thoracic circumfer- 
ence exceeds one-half the stature by about 10 centimetres. If the 
difference is less than 8 centimetres it is a sign of feeble constitution, 
if it is greater than 10 (for instance, 11 centimetres) it is a sign of 
great robustness. 

This difference disappears little by little; at the age of five years 
it is already reduced to between 4 and 5 centimetres ; at the age of 
fifteen, the period of puberty, it has wholly disappeared, and the 
well-known relation between the stature and the circumference of 
the thorax has become established; the thoracic circumference is 
equal to one-half the stature (see chapter on Form), and this con- 
stitutes Goldstein's vital index: 

,,. lOOT'c 

As early as 1895, Pagliani published some studies of children, 
which reveal the physiological importance of the dimensions of the 
thorax; watching the lives of infants whose measurements he took 
at the foundling asylum, he observed that the mortality of infants 
is quite rare when they exceed the above proportions between cir- 
cumference of chest, head, and stature. 

From a study of 452 infants, Fraebelius has drawn the following 
conclusions : 

I. Mortality 21 per cent.; circumference of thorax greater than 
half the stature by 9.10 centimetres; circumference of thorax less 
by 1.5 centimetres than perimeter of cranium. 

II. Mortality 42.9 per cent.; circumference of thorax greater 
by 7 centimetres than one-half the stature ; circumference of thorax 
less by 2.8 centimetres than circumference of cranium. 

III. Mortality 67.5 per cent.; circumference of thorax greater 
by 4.5 centimetres than one-half the stature; circumference of 
thorax less by 4.7 centimetres than the cranial circumference. 


The thorax in children of five years and upward ought to be 
larger by a few centimetres (not more than from 4 to 5) than one- 
half the stature. 

C. Transformations of the Thorax Considered by Itself: Altera- 
tions in Shape. 

Thoracic Index. — Lastly, the thorax changes its shape in the 
course of growth. In the new-born child it is very prominent in 
front, and narrow laterally ; in the adult, on the contrary, it is more 
flattened in its antero-posterior dimension and wider transversely. 
Consequently the transformation consists in a notable difference 
in the proportion between the width and depth of the chest, that is, 
between the antero-posterior and the transverse diameters (see 
chapter on Technique). This proportion constitutes the thoracic 
index, which is expressed by the following formula: 


Ti = 


and this formula gives an idea of the shape of the thorax. 

In the child at birth the antero-posterior diameter is very nearly 
equal to the transverse; accordingly, the index, at birth, oscillates 
between 90 and 100. 

In the adult, however, the thoracic index is on an average 75 ; 
the transverse diameter therefore increases much more than the 
antero-posterior diameter. According to Quetelet, while the trans- 
verse diameter multiplies three-fold in the course of its growth, 
the antero-posterior merely doubles (2.36); in addition to this the 
thorax also lengthens, as we have already seen. 

Proportion, Shape and Dimensions of the Thorax. — In the adult 
normal man we find the following proportions : The distance between 
the mammary papillae is about equal to the antero-posterior diaim- 
eter of the thorax (hence the papillae indicate the depth of chest) 
and is also perceptibly equal to one-half the breadth of the shoulders 
(measured between the two acromia), which, by the way, is the 
maximum transverse dimension of the skeleton. 

This maximum dimension (the biacromial distance) may be 
regarded as an index of the skeletal development; and Godin 
takes its proportion to the transverse thoracic diameter (the hori- 
zontal distance between the two vertical lines drawn from the arm- 
pits, in the plane of the mammary papillae, see Chapter VII, 
Technique) in order to estimate the proportional relation between 


the skeleton and the organs of respiration. Since in the course of 
growth the thorax broadens, that is, the transverse diameter in- 
creases more than the antero-posterior, we should expect to find 
that in the course of evolution, the difference between the trans- 
verse development of the skeleton and the lateral development of 
the thorax steadily diminishes. 

It happens, on the contrary, that from the age of ten years 
onward, during the whole puberal development, the transverse 
diameter of the thorax steadily becomes less, as compared with the 
breadth of the shoulders, so much so that if the difference was at 
first 97 millimetres, it becomes finally 116 millimetres. According 
to Godin, this indicates that the thorax does not obey the harmonic 
laws of the development of the skeleton as a whole, but that, owing 
to causes of adaptation (the school !) it remains definitely inferior 
to the development which it might have attained, and consequently 
results in throwing the organism out of its physiological equilib- 
rium. In fact, if we make men raise their arms, especially men 
of the student class, a certain hollowness, which is aesthetically 
displeasing, is revealed along the sides of the thorax. This defi- 
ciency is corroborated, according to Godin's studies, by his ob- 
servation of another correspondence in the measurements of the 
thorax. In addition to the customary measurements, Godin 
introduced, besides the well-known and classic thoracic perimeter — 
which is the circumference taken in the horizontal plane passing 
through the nipples — two other circumferences : one of them higher 
up, the subaxillary circumference, which includes a large proportion 
of the pectoral and dorsal muscles; and the other lower down, the 
submammary circumference, which determines solely the measure- 
ment of the thoracic skeleton, since the intercostal muscles are 
practically the only ones which descend to this level. These two 
circumferences are to be considered together, according to Godin, 
as expressing the relation between the organs of respiration and the 
muscular mass. In complete repose, the subaxillary circumference 
is much greater than the submammary; but at the moment of 
maximum inspiration the latter should become equal to the former ; 
hence, the difference between the submammary circumference in 
repose and during inspiration furnishes an indirect index of the 
respiratory capacity, and the subaxillary circumference is a test of 
individual capacity. Godin notes that inspiration almost never 
succeeds in attaining an equality between the two circumferences. 


Shape of the Thorax. — In regard to the shape, which stands in 
relation to the thoracic index, it is found to vary according to indi- 
vidual types; in fact the index itself, although showing a mean aver- 
age of 75, oscillates between the extremes of 65 and 85. As a 
general rule, the brachycephalic races have a deeper thorax, i.e., 
having a cross-section of more rounded form; the dolichocephalics, 
on the contrary, have a more flattened thorax in the antero- 
posterior direction (these races, such as the negroes, are more 
predisposed to contract pulmonary tuberculosis). Consequently 
there is a correspondence in type between the head and the thorax. 
In the measurements taken by me among the women of Latium 
the results show that the brachycephalics had an average depth of 
thorax amounting to 188 millimetres and the dolichocephalics only 
181 millimetres, while the transverse diameters were very nearly 
equal: 241 millimetres in the brachycephalics, and 240 millimetres 
in the dolichocephalics. Hence, the resultant thoracic index of 
78 for the brachycephalics and 75 for the dolichocephalics. 

Such differences in the index indicate also differences in the 
formation of the thorax : that it is more or less flattened in the doli- 
chocephalics, and more prominent in the brachycephalics. There 
is a corresponding diversity of form in the breasts of the women: 
the dolichocephalic races have more elongated breasts (pear- 
shaped), the brachycephalics more rounded. 

The shape of the thoracic section is at the present time taken 
into careful consideration, especially in medicine, because it is 
apt to reveal predispositions to diseases. 

It may be obtained by the aid of the cyrtometer (see chapter on 
Technique) . At the present day, however, exceedingly complicated 
instruments have been constructed, which, by the aid of record- 
ing indexes, give a direct representation of the shape of the tho- 
racic perimeter, together with its modifications and respiratory 

Since these instruments are, for the present, very far removed 
from widespread practical use, we may adopt as an excellent 
method for determining the shape and, at the same time, the di- 
mensions of the thorax, that of Maurel, in his research regarding 
''the square surface of the thoracic section." 

Having determined the anthropometric points, Maurel passes 
strips of metal (stiff enough to retain the shape given them) around 



the thorax, after the fashion of a tape-measure, first around one 
half, and then around the other. 

Next he places these metal strips {still retaining the shape given 
them by contact with the thorax), upon a sheet of especially pre- 
pared paper, marked in squares, and traces upon it the inner out- 
line of the strips. 

The two halves must be made to coincide in such a manner as 
to reproduce faithfully the thoracic section, both in form and in 

By adding up the squares contained within the outline we ob- 
tain the area of the section. 



Left Side 

; /^/yAt Side 





































































' i3 

























13 i 

f 13 




13 1 



































































■ 2i 













■= 3 




Fig. 126. 

This method is the only really rational method for studying the 
thorax; and its simplicity, practicality and graphic representation 
recommend it as a valuable aid to pedagogic anthropology. 

There is, for example, an abnormal form of thorax, which I have 
very often met with in deficient children. It consists in an ex- 
aggerated curve of the posterior costal arches, which consequently 
form a very sharp angle with the vertebral column, which is notably 
indented, while the sternum is also depressed in a groove, and 
occupies a plane posterior to that of the ribs. The section of the 
thorax, in this case, approaches the form of a figure 8; and the 
thoracic perimeter would not represent the true measurement 
because it would include the empty spaces left by the front and 


back depressions. The thoracic index would also give a false idea 
of the facts, because the antero-posterior diameter would be no- 
where so short as at the centres of measurement for this diameter. 

The only method for representing the true shape and area of 
this type of thorax is that employed by Maurel. 

Anomalies of Shape. — In addition to the preceding anomaly, 
very frequent in degenerates, and associated with a deficient devel- 
opment of the lungs and with physical weakness, there are numerous 
other anomalies. Among others, those that principally deserve 
attention are the funnel-shaped or consumptive thorax, in which 
the longitudinal diameter is excessive ; the thoracic frame is greatly 
elongated and the ribs descend to a very low level; this type of 
thorax is frequent in neuropathic women, and, according to Fere, 
is associated with degeneration. 

The opposite form is the barrel-shaped thorax, in which the pre- 
vailing diameter is the antero-posterior ; it is very prominent and is 
frequently met with in persons who are subject to forms of asthma, 
maladies of the heart, etc. 

The bell-shaped thorax is similar to the preceding, but is char- 
acterised by an accompanying exceptional brevity of the longi- 
tudinal diameter, which causes it to resemble the infantile thorax 
(arrest of morphological development). 

The grooved thorax is the one described above as common among 
the mentally deficient. 

A considerable importance attaches to a form of thorax dis- 
tinguished by the shortness of the clavicles, in consequence of which 
the chest remains flat, paralytic or flat thorax {habitus phthisicus) . 
The flattened appearance is due to the fact that the chest cannot 
rise in front, and the shoulders, being cramped by the shortness 
of the clavicles, curve forward, while the scapulae stand out from 
the plane of the back and spread themselves like wings (scapulae 
alatae). I have met with this form in deficients, accompanied by 
such laxity of articulations, that it was possible to grasp the points 
of the shoulders and draw them together until they very nearly 
met in front. 

This form of thorax is characteristically predisposed to pulmon- 
ary tuberculosis, and is frequently met with in the macroscelous 

The commonest deformities of the thorax are those associated 
with rachitis. 

■ 20 


One of the forms regarded as being rachitic in origin is the keel- 
shaped thorax, in which the sternum is thrust forward and isolated 
along its median line, like the keel of a boat. 

But the thoracic deformities due unquestionably to rickets are 
of the well-known types that go popularly under the name of 
hunchback, and are accompanied by curvatures of the vertebral 
column. The first admonitory symptoms are shown by the so- 
called rachitic rosary, i.e., by the small swellings due to enlargement 
of the ends of the ribs at their point of attachment to the sternum. 
Subsequently, the softened ribs become misshapen in various 
ways, especially from the fourth rib downward, the upper ribs 
being fastened and sustained by the thoracic girdle and by the mus- 
cles. The curvatures of the vertebral column which accompany 
rickets are scoliosis or lateral deviation (frequent in school-children) 
and kyphosis, or deviation in a backward curve ; for the most part 
these two curvatures occur together, so that the vertebral column 
is thrust outward and at the same time is twisted to one side: 

Pedagogical Considerations. — The following considerations are 
the natural sequence of what has been said above. Deficiency of 
the thorax is one of the stigmata left by the school, which in this 
way tends to make the younger generations feeble and physiolog- 
ically unbalanced. 

The exaggerated importance which is given to the school 
benches for the purpose of avoiding deformities of the vertebral 
column deserves to be put aside and forgotten, as an aberration of 
false hygiene. The bench will not prevent restriction of the tho- 
rax; before reaching the critical point which the improved school 
bench is intended to prevent, many impoverishments of the or- 
ganism, fatal to robustness and health, and often to life itself (pre- 
disposition to tuberculosis!) have been incurred; and there is no 
other remedy to obviate them than a reform in pedagogic methods. 
The admonitory fact that neglected, despised, half-starved children 
have an enormous advantage in the development of the thorax over 
the more intelligent children who are well-fed and carefully guarded, 
and solely because the former are free to run the streets, ought to 
point the direction in which we should look for means of helping the 
new generations hygienically. They have need of free movement 
and of air. The recreation rooms which tend to keep the children 
of the street shut up indoors even during recess are taking from the 


children of the people the sole advantage that still remained to 
them. Try to realize that these children are obliged to sleep in 
dark, crowded environments, and that every night, during the 
period of sleep, they suffer from such acute poisoning by carbon 
dioxide that they frequently awaken in the morning with severe 
pains in the head. The life of the streets is their salvation. We 
condemn children to death, under the delusion that we are working 
for their moral good ; a perverted human soul may be led back to 
righteousness; but a consumptive chest can never again become 
robust. Let those who talk of education and morality and similar 
themes be sure that they are benefactors and not executioners, and 
let those who wish to do good seek the light of science. 

Curvatures of the vertebral column, such as lordosis and 
kyphosis, cannot be considered solely in relation to the thorax, 
but in relation to the pelvis as well, because, especially in lordosis, 
the lumbar vertebrae are also involved, while the pelvis also suf- 
fers a characteristic deformity. 



Anatomical Note. — ^The five lumbar, the five sacral and the four 
coccygeal vertebrae constitute the lumbar and sacro-coccygeal sec- 
tion of the vertebral column. 

The sacrum, formed by the union of the five sacral vertebrae, 
appears in the adult in the form of a bone that narrows rapidly 
from above downward in a general curve whose convex side is 
turned inward. The coccyx has the importance of being a real 
and actual caudal appendage, reduced in man to its simplest ana- 

FiG. 127. — Skeleton of Pelvis, Seen from Above. 

tomical expression. On each side of the sacrum the two ossa 
innominata or hip-bones are attached, constituting a sort of massive 
girdle (cinctura pelvica), serving as point of attachment for the 
lower limbs, while at the same time it sustains the entire weight of 
the body and the abdominal viscera. These two bones are made 
up of three separate parts : an upper part, very broad and rather 
thin (the ilium, which constitutes the flank or hip), one in front 
(the OS pubis), and a third behind, quite massive, and shaped hke 



the letter V (the ischium). The two ossa innominata and the os 
sacrum form the pelvis or pelvic basin, a broad cavity with bony- 
walls that are by no means complete, within which are a portion of 
the digestive organs and a considerable part of the organs belonging 
to the genito-urinary system. The pelvis supports the vertebral 
column and is in turn supported by the lower limbs, in quite 
marvellous equilibrium. 

The maximum sexual differences of the skeleton are in relation 
to the pelvis ; in woman the iliac bones form a far ampler basin ; in 
man, the pelvis is higher and more confined and formed of more 
solid bones; but it is not broader. But where the difference is 
most apparent is in the pelvic aperture (see Fig. 127) which divides 
the pelvis into two parts, the upper or great pelvis and the lower or 
small pelvis. This aperture has distinguishing marks that differ 
widely between the sexes ; in woman it is rounder, in man it is more 
elongated from front to back and is narrowed toward the pubis. 
One of the most important points of measurement in anthropology 
and in obstetrics is the extreme anterior apex of the superior 
border of the ilium or crista iliaca antero-superior. The woman 
in whom this dimension (the bis-iliac) is less than 250 millimetres 
cannot give birth naturally; similarly the woman who has a promi- 
nent OS pubis (due to rachitis) will owe the attainment of maternity 
to the intervention of surgery, and perhaps even of the Caesarean 

There are also many ethnical differences in the pelvis : brachy- 
cephalics (the mongolian race) have a broader and shallower pelvis 
than the dolichocephalics, who, on the contrary, have a deeper and 
narrower pelvis (the negroes). The same thing is met with, not- 
withstanding its intermixture, in our own race : blond, brachy ceph- 
alic women have a wider pelvis than brunette, dolichocephalic 

Accordingly, cranium, thorax and pelvis correspond in one and 
the same ethnic type. 

The abdomen extends from the arch of the diaphragm to the 
lower extremity of the pelvis. It contains all the viscera of ali- 
mentation : the digestive system together with the glands belong- 
ing to it ; the liver and pancreas, besides the renal system and, in 
women, the organs of generation (uterus and ovaries). The 
diaphragmatic arch, having its convex side uppermost, enters the 
thoracic frame as far as the first dorsal vertebra. The intestinal 



mass is more noticeable and prominent in persons having a narrow 
pelvis; in children, for example, the abdomen is very prominent. 

Growth of the Pelvis. — In the skeleton of the new-born child the 
pelvis differs from that of the adult in two particulars : height and 
direction. The pelvis is low in the new-born child and higher 
in the adult. The central axis is more oblique from front to back 
(in the higher mammals the axis of the pelvis is almost central) ; 
in the adult, on the contrary, this axis tends to straighten up, to the 
point of becoming nearly vertical, in relation, that is, to the erect 
54 position of man. Hence in the course of 

growth the pelvis not only becomes propor- 
tionally higher, but it undergoes a rotary 
movement around the cotyloid axis; this 
movement has the effect of elevating the 
pubis and bringing the ischium forward. 
The vertebral column rests upon the 
^ ^ 7 sacrum, which is the retrocotyloid portion 
*^ of the pelvis, and its pressure tends mechan- 
'^^ ically to straighten the pelvis (see diagram, 

*er Fig. 128). This process of straightening 

ft^ has certain limits, and is dependent upon 

the form of curvature of the vertebral col- 
^^^' ^~^' umn;if thisis exaggerated, as in lordosis, 

the weight is thrown further forward, almost over the cotyles; 
consequently, the elevation of the pelvis is not properly accom- 
plished (low pelvis found in lordotics). If, on the contrary, the 
lumbar curvature is wanting or reversed (kyphosis), the pres- 
sure of the column is thrown backward and the straightening up of 
the pelvis is exaggerated (high pelvis found in kyphotics). Inde- 
pendently of pathological deformities, there are various forms of 
lumbar curvature in the vertebral column that are normal oscilla- 
tions, or oscillations acquired through adaptation. 

An exaggerated lumbar curvature or saddle-back is found in 
children accustomed to carry heavy loads upon their shoulders; a 
diminished curvature is found in children constrained to remain in 
a sitting posture for many hours a day. The sitting posture tends 
to cancel the lumbar inward curve; consequently, while children 
are in school they are promoting the elevation of their pelvis. 

The elevation of the pelvis proceeds rapidly at the fifteenth 


year, during puberty, when the muscular masses become more 

A woman is not fitted for motherhood, even if physically de- 
veloped, so long as her pelvis has not rotated normally. But if 
the rotation is exaggerated (due to prolonged sitting posture during 
years of growth), this is very unfavourable to normal childbirth. 
In rickets, associated with kyphosis, there is a form of exaggerated 
rotated pelvis (pubis high). The laborious '^modern" childbirth, 
and the dangerous childbirth in the case of women who have de- 
voted much time to study, must be considered in connection with 
these artificial anomalies. Free movement and gymnastics have 
for this reason, in the case of women, an importance that extends 
from the individual to the species. 



The study of the limbs is of great importance, because, although 
it is the special province of the bust to contain the organs of vege- 
tative life, it is the limbs which render it useful. In fact, it is the 
lower limbs which control our locomotion and the upper limbs 
which execute the labour of mankind. 

One characteristic of man, equally with that of standing in an 
erect position, supported only on the lower limbs, is the inde- 
pendence of the upper limbs, which are raised from the ground and 
relieved of the function of locomotion — a function that still con- 
tinues in all other mammals, excepting the anthropoid apes, whose 
upper limbs are extremely long and barely escape the earth, and 
serve the animal merely as an aid and a support in walking. The 
birds, although supported on their hind limbs alone, nevertheless 
have their fore limbs assigned to the sole office of wings for the 
transportation of their bodies. 

Consequently, the free and disposable upper limb, peculiar to 
mankind, would seem to mark a new function in the biologic scale 
— human labour. 

Anatomy of the Skeleton of the Limbs. — In contrast to the bust, 
the limbs have an internal skeleton, adapted solely to the function 
of support (not of protection). The bones are covered with masses 
of striped muscles, which have as their special function voluntary 
movement, that is to say, obedience to the brain. 

The upper and lower limbs correspond numerically, and the 
arrangement of the bones is analogous; and this holds true for all 
the higher vertebrates. The nearest bones, those that are attached 
to the trunk, are single in all four limbs. Then, just as though 
branching out, they next double in number, and then multiply 
successively as we approach the extremities of the limbs. Thus 
the forearm and the lower leg have two bones, and the hands and 
feet have many. 

In the upper arm we have the humerus, in the thigh the femur, 
in the forearm the ulna and radius, (the ulna is situated on the 



same side as the little finger and the radius on that of the thumb), 
in the lower leg the tibia and fibula. Then come the many short 
bones (eight in the carpus and seven in the tarsus) which in the 
hand form the wrist or carpus, and in the foot the ankle or instep, 
the tarsus. These are followed by other long bones (five in the 
hand and five in the foot), which constitute the metacarpus and 
metatarsus, and these in turn by the long bones of the phalanges 
(fingers and toes), which grow successively smaller toward the 
extremities and are successively named proximal, middle and distal 
phalanges (phalangettes) . These last are missing in the thumb and 
the big toe. In conjunction with the last phalanges, the fingers 
and toes are protected by nails. 

The Growth of the Limbs. — Recent studies, conducted principally 
by Godin in France, author of the classic work upon growth, have 
demonstrated that the long bones of the limbs obey certain special 
laws of biologic growth. 

While a long bone is growing in length it does not grow in width 
or thickness, and while it is increasing in thickness it does not gain 
in length; hence the lengthening of the bones takes place in alter- 
nate periods; during the period of repose relative to growth in 
length, the bone gains in thickness. 

I have already explained, in connection with the stature, that 
we owe the growth of the long bones to a variety of formative ele- 
ments, the cartilages of the epiphyses, which control the growth 
in length of the long bones, and the enveloping membrane of the 
body of the bone, the periosteum, which presides over the growth 
in thickness. 

The above mentioned alternation in the growth of the bones 
must therefore be attributed to an alternation in the action of these 
various formative elements of the bones. 

In the case of two successive long bones (for example, the hu- 
merus and radius, the femur and tibia, the metacarpus and pha- 
langes, etc.), they alternate in their growth; while one of them is 
lengthening, the other is thickening ; consequently the growth of a 
limb in length is not simultaneous in all the bones, but takes place 
alternately in the successive bones. During the time when the 
growth devolves upon the longest bone, the limbs show the greatest 
rate of increase in length, and when, on the contrary, it devolves 
upon the shortest bone, the growth is less ; but in either case it 
continues to grow. 


The growth of the long bones of the Hmbs proceeds by alternate 
periods of activity and repose, which succeed each other regularly. 

These periods of activity and repose occur inversely in each two 
successive bones. 

The periods of repose from growth in length are utihsed for 
gain in thickness, and reciprocally. The long bones lengthen and 
thicken alternately, and not simultaneously. 

It is only at the age of puberty (fifteenth year) that a complete 
simultaneity of growth takes place, after which epoch the growth 
in stature and length of limb diminishes, yielding precedence to 
that of the vertebral column. 

When the complete development of the bodily proportions is 
attained (eighteenth year), the length of the lower limbs is equal 
to one-half the stature. 

When the upper limbs are extended vertically along the sides 
of the body, the tip of the middle finger reaches the middle point of 
the thigh, while the wrist coincides with the ischium (hip-bone). 
The total spread of the arms is, on an average, equal in length to 
the stature. 

The proportions between the lower limbs and the bust, resulting 
from the attainment of complete individual development, deter- 
mine the types of stature : macroscelia and brachyscelia. Since the 
order of growth as between the two essential portions of stature 
is now determined, we are able to interpret macroscelia as a phe- 
nomenon of infantilism (arrested development of the bust). 

Malformations. Excessive Development of the Nearer and Re- 
moter Segments. — But there are other proportions that are of inter- 
est to us, within the limbs themselves. Even between the nearer 
and remoter portions of the limbs there ought to be certain con- 
stant relations (indices) that constitute differential characteristics 
between the various human races and between man and the ape. 
If the humerus or upper arm is taken as equal to 100, the radius 
or forearm is equal to 73 in the European, while in the negro it is 
equal to about 80. Furthermore, it is a well-known fact that ex- 
cessive length of the forearm is an ape-like characteristic. 

Consequently, the measurement of the segments of the limbs is 
important, and it is made with a special form of calipers ; when the 
index of the segments deviates from the accepted normal figure, this 
constitutes a serious anomaly, frequently found in degenerates, 
and it often happens that an excessive development of the remoter 


segments, the bones of the extremities, explains the excess of the 
total spread of the arms over the stature, unassociated with the 
macroscelous type. 

Absence of Calf. — In addition to this fundamental deviation 
from normality, there are other malformations worthy of note 
that may occur in the limbs. Such, for example, is a deficiency or 
absence of the calf of the leg. The well-turned leg, which we 
admire as an element of beauty is a distinctive human trait most 
conspicuous among the races that we regard as superior. Among 
the more debased negro races the leg is spindling and without any 
calf; furthermore, it is well known that monkeys have no calves, 
and still less do they exist among the lower orders of mammals. 

Flat Feet. — Another important malformation relates to the 
morphology of the feet. Everyone knows the distinctive curve or 
arch of the foot, and the characteristic imprint which it conse- 
quently leaves on the ground. Sometimes, however, this arch is 
missing, and the sole of the foot is all on the same plane (flat foot). 
The dark-skinned natives of Australia have fiat feet as one of their 
racial characteristics ; in our own race it constitutes an anomaly that 
is frequent among degenerates. Flat feet may also be acquired as 
the result of certain employments (butler, door-keeper, etc.), 
which compel certain individuals to remain much of the time on 
foot. But in such cases the deformity is accompanied by a patho- 
logical condition (neuralgic symptoms and local myalgia). Like 
all malformations, this may have special importance in connection 
with infantile hygiene (the position of the pupil, the work done by 
the children, etc.). 

Opposable Big Toe. — Another malformation combined with a 
functional anomaly, that is never met with as a deformity resulting 
from adaptation, is the opposable big toe. Sometimes the big toe 
is greatly developed and slightly curved toward the other toes, and 
capable of such movement as to give it a slight degree of opposa- 
bility; hence the foot is prehensile. This characteristic, regularly 
present in monkeys, is so far developed in certain degenerates as to 
make it possible for them to perform work with their feet (knitting 
stockings, picking up objects, etc.) ; so that this class of degenerates, 
who are essentially parasites, solve the problem of supporting them- 
selves by trading on the curiosity of the public, so that, by strain- 
ing a point, we might bestow upon them the title of foot labourers. 

Loose and Stiff Joints. — Anomalies may also occur in connection 


with the articulation of the joints. It sometimes happens that 
they are extremely loose and weak, and allow the bones an exces- 
sive play of movement ; and, if the lower limbs are thus affected, it 
increases the difficulty of maintaining equilibrium when standing 
erect or walking. On the other hand, it may happen that the ar- 
ticulations are too stiff, and consequently render many movements 
difficult, especially if through an anomalous development of the 
outer coating of the bone, it results in congenital ankylosis. 

Curvature of the Legs. — A special importance attaches to cer- 
tain alterations undergone by the heads of the bones which con- 
tribute to the formation of the knee, because of the curvature of 
the leg which results from them (rachitis, paralysis). The leg 
may become bowed outward or inward; when it is bowed inward 
(knock-knees, genu valgum), the knees strike together in 
walking; when, on the contrary, it is bowed outward, the result is 
bow-legs {genu varum), known popularly in Italy as '4egs of 
Hercules," a deformity which in a mild degree may also result from 
the practice of horse-back riding. 

Club-foot (Talipes). — Other deviations from the normal posi- 
tion occur in connection with the foot. Certain paralytic children 
(Little's disease) walk on the fore part of the foot (talipes equinus, 
''horse's foot"); in some cases the foot is also turned inward, and 
consequently such children cross their legs as they walk (talipes 
equino-varus) . 

The Hand 

Cheiromancy and Physiognomy. The Hand in Figurative Speech. 
The High and Low Type of Hand. — The hand is in the highest 
degree a human characteristic. It is man's organ of grasp and 
of the sense of touch, while in animals these two functions are 
relegated to the mouth. The hand has always claimed the atten- 
tion not only of scientists but of all mankind without distinction. 
Attempts have been made to discover the secrets of human person- 
ality from the hand, and a whole art has been built up, called 
chiromancy, which endeavours to read from the hand man's 
destiny and psychic personality, just as physiognomy was the art 
of interpreting the character from the face. 

Chiromancy was an accredited art as far back as the days of 
ancient Greece, and it also had a great vogue in the middle ages; 
while to-day it is out of date and superseded, or perhaps is destined 


to rise again in some new form, just as physiognomy has risen 
again in the study of "expressions" of the face and the imprints 
which they leave behind them. Scientists also have made the 
hand the object of their careful consideration; and the result of 
their researches shows that the hand really does contain individual 
characteristics that are not only interesting but, up to a certain 
point, are revelations of personality. A written word, a clasp of 
the hand, may furnish documents for the study of the individual. 
Graphology, for instance, is naturally related to the functional 
action and to the characteristics of the hand itself. Gina Lom- 
broso has recently made a study of the hand-clasp in its relation 
to character; when a haughty person offers his hand, he has the 
appearance of wishing to thrust you from him; the miser barely 
offers the tips of his fingers; the timid man yields a moist and 
chilly hand to your touch; the loyal friend makes you feel the whole 
vigor of his hand in its cordial pressure. 

In the gesture we have an individual form of linguistic expres- 
sion. Consequently, man reveals himself, not alone through his 
creative part, the head, but also through its obedient servant, 
the hand. ''The hand is gesture, gesture is visible speech, speech 
is the soul, the soul is man, the soul of man is in the hand." 

Furthermore, we can judge from the hand whether a man is 
fitted for work or not; and it is to work that the hand owes its 
human importance. The first traces of mankind upon earth are 
not remains of skeletons, but remains of work — the splintered stone. 
The whole history of social evolution might be called the history 
of the hand. To say that the hand is the servant of the intelli- 
gence is to express the truth in too restricted a way, because the 
intelligence is nourished and developed through the products of 
the hand, as by degrees the work of the latter transformed the 
environment. Hence, the history of our intellectual development, 
like that of our civilization, is based upon the creative work 
evolved by the collaboration of hand and head. And so, in the 
orphan asylums, we have the children sing the hymn to the hand, 
which is a hymn to labuor and to progress: 

"Our hand is good for every task." 

All the solemn acts of life require the cooperation and sanc- 
tion of the hand. We take oath with the hand; marriage is per- 
formed by uniting the hands of the bridal pair; in proof of friend- 


ship or to seal a compact, we clasp hands. The word hand has 
come to be often used in a symboHc sense in many expressive 
phrases possessing a social and moral significance: '^Take heed 
that the hand of the Lord does not fall upon you;" '^ Pilate washed 
his hands;" 'Ho put oneself into another's hands;" 'Ho have a 
lavish hand;" 'Ho sit with idle hands" or "with the hands in 
the pockets;" "one hand washes the other;" "to have a hand in 
the pie;" "to turn one's hand to something;" "to lend a final 
hand;" "to speak with the hand on the heart;" "to believe the 
evidence of one's hands," etc. 

And this high and symbolic significance given to the hand 
dates back even to bible times : 

Solomon says: "The length of days is in her right hand; and 
in her left hand riches and honour" {Prov. 3, 16). 

And Moses: "Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in 
your soul and bind them for a sign upon your hand" {Deut. 11, 18). 
Attempts have recently been made to describe the "psycholog- 
ical types ' ' of the human hand. Zimmermann, for instance, studies 
two types of hand: the high type, delicate, small, slender, with 
rounded, tapering fingers, and convex nails; a hand which would 
indicate a fine sensibility, delicate and refined sentiments, a well 
balanced mind, a high degree of intelligence, a strong and noble 
character. And there is the low type, coarse, short and stocky, 
with thick fingers and flat nails; an index of sluggish sensibilities, 
vulgar sentiments and a low order of intelligence, a weak will and 
apathetic character. 

In accordance with the theories of mechanics, the type of hand 
has been considered in relation to its organic use and morphological 
adaptation. In general, the hand used in the coarser forms of 
work is of the low type ; the high type of hand is that required for 
nimble and fine movements, in which there is need of the successive 
concurrence of all those delicate little groups of muscles which are 
able to act independently and thus give to this organ the marvel- 
ous and subtle variety of movements which distinguish it. In 
regard to dimensions, the large, heavy hand would betoken use, 
and the little hand disuse. Therefore, the small hand may be 
considered as a stigma of parasitism, a distinction which at the 
present day has lost its nobility. Excepting in so far as the "brain 
workers," who make themselves useful without employing their 
hands, may still show a distinctive smallness of these members. 


We should not, however, adhere solely either to the psycholog- 
ical theory of the hand, or to the theory of adaptation; it is neces- 
sary to consider the characteristics of the hand from several 
different points of view. 

Dimensions. — The dimensions of the hand bear a constant 
relation to the stature and to certain partial dimensions of the 
body, while the various parts of the hand preserve constant 
reciprocal proportions. 

As far back as in the time of Vitruvius it was known that the 
human hand is related to the stature in the proportion of 10 to 
100. This is a very important fact to know, because the propor- 
tion varies in the inferior races and in the anthropoid apes, the 
descent in the scale showing a corresponding increase of length 
of hand relatively to the stature. Thus, for example, in the 
Mongolian races the proportional length of the hand is 12.50, and 
in the higher apes it equals 18. Consequently too long a hand is 
in itself an anomaly that indicates a low type of man; it is to be 
classed with those anomalies that were formerly regarded as 
atavistic reversions, phenomena of absolute retrogression in the 
biological scale. 

Relations between the Hand and the other Dimensions of the Body. 
— The closed fist, taking the extreme outside measurement be- 
tween the metacarpo-phalangeal articulations, corresponds to the 
breadth of the heart. 

The length of the hand corresponds to the height of the visage, 
and also to the distance intervening between the sternal incisura 
and the auricular foramen; it is also equal to the distance between 
the two nipples, and therefore also corresponds to the depth of 
the chest. 

There may be hands which are either excessively large or much 
too small, and that are really marks of degeneration. An exces- 
sive volume of these members is called megalomelia, and an exces- 
sive smallness oligomelia. 

We may encounter an extremely small hand quite as often in 
the son of an alcoholic labourer as in the son of a degenerate aris- 
tocrat; frequently men whose parents were mentally deficient have 
small, delicate, almost effeminate hands. 

The Proportions between the Various Segments of the Hands. — 
The length of the middle finger, measured from the digito-palmar 
plica or fold, ought to equal the length of the palm. 


Hence the index of the palm should be the proportion between 
the length of the palm itself and the length of the middle finger. 
This proportion is of importance because it has certain human 
characteristics; as a matter of fact, in the anthropoid apes the 
metacarpus is much longer than the fingers and the palm has a 
far lower index than that of man. In degenerates (thieves) the 
hand is frequently narrow and long. 

The Proportions of the Fingers. — If the first and second articula- 
tions of the fingers are flexed, leaving the third extended, we find 
that the extremity of the middle finger reaches to the point where 
the thenar and hypothenar eminences (fleshy prominences at base 
of palm) are nearest to each other. 

This basic point is only approximate and serves to tell us 
whether the middle finger is normal. The middle finger serves 
as a measure for the others, as follows: 

The index-finger reaches to the base of the nail of the 
middle finger. 

The thumb, to the middle of the first phalanx of the middle 

The ring finger, to the middle of the nail of the middle finger.* 

The little finger, to the third articulation of the ring finger. 
It often happens that the development of the ulnar side of 
the hand — the little finger, or both little and ring finger together 
— is defective. Sometimes the little finger is not only extremely 
small, but a special malformation renders it shorter still when the 
hand is open; the second phalanx remains flexed, and cannot be 
extended. Combined with the shortness of such fingers there is 
also an extreme slenderness — cubital oligodactylia. It is a far 
rarer thing to find similar anomalies in the case of the index-finger. 
The thumb, on the contrary, is sometimes extremely short, in 
consequence of which it has slight opposability. 

Functional Characteristics. — What characterises the functional 
action of the human hand is the opposability of the thumb. There 
ought to be a perfect movement of opposability of the thumb in 
respect to all the other fingers; but many imbecile children accom- 
plish this movement imperfectly. The mobility of the thumb is 
associated with a group of muscles situated at its base which forms 
the great tenar eminence of the palm, opposite which, in corre- 

* Many authorities maintain that the normal relation between the index and ring finger 
is the reverse of that given above; abundant examples occur in favor of each of these 


spending relation to the little finger is the small hypotenar eminence. 
An insufficient development of these palmar eminences represents 
a serious malformation, which entails functional disturbances. 
The hand of the monkey is flat. 

The Nails. — We have already seen that in the high type of hand 
the nails should be convex and long, and that in the low type, on 
the contrary, they are short and fiat. 

The normal nail should extend to an even level with the finger- 
tip. Manual labour should normally serve the purpose of keep- 
ing the nails worn down; but we, who are not hand-labourers, 
must use the scissors, in order to maintain the normal state. 

For, if they were not worn down, the nails would attain an 
enormous length, like the nails of certain kings of savage tribes, 
who as a badge of authority have such long nails that their 
hands are necessarily kept motionless; these kings must in conse- 
quence be waited on, even for the smallest need, and actually be- 
come the slaves of their own nails, which might be shattered by any 
sudden movement on the part of their royal possessor. Long 
nails, therefore, are a sign of idleness, while at the same time they 
demand a great deal of attention. Accordingly, let us repudiate 
the fashion of long nails. 

As a form of anomaly, we sometimes meet with nails of such 
exaggerated length that they have the aspect of claws^on^co- 
gryposis; or, again, an almost total absence of nails, which are re- 
duced to a narrow transverse strip — this characteristic is often 
found in idiots, and is aggravated by the fact that from child- 
hood such persons have had the habit of ''biting their nails." 

Sometimes the nails are exceedingly dense, or actually consist 
of several superimposed layers, so rich in pigment that they lose 
their characteristic transparency. 

This condition is due to trophic disorders of the nails. 

Teratology and Various Anomalies. — There are certain mons- 
trosities that sometimes occur in connection with the hand, such 
as hexadactylism and polydactylism, or hands with six or niore 
fingers; or else hands with less than five fingers — syndactylism. 
There may even be a congenital absence of a phalanx, with a 
consequent notable shortness of the finger — brachydactylism. 

Another sort of anomaly frequently found in deficients consists 
of an excessive development of the interdigital membrane, to the 
extent of giving the hand the appearance of being web-fingered. 


An anomaly of minor importance consists in a distortion of the 
fingers; the little finger has one of its phalanges turned backward. 
All the fingers ought to be in contact throughout their whole 
length, and not leave open spaces between them. 

Lines of the Palms. — The lines of the palms, which used to be 
of so much importance in chiromancy, are now taken into con- 
sideration even in anthropology, being studied in normal and ab- 
normal man, and also in the hands of monkeys. The lines of the 
palms are three in number. The one which follows the curve of 
the tenar eminence is known in chiromancy as the line of life, and, 
if long, deep and unbroken, was supposed to denote good health 
and the prospect of a long life; in anthropology it is called the 
biological line. The second crease, which ought to meet the former 
between the thumb and the index-finger, is the line of the head, or 
cephalic line, and in chiromancy its union with the line of life was 
supposed to denote a well-balanced character. 

The line highest up, which begins between the index- and middle 
finger and extends to the extreme margin of the palm, is the line 
of the heart or the cardiac line, which in chiromancy is supposed 
to indicate the emotional development of the individual. These 
lines taken together form a semblance of the letter M, and are 
characteristically and gracefully curved. It is considered as an 
anomaly, to be met with among degenerates and even in mongo- 
loid idiots, to lack any of these lines (numerical reduction) or to 
have their arrangement distinctly horizontal, and reminiscent of 
the hand of the monkey. 

If we trace backward in the zoological scale, we find as a matter 
of fact that to begin with, there were no lines in the palms, and 
then there appeared a single crease high up, such as we still find 
in the Cebus. In the human hand Carrara has recently made a 
study of these anomalies, distinguishing several types. In the 
first type there is a single transverse furrow. In the second type 
there are two furrows which, however, follow a definitely straight 
and horizontal direction and consequently are parallel. In a 
third type a single transverse furrow is associated with a very deep 
longitudinal furrow running from the carpus to the base of the 
index- and middle finger — a form that Carrara has found only in 
criminals. Nevertheless, many idiots exhibit a similar longi- 
tudinal furrow, due to a peculiar development of the palmar 

Fig. 129. — Imprint of human hand, showing papillary lines 
on palm and fingers. 


The disposition of the furrows in the palm is not strictly sym- 
metrical in the two hands; in fact, it is said in chiromancy that 
the right hand represents our natural character, and our left hand 
the character which we have acquired in the course of living. 

Papillary Lines. — For some time past the papillary lines have 
been attracting the attention of students, in regard to their earliest 
appearance (in the zoological scale), their disposition and com- 
plications. They were already spoken of by Malpighi and Pur- 
kinje. Alix has investigated the first appearance, in the animal 
scale, of these lines in the thoracic and pelvic limbs, and concludes : 
''The greater or lesser development of the papillary lines seems to 
bear a relation to the higher or lower position of the group to which 
the animal belongs, the perfection of its hand and the degree of its 

Morselli has studied the disposition of these lines in monkeys. 
We know that the papillary lines bear a relation to the exquisite 
delicacy of the sense of touch. The primates (higher apes) have 
on their finger-tips patterns that are far simpler than our own, 
resembling geometric figures, among which the principal ones are 
the triangle, the circle, and forms resembling the cross-section of 
an onion. In the normal human hand, on the contrary, it should 
be impossible to distinguish any closed figure. The resulting 
designs, which are very fine and complicated, are not uniform on 
all the fingers, but differ from finger to finger in proportion to the 
degree of evolution in a given hand. For example, there is a 
certain uniformity of design in cases of arrested mental develop- 
ment (imbeciles, epileptics, etc.). This variety of designs pro- 
duces individual characteristics which are utilized in criminal 
anthropology for purposes of identification; hence, it is highly 
important to be able to take impressions of the papillary lines. 

Professor Sante de Sanctis has quite recently invented a 
practical method of preserving papillary imprints by the aid of 


Pigmentation and Cutaneous Apparatus. — The outer covering 
of the body possesses an importance that is not only physiolog- 
ical, as a defense of the living animal, but biological and ethnical 
as well. In fact, the covering of the body frequently constitutes 
a characteristic of the species, and we may say that it constitutes 
to a large extent the aesthetics of coloration, supplementing that 
of form. In the covering of the body there are in general certain 
appendages which include the double purpose of defense and 
attraction, as, for example, the scales of fishes, the quills of the 
porcupine, the marvellous plumage of certain birds, the furry 
coat of the ermine. Man, on the contrary, is almost completely 
deprived of any covering of the skin, and is conspicuous among 
all animals as the most defenseless and naked. Consequently, 
the characteristics of the skin itself, quite apart from any covering, 
assume in man a great ethnic importance, especially as regards 
his pigmentation. In fact, it is well known that the fundamental 
classifications of the human races due to Blumenbach and Lin- 
naeus are based upon the cutaneous pigmentation (white, black, 
yellow races, etc.). This is because it is a recognised fact that 
the pigmentation is biologically associated with race, and hence 
inalterable and hereditary, in the same way, for example, as the 
cephalic index; although we must not forget the modifications of 
pigment through phenomena due to adaptation to environment. 
This would lead us into scientific discussions which would here 
be out of place, since they have no immediate importance to 
us as educators. It may suffice to indicate that the distribution 
of racial colour should not be studied in relation to temperature 
and the direction of the sun's rays, but rather in connection with 
the history of human emigration; because, while as a matter of 
fact it is true that there are races at the equator which are darker 
and races near the poles which are fairer, it is also true that the 
Esquimaux, for instance, are a dark race, while in Lybia there are 



types of ashen blond, which is the palest blond in the whole range 
of human pigmentation. 

The pigment is distributed throughout the skin, the cutaneous 
appendages and the iris. 

In the skin, the distribution is not uniform, there being some 
regions of the body that have more, and some that have less; it is 
localised in the Malpighian mucous layer, i.e., the granular, ger- 
minative layer of the epidermis, which rests directly upon the 
papillae of the derma or corium. 

The derma, being abundantly supplied with blood-vessels, if 
seen by itself would appear red; but this color, due to the blood, 
is concealed to a greater or less extent by the epidermis, according 
as the latter contains more or less pigment. In the iris of the eye 
and in the pilif erous appendages of the skin, among which we must, 
from the anthropological point of view, give chief place to the hair 
of the head, the pigment tends to accumulate, producing a con- 
stantly deeper shade. 

Pigmentation constitutes an eminently descriptive character- 
istic, and consequently, in all attempts to determine it, must be 
subject to all manner of oscillations in judgment on the part of the 
observer; yet, because it also constitutes an ethnical characteristic, 
it deserves to be determined with precision. To this end we have 
in anthropology chromatic charts, corresponding not only to the 
various shades of the skin, but also to those of the pilif erous ap- 
pendages and of the iris. They consist of a graduated series of 
colour-tones extending over the entire possible range of the real 
colours of pigmentation in human beings; and every gradation in 
tone has a corresponding number. When we wish to use the 
charts practically, for the purpose of determining accurately the 
precise degree of pigmentation of a given person's hair, we need 
only to compare the tone of the hair with the colours of the chart, 
and, having identified the right one, to note the corresponding 
number. For instance, we may record: ''Pigmentation of hair 
= 34 Br. {i.e.. No. 34 in Broca's table). Or, again, if we are mak- 
ing a more complex study of all the children in a certain school, 
we may say: ''The chestnut tones (35, 42, 43 Br.) constitute 87 
per cent., the remaining percentage consists of the blond shades 
(36, 37, 46 Br.). And in the case of the skin and the iris the pro- 
cedure is analogous. By this means the investigation is objective 
and accurate. 



As a rule, the three pigmentations are determined in accordance 
with a reciprocal correspondence. The light colourings, as well 
as the dark, generally go together; i.e., a person having blond hair 
has also light eyes and a fair skin, and vice versa — in other words, 
the entire organism has either a greater or less accumulation of 
pigment in all its centres of pigmentation. Furthermore, these 
anthropological characteristics are accompanied by others of equal 
ethnical importance, such as the stature, the cephalic index, etc.; 
and all of them combine to determine an ethnic type in all its 
complex morphology. 

In this, as in all other anthropological data, it is necessary to 
determine the limits between which it may oscillate. In the races 
of mankind, the colour of the skin ranges from a black brown to a 
gray brown, to brick red, to yellow, and to white; but among the 
population of Italy, and among Europeans in general (excepting 
certain localised groups, like the Lapps, etc.), the variation is con- 
fined within the limits of the so-called white tones, that is, from 
brunette to a sallow white, a rosy white, or a florid red, with each 
of which tints there are special corresponding grades of pigmenta- 
tion for hair and eyes, and also, on broad, general lines, different 
ethnical characteristics oscillating within our normal limits of 
stature and cephalic index. 

All of which may be summarised in the following table: 



Cephalic index 





Pink-white. . . 

Florid red 


Light chest- 

n u t and 



Chestnut and 


Medium or low 
Medium or high 

(Outside of ethnic 
the red colour 


al characteristics: 
of the hair is 

in which we have also included the abnormal colour of red hair, 
which plays a part in the actual colour scale of Italian pigmentation : 
not, however, as a racial characteristic, but rather as a deviation. 
In addition to the oscillation of limits, we should also study in 
any given population the geographic distribution of a definite 
anthropological datum. This must also be done in the case of the 


pigments. Among Livi's splendid charts, there is one regarding 
the distribution of the brunette type in Italy. From this it appears 
that the greatest prevalence of the brunette type is in Sardinia 
and Calabria, and that in general there is a prevalence of the dark 
types in the southern districts ; while the lowest percentage of brun- 
nettes is found in Piedmont, Lombardy and Venetia, and in general 
the number of brunettes is less in northern and central Italy. 

The relative distribution of other ethnical data should be noted, 
such as the stature and the cephalic index, in the corresponding 

By combining these results, we find that in the north of 
Italy the prevalent type is blond, brachycephalic, and of tall stat- 
ure; while in the south it is a dark, dolichocephalic type, of low 
stature. . This is what I succeeded in showing in my work upon the 
women of Latium, in which I sought to complete the details of 
these two ethnic types. In Latium there is a prevalence of the 
dark, dolichocephalic type of low stature, a type that is still almost 
pure at Castelli Romani; this type is fine, slender and delicate 
in formation, and corresponds to Sergi's Mediterranean stock, to 
which are due the great Egyptian and Graeco-Roman civilisations. 
The other race is blond, tall and brachycephalic, and has only a 
scanty representation in southern Latium, but is prevalent in an 
almost pure form in the neighborhood of Orte. This type is much 
coarser and more massive in its formation, with a euriplastic 
skeleton, and corresponds to Sergi's Eurasian race that immi- 
grated from the continent. 

In general, we may say that it is foreordained in our biological 
destiny not only what form, but also what colouring we ought to 
attain in the course of our individual evolution, when we finally 
arrive at mature development. 

The Pigments during Growth. — In the course of individual 
evolution, it is not only the form that becomes modified, but the 
pigments as well. We know, for example, that children are more 
blond than adults. Transformations in regard to the pigments 
occur, however, more especially at the period of puberty. 

Pigmentation of the Hair. — The colour of the hair becomes 
darker in the course of growth, changing from light chestnut to 
dark, from blond to light chestnut, from dark to black, from light 


auburn to fiery red. Sometimes this darkening of the hair is 
accompanied by a change in tone (from blond to chestnut); at 
other times it consists in an intensification of the original colour 
through an increase of pigment, which fixes and defines a colour 
that was previously indefinite. 

In children who were ill or ailing during their early years, in 
other words, weakly children (through denutrition, exhausting 
illnesses, overexertion), this phenomenon is imperfectly achieved, 
just as their growth as a whole is imperfectly achieved. The con- 
sequence is that these weaklings retain a paler and less decided 
pigmentation, which explains the fact that statistics show a greater 
proportion of frail, rachitic, tuberculous and mentally deficient 
persons among the blonds than among the brunettes; but it is 
among that class of blonds whose light colour represents an arrest 
of development (suppressed brunettes). 

Social conditions also exert an influence upon the colour of the 
hair; a larger number of blonds and of lighter and more indefinite 
blonds are to be found in the schools for the poor than in those for 
the rich; also a larger number in country schools, where the pov- 
erty is greater, than in city schools. Consequently we may con- 
clude that there are two classes of blonds : that which is associated 
with a racial type, and that which is the consequence of arrested 
development. The first type has a vivid, uniform and decisive 
colour tone, accompanied by physiological rebustness; the second 
is indefinite in colour tone and lacks uniformity —for example, 
the more exposed parts of the body are paler, and the hair varies 
in tone, some locks showing greater intensity of colour than others. 
This is especially noticeable in frail young girls from the country, 
where the sun discolours the surface layer of hair. In this con- 
nection it should be remembered that in those geographical regions 
where the rays of the sun are most nearly perpendicular, the pig- 
ments are, on the contrary, darker and that the skin becomes 
bronzed under the ardent kiss of the sun. But while the sun in- 
tensifies the tints that are strong with life, it destroys those that 
are weak and moribund, just as it does in the case of lifeless fabrics, 
which become bleached out by the action of the solar light. 

Accordingly the pigments give us an important test for judg- 
ing the robustness of the body; the blonds who are the product of 
arrested development of brown tones that have not been attained 
because of weakness, are frail in health and physical resistance, 


which is the basis of the popular belief that vigorous wet-nurses 
must be brunettes. 

As a matter of fact, in our own population of Latium the 
brunette type prevails over the blond by a percentage of 86 per 
cent.; and it may be that a blond Roman wet-nurse is a weakly 
creature, just as a Roman red wine is in all probability a white 
wine that has been coloured. . 


Pigmentation of the Iris. — In regard to the coloration of the 
eyes, a change often takes place at puberty which is the opposite 
to that already noted in regard to the hair: the eyes become more 
uniformly light; this happens in the majority of cases. 

In the coloration of the eyes it is necessary to distinguish two 
factors, the uvea and the pigment. 

The iris has a fundamental and uniform light colour (due to 
the uvea) which oscillates, according to the individual, between 
blue and greenish. 

In this layer the pigment is deposited; it may be more or less 
intense in tone, shading from yellow to a dark maroon. 

When the pigment is wanting or is very scant, the fundamental 
blue or greenish colour of the uvea is apparent. 

In little children the pigment is distributed over the uvea in 
a manner by no means uniform, in little masses or spots that are 
usually of a mixed colour, so that the colour of the iris in infancy 
may be uncertain. At puberty a uniform distribution of the pig- 
ment already accumulated takes place; but rarely an intensifi- 
cation. Hence the colour becomes more decided, but not deeper, 
as Godin has recently succeeded in proving. 

Pigmentation of the Skin. — In the colouring of the skin it is 
necessary to distinguish between that which is due to the blood 
and that which is due to the pigment. 

The blood, whose colour shows transparently through the layers 
of the epidermis, produces the various pinkish tones. 

The pigment, deposited in all races of mankind under the 
Malpighian layer, produces the various brownish tones. The 
quantity of cutaneous pigment is a constant racial factor — a hered- 
itary factor. Nevertheless, in certain individuals, it may be 
influenced by external agents (sunshine, heat) which tend to cause 
it to vary; such alterations produce individual varieties, and also 


variations in coloration of the skin between the covered parts of 
the body and those exposed to the sun or to atmospheric action in 
general; these variations, one and all, are not hereditary. 

At puberty the pigment is increased in certain portions of the 
body in connection with the generative functions which become 
established at that time. Besides this, the general pigmentation 
is intensified; children are whiter than adults. 

The Skin and the Hair during the Evolution of the Organism. — 
In the case of the hair also, the pigment does not remain a con- 
stant quantity throughout the different periods of life. Grey hair 
is a normal sign of the decadence of an organism which has entered 
upon its involution. As is well known, the hair of the head, the 
beard, and in general all the piliferous appendages turn white, 
beginning in the regions where the hair is most abundant, i.e., 
on the head. In some men, however, the hairs of the beard are 
the first to turn grey; this is not perfectly normal, it is an inferior 
manner of growing old. A German proverb says, that he who 
works much with the head (the thinking class) turns grey first in 
his hair, and that he who works much with his mouth (the hearty 
eater) turns grey first in his beard. 

The skin also gives manifest signs of decadence in the form of 
wrinkles. These serve up to a certain point as documentary evi- 
dence of the life which the individual has led and the high or low 
type to which he belongs. Just as in the case of grey hair, it is 
the class of thinkers who have the most wrinkles on their forehead; 
those who were given over to baser passions, such as called for 
labial rather than frontal expression, have on the contrary, more 
wrinkles around the mouth. We know how the peasant class has 
a veritable halo of wrinkles around the mouth. 

Thinkers, on the contrary, have a single vertical furrow in the 
middle of the forehead : the line of thought. The transverse hues 
on the forehead are parallel and unconnected. 

Faces with precocious wrinkles may be met with, even in chil- 
dren (denutrition, mental anxiety, dystrophic conditions) ; and con- 
versely, there are faces which have been preserved unwrinkled up 
to an advanced age (especially in the case of women of the aristoc- 
racy, in whom it may happen that neither suffering nor mental 
effort has left its traces on their lives). 

Pigmentation of the Hair. — This anthropological datum merits 
special consideration, since it plays so large a part in the aesthetics 


of the human body; and also preserves certain constant charac- 
teristics that serve to differentiate the races. In a study of the 
hair it is necessary to consider the quantity, the disposition and 
the form. Abundant, strong, sleek hair is in physiological rela- 
tion to robustness of body. Thin hair, on the contrary, or hair 
that is easily extirpated at the slightest pull, or dry hair, indicate 
insufficient nutrition, which may also be connected with dystro- 
phic or pathological conditions (hereditary syphilis, cretinism). 

The normal disposition of the hair is characteristic, but it 
may assume a number of individual variations, as has recently 
been shown by Dr. Sergio Sergi, son of our mutual instructor 
Giuseppe Sergi (Sergio Sergi, Sulla disposizione dei capelli intorno 
alia fronte — ''The disposition of the hair upon the forehead" — 
Acts of the Societa di Antropologia, Vol. 13, No. 1). 

The hair, after forming a single whorl or vortex, corresponding 
to the obelion, flows over the forehead in either two or three divi- 
sions, the lines of the parting (either lateral lines or a single central 
line) corresponding to the natural divisions of the flowing hair. 
Across the forehead the hair ceases at the line of the roots, which 
crowns the face cornice-like; it is a sinuous line and rises at the 
sides in two points, corresponding to the natural partings of the 
hair. The hair stops normally at the boundary-line of the fore- 
head, which together with the face forms the visage, leaving bare 
that part which in man corresponds to that portion of the frontal 
bone that rises erect above the orbital arches, i.e., the human 
portion of the forehead. 

The form of the hair is an ethnical characteristic. Among 
our European populations the extreme forms are wanting, namely, 
smooth hair (stiff, coarse, sparse hair peculiar to the red and yellow 
races, such as the American Indian, Esquinaux, Samoyed and 
Chinese), and kinky hair (wooly hair, curling in fine, close spirals, 
such as is found in all its variations among the Australians and 
the African negroes). Consequently, we cannot use the words 
smooth or kinky for the purpose of qualifying the forms of hair 
found in our populations. 

We may, however, meet with straight hair (not smooth), or 
curly hair (not kinky). In addition to these forms, which among 
us represent the extremes, there are also two other forms — namely, 
wavy hair (in ample curves) and spiral hair (forming much nar- 
rower curves, the so-called ringlets). Corresponding to these vari- 



ous qualities of hair, there are essential differences in the physical 
structure of the stem or shaft of the hair itself. If we make trans- 
verse sections of hair and examine them under the microscope, 
we find that the resulting geometrical figures are not all equal : the 
forms of the sections oscillate between rounded and ellipsoidal 
forms. Furthermore, there are races in which we may find hair 
having a circular section {smooth hair) and there are others in 

which we may find, on the 
contrary, an extremely 
elongated elliptical section 
{kinky hair); in the first 
case the hair is a long, 
bristly cylinder; in the 
second, it is a ribbon with 
a tendency to roll up. 

In general, the straighter 
the hair is, the nearer its 
cross-section approaches a 
perfect circle; and the more 
curly it is, the nearer its 
cross-section approaches an 
elongated ellipse. The ac- 
companying examples are 
drawn from the results of 
my own study of the women 
of Latium; they represent 
five microscopic prepara- 
tions. The figure in the 
middle (No. 3) represents 
straight hair; the two fig- 
ures. No. 1 and 5, are from curly hair; No. 2 is wavy hair, and 
No. 4, close-curled hair, or ringlets. Thus we see how widely the 
sections of hair differ according to the relative degree of curliness; 
and conversely, how identical the two sections, Nos. 1 and 5 are, 
both of them taken from equally curly hair, although from differ- 
ent heads. Straight hair has an almost circular section, although, 
slightly elliptical; this proves that really straight hair does not 
exist; in fact, even when it attains the maximum degree of 
smoothness, it retains a tendency to curl, which is shown, if in 
no other way, by the readiness with which it acquires a waviness, 

Fig. 130. 


if habitually kept braided. There is no other section so perfectly 
circular as that of the red races, thus demonstrating the bristle- 
like rigidity of the smooth type of hair. Wavy hair is that which, 
in the form of its section, approaches most nearly to straight hair; 
it is a slightly elongated ellipse (No. 2). 

Anomalies relating to the Pigment, the Skin and the Piliferous 
Appendages: Pigment and Skin. — There are certain congenital 
anomalies of the skin, occasionally to be met with, among which 
I make note of the following principal ones : 

a. Anomalies due to Hypertrophy of the Pigment and the Cor- 
ium: Ichthyosis. — The surface of the skin presents large, 
raised, irregular patches of various dark colours tending to 

b. Anomalies due to Hypertrophy of the Pigment: 

1. Ncevi Materni: dark isolated spots (moles, birth-marks) . 

2. Freckles: small, light brown spots, no larger than the 
head of a pin, scattered over the body, principally on the chest and 

3. Melanosis: the entire skin has a dark appearance, 
similar to that of the lower races of mankind, but especially on the 
face and hands. 

c. Anomalies due to Atrophy of the Pigment. Albinism. — The 
skin presents an appearance of milky whiteness; even the hair is 
white, and the iris of the eye is red. 

Wrinkles. — The wrinkles of the face are deserving of attention, 
as being a detail of noteworthy importance. In regard to wrinkles, 
two points should be noted; a. precocity; b. anomalies. 

a. Precocity of Wrinkles. — This is an indication of rapid 
involution, and is frequently met with in degenerates. Idiotic 
children often show a flabby, shrivelled skin, overstrewn with a 
multitude of wrinkles that give them the aspect of little old men. 

b. Anomalies: the following are to be specially noted: 

1. Transverse wrinkles on the nose, frequent in flat-nosed 

2. Wrinkles on the forehead; in normal persons these are 
interrupted and broken, they are not quite parallel, nor perfectly 
horizontal, nor very deep. 

In degenerates it is frequently noticed that the wrinkles on the 
forehead form one continuous horizontal line, extending completely 
across it; sometimes it is so deep that it seems to divide the fore- 



head transversely into two parts. The various wrinkles, straight 
and unbroken, are quite parallel. 

3. The zygomatic (cheek-bone) wrinkles and the wrinkles 
around the mouth are extremely deep in mentally defective adult 
and aged persons, and also in criminals, whose facial expression is 
especially active in the region of the nose and mouth, which con- 
stitute the least contemplative portion of the face. 

Anomalies of the Hair. — 1. Quantity. — The quantity of hair may 
be excessive — polytrichia, a mark of degeneration 
easily to be met with among delinquents and 
prostitutes; or there may be a scarcity of hair — 
atrichia, among neuropaths, feeble-minded and 
cretins. Sometimes, precocious baldness occurs, 
as a result of defective nutrition of the skin. 

2. Disposition. — We should note: a. the line 
of roots of the hair; b. the vortices. 

a. Line of Roots. — This may be situated too 
far down upon the forehead, in which case it 
gives a false impression of a low forehead, or 
too far hack, in which case it gives a false impres- 
sion of a high forehead. 

Note in addition the form of the line of roots ; 
it ought to be, as we have already said, sinuous; 
sometimes, on the contrary, this line is straight, 
and forms a uniform curve, without sinuosity, 
across the forehead (imbeciles); at other times 
it descends in a peak at the middle point of the 

b. Vortices. — Normally, there ought to be 
one central whorl or vortex over the sinciput. 

Abnormally it may happen: 

That the vortex is misplaced — above, below or laterally; 
That the vortex is double; 

That there are also vortices along the frontal line of roots, 
or near this line. 

3. Form. — It sometimes happens that we find in degenerates 
forms of hair that are normal in inferior races, i.e., smooth hair, 
or kinky, wooly hair. 

Grey Hair. — Sometimes in the case of degenerates or those 
suffering from dystrophy, a precocious greyness occurs (grey- 

FiG. 131. — Showing 
various types of the 
line of rootsofthehair. 


haired young men, children with white hair) ; or a partial congen- 
ital greyness (clumps of white hair). No form of grey hair, how- 
ever, should be confused with albinism. 

Anomalies relating to the Eyebrows and the Beard. The Eye- 
brows. — Various anomalies may occur, in respect to the quantity 
of hair, and the form of the eyebrows. 

The hairs may be too abundant or too scanty. 

The form may be oblique, in degenerate mongoloid types. 

A notable anomaly consists in a union of the eyebrows, which 
meet and form an unbroken line across the region of the glabella. 
The ''united eyebrows" constitute a grave sign of degeneration, 
and are popularly regarded in Italy as a mark of the "jettatura^' 
or ''evil eye." 

Beard. — It may be very thick or very thin. Too thick a beard 
is important, especially if the hairs are also abundant on the cheeks 
and even on the forehead, a characteristic that is frequently 
accompanied by an abundant growth of hair over the entire body 
(general hypertrichosis) . 

A thin beard and moustache may constitute a normal charac- 
teristic in certain races, such as the Kaffirs and other African negro 
tribes; as also in the Chinese. In our own race, on the contrary, 
it is an abnormal characteristic, which has been interpreted as a 
sexual inversion (feminism) and is met with frequently among 


In our morphological analysis of certain organs, we shall have 
occasion to enumerate a number of separate malformations, to 
the study of which criminal anthropology has devoted much atten- 
tion. Since many of these are met with in children, we will make 
a rapid enumeration of them, but must keep in mind that the ability 
to distinguish the abnormal form from the normal requires practice 
in the actual observation of subjects, while mere verbal descrip- 
tions may lead to false and confusing impressions. 








rima palpebrarum 
or eye-slit 

size of eye-ball .... 

sclerotic coat 
foramina (pupils) , 


malformations . 

/ high type 
I low type 
f macrophthalmia 
\ microphthalmia 
I exophthalmia 

I miosis 
j mydriasis 
I anisocoria 
f position 
I form 

Wildermuth's ear 

embryonal ear 

Morel's ear 

handle-shaped ear 

crumpled ear 

canine ear, etc. 
r leptorrhine 
{ platyrrhine 
I mesorrhine 
f flat 
j crooked 
i trilobate 
r simian mouth 
I negroid mouth 
[ hair lip, etc. 





irregular position 
J macroglossia 
\ microglossia 
J ogival (pointed arch) 
\ cleft 

Generalities. — Passing on to a more minute study of form, we shall have to 
invade the field of human aesthetics. The proportions of the body are all deter- 
mined, in respect to their harmony; and especially admirable is the harmony 
existing between the principal parts of the human physiognomy. Artists know 
that in a regular face the length of the eye is equal to the interocular distance, or 
to the width of the nose, while the latter stands to the width of the mouth in a 
ratio of 2 to 3. The length of the external ear remains, at all ages, exactly equal 
to the sum of the width of the two eyes. 

The eyes and the external ears grow but little, consequently they are relatively 


. anomalies. 
f lips 


apparatus , 

teeth . 

tongue . 
palate . 


quite large in children. The nose and mouth, on the contrary, grow much more, 
and hence appear quite small in infancy. The growth of the face, like that of 
the whole body, is an evolution, , 

Among all the harmonies of the human body, that which can undergo the 
greatest numbers of alterations in the course of its evolution is the reciprocal har- 
mony between the parts of the face. There are more cliildren than grown persons 
with beautiful faces, because the efforts of adaptation to environment, or con- 
genital biological causes, or pathological causes may easily alter the evolution 
of the face. 

We will take a rapid glance at the principal morphological anomalies likely to 
be encountered in connection with the face. 

All the malformations that we are about to enumerate are still included under 
the generic name of stigmata, and they may be degenerative stigmata (congenital 
anomalies), pathological stigmata (acquired through disease), or stigmata oj caste 
(caused by adaptation to environment) . 

Anomalies relating to the Eye. — The eyes may be too far apart (usually in 
broad, square faces of the Mongolian type), or too near together (for the most 
part in long narrow faces, with a hooked nose). 

Rima Palpebrarum (Eye-slit) . — A straight, narrow slit (low type) ; an oblique 
slit (Mongolian eye). 

Size of Eye-ball. — The eye-ball may be too large {macr ophthalmia) and hence 
often protrudes from the socket (exophthalmia) ; or it may be too small and deep- 
sunken (microphthalmia), or asymmetrical in size (one eye-ball larger than the 
other) . 

Direction. — Strabism (inward, outward, monolateral, bilateral). 

Sclerotic Coat. — It may be injected with blood (delinquents), or partly covered 
over by an abnormal development of the semilunar plica or fold of the palpebral 

Pupillary Foramina. — The two foramina of the pupils ought to be equal in 
size, circular and with a clearly marked contour. But under various conditions 
of age and ill health the size as well as the equality of the pupils may vary. 

As regards the size of the pupils: 

When the pupillary foramina are too small, this constitutes miosis — a condi- 
tion frequently found in certain serious nervous diseases (locomotor ataxia, 
paralytic dementia) , and in chronic opium poisoning; it is frequent in meningitis. 
In old persons miosis is a normal condition. 

When, on the contrary, the foramina of the pupils are too large, this 
constitutes mydriasis (poisoning from atropine, intestinal diseases, etc.). 

In addition to these, there is anisocoria, when the two foramina are unequal 
(neurasthenia, chronic alcoholism, first stage of paralytic dementia). 

Form of the Pupillary Foramen. — It is not always round, sometimes it is oval 
(cat's-eye). Frequently the form of the pupil is permanently altered as the 
result of a surgical operation. 

Thus, the contour of the pupil may be broken instead of clear cut; in verifying 
this phenomenon it is important to inquire whether the subject has suffered from 
any progressive disease of the iris, such as might produce the same condition. 

Anomalies of the Ear. — While in the case of animals the external ear is greatly 



developed, movable and detached from the cranium, in man it is reduced in size, 
immovable and attached to the cranium. Two measurements are taken of the 
ear, the length and the width, and by means of the usual formula we obtain the 
index of the ear, which for the European race is about 54 per cent. This index has 
a certain importance because we find that the proportion of width to length 
steadily increases as we descend through the inferior human races, down to the 
ape, and the same increase continues if we descend through the different grades 
of the simian order. 

This is to a large extent a result of the fact that, in the descent from man to 
ape, the lobule of the ear, which is essentially a human form, steadily diminishes, 
until it finally disappears. 

From this it may be concluded that there exist minute zoological differences 
other than generic between man and animals. As to malformations of the human 
ear, which may consist of shortness or absence of the lobule (formerly interpreted 
as a simian inheritance) they are to-day attributed to physiological causes. An 
abundant circulation produces an ample and fleshy lobe; in oligohsemic constitu- 
tions (deficiency of blood) the lobe is delicate, pale and even atrophied. Brachy- 
sceles often have a big lobe, and macrosceles, predisposed to phthisis, often have 
no lobe. 

In regard to the external ear we should observe: 

1. Symmetry. — The ears should be symmetrical: 

a. In respect to their position. 

b. In respect to the more or less pronounced divergence of the ears from 
the cranium. 

c. In respect to their form. 

a. Position. — We must look for this form of asymmetry by observing the 
cranium according to the occipital norm. The asymmetry may be caused by one 
of the ears being placed too high up or too far back in respect to the other, or both 
asymmetries may occur together. 

b. The asymmetry due to divergence is observed from two norms, the 
facial and the occipital. 

c. Asymmetry oiform is perceived by observing successively the two exter- 
nal ears according to the lateral norms; their morphological aspect should corre- 
spond on the two sides. 

2. Anatomy and Malformations of the External Ear. — A preliminary anatom- 
ical note is necessary. The external ear consists of various parts, which were 
first studied and named by Fabricius of Acquapendente: 

1. The Helix. — This is the outermost fold of the ear; it takes its origin 
above the auricular foramen in a root starting from the inside of the concha and 
rises upward, to descend again describing a regular helix; and it terminates in the 
lobule. At the point where the helix bends downward to form the descending 
branch, a small cartilaginous formation can be discerned by the sense of touch; 
this is the Darwinian tubercle. 

2. The Antihelix. — This originates in two roots under the ascending branch 
of the helix and terminates in the antitragus; it is a cartilaginous formation. 

3. The Auricular Fossa. — This divides the helix from the antihelix. 

4. The Tragus. — This is a little triangular cartilaginous formation situated 


in front of the auricular foramen. Between the tragus and the antitragus is the 
intertragical fossa. 

5. The Concha. — This is the concavity, the internal fossa of the auricle, 
which leads to the channel of the internal ear. 

Instances may be found of malformation of each and all of these various parts 
of the ear, which may be excessively developed, or almost wanting, or altered in 

The Helix. — The overfolding of the cartilage may be wanting, leaving the 
margin of the auricle straight; this form is met with in the Mongolian race, but 
among us it is a malformation (Morel's ear). It is a more serious malformation 
if it occurs combined with excessive development of the DarA\inian tubercle; in 
this case the auricle assumes a really animal-like aspect ("canine ear"). 

The helix may originate within the concha from a root so prolonged that it 
divides the concha itself into two parts, an upper and a lower. 

The helix may be greatly developed and sharply divergent from the cranium — 
handle-shaped ear; or it may be bent at an angle at the upper outer margin — 
embryonal ear. 

The lobule is, as we have already said, an essentially human formation, and as 
though man were conscious of this fact and proud of it, it is customary in all 
races to adorn it with ear-rings, to such an extent that in India and in Cochin- 
China the lobe is burdened with ornaments of great weight, in consequence of 
which it has continued to develop until it almost touches the shoulder. 

The lobule may be attached to the cheek (sessile lobule). 

The antihelix may be so developed as to rise in front of the helix — Wilder- 
muth's ear. 

Another important malformation connected with the ear, which is com- 
monly found in idiots, is a prolongation and restriction of the intertragical fossa 
into a fissure (fissura intertragica) . The tragus ought normally to exceed the 
antitragus in dimensions. 

Anomalies of the Nose. — The nose presents very numerous individual varieties, 
even among normal individuals. In the European race we distinguish the 
straight nose (Italian), the aquiline, the retrouss^ (French), the sinuous, etc. 
But in all these forms one characteristic remains more or less constant: the 
aperture of the nostrils is long and narrow, or rather its length exceeds its width 
(the nostrils are thin and mobile, the skeleton of the nose projects above the plane 
of the face). In the other races of mankind, on the contrary, two other types 
of nose are distinguished in respect to this characteristic: 1. The aperture of the 
nostrils is round (the nostrils themselves are fleshy, the base of the nose somewhat 
flattened) — mesorrhine nose, characteristic of the Mongolian race, and found 
repeatedly in mongoloid idiots; 2. the aperture of the nostrils is broadened, i.e., the 
width exceeds the length (the nose is flattened and almost level at the base, and 
furrowed for the most part with transverse wrinkles, the nostrils are exceedingly 
fleshy and immobile — platyrrhine nose, peculiar to the African and Australian 
races. Corresponding to the external form of the nose there is also a difference 
in the skeleton in relation to the piriform aperture and the naso-labial duct ; the 
external form of the nose is really dependent upon the skeleton (consequently, 
the above-mentioned nomenclature applies also to the piriform aperture of the 


cranium (see Skeleton of the face). The flat nose is found as a malformation in 
idiots, and is usually accompanied by prognathism. 

Other important malformations relating to the nose are the development of a 
tubercle at the tip — trilobate nose, frequent in low types of idiots; and the tip of the 
nose bent sideways (usually toward the left) ; this form occurs in leptorrhine noses 
and is considered to be a stigma of criminality (thieves). 

Anomalies relating to the Buccal Apparatus. — Malformations occur in relation 
to the lips, the teeth, the tongue and the palate. 

The Lips. — The European type of lips is well known both as regards their 
proportions and their lines of contour which determine the distinctive form. 

Sometimes this graceful modeling is wanting; the contour of the lips is formed 
of almost horizontal lines, the oral aperture is very wide, and has the appearance, 
especially when laughing, of being edged by a perfectly uniform, narrow line, thus 
resembling the mouth of a monkey. 

At other times we meet with thick, fleshy lips, slightly pendulous, like those of 
the black races, especially the Hottentots and Australians; it is a malformation 
frequent among idiots, and occurs together with prognathism and the flattened 

Another notable form is that in which the lips are not only thick and fleshy, 
but the internal tissues are so abnormally developed that they protrude from the 
oral orifice in a slight prolapsus; this form of lips is quite characteristic of myx- 
edematous idiots. Finally, we may meet with the so-called hare-lip, or lip di- 
vided in the middle, signifying an arrest of embryonal development and frequently 
accompanied by a cleft palate and a double uvula (see Development of the face). 

The Teeth. — There is nothing new to tell of the characteristic forms of the 
teeth — the incisors, the canines, the premolars, and the molars — nor of their 
regular placement in a single row corresponding to the curve of the maxilla and 
the mandible. I shall therefore merely give the two dental formulae correspond- 
ing to the two dentitions of man. 

First dentition, or "milk teeth": 

2—2 1—1 2—2 

2—2 1—1 2—2 

incisors canines premolars 

Second or final dentition: 

2—2 1— 1 2—2 

2—2 1—1 2—2 

incisors canines premolar 

20 teeth 

32 teeth 

In relation to the teeth there are a great number of anomalies which may 
occur, in number, in position, in size and form, and these anomalies are so fre- 
quent that we may say the smile stigmatizes the degenerate. Frequently it is 
the most evident stigma of the whole face; so much so that this same smile which 
adds so much charm to the normal human countenance becomes ugly and re- 
pulsive in degenerates. 

Anomalies in Number of Teeth. — Sometimes there are more than 32 teeth, 
owing to the presence of certain supernumerary teeth; these will be found to occur 

Fig. 136. — Example of a worn-down tooth. Fig. 137. — Handle-shaped ears. 


most frequently in the case of the canines, next in that of the incisors, and lastly 
in that of the premolars. 

Sometimes the number of teeth is less than 32, in which case it is necessary to 
distinguish two cases of very different significance: First, the last molars ("wis- 
dom teeth") may be wanting; secondly, some of the other teeth may be wanting 
(incisors, canines, or premolars). The last molar is of no use whatever to man, 
because it does not enter into the service of mastication, and it is tending to disap- 
pear. We may even predict that the day is coming when mankind will no longer 
have wisdom teeth, and the human dental formula will be as follows: 

2—2 1—1 2—2 2—2 

= 28 teeth 

2—2 1—1 2—2 2—2 

incisors canines premolar molars 

The absence of useful teeth, on the contrary, is a grave sign of degeneration, 
and one which leaves wide spaces between two adjacent teeth (wide diastemata). 

The diastema, or space left between adjacent teeth, is of great importance. 

There are various causes for this stigma. Besides the one already mentioned, 
due to congenital absence of a tooth (broad diastema), another recognized cause is 
an anomalous 'placing of the teeth (narrow diastema). The significance of this is 
not always the same: for example, the diastema between two upper incisors 
indicates a very slight anomaly of embryonal development, and, some people 
think, gives a sympathetic charm to the smile. On the contrary, a diastema oc- 
curring at the side of a canine tooth signifies a congenital malformation. 

At other times such anomalous spaces may be due to the fact that the teeth 
have remained small, or happen to have worn away laterally and present an almost 
filiform or thread-like aspect (diastemata due to microdontia resulting from syph- 
ilis or various dystrophic conditions). 

The form of the teeth demands consideration next in order of importance. 
Sometimes we encounter cases of teeth that are all nearly alike in form; they have 
lost that morphological differentiation which already existed in the anthropoid 
apes; there is an insensible transition from the incisors, all exactly equal in form 
and dimensions, to the premolars, which also present the same appearance, 
passing over a tooth which it would be difficult to define either as incisor or pre- 
molar (the canine tooth). Usually in such uniform dentition there are slight 

This condition, however, is not frequently met with; it is much more usual 
to find this anomaly occurring only in part; the incisor teeth are all equal, or 
else the canine resembles an incisor or a premolar. In combination with this 
characteristic, it often happens that there is a diastema next to the canine. 

In regard to size, the teeth may be too large, macrodontia, or too small, micro- 

Microdontia may be due to a true and actual arrest of development of the 
teeth (white teeth, small and narrow, often all very much alike), or to a kind 
of corrosion of the teeth due to congenital dystrophism (syphilis). In this case 
the teeth are ground down and worn away either horizontally or laterally (filiform 
teeth) , or again the cutting edge of the tooth is not horizontal in the two upper 
canines, but oblique, so that the teeth have the appearance of being broken. 


Often the teeth are furrowed transversely with yellow streaks corresponding to a 
lack of development of the enamel. 

Finally, the teeth may present various anomalies of position, which may be 
grouped under three heads: 

a. Narrow teeth, so placed as to leave slight intervals between them. 

b. Isolated teeth, planted outside the common line, or else transversely 
instead of horizontally. 

c. The dentition does not follow the regular curved line, but shows various 
sinuosities, usually bending in at the point corresponding to the canine tooth. 

The Tongue. — The tongue may present morphological anomalies of great 
importance, since they are the cause of many defects of speech. Sometimes the 
tongue is too big — macroglossia, in which case it cannot move freely within the 
buccal cavity and even finds difficulty in remaining within the mouth, but pro- 
jects between the lips, contributing in no small measure to giving the face an 
imbecile expression. At other times it is too small — microglossia. 

A deficient or excessive development of the lingual frenulum may also inter- 
fere with the movements of the tongue (tongue-tie). 

The Palate. — It is a frequent experience to meet with idiots having an ogival 
or gothic-arched palate, with the vault much curved and narrow, such as is met 
with in animals and similar in section to a gothic window. A special bony ridge 
or crest may also occur along the raphe or median line. Lastly, the palatine 
vault may be divided in two (cleft palate), a form frequently accompanied by a 
double uvula; this stigma may also be one of the causes of defective speech, so 
frequently met with in deficient children. 

The palate normally presents a diversity of forms: Narrow and high, or broad 
and low — forms associated with the general type of head (dolichocephalic, high 
palate; brachycephalic, low palate) and especially with the type of face, as we 
have already seen in treating of the latter. 

Importance of the Study of Morphology. — The study of mor- 
phology is of high importance in biology, and even more so in 
anthropology. And since the organism is a harmonic whole, in 
which the parts and their functions are closely interrelated, any 
external anomaly leads us to assume that there are corresponding 
anomalies of the internal organs, and hence, functional anomalies; 
hence also, in man, psychic anomalies. And conversely, if per- 
fection of form has been attained, it leads us to assume that the 
entire organism is perfect in its internal organs as well, and in its 
complex physical and psychic functional action. 

"Assure yourselves and one another," says Lelut in his Cadre 
de philosophie et de Vhomme, 'Hhat wherever you see a change in 
the body, you will have to search for a corresponding change in the 
intelligence. Assure yourselves that you will have to establish 
this correlation throughout the entire scale, from the lowest degra- 
dations of imbecility to the highest achievement of genius, from 


the clearest and strongest mentality to that which is most pro- 
foundly and irremediably disordered." 

This correlation between the morphological and the psychic 
personality must be sought throughout the entire scale of human 
variations, from the genius to the most degraded of imbeciles, from 
the strongest and most upright character to that which is most 
profoundly perturbed. Hence morphology constitutes a funda- 
mental part in the study of human personality. 

The principle of this aforesaid correlation was at first exem- 
plified in the field of biological science only by abnormal persons, 
whose noticeable deviations from the customary limits, both in 
the external form of the body and in their psychic manifestations, 
gave proof of the phenomenon by exaggerating it. In his classic 
work, Traite des degerierescences, Morel asserts that ''the study of 
physical man cannot be isolated from the study of moral man." 
But in our own day, the theory has been marvellously illuminated 
and popularised by Cesare Lombroso, and precisely on its patho- 
logical side. 

The Lombrosian theories were so rapidly popularised even 
before they were fully matured, that it seemed as though the spirit 
of the times was ripe to receive them, and had awakened to greet 
the new order of thought, after having long slumbered over the 
old ; thus they wrought a revolution in the field of law and morality, 
and even laid a foundation for the erection of a new pedagogy. 

Or to state it better, they again brought to light certain prin- 
ciples of truth that had been understood even from the most 
ancient times. For the principles proclaimed by Lombroso are 
in their general line certainly nothing new nor suddenly derived 
from a study of modern civilization; the belief that a physical stigma 
represents a moral stigma is exceedingly ancient. In the Bible 
we find Solomon saying: we may read the heart in the face. 
Homer describes the malignant Thyrsites as having a narrow fore- 
head and ferret-like eyes. Caesar feared only those conspirators 
who were pale and lean. In the Middle Ages there was a law 
which held that in case of doubt as to which of two men was 
guilty, the uglier looking one should be hanged. And this same 
principle has been established from time immemorial in the 
current wisdom of the people, as is demonstrated by proverbs, 
which are like laws graven upon stone, and have been gathered 
experimentally through the repeated observation of successive 


generations. The proverbs tell us of the physical stigmata of the 
wicked: ''Beware of those who bear the mark of God;" ''The 
bristles prove the brute." Even in art, degenerative stigmata are 
introduced to represent the malevolent. The satyrs are repre- 
sented as being of the microcephalic type. The devil was formerly 
represented as having goat's feet and a tail; Michelangelo pictures 
him with a narrow, receding forehead and pointed ears. 

To-day all this is shown to be true. The truth, and sometimes 
the intuitive semblances of truth in their relation to outward 
phenomena, have the most ancient and diffuse history, because, 
since they always existed, they were analogously interpreted by 
the intelligence of man. And this is proved by the glorious discov- 
eries of positive science, which we may trace back to far distant 
foreshado wings; what was in danger of being lost has been born 
again with an overpowering fertility. The great theories of Dar- 
win regarding evolution were already perceived by Herodotus. 
The cycle of indestructible material, proclaimed by Greek phil- 
osophy, formed the palpitating heart of the teachings of Giordano 
Bruno ; and in our day it formed the fascinating halo of materialism 
which illuminated the face of my own teacher, Jakob Moleschott. 

Now, the fact that it is not new demonstrates that the Lombro- 
sian theory explains phenomena which really exist, since they 
came under the observation of man from the earliest times. And 
the fact that this theory has become popularised tells us that the 
times were ripe to fertilise its renovating principles into practical 
action. For where is it that we find the triumphant success of 
science? The attainment of its most profound purposes? We 
find it wherever science achieves something that is practical and, 
useful for all mankind. Because, so long as anything is merely 
perceived or looked into, or even deeply studied, it never attains 
the apogee of its scientific glory and dignity unless it finds some 
means of benefiting and ameliorating humanity. 

Lombroso grasps a principle and turns it into a benefit ; and he 
sends it broadcast throughout human society, to purify society of 
the spirit of personal vengeance. 

Garibaldi redeems an oppressed people and saves the oppressors 
from the burden of being unjust and tyrannical, through a work of 
humanity which has no national boundary; Lombroso, by means 
of his new scientific and moral principle, effects a world-wide 
redemption of a despised and outcast class, and saves us from 


the iniquitous burden of social vengeance. Two great deeds of 
heroism, one of the heart and the other of the brain; two great 
works of redemption. 

Nevertheless, the principle of a morphological and psychic 
relationship was not wholly wanting in examples of practical 
application. Not, however, in the case of man; but in regard to 
animals it had been utilised for a long time back. For instance, 
when a horse cannot be broken by ordinary methods, the veterinary 
is called in, and he either discovers some ailment and prescribes a 
treatment, or else he studies the conformation of the forehead and 
the nasal bones, and if they are abnormal, he declares that the 
horse is absolutely untameable. In India the natives are afraid 
of the solitary elephant with a narrow forehead, for they know that 
he is ferocious. 

To-day we know that many children who can be taught nothing 
in the public schools are really sick children, in whom anomalies 
of character coincide with morphological anomalies; and we are 
beginning to replace the old custom of blind and brutal punishment 
with a personal interest that leads us to invoke the aid of the 
physician and to establish special schools for the mentally deficient. 

We may say that this new and reforming principle of pedagogics 
and the school, which transforms punishment into medical care and 
creates special educational institutions which are at the same time 
sanatariums, constitutes the pedagogical application of the Lom- 
brosian theories and accomplishes that social task which was 
foreordained to emanate from the lofty brain of Lombroso. 

In its special application to pedagogics, anthropology aids in 
the difficult task by its diagnosis between the normal and the 
abnormal child. 

But the contribution of anthropology to pedagogics is vastly 
wider than this. In this restricted sense of diagnosis, it accom- 
plishes, to be sure, a complete reform of the penal sciences, but it is 
very far from doing like service to the science of pedagogy. 

Scientific pedagogy must concern itself before all and above all, 
with normal individuals, in order to protect them in their develop- 
ment under the guidance of biological laws, and to aid each pupil 
to adapt himself to his social environment, i.e., to direct him to 
that form of employment which is best suited to his individual 
temperament and tendencies. 

In this new task, anthropology not only studies the individual, 


but also gives real and personal contributions to the solution of 
many pedagogic problems; among others, that relating to study 
after school hours; to rewards and punishments; to physical train- 
ing, elocution, etc.; while, by regarding the children as the effects 
of biological and social causes, it establishes new and enlightening 
standards of morality and justice, and reveals to educators 
responsibilities not hitherto conceived. It will suffice to call to 
mind the fact that the most studious children, and therefore those 
who receive the greatest amount of praise and prizes, show a defi- 
ciency in weight, in chest development, and in muscular force; 
consequently, a physiological impoverishment the blame for which 
must be attributed to an ignorance of hygiene and of anthropology, 
such as still persists throughout the whole field of pedagogy; an 
ignorance which leads the teacher to encourage by his praises the 
impoverishment of the best forces that reveal themselves in the 
school (the most intelligent and studious children) in an age when 
social industries, multiplied and grown to a giant size, demand 
the cooperation of a vigorous race, and to inspire by rewards and 
praise a sentiment of superiority and of vanity in an age that is 
dominated by the sentiment of universal equality and brotherhood. 

The teacher ought, on the contrary, to appoint himself the 
defender of the race, and to demand, among his other rights, that 
of making such social reforms and such reforms in the school and 
in pedagogics as may be necessary to the accomplishment of his 
purpose, which is the attainment of the highest degree of civilisa- 
tion and of prosperity. 

But this subject would lead us to repeat principles on which we 
have already insisted ; it will suffice to reassert that the tendency of 
anthropology is undoubtedly toward a reform in the school and 
the opening of a new era in pedagogy. 

The Significance of the So-called Physical Stigmata of Degenera- 
tion. — We have studied so many congenital malformations and 
pathological deformations that a synthetic statement of their 
significance becomes necessary. All the more so, because certain 
principles in this connection, already widely circulated among the 
general public, have now been rejected by science. 

One of these principles refers to the so-called atavism and formed 
part of the original Lombrosian doctrines : but blessed is the scientist 
who is obliged to correct himself, for that means that his brain is 
still fertile. 


Certain morphological anomalies call to mind forms of the in- 
ferior races and species, from which, according to the original 
Darwinian doctrine of evolution, the human species had descended 
in a direct line: hence the term ^'atavistic survival." It will suffice 
to mention the receding forehead that calls to mind the Neander- 
thal cranium, the long simian arms, the prognathism distinctive 
of the inferior human races and of animals, microcephaly which 
suggests the crania of anthropoid apes, the mongoloid eyes and 
protruding cheek-bones, which recall the yellow races; the 
''canine" ear, the wooly or smooth hair, polytrichia, the dark 
skin, etc. 

Now, all this assemblage of stigmata which went under the 
name of atavistic, or absolute retrogression, were held to be in almost 
direct relation to degeneration. 

Degeneration was supposed to revive in us forms that had been 
superseded in the course of evolution, and hence also psychic 
states that had also been superseded in the history of the human 
race; it is well known that, according to Lombroso, a criminal might 
be defined as a savage, a barbarian born among us, yet still having 
within him his particular instincts of theft and slaughter. 

To-day, since the original interpretation of the Darwinian 
theory has been discarded, with it have fallen all those deductions 
which medicine and sociology were in too great haste to draw, in 
order to make scientific application of them. 

In conclusion, the principle remains firmly established of a 
correlation between physical and psychic anomalies, which forms 
the very essence of the Lombrosian theory. What science wishes 
to-day to correct is the atavistic interpretation of stigmata and of 
types of degenerates. This takes nothing away from the brilliant 
record of Lombroso, who interpreted biological and pathological 
phenomena in the selfsame light that shed glory upon Ernest 
Haeckel, namely, the Darwinian theory. In the first enthusiasm 
of that luminous flame which had wrought a reawakening of 
thought throughout all Europe and the civilised world Lombroso 
tried to explain according to the letter what could properly be 
explained only according to the spirit; that is to say, in accord- 
ance with a very broad principle (evolution and the successive 
formation of species) which had been divined but not yet 

We ought to have recourse, in interpreting congenital (degen- 


erative) malformations to explanations analogous to those in the 
case of acquired deformations, i.e., to pathological explanations. 

We find ourselves in all these cases in the presence of patho- 
logical phenomena affecting either the species or the individual. On 
the strength of analogies shown by certain malformations, the tend- 
ency to-day is to consider them as '^arrests of development'' or phe- 
nomena of infantilism, such, for example, as macrocephaly, macro- 
scelia, nipples or shoulders placed too high, nose tending to 
flatness, handle-shaped ears, etc. — a whole series of stigmata 
which go by the name of stigmata of relative retrogression. 

Meanwhile there are other malformations which merely deviate 
from the normal form (Morselli's '' simple deviation"), and they 
may deviate either in the way of an excess (hyperplasia), or of a 
deficiency (hypoplasia), as, for example, macroglossia, microdontia, 
macro- and microphthalmia, etc. ; or they may deviate in a true and 
actual sense (paraplasms) , as, for example, in the various asym- 
metries (plagiocephaly, plagioprosopy, etc.). This whole group 
of above-mentioned stigmata, which seem to have a congenital 
origin, or, rather, to be connected in a general way with growth 
itself, are called malformations, to distinguish them from deforma- 
tions, which evidently have an acquired origin, especially from 
pathological causes, such, for instance, as rachitis and forms of 
paralysis which arrest the development of a limb, etc., resulting 
in functional and morphological asymmetry. 

Distribution of Malformations 

Malformations (associated, as we have said, with individual 
development) may be found in all individuals who, through 
various causes (degeneration, disease, denutrition, defects of 
adaptment), have undergone any alteration in development. And, 
since we have not yet acquired a recognised standard of morality 
of generation, and the social environment, including the school, 
weighs heavily upon humanity in the plastic state, who is there 
without malformation? Complete normality is a desideratum, an 
ideal toward which we are progressing, and, we might add, it is the 
battle-flag of the teacher. 

Accordingly, all men have malformations. It is interesting to 
see how they are affected by variations in age and social condition, 
and how they are distributed among normal persons and degen- 



erates, in order to measure the extent of their contribution to the 
diagnosis between normal and abnormal man. 

On the basis of notes taken from an important work by Rossi,* 

Fig. 138. — Percentage of stigmata among the peasantry, the labouring class and the 
wealthy class, for children and adults. 

I have drawn up the following table, relating to malformations 
based upon a comparative study of children and adults, grouped 
under three different social conditions — peasants, city labourers 
and persons of the wealthy class. 

*Rossi, Anthropological Anomalies in their relations to social conditions and to degenera- 



At the further extremity of the horizontal Hnes will be found 
the figures recording the number of times that any one anomaly 
occurs in a hundred instances. The other indications are explained 
in the figure itself. 

From this it is apparent that anomalies of the cranium are much 
more rare than those of the face, both in children and in adults. 

But in children the anomalies of the cranium (and this includes 
the cases of plagiocephaly), are much more frequent than in adults 
in all social classes; this shows that in the course of growth the 
malformations of the cranium have to a great extent disappeared. 
In regard to the face, on the contrary, or, at least, in regard to 
certain malformations of the face, the opposite holds good; the 
mandible and the zygomata, or, in general, that part of the face 
which grows rapidly during the period of puberty, show more 
anomalies in the case of adults than in the case of children. 

This shows us that a face which is still beautiful in childhood 
may acquire malformations in successive periods of growth. In 
simpler words, the facts may be expressed as follows: that the 
cranium corrects itself and the face spoils itself in the course of 

But in the case of facial asymmetries the same thing occurs that 
we have already seen in regard to plagiocephaly ; it is more frequent 

in children, hence asymmetries are infan- 
tile stigmata. 

Some important characteristics are to 
b( noted regarding the handle-shaped ear; 
dl children have ears proportionally larger 
V ll/ / Miw Ih m those of adults and the handle-shaped 
K A^ ^^F foim is very frequent in normal children, 

regardless of the social condition to which 

Fig. 139.— Two small ex- , , , , _, , , „ 

ampies of Morel's and Wilder- they Deloug. ihis mall ormatiou correcis 
muth's ear. ^^^^-^j -^^ ^j^^ course of growth, being far 

less frequent in adults of the wealthy class and even among the 
labouring classes; but among the peasantry it remains permanently, 
almost as though it were a class stigma. Although the mechanical 
theories are in disrepute as an interpretation of morphological 
phenomena, nevertheless it is worth while to note the singular 
frequency of this stigma in peasants, in connection with the habit 
of straining the ear to catch the faintest sounds, distant voices, 
echoes, etc., for which the senses of peasants are extremely acute. 



The greater frequency of prominent superciliary arches in 
adult peasants and labourers may also be considered in relation to 
a defective cerebral development, connected, perhaps, with illit- 
eracy, etc.; furthermore, the superciliary arches, together with a 
more than normal development of the jaw bones, are stigmata 
which usually occur together as determining factors of an inferior 
morphological type. The fact also that an excessive development 
of the mandible, unlike other malformations, is found with the same 
frequency among adults of the peasantry and the labouriug class, 
gives to this anomaly the significance of a stigma of the poorer 
classes. It should be remembered that children of inferior intel- 
ligence have a deeper mandible. 

What is quite interesting to know, in addition to the frequency 
of stigmata at various ages and in the various social conditions, 
is the number of them that may coexist in the same individual. It 
was already asserted by Lombroso that a single undoubted mal- 
formation was not enough to prove degeneracy, but that it depended 
upon the number of stigmata existing simultaneously in the same 
individual. Now, confining our attention to normal individuals, 
we find, according to Rossi, that the individual number is less 
among the well-to-do than among the poor; and that it is less 
among the peasantry than among the working class. The working 
class in the cities are accordingly in the worst condition of physical 
development. Furthermore, children always show a greater num- 
ber of individual malformations than adults. 


Number of 

Adults: to every 100 individuals 

Children: to every 100 individuals 




















From which it appears that only 4 per cent, of the labouring 
class are without malformations, while the peasantry and the well- 
to-do have from 18 to 14 per cent. Among normal adults there is a 



preponderance of persons having 1-2 stigmata ; while those having 
3-4 stigmata are more frequent than those without any at all. 

Excepting for a few labourers, there are no normal persons with 
5-6 malformations; in fact, this is the number of coexisting mal- 
formations that is held to be the test of degeneration, the sign of an 
abnormal morphological individuality. 

Among children, on the contrary, this individual number of 
malformations (5-6) occurs, even in the wealthy classes, so that the 
child and the adult cannot be judged by the same standards. 

The prevailing number of stigmata among children is 3-4. 
Therefore, in the course of growth, many of these malformations 
are eliminated. It should be noted that children without malfor- 
mations are found only among the prosperous classes and in a 
rather small percentage (12 per cent.). 

Accordingly, social conditions bring about a difference not only 
in robustness, stature, etc., but also in the degree of beauty which 
the individual is likely to attain. The social ideal of the establish- 
ment of justice for all mankind is consequently at the same time a 
moral and cesthetic ideal. 

Another parallel that it is interesting to draw is that between 
the most unfortunate social class (the working class) and the degen- 
erates. We have seen that the working class has the highest in- 
dividual number of stigmata. Rossi compares them with two 
other categories of persons who are strongly suspected of being 
degenerates, or who at least must include a notable proportion of 
degenerates among their number, namely, beggars, as regards the 
adults, and orphans, as regards the children. 

These classes differ in the general frequency of malformations; 
in fact, the chronic anomalies, taken collectively, give 17 per cent, 
for the labouring class and 25 per cent, for beggars. But the dif- 
ference becomes strikingly apparent when we come to consider 
the individual number of stigmata. 


Labourers (per cent.) 

Beggars (per cent.) 






And still greater is the difference between the children of 
labourers and the orphan children. 



Labouring class, 

Orphans, degenera- 

Cranial anomalies in general 

Forehead very low 

Alveolar prognathism 

Enlarged mandible 





Prominent cheek-bones 

. 45.8 

Facial asymmetry 


Anomalies of teeth 


We see therefore that degeneration exerts a most notable influ- 
ence upon morphological anomalies; it is far more serious than 
external (social) conditions. 

Dr. Ales Hrdlicka, studying the distribution of malformations 
and deformations among poor children who were inmates of a 
large New York orphan asylum (634 males and 274 females) dis- 
tinguishes the morphological anomalies into three categories: 
Those that are congenital (degeneration) ; those acquired through 
pathological causes (diseases), and those acquired through the 
circumstances of social adaptment, or, as the author expresses it, 
through habit. And to these he adds still another category of 
stigmata the causes of which remain uncertain. 

If we examine the following extremely interesting table, we 
see at once that in the case of children the anomalies of form are 
associated with degeneration and with disease, because the anomalies 
acquired individually by the child as the result of personal habits 
are comparatively so few in number as to be quite negligible, and 
all of them are exclusively in reference to the trunk; in other words, 
a result of the position assumed on school benches. 

As between degeneration and disease, the proportion of anoma- 
lies caused by the former is considerably more than double. Hence, 
the great majority of malformations have their origin, so to speak, 
outside of the individual, the responsibility resting on the parents. 





Organs in 
regard to 



which the 












CO -u 



















Periosteum . . . 




































. . 54 

Body (bust) . . 


Genital organs 








Percentage . 











The greatest number of anomalies due to degeneration occur in 
connection with the ear, and the genital organs, and next in order 
come those of the palate, the teeth and the limbs. The maximum 
number of anomahes due to pathological causes are in connection 
with the head, and principally with the face; after that, with the 
palate, and then with the bust. 

The anomalies most difficult to diagnose seem to be those relat- 
ing to the gums, the palate and the uvula, in regard to which it is 
not easy to determine whether they are due to degeneration or to 

In order that we may have a clear understanding regarding malformations, 
it is well to insist upon still another point: Malformation does not signify de- 
viation from a type of ideal beauty, but from normality. 

Now, there are normal forms which are very far from beautiful and which 
are associated with race. For instance, prognathism, ultra-dolichocephaly, a 
certain degree of flat-foot, prominent cheek-bones, the Mongolian eye, etc., 
are all of them characteristics which are regarded by us as the opposite of 


beautiful, but they are normal in certain races (therefore practical experience 
is indispensable). These principles which, when thus announced, are perfectly 
clear, must be extended far enough to include that sum total of individuals 
whom we are in the habit of calling our race. That we are hybrids, still show- 
ing more or less trace of the racial stocks which originally concurred in our 
formation, is well known, but not clearly enough. The 'primitive races are more 
or less evident in different centres of population; for instance, in the large and 
promiscuous cities, hybridism tends more or less completely, to mask the types 
of race, producing individual uniformity through an intermixture of character- 
istics that renders all the people very much alike (civilised races). These are 
the individuals who form the majority of the population, and whom we are in 
the habit of regarding as being normally formed. But when we get away from 
the big centres it may happen, and indeed does happen, that the primitive 
racial forms or types become more apparent; thus, for example, I found in 
Latium almost pure racial types at Castelli Romani (dolichocephalics, brunette 
type, short stature), and at Orte (brachycephalics, blond type, tall stature); 
the nuclei of population at Castelli were especially pure. Now, as a result of 
a highly particularised series of observations I found normal forms that were not 
beautiful in each of these races; thus, for example, in the brunette race, while 
the face is extremely beautiful and delicate, the hands are coarse, the feet 
show a tendency toward flat-foot, the breasts are pear-shaped, pendent and 
abundantly hairy; in the blond type, on the contrary, while the facial lineaments 
are coarse and quite imperfect, the hands, feet and breasts are marvellously 

Accordingly, the marks of beauty are distributed in nature among the different 
races; there is no race in existence that is wholly beautiful, just as there is no indi- 
vidual in existence who is perfect in all his parts. 

Furthermore, since there is for every separate characteristic a long series 
of individual variations, both above and below (see chapters on Biometry and 
Statistical Methodology), it is very easy to assume that we are on the track of a 
malformation, when it is really a matter of racial characteristic. And this is 
all the more likely to constitute a source of error, because the school of Lombroso 
promulgated the morphological doctrine that a degenerate sometimes shows an 
exaggeration of ethnical characteristics. 

Thus, for example, we meet with ultra-brachycephalics and ultra-dolicho- 
cephalics among the criminal classes. 

Let us suppose that a teacher who has made a study of anthropology receives 
an appointment in one or another of the Castelli Romani. Among the normal 
individuals studied by me, certain ones showed a cephalic index of 70. Now, a 
teacher accustomed to examine the crania of city children and to find that the 
limits range more or less closely around mesaticephaly, would be led to assume 
that he was in the presence of an abnormal individual. 

Now, in the places where morphological characteristics of race are most per- 
sistent, the social forms are primitive, and so also are the sentiments, the customs 
and the ethical level, because purity of race means an absence of hybridism, i.e., an 
absence of intimate communication with human society evolving in the flood-tide 
of civilisation. Consequently, in addition to the above-mentioned characteris- 


tic (ultra-dolichocephaly), the individual woiild probably show an intellectual 
inferiority, an inferiority of the ethical sense, etc., and this would serve to 
strengthen the teacher's first impression. But the normal limits of growth for a 
given age, the absence of real and actual malformations (for instance, in this case 
there is probability of facial beauty, etc.), would cause him very quickly to correct 
his first judgment with a more thoughtful diagnosis. Therefore a study of local 
ethnical characteristics would be very useful as a basis for pedagogical anthro- 
pology, as I have tried to show in one of my works (Importanza della etnologia 
regionale neU'antropologia pedagogica, "The importance of regional ethnology in 
pedagogical anthropology"). 

And this also holds good for the interpretation of true malformations. 

We have hitherto been guided in our observation of so-called stigmata by 
analytical criteria, that is, we have been content with determining the single or 
manifold malformations in the individual without troubling ourselves to deter- 
mine their morphological genesis or their genesis of combination. 

For example, the ogival palate is a well-known anomaly of form, but in all 
probability it will occur in an individual whose family has the high and narrow 
palate that is met with, for instance, as the normal type among the dolicho- 
cephalics of Latium; the same may be said in regard to flat-foot, etc. Multi- 
fold diastemata and macrodontia will, on the contrary, be more easily met with in 
families whose palate is wide and low (brachycephalics). And just as certain 
normal forms or characteristics are found in combination in a single individual 
(for instance, brachycephaly, fair hair, tall stature, etc.), so it is also in the case 
of stigmata, which will be found occurring together in one individual, not hy 
chance, but according to the laws of morphological combination, and probably 
as an exaggeration of (unlovely) characteristics which belong, as normal forms, to 
the family or race. 

There are already a number of authorities on neuropathology, De Sanctis 
among others, who have noted that there is an ugly family type which sometimes 
reproduces itself in a sickly member of the family, in such a way as to exaggerate 
pathologically the unlovely but normal characteristics of the other members, and 
furthermore, that an exaggeration of unlovely characteristics may increase 
from generation to generation, accompanied by a disintegration of the psychic 

Consequently, a knowledge of the morphological characteristics which in all 
probability belong to the races from which the subjects to be examined are de- 
rived, has a number of important aspects. The literature of anthropology is 
certainly not rich in racial studies, consequently, I feel that it will not be un- 
profitable to summarise in the following table the characteristics that distin- 
guish the two racial types encountered by me among the female population of 





Brunette Dolichocephalics and Blond Brachycephalics 

Organs to which 
the characteristics 

Dolichocephalic, brunette 
type of low stature 

Brachycephalic, blond type 
of tall stature 


Elongated ellipsoidal or ovoi- 
dal; fine, delicate lineaments, 
rounded curves, softly 

Rounded, broad; coarse fea- 

tures; contour frequently an- 
gular, especially around the 


Large, usually almond-shaped; 
pigmentation brown, shading 
from black to chestnut. 

Not so large, the form fre- 
quently tending to the oblique ; 
the contours of the inner 
angle of the eye less clear- 
cut, owing to the plica epi- 
cantica. Pigmentation light 
gray, blue. 


Very leptorrhine; nostrils deli- 
cate and mobile. 

Leptorrhine, tending toward 
mesorrhine; sometimes the 
nose is fleshy, nostrils thick 
and slightly movable only. 


Labial aperture small, lips 
finely modeled and very red. 

Labial aperture wide, lips fre- 
quently fleshy, and not well 


Small, with curved surface, 
gleaming, almost as wide as 
long, not greatly dissimilar, 
"like equal pearls." 

Teeth large and flat, enamel 
dull; difference between in- 
cisors, canines, etc., sharply 


Very high and narrow (ogival). 

Flat and wide 





Finely modeled, small, delicate. 

Often irregular, large, thick. 

Frontal line of roots 
of hair. 

Very distinct; forehead small. 

Indistinct ; forehead protu- 


Long and slender, flexible 

Short, more or less stocky 


Flattened in antero-posterior. 

Projecting forward 




RACIAL TYFES.— Continued 

Brunette Dolichocephalics and Blond Brachycephalics 

Organs to which 

the characteristics 


Dolichocephalic, brunette 
type of low stature 

Brachycephalic, blond type 
of tall stature 


Position low, form tending to 
pear-shape; nipples slightly 
raised, auerole broad; often 
hairy between the breasts. 

Position high, breasts round; 
nipple prominent, aureole 
email and rose-colored; always 

Pelvis and abdo- 

High and narrow; the abdo- 
men becomes prominent to- 
ward the thirtieth year, even 
in unmarried women. 

Low and broad; the abdomen 
does not become prominent. 

Lumbar curve 

Slightly pronounced; position 
of buttocks low. 

Quite pronounced; position of 
buttocks high. 


Distal port on sb'ghtly shorter 
(as compared with the prox- 
imal) ; limbs slender. 

Distal portion slightly longer 
(as compared with the prox- 
imal); limbs well endowed 
with muscles. 


Coarse; palm long and narrow; 
fingers short. 

Delicate, palm broad, fingers 


Short, thick, with flattened ex- 
tremities; nails flat, not very 
pink nor very transparent. 

Long, tapering; nails with deep 
placed quicks, rosy and shin- 

Palmar and digital 

Coarse; frequently with geo- 
metric figures on the finger 
tips; paUid. 

Very fine, rosy, and with open 


Big; form tending to flatness. . . 

Small, nuich arched 

Body as a whole .... 

Slender; slight muscularity. 
Tendency toward stoutness 
in old age with deformation 
of the body. 

Beautiful; strong muscles. No 
tendency toward too much 
flesh. Furthermore, the body 
preserves its contours. 


Brunette and dark 


Color of hair 

Black to chestnut 


Form of hair 

Short, always wavy or curly, 
fine with ellipsoidal section. 

Long, straight, section slightly 
eUiptical, and sometimes al- 
most round. 

Hair on body 

Growth of hair sometimes 
found on thorax and on the 

The surface of the body is hair- 


The Origin of Malformations during Development. — Malfor- 
mations are a morphological index, and we have already shown 
that there is a relation between the physical and the psychical 
personality. A defective physical development tells us that the 
psychic personality must also have its defects (especially in regard 
to the intelligence). 

Not only degenerates, but even we normal beings, in the con- 
flict of social life, and because of our congenital weaknesses, have 
felt that we were losing, or that we were failing to acquire the rich 
possibilities latent in our consciousness, and that vainly formed the 
height of our ambition. And when this occurred, the body also 
lost something of the beauty which it might have attained, or 
rather, it lacked the power to develop it. In the words of Rous- 
seau, ''Our intellectual gifts, our vices, our virtues, and conse- 
quently our characters, are all dependent upon our organism." 

Nevertheless, this interrelation must be understood in a very 
wide sense, and is modified according to the period of embryonal 
or extrauterine life at which a lesion or a radical disturbance in 
development chances to occur. In a treatise entitled The Problems 
of Degeneration, in which the most modern ideas regarding degen- 
eration are summed up, and new standards of social morality 
advocated, Brugia gives a most graphic diagram, which I take the 
liberty of reproducing, 


• o O O 

From the little black point to the big circle are represented 
the different stages of embryonal and foetal development, until 
we reach the child. In A we have the fertilized ovum. Here 
it may be said that the new individual does not yet exist; we are 
at a transition point between two adults (the parents) and a new 
organism, which is about to develop. Now comes the embryo, 
which may be called the new individual in a potential state; then 
the foetus, in which the human form is at last attained ; and lastly 
the child, which will proceed onward toward the physical and 


spiritual conquests of human life. But so long as an individual 
has not completely developed, deviations may occur in his develop- 
ment; but these will be just so much the graver, in proportion 
as the individual is in a more plastic state. 

We should reserve the term degeneration, real and actual, to 
that which presupposes an alteration at A, i.e., at the time of 
conception. An alteration all the graver if it antedates A, that 
is to say, if it preexisted in the ovum and in the fertilizing spermato- 
zoon, i.e., in the parents. In this case, there is no use in talking 
of a direct educative and prophylactic intervention on behalf of 
the individual resulting from this conception; the intervention 
must be directed toward all adult individuals who have attained 
the power of procreation. And in this consists the greatest 
moral problem of our times — sexual education and the sentiment 
of responsibility toward the species. All mankind ought to feel 
the responsibility toward the posterity which they are preparing 
to procreate and they ought to lead a life that is hygienic, sober, 
virtuous, and serene, such as is calculated to preserve intact the 
treasures of the immortality of the species. There exist whole 
families of degenerates, whose offspring are precondemned to 
swell the ranks of moral monsters. These individuals, who 
result from a wrongful conception, carry within them malformations 
of the kind known as degenerative, and together with them 
alterations of the moral sense that are characteristic of degen- 
erates , that is to say, they will be unbalanced (through inheritance) 
in their entire personality. 

Something similar will happen if such a lesion befalls the 
embryo, i.e., while the individual is still in the potential state 
(lacking human form). In the foetus, on the contrary, i.e., the 
individual who has attained the human form but is still in the 
course of intrauterine development, any possible lesion, and more 
especially those due to pathological causes, while they cannot 
alter the entire personality, may injure that which is already 
formed, and in so violent a manner as to produce a physical 
monster, whose deformities may even be incompatible with hfe 
{e.g., cleft spine or palate, hydrocephaly. Little's disease, which 
is a form of paralysis of foetal origin, and all the teratological 
{i.e., monstrous) alterations). That is to say, in going from 
A to C we pass from malformations to deformations; from simple 
physical alterations of an aesthetic nature to physical monstrosities 


sometimes incompatible with life itself; while in regard to the 
psychic life, we find that the remoter lesions (in A) result for the 
most part in anomalies of the moral sense, while those occurring 
later (B, C) result for the most part in anomalies of the intellect. 
So that at one extreme we may have moral monsters, with mal- 
formations whose significance can be revealed only through 
observation guided by science and at the other extreme, physical 
monsters, whose moral sense is altered only slightly or not at all. 
Those who suffer injury at A may be intelligent, and employ 
their intelligence to the malevolent ends inspired by moral madness; 
those who suffer injury at C or D are harmless monsters, often 
idiots, or even foredoomed to die. The peril to society steadily 
diminishes from A to C, while the peril to the individual steadily 

Over all these periods so full of peril to human development 
and so highly important for the future of the species, we may 
place one single word: 

Woman. — Throughout the period that is most decisive for its 
future, humanity is wholly dependent upon woman. Upon her 
rests not only the responsibility of preserving the integrity of the 
germ, but also that of the embryonal and foetal development of 

The respect and protection of woman and of maternity should 
be raised to the position of an inalienable social duty and should 
become one of the principles of human morality. 

To-day we are altogether lacking in a sense of moral obligation 
toward the species, and hence lacking in a moral sense such as 
would lead to respect for woman and maternity — so much so, 
indeed, that we have invented a form of modesty which consists in 
concealing maternity, in not speaking of maternity! And yet at 
the same time there are sins against the species that go unpun- 
ished, and offenses to the dignity of woman that are tolerated and 
protected by law! 

But even after the child is born and has reached the period of 
lactation, we should still write across it the words Woman and 
Mother. The education and the responsibility of woman and of 
society must be modified, if we are to assure the triumph of the 
species. And the teachers who receive the child into the school, 
after its transit through society (in the form of its parents' germs) 
and through the mother, cannot fail to be interested in raising 


the social standards of education and morality. Like a priesthood 
of the new humanity, they should feel it their duty to be practi- 
tioners of all those virtues which assure the survival of the human 

Moral and Pedagogic Problems within the School. — Children 
when they first come to school have a personality already out- 
lined. From the unmoral, the sickly, the intellectually defective 
to the robust and healthy children, the intelligent, and those 
in whom are hidden the glorious germs of genius; from those 
who sigh over the discomforts of wretchedness and poverty to 
those who thoughtlessly enjoy the luxuries of life; from the lonely 
hearted orphan to the child pampered by the jealous love of 
mother and grandmother: — they all meet together in the same 

It is quite certain that neither the spark of genius nor the black- 
ness of crime originated in the school or in the pedagogic method! 
More than that, it is exceedingly probable that the extreme oppo- 
site types passed unnoticed, or nearly so, in that environment whose 
duty it is to prepare the new generations for social adaptation. 
From this degree of blindness and unconsciousness the school will 
certainly be rescued by means of the scientific trend which 
pedagogy is to-day acquiring through the study of the pupil. That 
the teacher must assume the new task of repairing what is wrong 
with the child, through the aid of the physician, and of protecting 
the normal child from the dangers of enfeeblement and deforma- 
tion that constantly overhang him, thus laying the foundations 
for a splendid human race, free to attain its foreordained develop- 
ment — all this we have already pointed out, and space does not 
permit us to expand the argument further. 

But, in conclusion, there is one more point over which I wish 
to pause. If the Lombrosian theory rests upon a basis of truth, 
what attitude should we pedagogists take on the question of moral 
education? We are impotent in the face of the fact of the interre- 
lation between physical and moral deformity. Is it then no longer 
a sin to do evil and no longer a merit to do good? No. But we 
have only to alter the interpretation of the facts, and the result is a 
high moral progress pointing a new path in pedagogy. There are, 
for example, certain individuals who feel themselves irresistibly 
attracted toward evil, who become inebriated with blood; there 
are others, on the contrary, who faint at the mere sight of blood 


and have a horror of evil. There are some who feel themselves 
naturally impelled to do good, and they do it in order to satisfy a 
personal desire (many philanthropists) thus deriving that pleasure 
which springs from the satisfaction of any natural need. In our 
eyes, all these individuals who act instinctively, though in opposite 
ways, deserve neither praise nor blame; they were born that way; 
one of them is physiologically a proletarian, the other is a capitalist 
of normal human ability. It is a question of birth. When the 
educator praised the one and punished the other, he was sanction- 
ing the necessary effects of causes that were unknown to him : 

"But still, whence cometh the intelligence 
Of the first notions man is ignorant, 
And the affection of the first allurements 
Which are in you as instinct in the bee 
To make its honey; and this first desire 
Merit of praise or blame containeth not." 

(Dante, Longfellow's Translation.) 

The instinctive malefactor is not to blame, the blame should 
rest rather upon his parents who gave him a bad heredity; but 
these parents were in their turn victims of the social causes of degen- 
eration. The same thing may be said if a pathological cause comes 
up for consideration in relation, for instance, to certain anomalies 
of character. 

Analogously, he who is born good and instinctively does good 
deeds, deriving pleasure from them, deserves no praise. There is 
no vainer sight than is afforded by a person of this sort, living com- 
placently in the contemplation of himself, praised by everyone, and 
to all practical intent, held up as a contrast to the evil actions of 
the degenerate and the diseased who act from instinct no more nor 
less than he does himself. The man who is born physiologically 
a capitalist assumes high moral obligations; he ought to discipline 
his nature as a normal man in order to make it serve the general 
good. And this is not to be accomplished through an instinct 
to do good, which acts at haphazard, but through the deliberate 
will to do good, even if the requisite actions bring no immediate 
satisfaction, but even involve a sacrifice. Society will be amelio- 
rated and rendered moral through the harmonious efforts of good 
men, trained for the social welfare. Man will become good only 
when his goodness costs him a voluntary effort. 

Hence it will be necessary not to limit ourselves, as has been 


done in the past, to admiring the man who is born good, but to 
educate him so as to render him thoughtful, strong and useful; 
not to condemn the sinner, but to redeem him through education 
and through a sense of fellowship in the common fault, which is 
the scientific form of pardon. The degenerate, who succeeds in 
conquering his sinful instinct and in ceasing to do harm, the normal 
man who renders himself morally sublime by dedicating his splen- 
did physiological inheritance to the collective good, will be 
equally meritorious. But what a moral abyss gapes open to divide 
them! Because it is a short stride at best that the physiological 
proletariat can take, while for the soul of the normal man an un- 
trammelled pathway lies open toward perfection. 

Accordingly the new task of the teacher of the future is a 
multifold one. He is the artificer of human beauty, the new 
modeler of created things, just as the sublime chisel of Greek art 
was the modeler of marbles. And he prepares for greater utili- 
sation the physiological and intellectual forces of the new man, 
like a Greek deity scattering broadcast his prolific riches. 

But above all he prepares the souls for the sublime sentiment 
which awaits the humanity of the future, glorying in the attain- 
ment of peace, and then indeed he becomes almost a redeemer of 


In a book the technical part can serve only to point the way, 
because the acquirement of technique demands practical experience. 

The technique of anthropology consists, essentially, of two 
principal branches: 1. the gathering of anthropological data by 
means of measurements (anthropometry) and by inspection (an- 
throposcopy) ; 2. the formulation of laws based on these anthro- 
pological data. 

Anthropometry requires a knowledge: a. of anthropometric 
instruments; b. of the anatomical points of contact to which the 
instruments must be applied. 

For beginners it will be found helpful to mark upon the subject 
the anthropometric points of contact by means of a dermographic 

In anthropology so large a number of measurements are taken, 
both from life and from skeletons, that a minute description of them 
all would demand a separate treatise. We shall limit ourselves 
to indicating such measurements as it has been found of practical 
utility to take in school. 

The Form 

In the theoretic part of this work we emphasized the word 
form, representing the body as a whole and embodying the con- 
ception of relationship between the proportions of the body, 
tending to determine the morphological individuality. 

From the normal point of view the two individualities which 
are most interesting and worthy of comparison are those of the 
new-horn child and the adult (see Fig. 140 and its eloquent testi- 
mony). In these two individualities the greatest possible promi- 
nence is given to those differences of proportion between bust 
and limb on which all the various measurements of the form de- 
pend: the standing and sitting stature; the total spread of the arms; 
the weight; the circumference of the thorax (see ''Theoretic Lessons 
on the Form"). With the theory recalled to mind we may now 




pass on to the practical procedure for ohtaining these various 
measures. Among them the most important is the stature, whose 
cycle is represented in Fig. 14L The theoretic section of this 
book devotes special attention to the stature in a separate chapter 
following that on the Form. It is well to have in mind the gen- 
eral principals before taking up the technique of the separate 

Stature. — The stature is the distance intervening between the 
plane on which the individual stands in an erect position and the 
top of his head. 

Technical Procedure. — It is necessary to know how to place 
the subject in an erect position, heels together and toes turned 

Fig. 140. — New-born child and adult man reduced to the same height and preserving 
their relative bodily proportions. The head of the new-born child is twice the height of 
that of the adult and extends downward to the level of the latters's nipples. The pubes 
of the adult correspond to the navel of the new-born child; and the pubes of the child to 
the middle of the adult's thigh. 

out, shoulders square, arms pendent, head orientated, i.e., occip- 
ital point touching the wall, gaze horizontal). 

In measuring the individual stature it is customary to use an 
instrument called an anthropometer (Fig. 142). 

It consists of a horizontal board on which the subject stands, 



a stationary vertical rod marked with the metric scale against 
which the subject rests his back, and another small movable rod 
perpendicular to the first and projecting forward from it; this is 


















tS JO 40 50 60 70 SO 

FiG. 141. — Diagram representing the cycle of stature of man (unbroken line) and woman 
(dotted line), from birth to the end of life. 

lowered until it is tangent to the apex of the cranium; and the 
scale upon the upright rod gives the number corresponding to 
the stature. 

Certain anthropologists are now trying to perfect the anthro- 



pometer (Mosso's school). And, indeed, how is it possible to 
bring the entire person posteriorly in contact with the vertical 
rod of the anthropometer? The rod is straight while the body 
follows the curves of the vertebral column and the gluteus muscles. 
Accordingly, Professor Monti, an assistant to Professor Mosso, 
has proposed a new anthropometer which, in place of the single 
rod at the back, has a pair of rods, so that the more prominent 

portions of the body may occupy the 
intermediate space; a similiar anthropom- 
eter was already in use for measuring 

At the present day there are exceedingly 
complicated and accurate anthropometers 
which comprise, in addition, instruments for 
obtaining various other measurements, such 
as the thoracic and cephalic perimeters, etc. 
But these are very costly and not practical 
for use in schools. Their use is confined 

Fig. 142. — Anthropometer. 

Fig. 143. — A square. 

chiefly to medical clinics, as, for example, Viola's anthropometer, 
which is used in Professor De Giovanni's clinic. 

Broca recommends to travelers an anthropometer consist- 
ing of a graduated rod with a movable index attached. By means 
of this a series of distances from the ground can be measured, 
and consequently various partial heights of the body, from the 
ground to the top of the head, from the ground to the chin, to 
the pubis, to the knee, etc., but grave errors may be committed 
and its use is not advisable so long as we have within reach a 
universal anthropometer. 

The universal anthropometer consists essentially of two planes 


perpendicular to each other; now we may say that in every room, 
in the meeting of two planes, the floor and the wall, we have an 
anthropometer. There is no reason why we should not make 
use of this simple means! Placing the child in an erect position 
with the body touching the wall throughout its whole length, we 
place a perfectly horizontal rod tangent to the top of the head, 
we make a mark upon the wall, and then with a millimetric 
measure we take the distance between the mark and the floor, 
and this gives us the stature. Two difficulties are met with, 
first, that of holding the rod horizontally on the top of the head, 
and secondly, that of measuring the distance in a perfectly verti- 
cal line. In the first difficulty a carpenter's square may help us 
or, if there is a school of manual training within convenient 
reach it is easy to have a little instrument constructed (Fig. 143) 
consisting of two planes perpendicular to each other, one of which 
should be held tangent to the head while the other is pressed 
against the wall (carpenter's square). 

As regards the vertical measurement, a plumb line may be 
used, but it is more practical to trace upon the wall that we mean 
to use for such measurements, a design consisting of a vertical 
line on which a mark may be made at the height of one metre 
from the floor in order to simplify the task of measuring. 

It is better if the millimetric tape is made of metal, so that 
it will not vary in length; but even a tailor's measure of waxed 
tape may answer the purpose if it is new and has been tested 
with a metallic measure or an accurate metre rule. 

The height of the stature is taken without the shoes, and it is 
necessary to state at what hour of the day the measurement is 
made, because in the morning we are taller (though by only a 
few millimetres) than we are in the evening. The stature may 
also be taken in a recumbent position (length of body), and in 
this case will be longer by about one centimetre. 

Consequently in giving the measure of stature it is necessary 
to state in what position the subject was placed, by what method 
the measurement was taken (whether with an anthropometer or 
not) and at what hour of the day the measurement was made. 

It is not necessary to say that the subject was required to 
remove his shoes, since that is taken for granted. 

Sitting Stature. — Besides the stature taken on foot, the sitting 
stature (height of bust) is also taken by an analogous process. 




It is the distance between the plane on which the individual is 
seated and the vertex of his head. The subject should be seated 
upon a wooden bench having a horizontal plane and should place 
his back in contact with the wall; just as in the case of the pre- 
ceding measure the shoes had to be removed, in the present case 
the clothing is discarded, leaving only the light underwear (Fig. 
144). With the aid of the square we find the point correspond- 
ing to the vertex of the head and with the millimetric measure 

we obtain the distance 
^on the wall between this 
point and the plane of 
the bench. 

Index of Stature. — We 
know that these two 
measures are extremely 
important for ascertain- 
ing the type of stature, 
i.e., macroscelia and 
hrachyscelia, determined 
by the proportion be- 
tween the sitting stature 
and the total stature re- 
duced to a scale of 100, 
that is, the relation of the bust to the total height of the individual. 
Let us remember in this connection that the bust should be a 52d 
or 53d part of the total stature and that below 52 down to 50, it 
is macroscelous, and that above 53, up to 55, it is brachyscelous. 
Having obtained the two numbers corresponding to the two 
statures, e.g., stature 1.60 m., bust 0.85 m., how are we to find 
out the percentual relation between the two measurements? 
First, we form an equation: 85: 160 = x : 100. 

Fig. 144. — (1) Sitting stature. (2) Standing stature. 

(Method of taking measurements with the 

from which we obtain x = 


= 53 

This stature is of the normal average type, that is, it is mesa- 
tiscelous; but the mesatiscelia is high (in comparison with the 
other measurement that is also mesatiscelous, namely, 52), in 
other words, it is hrachy-mesatiscelous. 

Note the formula which gives us the value of x. If we substi- 
tute general symbols in place of the concrete values, we may say 



that X is equal to one hundred times the lesser measurement (w) 
divided by the greater measurement {M). If, in place of x, we 
substitute I, signifying index, we may draw up the following 
general formula of indices : 

^~ M 

This formula of relations between measurements is of wide 
application in anthropology and is fundamental. Indices of 
every measurement are sought for. The one given above is the 
index of stature, and it determines the type of stature. All the 
other indices are calculated by similiar procedure. 

Total Spread of the Arms. — This 
measurement is taken quite simply. 
The subject must place himself with 
his arms outstretched in a horizon- 
tal direction and on a level with his 
shoulders. The measurement cor- 
responds to the distance interven- 
ing in a horizontal line from the tip 
of one middle finger to the other 
(Fig. 145). A specially constructed 
anthropometer may be used for this 
measurement. It has a long hori- 
zontal rod adjustable perpendicu- 
larly, so that it may be placed on a 
level with the shoulders of the sub- 
ject to be measured. This rod forms a cross with the other 
vertical rod with which the subject should be in contact. The 
arms are then extended along the cross rod which is marked 
with a millimetric scale. But this greatly complicates the anthro- 
pometer, and hardly any anthropometer possesses this attachment. 
This measure may be successfully taken with the very simple aid 
of the wall. The only difficulty offered is that of securing a per- 
fectly horizontal position for the arms. For this purpose horizontal 
lines, which either happen by chance to be upon the wall or which 
may be drawn on purpose, will be of assistance. In order to have 
guiding lines suited to different statures, several horizontal lines 
may be drawn intersecting the vertical line already traced for 
guidance of the millimetric tape measure used in taking the stature. 


145. — Method of measuring the 
total spread of arms. 


Thoracic Perimeter. — The thoracic perimeter is taken on the 
nude thorax, in an erect position and with the arms hanging 
beside the bust, by applying the miUimetric measure in such a 
way that its upper margin passes just below the nipples. The tape 
measure should completely encircle the thorax in a horizontal 
plane passing through the mammary papillae. Since the thorax 
is in constant motion, we must observe the oscillations of the tape 
measure and obtain the average; or else we may take the measure- 
ments during the state of expiration (repose). In giving the figure 
it is necessary to specify the procedure followed. 

Vital Index. Index of Life. — Index of life is the name given to the 
proportion between the stature and the thoracic perimeter. It 

ought to be equal to bQ,i. e., Tp = ~ 

Vi = ^1 = 50 (normal). 

Weight. — The weight of an individual is taken by means of 
ordinary scales. In order to obtain the weight of the nude person, 
the clothing may be weighed separately and their weight sub- 
tracted from the total weight of the clothed person. The weight 
should be taken before eating, in order that unassimilated alimen- 
tary substances may not alter the real weight of the subject. If 
this method cannot be rigorously followed out, it should be speci- 
fied how much clothing the subject retained, whether he had 
eaten, etc. 

Ponderal Index. — Stature and weight are the most synthetic 
and comprehensive measurements of the form. But we need a 
clear proportion between these two measures to tell us whether an 
individual weighs more or less relatively to his stature. It may 
happen, for instance, that a stout person of short stature actually 
weighs less than another person who is tall and thin; but relatively 
to his stature he may on the contrary be heavier, that is, he may 
have a higher ponderal index. A robust and plump child will 
weigh in an absolute sense less than an adult who is extremely 
thin and emaciated; but relatively to the mass of his body he 
weighs more. Now this relative weight or index of weight 
(ponderal index) gives u^ precisely this idea of embonpoint, of the 
more or less flourishing state of nutrition in which an individual 
happens to be. But linear measurements such as the stature 


cannot be compared with volumetric measurements, such as the 
weight. Hence it is necessary to reduce the volumetric measure — 
the weight — to a linear measure, which is done by extracting the 
cube root from the number representing the weight. Then the 
root of the weight may be compared to the stature reduced to a 
scale of 100. By forming a general proportion, in which W repre- 
sents the weight of a given individual, and S the corresponding 
figure of his stature, we obtain: 

S : ^W :: 100 : x (where x represents the ponderal index) 

hence ri = ^; 

The application of this formula would necessitate some rather 
complicated calculations, which it would be inconvenient to have 
to repeat for a large number of subjects. 

But there are tables of calculations already compiled, which are 
due to Livi, and which are given, together with other tables, in 
Livi's own work. Anthropometry (Hoepli). These are numerical 
tables, to be read in the same manner as tables of logarithms. 
At the top, in a horizontal direction, the stature is given in centi- 
metres, while in the vertical column the weight is given in kilo- 
grams. The calculation of all the ponderal indices has been 
worked out, in relation to every possible stature and weight. If 
we look up the ponderal index corresponding to the figures already 
cited in illustration (see p. 182), we find that for the adult the 
P^ = 23.6, and for the child the P^ = 27.4; i.e., considered relatively 
the child weighs more in the given case. This is the true and ac- 
curate technical method of finding the relative proportion between 
weight and stature. 

Accordingly, we have now learned to take all the measurements 
relative to the form, to calculate from them the more important 
indices (or proportions), such as the index of stature, the index 
of life, and the ponderal index. We have also learned to under- 
stand and to consult the tables of anthropological calculations. 


The Head and Cranium. — Let us bear in mind the fact that the 
word head is used in speaking of a living person, and cranium, of a 


The science which makes a study of the cranium is called 
craniology. The cranium and the head may be studied either by 
observing the external form — cranioscopy or cephaloscopy; or else 
by taking measurements — craniometry or cephalometry. Crani- 
ology makes use equally of cranioscopy and of craniometry: in fact, 
if cranioscopy alone were used, certain anomalies might escape 
attention, because we can recognise them only by measuring the 
head; and conversely, if we confined ourselves to craniometric 
researches, we might miss certain anomalies of form, which we 
become aware of only by attentively observing the cranium. 
Frequently craniometry serves to verify cranioscopy. For ex- 
ample, a cranium may appear to the eye too large or too small, 
but certainly if we measure the cranial circumference with a tape- 
measure we shall have an accurate decision of a case which may well 
be a simple optical illusion. Indeed, we all know how easy it is 
to give an erroneous judgment, relying only on our senses; for the 
personal equation enters very largely into judgments of this sort. 
For instance, a person of low stature easily judges that other men 
are tall, and vice versa. To the eye of the Italian or the Frenchman, 
the hair of young English girls is a pale blond; to the Scandinavians 
of the North it is a warm blond. If two men possessed of different 
aesthetic tastes and in different frames of mind wish to describe 
one and the same garden they will give two widely different 
descriptions which will reveal far more of their individual impres- 
sions and moods than of the actual characteristics of the gar- 
den described. It is easy to understand how important it is in 
scientific descriptions to exclude completely the influence of the 
observer's personality. In the cranioscopic study of a cranium, 
for instance, the precise characteristics of that cranium are what 
must be found and nothing else whatever, no matter who the 
student is nor in what part of the world he is working. But in 
order to achieve this result it is not enough to take observations; 
it is also necessary to know how to observe, and in observing to 
follow a scientific method. 

Cranioscopy. — Cranioscopic methods require that the skull 
shall be observed from several sides. Blumenbach, who studied 
crania by observing them from the vertex, divided them into 
ovoid, rhomboid, etc., while Camper, on the other hand, study- 
ing them in profile, classified them as flat, elongated, etc., and 
the conclusions of the two scientists were irreconcilable. 

Fig. 146. — Facial norm. 

Fig. 147. — Occipital norm. 

Fig. 148. — Lateral norm. 


The cranium must be observed from above, from the front, in 
profile and from the occipital part ; and in such a manner that the 
observer's glance shall fall perpendicularly upon whichever cranial 
side is under observation. Hence it is said that the observation is 
made according to the norm, i.e., according to the perpendicular, 
and there are four norms in cranioscopy — vertical, frontal, lateral, 
and occipital. In this way we may be sure that no anomaly of 
form will escape the eye. 

There are innumerable anomalies of form. We will indicate 
only the principal ones. In order to detect all the anomalies that 
may occur in a cranium it is necessary to observe it according to 
all the norms, each one of which may reveal a different set of 

A. Vertical Norm. — The word norm, as we have already said, 
has here the signification of perpendicular. To look at a cranium 
according to the vertical norm means to let our glance fall per- 
pendicularly upon the vertex of the cranium. We may do this in 
one of two ways, either by raising our head above that of the 
subject of inspection, in such a way that our glance falls vertically 
upon it, or by bending back the head of the person to be observed 
until the crown of his head becomes perpendicular to our gaze. 
This norm is taken by placing oneself behind the person to be 
observed, who, if an adult, should be seated while the observer 
remains standing; and by taking the head to be examined between 
the two hands in such a way that the extended thumbs and index- 
fingers form a horizontal circlet around the cranial walls. 

This is the most important of the norms, not only because it 
reveals the most important normal forms already described in 
the text, but also the greater number of anomalies such as are 
indicated below. 

1. Crania with Rectilinear Perimeter. — It may happen that the line bound- 
ing the cranial vault is not curved but formed of broken straight lines from which 
various geometrical figures result, producing crania known as trigonocephalic, 
pentagonoid, parallelopepidoid, etc. 

The most important among these and among all the abnormal forms is the 
trigonocephalic cranium, having the base of the triangle toward the occiput and 
the vertex toward the forehead. The result of such formation is that the frontal 
region is restricted, a circumstance of obvious gravity. The infantile cranium 
is normally pentagonoid; the persistence of this form in the adult is a sign of 
arrested development, but not serious. Sergi does not admit this form among 
the anomalies when the nodules are but slightly emphasised. 


2. Asymmetrical and Plagiocephalic Crania. — The sagittal plane divides 
the cranium into two unequal halves. The asymmetry may be either frontal, in 
which case one frontal nodule is more prominent than the other — anterior plagio- 
cephaly, or else parietal, in which case one of the parietal nodules is more promi- 
nent than the other — posterior plagiocephaly. 

These are the two forms of simple plagiocephaly. It may happen that there 
is simultaneously an anterior and posterior asymmetry, and in such a case it 
generally happens that if the more prominent frontal nodule is on the right, the 
more prominent parietal nodule is on the left, so that the two more prominent 
nodules correspond in a diagonal sense. This is compound plagiocephaly. 

Plagiocephaly is extremely common; if very apparent, it constitutes a grave 
defect, but not if only slight. For that matter, it would be difficult to find a 
cranium rigorously symmetrical, even among normal persons. 

3. Crania with curved and symmetrical lines, but in which the perimeter 
consists not of a single ellipsoidal curve, but of two curves. 

a. Clinocephalic Cranium. — The coronal suture has a girdle-like furrow, 
in such fashion that there result an anterior and a posterior curve which to- 
gether form a sort of figure 8. This anomaly may be perceived also from the 
lateral norm. 

b. Cymhocephalic Cranium. — There is a girdle-like furrow along the 
sagittal line, so that the cranium has the appearance of being divided into two 
pockets, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 

B. Lateral Norm. — The observer must stand at the side of the 
subject to be observed and look at him perpendicularly to the 

We remain standing while we look if the subject is an adult 
and is standing up, but we sit down if the subject is a child and is 
standing; and we determine the vertical position by moving the 
subject's head as the occasion requires. 

I note, as seen from this norm, two anomalies in which the ellipsoidal uniform- 
ity outlining the profile of the cranium is altered. 

a. Oxycephalic Cranium. — The line of the profile is noticeably raised at the 
bregma, from which the anterior part of the cranium continues to rise, almost in 
the direction of the forehead, instead of curving backward. In its entirety this 
anomalous cranium has the form of a "sugar loaf." 

b. Acrocephalic Cranium. — The line of the profile, on the contrary, is not 
raised until near the lambda. 

C. Occipital Norm. — The observer places himself behind the 
subject and gazes perpendicularly at the occipital point. 

D. Frontal Norm. — The observer stands in front of the sub- 
ject and gazes at him on a level with the forehead. 

I may point out only one very important anomaly seen from this norm, 
a. Scaphicephalic Cranium. — The lateral parts of the cranium are flattened 


to such a degree that the vault is extremely narrow along the sagittal line (see 
Figs. 51 and 52). 

Craniometry. — The volume of the cranium is of high importance 
because it bears a relation to that of the brain. In the studies 
which have been made relative to the correspondence between 
physical and intellectual development, the measurement of the 
cranial volume comes first in order. 

In measuring the cranium it is necessary to use: 

a. the millimetric tape measure, b. the craniometric calipers, 
c. the compass with sliding branches, d. the double square. In 
order to facilitate the task of measuring and to secure uniformity 
it is necessary first to locate the craniometric points to which it 
will be necessary to apply the instrument. These craniometric 
points are easily located on the cranium, where a great number 
of them have been studied. In the case of a living person, on 
the contrary, these points are reduced to a small number because 
of the difficulty of accurately locating them. 

The points on the vault of the cranium, along the sagittal 
line, are: 

1. The nasion (point of union of the nasal and frontal 
bones) . 

2. The ophryon (middle point of the line tangent to the two 
superciliary arches, a line corresponding to the horizontal drawn 
transversely across the forehead and passing through the two 
points on the temporal lines which are nearest to the median 
line. This point lies in an important region of the forehead, 
situated between the two eyebrows — the glabella. The central 
point of the middle region of the forehead above the glabella is 
called the metopion). 

3. The bregma (point of juncture between the coronal and 
sagittal suture) . 

4. The vertex. 

5. The lambda (point of juncture between the sagittal 
suture and the occipital or lambdoid suture). 

6. The occipital point. 

7. The inion (situated at a level midway between the occip- 
ital point and the occipital foramen). 

Laterally we have these other craniometric points: 

1. The external orbital apophysis (formed from the frontal 


2. The supra-auricular point. 

3. The auricular point (corresponding to a httle depression 
which may be felt just below the tragus and in correspondence 
with the zygomatic arches). 

4. The minimum frontal point (a bony angle which may be 
felt about 1 centimetre above the external orbital apophysis, along 
the temporal line). 

On a living person the following points can easily be located: 
Along the sagittal line: 

1. The nasion. 

2. The ophryon. 

3. The vertex. 

4. The occipital point. 


1. The external orbital apophysis. 

2. The supra-auricular point. 

3. The auricular point. 

4. The minimum frontal point. 

Now, with these points as guides it becomes practical to meas- 
ure the various curves and diameters of the cranium. The curves 
are measured by means of the millimetric tape; the diameters by 
means of the calipers. 

There are various curves; we shall confine ourselves to con- 
sidering only the following: 

The maximum circumference, which is obtained by passing 
the tape across the ophryon, the occipital points and the supra- 
auricular points, beginning to apply it at the ophryon. Its meas- 
ure varies from 520 to 540 mm. in man and from 490 to 510 mm. 
in woman, if taken from the skull. In the case of a living person 
20 mm. should be added. 

If we find a circumference greater than normal, we are begin- 
ning to enter upon the anomaly which goes by the name of macro- 
cephaly. If, on the other hand, the maximum circumference is 
notably smaller, we are entering upon the anomaly of microcephaly. 

Measurement of Diameters. — Maximum Antero-posterior Dia- 
meter. — With the left hand place one branch of the calipers upon 
the glabella; the other extreme point is to be sought tenta- 
tively along a vertical line dividing the occiput in two halves. 
Partially close the calipers by means of the screw and then make 



trial by raising and lowering the posterior branch. It ought to 
move with a slight friction. 

This is the classic diameter which measures the maximum 
length of the cranium and which, as we have seen, it is customary 
to compare with the width in order to obtain the cephalic index. 
In the adult man it normally oscillates between 170 and 180 mm. 













Fig. 149. — Inspecting cranium (lateral and vertical norms). 

Maximum Transverse Diameter.— This measures the width 
of the cranium. The investigator places himself in front of the 
subject in order to keep the compass quite horizontal through 
the guidance of the eyes. The maximum distance is found by 
experimenting. It normally corresponds very nearly to the 
supra-auricular points. In children this diameter is frequently 
situated higher up toward the parietal nodules; in men of tall 
stature, in whom the cranial vault is generally slightly developed, 
this diameter may be found, on the contrary, lower down, near 
the mastoid apophyses. If this diameter occurs similiarly low 
down in children, a notable growth in stature may be prophesied 
(Manouvrier) ; and if inquiry is made it will be found that the 
parents are very tall. This diameter measures, in the adult, 
from 140 to 150 mm. 

Vertical Diameter. — This measures the height of the cranium 
from the occipital foramen to the bregma. This diameter can- 
not be measured directly excepting on a skull; in the case of a 
living person its projection is taken, which, though far from 
accurate, is given by the distance between the vertex and the 
external auditory meatus. 


It is necessary to use the double square. The horizontal branch 
is placed tangent to the vertex, its direction should be percepti- 
bly parallel to the transverse orbital line, the graduated vertical 
branch should pass over the auricular foramen. The required 
number may be read, corresponding to the point of the tragus. 

The height of the cranium is exceedingly important; its varia- 
tions produce variations in the physiognomy. 

In the first period of childhood, the cranium is very low in 
comparison to its width; this is also true of dwarfs. In these 
cases the width of the cranial vault is large in comparison to that 
of the base; a low cranium bulging above is distinctive of babies 
and dwarfs. 

In the adult this diameter measures from 130 to 140 mm. 

Among the other measurements which are taken on the cranium, the following 
may be cited : 

The antero-posterior metopic diameter: from the metopic to the occipital point. 
In children it is sometimes the maximum longitudinal diameter. 

The ophryo-iniac diameter from the ophryon to the inion. 

The minimum frontal diameter: between the two minimum frontal points. 

The maximum frontal diameter: between the two external orbital apophyses. 

The bistephanic diameter: between the two Stephanie points. 

The bitemporal diameter: this is the greatest width of the cranium between the 
verticals passing through the base of the tragus. 

The biauricular diameter: the craniometrical points are in front of, and a 
little below, but very near to the upper insertion of the auricle. They are little 
depressions that can be felt, as we have already said, by applying the finger 
along the upper edge of the root of the zygomatic arch. 

Height of forehead: from the ophryon to the roots of the hair. 

Circumferences and Curves : 

Anterior Semicircle. — The tape is applied from one supra-auricular point to 
the other, passing through the ophryon; it corresponds to the anterior part of the 
maximum circumference. Manouvrier measures it in correspondence to the 
verticals erected from the tragus. 

Posterior Semicircle. — This is obtained by subtracting the anterior semicircle 
from the whole circumference. 

Vertical Curve of the Head. — The tape passes through a plane that is vertical 
to the orientated head, starting from the supra-auricular points or from the 
tragus, according to different authorities. 

Cephalic Index. — This is the proportion between the maximum 
transverse and longitudinal diameters. It is obtained by applying 
the familiar formula : 

_. lood 


in which d represents the transverse diameter and D the longi- 
tudinal. The index represents the percentual relation between 
the two diameters, and is obtained from the formula by reducing the 
greater diameter to a scale of 100, as follows: 

D : 100 ^d : X, whence X = ^ 

Instead of working out the calculations, we may find the 
required index in the tables already compiled. 

Volume. — The volume of the cranium cannot be taken directly, 
except in the case of a skull. After the various osseous foramina 
have been closed, the cranial cavity is filled through the occipital 
foramen with any one of a number of substances (millet, shot, 
water, etc.), which is afterward measured. The method of taking 
this measurement is practised on a facsimile of a cranium already 
calculated, and usually made of metal. 

But in the case of a living person the direct calculation of the 
volume is impossible. Nevertheless various empirical methods 
have been sought for obtaining this measurement, even though 
imperfect and approximate. Recently renewed use has been made, 
especially in France, of an approximate calculation made by means 
of Broca's cubic index. The volume of the cranium is equal to 
half the product of the three diameters, divided by an index which 
varies according to age. 

This index is as follows: 

Adults from 25 years upward { .' ' , ' , „ 

•^ 1^ women 1.15 

,. f OK ^ on / ™en 1.15 

1 oung persons irom 25 to 20 years . < ^ , ^ 

^^ I women 1.10 

,r f on + 1 « / "len 1.10 

1 oung persons irom 20 to 16 years. < 

^ ^ I women 1.08 

f 15-10 years 1.07 

Children of both sexes < 10-5 years 1 .06 

[ 5 years and below 1 . 05 

An index of cranial development is afforded by the maximum 
circumference. The average volume of the normal adult cranium 
is about 1,500 cubic centimetres: mesocephalic cranium. 

When the cranium is much inferior in volume, it is called 
microcephalic (from 1,200 down to 700 cubic centimetres). When 
on the contrary it is much superior (from 1,900 up to 2,200 cubic 
centimetres), it is called macrocephalic or megalocephalic. 


For the face, the following craniometric points should be 

Along a longitudinal line : 

1. The nasion (point of meeting of the nasal and frontal 

2. Subnasal point (meeting of nasal septum with upper 
maxilla) . 

3. Upper alveolar point (between the two upper incisors at 
their point of insertion). 

4. Lower alveolar point (point corresponding to the above, 
in the lower maxilla). 

5. Mental point (middle point of the chin). 

The following craniometric points are situated laterally. 

6. Auricular point (corresponding to the auricular foramen; 
in living persons it is situated on the tragus). 

7. Malar point (on the malar bones). 

8. Zygomatic point (corresponding to the zygomatic arches). 

9. Gonion or goniac point (angle of mandible). 

The face also may be studied by inspection — prosoposcopy; 
and by measurement — prosopometry. 

Prosoposcopy. — We proceed to inspection according to two 
norms: A. facial norm; B. lateral norm or norm of profile. 

A. Facial Norm. — If it is a question of a living person, we make 
complete inspection of the visage, from the roots of the hair to the 
chin. First of all we direct attention to the forehead, which will 
give us an index of the development of the anterior region of the 
brain; next, we observe whether a plane passing longitudinally 
through the median line would divide the face into two equal 
halves (facial symmetry). 

From an aesthetic point of view, the three following vertical 
distances ought to correspond in length: 

Height of forehead (from the roots of the hair to the nasion). 

Length of nose (from the nasion to the subnasal point) . 

Labio-mental height (from the subnasal point to the point of the 
chin). And in regard to width the three following horizontal 
distances ought, according to the aesthetic laws of art, very nearly 
to correspond (especially in the female face) : 

Width of forehead, between the two external orbital points. 
Bimalar width, between the two malar points. 
Bigoniac width, between the two gonia. 


It should be remembered that the standards of beauty do not 
necessarily coincide with those of normality. 

B. Lateral Norm. — In observing the face according to this 
norm, three facts should be chiefly noted: 

1. The relative volumetric development between facial and 
cerebral cranium. 

2. The direction of the forehead, which, in the normal 
profile, ought to be vertical. 

3. Whether the facial profile protrudes or not beyond the 
extreme anterior limit of the forehead. 

Prosopometry . — Many forms of measurements are taken on 
the skeleton of the face and many total and partial indices are 
obtained, such, for instance, as the facial index, the orbital index, 
the nasal index, etc. 

Measurements of diameters and angles are also taken on the 
face of the living subject and indices are obtained. 

We, however, shall limit ourselves to indicating only those 
measurements which are taken most frequently in our special 
field of application. 

The diameters and the height of the face are obtained by the 
craniometric calipers and Mathieu's compass with sliding branches; 
the facial angle is measured in projection by means of the double 
square; and directly, by the goniometer. 

One mode of measuring the facial angle in projection is that of 
drawing the facial profile with the help of special instruments ; or 
else of taking a photograph in perfect profile and tracing and 
measuring the facial angle on the picture. 
Principal Linear Measurements: 

Total length of visage : from line of hair root to point of chin. 

Total length of face : from the nasion to the point of the chin. 

Length of the nose: from the nasion to the sub-nasal point. 

Height of mandible: from the upper edge of the lower incisors 
to the lower edge of mandible. 

Subnase-mental height: from the subnasal point to the point 
of the chin. 

Bizygomatic diameter : between the two bizygomatic arches. 

Bimalar diameter: between the two malar points. 

Bigoniac diameter : between the two gonia. 

Biorbital diameter: between the two external borders of the 


Gonio-mental distance: from the goniac point to the point of 
the chin. 

Auriculo-frontal radius: from the tragus or from the auricular 
point to the ophryon. 

Auriculo-subnasal radius. 

Auriculo-mental radius. 
(The last four measurements, if compared right and left, give 
an index of facial symmetry; the radii when compared together 
serve as an indirect measure of prognathism.) 

Width of nose between the external borders of the nostrils 
(the branches of Mathieu's compass are placed tangent to the 

(The index of the nose is obtained from the length and breadth, 
by applying the well-known formula of indices; the nose thereupon 
receives various names — leptorrhine, mesorrhine, platyrrhine) . 

Width of orhit: from the inner extremity of the ocular rima 
(eye-slit) to the external border of the orbit. 

Width of the ocular rima: between the two extremities of the 

Width of the labial rima: between the two extremities of the 

Length of the ear: from the highest upper edge of the auricle 
to the lower extremity of the lobule. 

Index of the ear: this is obtained, by the well-known formula, 
from the length and breadth. The normal index is 50; the types 
of ear above 50 are low types. 

Anthropologists obtain the facial index from the skeleton, 
especially for the purpose of determining the proportion of the 
face in human remains found in the geological strata. In such 
crania the mandible is wanting, and the teeth are wanting. Con- 
sequently, there are several ways of computing the facial index, 
because, while the transverse or bizygomatic diameter, which is 
considered as the lesser diameter, always remains constant, the 
longitudinal, which is considered as the greater, varies. The 
longitudinal diameter is calculated sometimes from the ophryon 
to the chin, at others from the ophryon to the point of insertion of 
the two upper middle incisors. In the first case it is now less, and 
again greater than the bizygomatic diameter; in the second case, 
it is always less, and the resulting facial index is notably greater 
than 100. 


The most usual formula for the facial index is the following : 

„ . bizygomatic diameter X 100 

^^2, = — ^^—=^ 

ophryo-mental diameter 

on the basis of which Pruner Bey gives the following mean averages 
according to race, for the general facial index: 

Arabs 96 . 7 

Chinese 101.7 

Hottentots 105.7 

Tasmanians 109 . 9 

Laplanders , 124 . 7 

This index is not exact and constant, like that for the cranium; 
in fact, in case a person loses his teeth the index is altered. At 
the present day, especially in the French school, the anterior or 
total facial index is taken into consideration, in which the vertical 
diameter is measured from the vertex of the head to the chin 
(CoUignon), and, consequently, the index is always less than 100. 
The following is the nomenclature that results for the anterior 
facial index: 

Leptoprosopics 62 and below 

Mesoprosopics from 62 to 66 

Chameprosopics 66 and above 

If we take for the measure of length that of the visage, i.e., the 
distance between the middle point of the frontal line of roots of 
the hair and the chin, we obtain indices that are higher by 5 than 
those of the French school, namely: 

Leptoprosopics 67 and below 

Mesoprosopics from 67 to 71 

Chameprosopics 71 and above 

In many cases this index differs in the individual by as much 
as 10 from the cranial index, as I proved in my work on the popu- 
lation of Latium. Consequently, anyone who has a cranial index 
of 81 ought to have a visage index of 71, etc. 

Contrary to what happens in the case of the cranium, the 
index of the face varies according to the age, the face being very 
short in childhood, and much longer in the adult. 

Angles. — The angles distinguished by anthropologists are so 
numerous that it is impossible for us to take them all under 

In the case of a living person, the angles may be measured 



directly with the aid of Broca's goniometer; the transverse branch 
passes across the subnasal point; the two antero-posterior branches 
are inserted, with the buttons with which they terminate, into 
the external auricular canals; the vertical branch, swinging on 
a hinge, is adjusted in such a way that the little rod which it 
carries at the end rests upon the ophryon. 

This complicated instrument resembles an instrument of 
torture and could not be applied to children; furthermore, it is 
difficult to adjust, and consequently the angles that it gives are 
inexact : every muscular contraction causes the angle to vary. For 
this reason the goniometer is impracticable. 

If, by means of an instrument we trace the projection of the 
facial profile, the facial angle may be taken on such a drawing; 
it may also be traced and calculated on a photograph taken in 

Broca's angle is that included between the auricular foramen, 
the subnasal point and the ophryon. 

Camper's angle is that included between the auricular foramen, 
the point of insertion of the upper incisors and the metopic point. 

We, on the contrary, in judging of the facial angle, or rather of 
the existence and degree of prognathism, have resorted to inspec- 
tion, aided by certain facial lines, namely (Fig. 104) : 

a. Vertical Facial Line. — If the subject holds his head level, 
with the occipital point in contact with a vertical rod, and his 
gaze fixed straight before him, then what we call the vertical 
fine is the line perpendicular to the horizontal direction of the 
gaze, and tangent to the extreme anterior limit of the brain. 
This line, in the perfect human face, is perpendicular to the hori- 
zontal line uniting the auricular point with the subnasal point, 
and hence forms a right angle with it. 

h. Line of Facial Profile. — This is the line uniting the nasal 
point with the subnasal point. This line is never vertical, and 
therefore cannot form a right angle with the auriculo-subnasal 
line, but forms an angle that approximates more or less nearly 
to a right angle (85°) : this is the facial angle. 

Transversely there is only one line for us to consider, and it 
has already been noted: 

c. The auriculo-subnasal line, or line of orientation. 

Facial Norm. — Our attention should be directed, as we have 
already said: 


1. To the forehead. 

This, if anomalous, may be: 

Broad (if greater than 133 mm.). 
Narrow (if less than 100 mm.)- 
High (if over 60 mm.). 
Low (if under 50 mm.). 

2. To the Symmetry of the Face. — If the face is notably 
asymmetrical, in respect to a plane dividing it longitudinally, 
the fact is at once perceptible. But a slight asymmetry may 
fail to be detected either by measurements (trago-mental diam- 
eters) or by inspection. Consequently, it will be well to follow 
certain practical rules in making this observation. 

Observe first of all the median line of the face: the bridge of 
the nose, the nasal septum, the upper labial furrow and the point 
of the chin ought all to lie in the same vertical line; very often a 
slight deviation of the nasal septum above the upper labial furrow 
will betray the asymmetry; furthermore, the two naso-labial 
plicce or folds should be noted, for they ought to be symmetrical 
in direction and in depth; lastly, we must observe the symmetry of 
the zygomatic prominences. We shall often discover three 
concurrent facts: a slight deviation in the median line of the face 
usually corresponding to the nasal septum; a greater depth of 
one of the naso-labial plicse; and a greater prominence of the 
zygoma and the cheek on the same side. 

Our attention should next be turned to the correspondence 
required by aesthetics between the following three diameters: 

Minimum frontal. 



A very notable difference between these distances may also 
lead to the discovery of anomalies. 

Sometimes we may discover, even by inspection alone, a nota- 
ble narrowness of the frontal diameter, as compared with the other 

The hizygomatic diameter may show an exaggerated develop- 
ment, and this is frequently accompanied by a hollowness in the 
temporal and upper maxillary regions and by a beak-like prog- 
nathism (prominence of the middle portion of the upper maxilla) ; 


at other times this degenerative sign calls our attention to the 
mongoloid type. 

The higoniac diameter may also show an exaggerated develop- 
ment due to the enormous volume of the mandible (criminaloid 
type — Lombroso's assassin type). It is necessary to supplement 
our observation with the measurement of these three diameters, 
because it may very often appear to the eye that the minimum 
frontal diameter is below the normal, merely by comparison with 
the other two diameters which are overdeveloped; while when 
measured, it may turn out to be normal. Or, conversely, the 
other diameters, the bizygomatic or bigoniac, although actually 
normal, may appear overdeveloped, because of the shortness 
of the minimum frontal diameter (see ''Faces of Inferior Type." 

Meanwhile we must not forget that the following are signs 
of grave degeneration: 

a. The minimum frontal diameter less than 100 mm. (the 
gravity of this is increased if at the same time the other two 
diameters are found as described in h). 

h. The other two diameters greater than 110 mm. (Lom- 
broso's born delinquents, assassin type). 

Lateral Norm, or Norm of Profile. — Our attention ought to be 
directed, as we have already said: 

1. To the direction of the forehead. If abnormal, this may be: 

a. Receding; 
h. Bomhe. 

The receding forehead is an indication of an incomplete or 
defective development of the frontal lobe of the brain; we find 
the forehead notably receding in the microcephalic type. 

The bombe forehead is characteristic of hydrocephaly, but 
may occur also in the scaphoid cranium. When the forehead is 
bombe, the facial angle becomes equal to or greater than a right 
angle, because the face recedes beneath the extreme anterior 
boundary of the brain; in this case we have the opposite case to 
prothognathism, namely, orthognathism. 

2. Our attention should next be directed to the facial profile, 
in order to observe the form and degree of prognathism. 

The authorities distinguish three principal forms of prog- 
nathism : 


a. Prognathism properly so-called: prominence of the upper 
maxilla as a whole. 

h. Prophatnia. — Prominence of the alveoli. 

c. Progeneism. — Prominence of the mandible — the lower 
dental arch projects in front of the upper. 

Measurements of the Thorax 

Principal anthropometric points: acromial point; sternal fossa; 
xiphoid point; mammillary points. 

Measurements. — Thoracic Circumference. — Already described 
among the measurements of the form. 

Recording instruments are now made that are exceedingly 
complicated and quite costly, that register the movements of res- 
piration; they are used in medical clinics, but would be of little 
practical use in our schools. 

Axillary and Submammary Circumference. — Taken as above, 
but at different levels. 

Biacromial Diameter. — This is taken by means of special cali- 
pers called a thoracimeter or pelvimeter, because it is used to obtain 
the big measurements of the body (thorax and pelvis). The two 
buttons at the ends of the branches are applied to the acromial 
points, while the measurer occupies a position in front of the sub- 
ject to be measured. 

Transverse Thoracic Diameter. — The buttons of the thorac- 
imeter are applied on a level with the mammary papillse, along the 
axillary lines (vertical lines descending from the centre of the 

Antero-posterior Thoracic Diameter. — This is also taken at the 
level of the nipples: the branches are applied anteriorly on the 
sternum and posteriorly on the vertebral channel. 

These two diameters serve to furnish the thoracic index: 

rp. _ 100c? (antero-posterior) 
D (transverse) 

Spirometer. — The subject takes a maximum inspiration and 
retains his breath until he has exactly fitted his mouth to the appa- 
ratus; then he emits all his breath in a forced expiration. This 
causes the index to rise, and the amount may be read upon it. 

Sternal Length. — From the xiphoid point to the sternal fossa. 

Bimammillary Diameter. — Distance between the two nipples. 



Abdomen. — It would be really difficult to take measurements 
of the abdomen in the school. The principal anthropometric 
points to remember are the umbilical point, the two antero-superior 
iliac points, the pubis. 

The distances which it would be useful to take are the follow- 
ing: xipho-umbilical and umbilico-pubic distances, which give an 
idea of the upper development (liver) and lower development 
(intestines) of the abdomen, and the biacromial diameter which 
measures the width of the pelvis. 

Limbs. — In the case of the limbs also it is by no means easy or 
practicable to take many measurements. Consequently it should 

Fig. 150. 

be sufficient to indicate that there are a great number of different 
measurements for every different segment of the limbs. 

There are two principal instruments needed for this: a large 
compass with adjustable branches, for the long segments, and a 
small compass for the short segments. With the large compass 
we measure the length of the upper arm and forearm, the length 
of the thigh and shin, the length of the foot. With the small com- 
pass we measure the total length of the hand, its width, the length 
of the fingers and of the digital segments, etc. 

The circumference of the limbs is taken with the ordinary 
metallic tape. 

In order to fulfil the present-day scope of pedagogic anthro- 
pology, it is sufficient to take only a few measurements (the form 
and the head), but it is necessary to take them with great accuracy, 
and above all, to verify one's personal ability as a measurer, so 


that everyone who wishes to try the experiment may have a re- 
Hable method of testing himself. To this end it is necessary to 
know how to calculate one's own special personal error. 


In anthropometry, a knowledge of the anthropometric points, 
the instruments to apply to them, their use and their interpretation, 
is not sufficient. There is need of prolonged experience in accord- 
ance with the accepted method and under a practical guide. 

As a matter of fact, the degree of accuracy with which a meas- 
urement is taken is always relative, no matter who takes it, but 
in the case of a person who has had no practice this relativity may 
present so wide a margin as to be practically useless. 

To obtain an approximate figure of a measurement means 
nothing, unless the figure is supplemented not only by a statement 
as to which of the accepted methods was used in taking it, but also 
by a minute description of the manner in which this method was 
carried out. 

It is necessary to bear in mind : 

1. That the ability to find the anthropometric points im- 
plies a certain knowledge of anatomy; it is a practical research, 
to be made under the guidance of a teacher, while the actual find- 
ing of the points as well as the taking of the measurements, should 
be left to the learner. 

2. That the manner of applying the instruments is not with- 
out effect upon the resulting figure: for example, if the compass 
is held horizontally in measuring the frontal diameter, the result 
is different from what it would be if the instrument were held 
vertically. If the compass is held by the extremities of the branches, 
the diameter is slightly different from what it would be if the com- 
pass was held by the handle. Accordingly, it is necessary to de- 
scribe minutely how we are accustomed to hold the instruments. 

3. That the resulting figure differs according to whether or 
not the screw has been turned, or whether it has been read in posi- 
tion, or by approaching the instrument to the eye. 

4. That when an instrument is old, it registers different 
results from those it gave when new; consequently, it is necessary 
to verify it, before proceeding to take a series of measurements. 
Hence it is proper to state not only precisely what instrument is 
used, but also that the precaution has been taken to verify it. 


But what is still more important is to find out one's own per- 
sonal data. 

If the same measurement is taken twice under precisely 
similar conditions, the same figure is hardly ever obtained both 
times; everyone, even the most experienced, has his own 'personal 
error. By practice the amount of this error may be steadily 
lowered, but cannot be eliminated. Constant figures are an 
evidence of dishonesty, of mere copying; they are almost certainly 
not authentic. 

It is important to know one's own average error. 
It is calculated as follows: 

Let us suppose that successive attempts have resulted in the 
following figures relative to the same measurement: 

9, 10, 11, 12, 8 
The mean average of these numbers is 
9 + 10 + ll + 12H-8 _ 

5 ^ 

Let us see how the values obtained differ in respect to 10 : 

9 10 11 12 8 
— 1, 0, +1, +2, — 2 = differences from the mean average 
figure. We now take the average of these differences, disregarding 
the plus and minus signs: 

1+0 + 1 + 2 + 2 6 ^ ^ 

p = ^ = 1.2 = mean average error 

The personal mean error is a datum that it is necessary to 
know in order to give value to any measurements that we may 
wish to give forth. 

In taking the various test measurements for the purpose of 
calculating one's personal error, it is well to use the precaution 
of not taking them twice at the same sitting, but after an interval 
of time, not only so that all marks will have disappeared that may 
have been left upon the skin by the instrument in the act of meas- 
uring, but also that the preceding figure will have faded from our 
memory. Accordingly, the measurements should be repeated 
on successive days and if possible under the same conditions 
of time and place. 

It is well to make a careful choice of the time and place, because 
these also have their effect upon the figures. 


It will be observed that if the measurements are made in a 
well-appointed place, with a steady light, without noises, in short, 
without disturbing causes, the personal error is much more easily 
decreased, i.e., the measurements are more exact, because the 
measurer can better concentrate his attention. 

Even the hour of the day has an influence upon the figures. 
It is known that none of us has the same ability to perform our 
various tasks at all the different hours of the day; for instance, 
it is not a matter of indifference whether we ask the pupils in a 
school to solve a problem at one hoiu* of the day rather than at 
another. This is true of all occupations, and hence also of anthro- 
pometry; there are certain hours of the day at which fewer errors 
in measurement will be made, independently of the state of 

Consequently, it is well to know this individual datum, and 
to tell at what hour and in what environment the measures have 
been taken. 

The figures are of more value if they have been compared 
with the results of other observers; it is necessary, after we have 
found our own average error, to select, for the purpose of verifying 
our results, some other observer, of similar experience to our 
own, and whose personal error is also known. 

Here it is necessary to take into consideration still another 
factor — one's personal susceptibility to suggestion. If we have 
confidence in the person through whom we verify our figures, 
we are inclined to obtain figures equal to his own. We have only 
to compare our earlier figures with those since we began to use 
him as a test, in order to see whether, and to what extent we are 
influenced by suggestion. Hence, to obviate this danger it is 
necessary to obtain our respective figures without communicating 
them to each other. 

It will also be necessary to take precautions not to be influenced 
by suggestion under any other circumstances. For instance, 
we are in hopes, while taking a series of measurements of school 
children, that we shall be able to prove that the heads of the 
more intelligent are larger than those of the less intelligent. In 
order that the figures shall be free from alterations due to sugges- 
tion, it is necessary that the measurer, while actually taking the 
measurements, shall be unaware which children are better and 
which are worse, from the intellectual point of view. 


The personal error cannot be calculated in regard to a single 
measurement and then applied to all the others, but it must be 
worked out anew for every separate measurement; it oscillates 
variously, as a matter of fact, in relation to the longer and shorter 
diameters, the cranial measurements, and the measurements of 
the trunk and the limbs. 

We are sufficiently skilled to take measurements when we 
have attained for measurements of cranial diameters a mean 
error of from 1 to 2 mm., for the vertical cranial diameter one 
of 4 mm., and for the stature, one of from 5 to 6 mm. 

Finally, in anthropometry, theory is of no value without a 
long and intelligent practice, constituting an actual and personal 
education in anthropometric technique. 

All anthropometric figures have a relative value dependent 
upon the extent of this education in the individual investigator. 

This is a case in which it may be said that the figures are 
worthless without the signature. 



Having taken measurements with the rigorous technical pre- 
cision that is to-day demanded by anthropometry, we should know 
how to extract from these figures certain laws, or at least certain 
statistical conclusions. 

There are two principal methods of regrouping the figures: — 
mean averages and seriations. 

Mean Averages. — Averages are obtained, as is a matter of 
common knowledge and practice, by taking the sum of all the 
figiu-es and dividing the result by the number of data. The gen- 
eral formula is as follows: 

a-\-b-\-c + d 

When comparative figures are given, as, for example, those 
recorded by Quetelet for the stature, the diameters of the head, 
etc., such figures are always mean averages. 

Such averages may be more or less general. We might, for 
example, obtain a mean average of the stature of Italians, and 
this would be more general than the mean stature for a single 
region of Italy, and this again more general than the mean stature 
for a city, or for some specified social class, etc. 

It is interesting to know how the mean will be affected, accord- 
ing to the number of individuals examined, because it is obvious 
that the mean statiu"e of Italians cannot be based upon meas- 
urements of all Italians, but upon a larger or smaller number of 
individuals. Now, if we take various different numbers of indi- 
viduals, shall we obtain different mean statures? And if so, what 
number of subjects must we have at our disposal in order to ob- 
tain a constant medial figure, and hence the one that represents 
the real mean average? It has been determined that a relatively 
small number will suffice to give the mean, if the measurements 
are taken with uniform method and from the same class of sub- 
jects (sex, age, race, etc.) ; for the cranium, 25 subjects are sufficient, 
and for the stature, 100 subjects. 




This method furnishes us with an abstract number, insofar 
as it does not correspond to any real individual, but it serves to 
give us the synthetic idea of an entirety. In anthropology we 
need this sort of fundamental synthesis before proceeding to 
individual analysis for the purpose of interpreting a specified 

Now, it is evident that the figures representing the mean 
stature for each region in Italy give us a basis for judging of the 
distribution of this important datum, while an accumulation of a 
hundred thousand individual figures would lead to nothing more 
profitable than confusion and weariness. 

The following table, however, is quite clear and instructive: 

(According to Departments) 


in centimetres 










Abruzzi and Molise 








Yet the interpretation of such a table is not simple; it is nec- 
essary to read the numbers, to remember them in their reciprocal 
relation; and it demands effort and time to acquire a clear and 
synthetic idea of the distribution in Italy of this one datum, stature. 

On the other hand, we must lose as little time and spare our 
forces as far as possible. The value of positive methodology lies 
in the extent to which it accomplishes these two subjects. 


Geographical charts serve the purpose of this desired sim- 
pHfication. Let us take an outline map of Italy, divide it into 
regions, and colour these different regions darker or lighter, in 
proportion as the stature is higher or lower. 

The gradations and shadings in colour will tell us at a single 
glance, and without any fatigue on our part, what the table of 
figures reveals at the cost of a very perceptible effort. Little 
squares must be added on the margin of the chart, corresponding 
to the gradations in colour, and opposite them the figiu"es which they 
respectively indicate — after the fashion in which the scale of re- 
duction is given in every geographical map. In this way we may 
study these charts, and their examination is pleasant and inter- 
esting, while it successfully associates the two ideas of an '' anthro- 
pometric datum" and of a ''region," a result which a series of 
figures, pure and simple, could not achieve. 

We have seen Livi's charts of Italy, both for stature and for 
the cephalic index. Analogous charts may be constructed for all 
the different data, for example, the colour of the hair, the shape of 
the nose, the facial index, etc. In the same manner we may pro- 
ceed to a still more analytical distribution of anthropometric data 
among the different provinces of a single region. For example, 
I myself prepared charts of this sort for the stature, the cephalic 
index and the pigmentation of the population of Latium. 

Sometimes we want to see in one single, comprehensive glance, 
the progress of some anthropological datum; for instance, in its 
development through different ages. Quetelet's series of figures 
for growth in stature, in weight, in the diameters of the head, the 
cranial circumference, etc., offer when read the same difficulty as 
the similar tables of distribution according to regions. On the 
contrary, we get a synthetic, sweeping glance in diagrams, such 
as the one which shows the growth of stature in the two sexes. 
The method of constucting such diagrams is very simple, and is 
widely employed. When we wish to represent in physics certain 
phenomena and laws; or in hygiene, the progress of mortality 
through successive years, etc., we make use of the method of 

Let us draw two fundamental lines meeting in a right angle 
at A (Fig. 151): AS is known as the axis of the abscissce; AO, the 
axis of the ordinates. We divide each of these lines into equal parts. 
Let us assume that the divisions of A;S represent the years of age, 



and those of AO the measurements of stature in centimetres; and 
since the new-born child has an average height of 50 cm., we may 
place 50 as the initial figure. From the figure (age) and from 
50 cm. (measure), we erect perpendiculars meeting at a, where we 
mark the point. At the age of one year the average stature is 
about 70 cm., accordingly we erect perpendiculars from 1 (age) 
and from 70 (measure), obtaining the point c. Since the stature 
at two years is about 80 cm. the same procedure gives us the point 
e. Since the stature at the age of three is about 86 cm., I erect 
the perpendicular from a level slightly higher than half-way be- 
tween 80 and 90, obtaining the point i; and so on, for the rest. 





O WO. 





Fig. 151. 

Meanwhile we begin to be able to see at a glance that the stature 
increases greatly in the first year and that thereafter the intensity 
of its growth steadily diminishes. 

If we unite the points thus constructed, the line of representa- 
tion is completed. 

The verticals Oa, Ic, 2e,. etc., are the ordinates, and the hori- 
zontals 50a, 70c, etc., are the abscissae of the line of representation; 
and since it is constructed along the intersections of these lines, 
they are for that reason collectively called coordinates. It is usual 
in constructing these diagrams to mark the coordinates in such a 
way that they will not be apparent, instead of which only the axes 



and the line representing the development of the phenomenon are 
shown (Fig. 152). 

Sometimes a different method of representing the phenomenon 
graphically is followed, namely, by tracing the successive series 
of distances developed on the ordinates (Fig. 153); in which case 
the characteristic arrangement of the lines causes this to be known 
as the organ-pipe method. 

The diagram for the growth in stature, given earlier in this 
volume, is constructed according to the method shown in Fig. 151. 
When there are a great number of data to represent, which over- 
lap and interweave, this method of graphic representation still 
lends itself admirably to the purpose; in such a case we shall have 
a number of broken lines, either parallel or intersecting, which may 

i? / 2 J ^ S 

Fig. 152. 

be distinguished by different colours or different methods of tracing 
(dots, stars, etc.), so that they may interweave without becoming 
confused, thus giving us at a glance the development of several 
phenomena at once (for example, total stature and sitting stature, 
length of upper and lower limbs, in one and the same diagram). 

For the purpose of practice, a graphic representation of the 
changes in ponderal weight through the different ages may be 
constructed in class. The figures for stature and weight at each 
age should be read aloud; one student can find the corresponding 
ponderal index in the tables, while another constructs the graphic 
line upon the blackboard. 

In this manner we can see better than by reading the figures, 
how the ponderal index increases during the first year and becomes 



much higher during early infancy; and then how it diminishes up 
to the age of puberty, holding its ground with slight oscillations 
during the puberal period; after which it again increases when the 
individual begins to fill out after the seventeenth year, and once 
again later when he takes on flesh, to fall off again during the clos- 
ing years, when old age brings lean and shrunken limbs. 

Seriation. — Another method of rearranging the figures is that 
of seriation. Let us assume that we are taking the average of a 
thousand statures, or of hundreds of thousands. We will try to 
find some means of simplifying the calculation. Since the indi- 
vidual oscillations of stature are contained within a few centimetres 
and the individuals amount to thousands, large numbers will be 
found to have the same identical statures. Accordingly, let us 
rearrange the individuals according to their stature, obtaining the 
following result : 

Stature in metres 

Number of individuals 















1 .75 




By multiplying the 1.50 by 20, 1.55 by 80, etc., and by adding 
the results, we shall have simplified the process for obtaining 
the sum total which must then be divided by the number of 

Well, while doing this for the purpose of simplifying the cal- 
culation, we have hit upon the method of distributing the indi- 
viduals in a series, that is, we have regrouped the corresponding 
figures according to seriation. 

Seriation has been discovered as a method of analysing the 
mean average, and it demonstrates three things: first, the extent 
of oscillations of anthropologic data, a thing which the mean 
average completely hides, — indeed, we have seen in the case 



of the cephalic index the mean averages oscillate between 75 and 
85, when calculated for the separate regions, while, in the case 
of individuals, the oscillations extend from 70 to 90; secondly, 
it shows the numerical prevalence of individuals for the one or 
the other measurement ; third, and finally, seriation reveals a law, 
to us, namely, that the distribution of individuals, according to 
anthropological data, is not a matter of chance; there is a preva- 
lence of individuals corresponding to certain average figures, 
and the number of individuals diminishes in proportion as the 
measurements depart from the mean average, equally whether 
they increase or diminish. 

I take from Livi certain numerical examples of serial distri- 
bution : 

Stature in inches 

Number of observations 































Although these figures are not rigorously exact, there is a 
certain numerical prevalence of individuals in relation to the 
stature of 66 inches, and above and below this point the number 
of individuals diminishes, becoming very few toward the extremes. 

The lack of exactness and of agreement in serial distribution 
is due to the numerical scarcity of individuals. If this number 
were doubled, if it were centupled, we should see the serial dis- 
tribution become systematised to the point of producing, for 
example, such symmetrical series as the following : 

















































This law of distribution is one of the most wide-spread laws; 

it ordains the way in which the characteristics of animals and 

plants alike must behave; and the statistical method which is 

beginning to be introduced into botany sheds much light upon it. 

This law may be represented graphically by arranging the 

anthropologic data on the 
abscissae {e.g., those of stat- 
ure), and the number of in- 
dividuals on the ordinates. 
In such cases we have 
a curve with a maximum 
central height and a sym- 
metrical bilateral diminu- 
^ _. tion (Fig. 121): this is the 

x* IG. liJ'x. 

curve of Quetelet. 

Or better yet, it is known 
as Quetelet's binomial curve, because this anthropologist was the 
first to represent the law graphically and to perceive that its 
development was the same as that so well known in mathemat- 
ics for the coefficients in Newton's binomial theorem. 

Newton's binomial theorem is the law for raising any binomial 
to the nth power, and is expanded in algebra as follows : 

{a + by = a^ + na^-'b + ( ^^'^~^\ ''-^¥-h 


substituting for n some determined coefficient, for example, 10, 
the binomial would develop, in regard to its coefficients, after the 
following fashion: 

/ .6.5.4\ / 1Q. \ 

+ V 2 ;^^+(, r^^ 
/ 1Q. ^\ , 

^V ^^ ^^ * 

Whence it appears that, after performing the necessary reductions, 
the coefficients following the central one diminish symmetrically 
in the same manner as they increased: that is, according to the 
selfsame law that we meet in the anthropological statistics of 

Indeed, here is the binomial theorem with the reductions made : 


, /\ ,^, 
, /\ ,^, /10.9.8\ ,^, 


And after calculating the coefficients, we obtain the following 
numbers in a symmetrical series: 





This is why the curve of Quetelet is called binomial. 

Let us assume that we wish to represent by means of Quetelet's 
curves, two seriations, for instance in regard to the stature of 
children of the same race, sex and age, but of opposite social con- 
ditions: the poor and the rich. 

These two curves of Quetelet's, provided that they are based 
upon an equal and very large number of individuals, will be 
identical, because the law itself is universal. Only, the curve 
for the rich children will be shifted along toward the figures for 
high statures, and that for the poor children toward the low 

At a certain point A the two curves meet and intersect, each 
invading the field of the other: so that within the space ABC 
there are individual rich children who are shorter than some of 
the poor, and individual poor children who are taller than some 
of the rich: i.e., the conditions are contrary to those generally 
established by the curve as a whole. This rule also, of the inter- 
section of binomial curves, is of broad application; whenever a 
general principle is stated, e.g. that the rich are taller than the 
poor, it is necessary to understand it in a liberal sense, knowing 
that wherever we should descend to details, the opposite con- 
ditions could be found (superimposed area ABC). For all that, 
the principle as a whole does not alter its characteristic, which is a 
differentiation of diverse types (for example, the tall rich and the 
short poor). The same would hold true if we made a comparison 
of the stature of men and women; the curve for men would be 
shifted toward the higher figures and that for women toward the 
lower, but there would be a point where the two curves would inter- 



sect, and in the triangle ABC there would be women taller than 
some of the men, and men shorter than some of the women. The 
differences have reference to the numerical majority (the high 
portions of the curves) which are clearly separated from each 
other, like the tops of cypress trees which have roots interlacing 
in the earth. Now, it is the numerical prevalence of individuals, 
in any mixed community, that gives that community its distinctive 
type, whether of class or of race. If we see gathered together in a 
socialistic assemblage a proletarian crowd, suffering from the 
affects of pauperism, the majority of the individuals have stooping 


-> Statures w> > (Ctscendin^ Series) 

Fig. 155. 

shoulders, ugly faces and pallid complexions; all this gives to the 
crowd a general aspect, one might say, of physical inferiority. 
And we say that this is the type of the labouring class of our epoch 
in which labour is proletarian — a type of caste. On the other hand, 
if we go to a court ball, what strikes us is the numerical prevalence 
of tall, distinguished persons, finely shaped, with velvety skin and 
delicate and beautiful facial lineaments, so that we recognise 
that the assemblage is composed of privileged persons, constituting 
the type of the aristocratic class. But this does not alter the 
fact that among the proletariat there may be some handsome 
persons, well developed, robust and quite worthy of being con- 
founded with the privileged class; and conversely, among the 
aristocrats, certain undersized individuals, sad and emaciated, 


with stooping shoulders and features of inferior type, who seem to 
belong to the lower social classes. 

For this same reason it is difficult to giYO' clear-cut limits to any 
law and any distinction that we meet in our study of life. This 
is why it is difficult in zoology and in botany to establish a system, 
because although every species differs from the others, in the 
salience of its characteristics and the numerical prevalence of 
individuals very much alike, none the less every species grades 
off so insensibly into others, through individuals of intermediate 
characteristics, that it is difficult to separate the various species 
sharply from one another. It is only the treetops that are separate, 
but at their bases life is intertwined; and in the roots there is an 
inseparable unity. The same may be said when we wish to 
differentiate normality from pathology and degeneration. The 
man who is clearly sane differs beyond doubt from the one who is 
profoundly ill or degenerate; but certain individuals exist whose 
state it would be impossible to define. 

Now, while seriations analyse certain particularities of the 
individual distribution, by studying the actual truth, mean 
averages give us only an abstraction, which nevertheless renders 
distinct what was previously nebulous and confused in its true 
particulars. The synthesis of the mean average brings home 
to us forcibly the true nature of the characteristics in their general 
effect. The analysis of the seriation brings home to us forcibly 
the truth regarding this effect when we observe it in the actuality 
of individual cases. 

''When, from the topmost pinnacle of the Duomo of Milan or 
from the hill of the Superga," says Levi in felicitious comparison, 
"we contemplate the magnificent panorama of the Alpine chain, 
we see the zone of snow distinguished from that free from snow 
by a line that is visibly horizontal and that stretches evenly 
throughout the length of the chain. But if we enter into the 
Alpine valleys and try to reach and to touch the point at which 
the zone of snow begins, that regularity which we previously 
admired disappears before our eyes; we see, at one moment, a 
snow-clad peak, and at the next another free from snow that 
either is or seems to be higher than the former." 

Now, through the statistics of mean averages, we are able to 
see the general progress of phenomena, like the spectator who 
gazes from a distance at the Alpine chain and concludes that the 


zone of snow is above and the open ground is below; while, by 
means of seriation, we are in the position of the person who has 
entered the valley and discovers the actuality of the particular 
details which go to make up the uniform aspect of the scene as a 
whole. Both aspects are true — just as both of those statistical 
methods are useful — for they reciprocally complete each other, 
concurring in revealing to us the laws and the phenomena of 



The child, hke every other individual, represents an effect of 
multifold causes: he is a product of heredity (biological product) 
and a product of society (social product). The characteristics 
of his ancestors, their maladies, their vices, their degeneration, 
live again in the result of the conception which has produced a new 
indivdual: and this individual, whether stronger or weaker, 
must pass through various obstacles in the course of his intra- 
uterine life and his external life. The sufferings and the mistakes 
of his mother are reflected in him. The maladies which attack 
him may leave upon him permanent traces. Finally, the social 
environment receives the child at birth, either as a favoured son 
or as an unfortunate, and leads him through paths that certainly 
must influence his complex development. 

All of the preceding and theoretic parts of this volume which 
took up each characteristic for separate consideration, have already 
explained all that it is necessary to know in order to interpret the 
characteristics present in a given individual, and the more or less 
remote causes which contributed to them. 

We may now apply our acquired knowledge to individual 
study, by making investigations into the antecedents of the child 
and recording his biographic history. It forms a parallel to the 
clinical history which is recorded in medicine: and it leads to a 
diagnosis, or at least to a scientific judgment regarding the child. / 

Although this biographic part is eminently practical, certain principal points 
of research may be indicated for the purpose of guiding the student. But no 
one will ever make a successful study of medical pedagogy unless he will follow 
the practical lessons dedicated to the individual study of the scholar, and make 
a practice of personal observation. In the Pedagogical School of Rome, we pro- 
vide subjects, taken from the elementary schools or from the Asylum School of 
De Sanctis for defective children. And we read their biographical history in 
regard to their antecedents, and then make an objective examination of them, 
frequently extending it to an examination of their sensibility and their psychic 



conditions and enquiring into their standard of scholarship. From these lessons 
based upon theory, profitable discussions often result; and they certainly are the 
most profitable lessons in the course. 

A biographical history is essentially composed of three parts: 
the antecedents, which comprises an investigation of the facts 
, antedating the individual in question; the objective examination, 
which studies the individual personally; and the diaries, i.e., the 
continued observation of the same individual who has already 
been studied in regard to himself and his antecedents. 

The objective examination and the diaries cannot be considered 
solely in the light of anthropology, because they chiefly require 
the aid of psychology. But even anthropology makes an ample 
and important contribution, first, in the form of an objective 
morphological examination, the vast importance of which has 
already been shown; secondly, because it gives us a picture of the 
biologico-social personality which it is necessary to compare 
with the reactions of the subject in question, with his psychic 
manifestations, his degree of culture, etc. ; and upon this compari- 
son depends the chief importance of the individual study of the 

Accordingly, in addition to an examination of the individual, 
anthropology ought to concern itself also with the conditions 
antedating the individual; therefore, it traces back to the 
origins (antecedents), while psychology reserves for itself the 
principal task of following the psychological development of the 
subject in his school life (diaries) ; a task in which it will neverthe- 
less go hand in hand with anthropology since the latter must 
follow at the same time the physiomorphological development 
of the subject himself. 

Accordingly, the gathering of antecedent statistics is the task 
of anthropology. The antecedent statistics may be called the 
history of the genesis of the individual; the manner of collecting 
them is by means of enquiries that are generally made of the child's 
nearest relations (the mother) or of the teachers who have super- 
intended his previous education. The enquiries are conducted 
under the guidance of a certain system of which we give the follow- 
ing outline: 





remote / ascendant 
\ collateral 




first development of 

maladies incurred 

maternal opinions 
of child 







school record 

vocation of parents 

their morality 

their culture 

their care of their children 

opinions of teachers, history of previous schooling. 

We may distinguish biopathological antecedents, which have 
regard to the organism of the child as a living individual; socio- 
logical antecedents, having regard to the social environment in 
which the child has grown up and which contributes to the forma- 
tion of his psychophysical personality; and scholastic antecedents 
or scholarship, regarding the previous schooling of the child under 
examination. The biopathological antecedents are certainly of 
fundamental importance. They are called remote when we refer 
to the hereditary antecedents of the subject, and near when we 
have reference to his personal antecedents. 

Remote Antecedents. — These include an investigation regard- 
ing the ancestors, the brothers and sisters, and the collateral 
relations. The age of the parents (since we know that too imma- 
ture or too advanced an age, or a disparity in age between the 
parents may result in the birth of weak children). Degree of 
relationship between the parents (since we know that the offspring 
of parents related to each other may be weak). Maladies incurred 
by them or prevalent in their families, incidental vices of the 
parent (since we know that constitutional maladies, such as 
syphilis, tuberculosis, gout, pellagra, malaria, mental and nervous 
diseases, etc., alcoholism or an irregular life of excesses, may lead 
to the procreation of degenerates). Furthermore, since it is known 
that according to the laws of collateral heredity, maladies may 
reappear in nephews which previously occurred in uncles and not 
in the parents, information should be sought, so far as possible, 


from all members of the family. Information regarding the 
brothers of the subject offers an interest of a very particular kind, 
because this gives us an insight into the generative capacity of the 
parents: for instance, if there were abortions, children who died 
at an early age of convulsions, meningitis, etc., this argues unfa- 
vourably for the normality of the subject. 

Near Biopathological Antecedents: Mother, Child. — Our in- 
quiries should centre first of all upon the mother, in order to know 
the conditions of conception, pregnancy, delivery and lactation, 
in the case of the child under examination, because we know that 
frequently an error at the time of conception may produce a 
degenerate or a weakling. For example, a child generated in a 
state of physical or mental exhaustion — e.g., after a long trip on a 
bicycle, or after passing an examination — may be born feeble, 
predisposed to nervous diseases (idiocy, meningitis), just as he 
may be born abnormal (epilepsy, anomalies of character, criminal 
tendencies) if generated by the father during an alcoholic excess, 
or by the mother while suffering from hypocondria, illness, etc. 
The history of the pregnancy is also of interest: whether it pro- 
ceeded regularly to the close of the nine months, whether the 
mother suffered especially from mental anxiety, illness or received 
any blow on the abdomen. 

Other causes which may affect the health of the child have 
reference to birth and to lactation. If the delivery requires an 
operation, it may, for instance, deform the skull; while a hired 
wet-nurse, or artificial feeding are more or less apt to cause deteri- 
oration in the child. 

Having completed this first enquiry, we pass on to consider the 
child itself, from the time of birth onward, lingering especially 
over its early development and more particularly over the cutting 
of the teeth, learning to walk and learning to speak, which are the 
three first obstacles to infantile development. The healthy child 
overcomes them according to normal laws, while the child of tardy 
development shows the first characteristic anomaly in these 
three fundamental points of its early existence (tardiness of 
development, incomplete and defective development, develop- 
ment accompanied by diseases, etc.). 

Usually a tardiness in the development of the teeth denotes 
general weakness and more especially skeletal weakness (rachitis, 
syphilis); tardiness in learning to walk may occur in connection 


with the above-named causes (weakness of the lower limbs); 
or with difficulty in attaining an equilibrium (of cerebral origin; 
witness the case of idiots who, without being paralytic, cannot 
walk, because they cannot learn how to walk) ; or with paresis, 
more or less partial or diffused, of the muscles controlling the act 
of walking (infantile paralysis. Little's disease, etc.). A tardy 
development of speech is sometimes found together with a notable 
intellectual development and the child will not begin to speak 
until he can express thoughts and speak well ; but more frequently 
such delayed development is due to partial deafness; or it originates 
in the association centres of the brain (the idiot child cannot learn 
to speak). 

It will also be helpful to know whether the child was ever ill. 
It is very important in this connection to find out whether the 
child ever suffered from infantile eclampsia in early life (convul- 
sions, or ''fits" as the mothers of the lower classes call them). 
This is an indication of a cerebral malady which leaves behind it 
permanent alterations of the brain and of its functions. The 
child may be an idiot, or may belong to one of the various cata- 
gories of children who go under the name of defectives; or he may 
be abnormal in character (cerebroplegic forms). Another impor- 
tant fact to record is nocturnal enuresis (loss of urine during sleep 
subsequent to the normal age) ; this is considered by some authori- 
ties as a pre-epileptic state — that is, a child that suffers such losses 
may in the future become subject to epilepsy, and quite probably, 
if studied, will show various anomalies of the nervous system, 
such, for example, as too deep sleep, slowness of intelligence, etc. 
Repeated attacks of infective diseases, even though they are sur- 
vived, also denote organic weakness, with facile predisposition to 
infective agencies — in other words, deficient powers of immunity. 

Prolonged intestinal maladies or typhus in the early months 
(denutrition from pathological causes, exhaustive diseases) may, 
in themselves, be the cause of the child's enfeeblement and its 
consequent arrest in development. 

But in the interpretation of such observations, the physician 
should be the guide and the direct judge. 

The most salient symptoms in regard to the child — intelligence, 
conduct, character, endurance, etc. — are, for the most part, 
expressed with great clearness by the mothers. Prof. De Sanctis, 
for example, has noted that the mother's first words might serve 


the purpose of a diagnosis; for instance, the mother says of an 
idiot child: "he doesn't understand," of a child retarded in develop- 
ment, ^'he is stupid," of an abnormal child, "he understands but 
he is bad." Accordingly, Prof. De Sanctis begins his diagnostic 
researches by registering the maternal judgments, because the 
mother is struck by the salient characteristics of her child ; and even 
if she is uneducated she always finds concise and effective phrases 
to express her judgment. 

To the end of rendering the research into antecedents surer 
and more complete so far as regards the personal antecedents 
of the child, certain anthropological tablets are being introduced 
to serve as maternal diaries. In this way the mothers have a guide 
for studying their children, and this forms one of the first practical 
attempts toward the "education of the mothers." 

Here is a form of chart for keeping a record of the dentition. 
The significance of the letters is as follows: 

U. r. : upper right, i.e., the right half of the upper jaw. 
U. I. : upper left. 
L. r. : lower right. 

L. I. : lower left. (The fact must be borne in mind that in 
the first dentition there are twenty teeth.) 






of first 

of complete 



U. r. 1 


U. 1. 1 


L. r. 1 


L. 1. 1 

In this way we have an analytical and exact chart of the 
development of the teeth. Analogous tables are made for the 
second dentition, for the growth of the stature, for increase in 
weight, for certain physiological notes, etc. When the first 
period of growth is ended, the mother's note-books contain annual 
notes, like the following: 

YEAR 190. .. . 

























Special annual diaries are now employed for keeping a minute 
record of maladies incurred, symptoms, treatment, etc. 

These note-books, similar to those hitherto kept by ladies for 
their house accounts, or for sentimental notes, would be of great 
service and aid to pedagogic anthropology, even though their 
use could not be extended to all mothers (the mothers of the 
proletariat, immoral women, etc., either could not or would not 
give similar contributions). The institution of ''Children's 
Houses," if more widespread, could easily facilitate the education 
of the mothers and the diffusion of ''Maternal Note-books" through- 
out all grades of society. But at most these mother's diaries 
furnish us only with notes of the near antecedents and not of the 
remote, which are of extreme importance. 

Sociological Antecedents: Vocation, Morality, Culture. — Be- 
fore all else, in inquiring into the sociological antecedents, it is 
necessary to know in what sort of an environment the child has 
grown, and whether it is an environment favorable, or otherwise, 
to his physical, psychic, intellectual and moral development. 
This is an exceedingly important matter to determine for the 
purposes of a clinical history, since the child's moral conduct 
and the profit derived from study depend to a large extent upon 
the environment in which the child has grown and lived. To 
this end inquiries should be made into the economic circumstances 
of the child's parents, their vocation, moral standards and degree 
of education, and also into the child's mode of life, whether with 
the parents or other relations, or with persons not related to 
him, whether he plays in the street, keeps company with street 
children, etc. 

School Record : Judgments of Teachers. — This is the history 
of the pupil as made by his teachers, beginning with the first day 
that he enters school. The judgments of teachers, although not 
always so precise and so fair as those of mothers, nevertheless 
have an importance of their own. Inquiry should be made into 
the child's conduct in school and the profit he derives from his 

Illustrative Cases. — There are, for example, certain families 
so infected with a degenerative or pathological taint that the 
remote antecedents are sufficient in themselves to stigmatise the 
biological condition of an abnormal subject. This may be seen in 
the genealogy of the Misdea family (taken from Lombroso's work) : 



Grandfather: MICHELE MISDEA 
(Not very intelligent, but very active) 

1st uncle 

2nd uncle 

3d uncle 

4th uncle 

Misdea the 





father (alcoholic, 





spendthrift, mar- 




ried to an hyster- 


killed in a 

ical woman, one 


of whose brothers 
was a brigand and 




another a thief). 

1st cousin 

2d cousin 

3d cousin 

4th cousin 





1st brother 

2d brother 

3d brother 

4th brother 

5th brother 






(obscene, epilep- 


tic, drunkard, 

convicted of 




Similarly extraordinary is the genealogy of Ada Tiircker, an 
alcoholic, thief and vagabond, born in 1740, a large part of whose 
numerous descendants it has been possible to trace. Out of the 
834 individuals derived from this degenerate woman, the lives of 
no less than 709 have been followed up, and among these are 
included 143 mendicants, 64 inmates of asylums, 181 prostitutes, 
69 criminals, and 7 murderers, who altogether cost the state up- 
ward of seven million francs! 

Besides families like these there are others infected with a 
pathological taint, in which phthisis and gout alternate with 
epilepsy and insanity. Then again there are other families in 
which the pathological taint is scarcely perceptible, as for example, 
the family of an epileptic child with criminal tendencies, person- 
ally studied by me; all the members of this family are long-lived 
and enjoy good health; the father alone is a sufferer from articular 
rheumatism. Lastly there are families in which there is no sign 
of pathological or degenerative weakness; and in such cases we 
say that there is nothing noteworthy in the genealogy, and the near 
antecedents assume the highest degree of importance. 

The study of antecedents not only has a scientific importance, 


in so far as it contributes to a knowledge of anthropological vari- 
eties of mankind (due to adaptation) ; but it also has an immediate 
pedagogic importance through its useful application to the school. 
Lino Ferriani is the first jurist to investigate the antecedents 
of juvenile delinquents, by gathering notes not only regarding 
their parents, but also in regard to their own school standing (by 
consulting the teachers in the schools where these juvenile crim- 
inals received their education !). I have extracted from his volume 
on ''Precocious and senile delinquency" the following statistics 
of the physico-moral condition of the parents: 

Convicted of crimes against property 1,237 

Convicted of crimes against the person 543 

Addicted to wine 2,006 

Women leading meretricious lives 581 

Doubtful reputation 1,500 

Very bad reputation 670 

Good reputation 210 

Industrious 1,888 

Semi-idle 4,000 

Idle 2,000 

Sentenced for drunkeness 1,590 

Sentenced for offences against public morals 240 

Alcoholics 1,001 

Confined in lunatic asylums 48 

Mothers deflowered before the age of 15 1,560 

Couples separated through fault of the husband 59 

Couples separated through fault of the wife 69 

Couples separated through fault of both parties 135 

Among these notes there is a numerical preponderance of 
idlers (the idle and semi-idle: degenerates are weaklings who can- 
not work and who shun work; their only form of work is crime, 
which is an attempt to reap the fruit of other people's industry) 
and alcoholism (addicted to wine, alcoholics, and those sentenced 
for drunkenness ; this also is a stigma of degeneration : weaklings 
have recourse to alcohol, because it gives them an illusion of 
strength). Furthermore, the majority show, through crime and 
prostitution, that they belong to the class of social parasites. 

In regard to the psycho-physical characteristics of juvenile 
offenders, Ferriani gives these principal notes: 

Nervous 1,250 

Habitual liars 3,000 

Fond of wine and gluttonous 2,501 

Proud of delinquency 2,700 



Blasphemers 3,900 

Cruel to animals 2,100 

Excessive emaciation 1,648 

Long hands 1,650 

Unreliable workers 2, 195 

Without interest in life 1,347 

Desirous of authority 1,000 

Scrofulous 700 

Rachitic and syphilitic 500 

Vindictive 842 

Timid and cowardly 900 

Obscene 900 

Cruel to parents 700 

Cruel to companions 700 

And now we come to the most interesting part of all, namely, 
the notes taken by teachers' where these children went to school. 

Boys. — Age from ten to twelve years. Characteristic notes on 
100 children in regard to bad conduct: 

Humiliating poorer companions 2 

Absolute refusal to obey 4 

Corrupting companions 4 

Mutilating books of poor companions 2 

Spirit of rebellion 1 

Malicious and headstrong 1 

Resentful of routine 1 

Stealing food at expense of companions 6 

Abnormally spiteful . 4 

Impertinent answers 7 - 

Proud of inventing misdeeds 2 

Stealing from companions and teacher (school stationary, etc.) . . 10 

Calumniating companions 6 

Desire to play the spy 8 

Obscene writings in toilet room 2 

Obscene writings in copy-books , 6 

Obscene actions in the shcool-room 9 

Obscene writings on the benches 3 

Violence with a weapon (pen-knife) 2 

Bullying smaller boys 12 

Feigning loss of speech for a month, to avoid reciting lessons .... 1 

Blaspheming 1 

Afraid of everything and savagely vindictive 1 

Frequently absent from school, to play games of chance 3 

Spirit of destruction 1 

Spirit of contradiction 1 

Girls. — Age from ten to twelve years. Characteristic notes 
on 50 children in regard to bad conduct: 


Soiling the clothing of their companions 3 

Abnormally spiteful 2 

Intense envy 4 

Frequent absence from school, to play games of chance 4 

Tyranny 3 

Immoderate vanity 2 

Spirit of rebellion 1 

Insolent answers 1 

Absolute intolerance of supervision 1 

Damaging the school furniture 2 

Slandering the teacher 4 

Slandering school-mates 6 

Theft, limited to pens 1 

Lascivious love-letters 4 

Constantly speaking ill of her mother 

Attempts to make school-mates unhappy 

Unkindness toward animals 

Unkindness toward old persons 

Unkindness toward small children 

Obscene writings in the toilet room 

Harmful anonymous letters 

Hatred of beautiful things 

Spirit of contradiction 

Corrupting companions 

Thefts in school 

Mutilating the clothing of companions 

The prevailing faults among the boys are: theft, obscene 
actions, tyranny over the weak; and among the girls: slander, 
extreme envy and lascivious love-letters. 

If we compare the notes regarding the parents with those 
relating to the children, we find a connection amounting to that 
of cause and effect. We might almost say that the phenomenon 
revealed to us in school through the teachers' notes concerns 
not so much the pupil himself as his past history. To keep this 
sort of record of misconduct, so damnatory to the pupils in ques- 
tion, would be worse than useless, if we were unable to trace back 
their source to the presumable causes which determined them. 
There is an intimate relation between the environment and the 
products of that environment. If we should read the notes relat- 
ing to the children who receive prizes for good conduct, and who 
are held up as moral examples, we could trace back and find the 
cause of these notes in a favourable family environment; hence, 
the qualities which we praise in the child are not a merit peculiar 
to the child, but are due to causes, of which the pupil himself is 
merely the fortunate epilogue. 


And passing from studies taken from works of criminal anthro- 
pology to examples contained in works of pedagogic anthropology 
(these works all being based upon the same scientific standards), 
I am happy to cite a work which has even earned the praise of 
Lombroso: Notes on Infantile Psycho-physiology, written by 
Professor Calcagni. 

Notwithstanding that this book of Menotti Calcagni's is 
inspired by the most advanced pedagogic conceptions, so that 
it well deserves to be cited in its entirety with much profit, I shall 
avail myself only of the part which particularly interests me at 
the present moment. It is the part containing the data collected 
and arranged by the author in a series of tables, in the form of a 
brief clinical history, of each pupil in the class studied by the 

I shall pass over the statistical tables concerning the personal 
examination of the pupils (anthropological, physiological, etc.), 
and confine myself to just two tables: one in regard to the exami- 
nation into the pupil's antecedents (name and surname;" day of 
birth; place of birth; age of father; age of mother; vocation of 
father; vocation of mother; conditions of home environment, 
hygienic, economic and moral ; conditions of other members of the 
family; maladies and casualties incurred by the parents before and 
after the procreation of the child; defects and vices of parents, and 
details regarding their psychic constitutions; conditions and acci- 
dents during pregnancy, birth and puerperal period; illnesses in- 
curred by the child); the other in regard to the pupil's previous 
school record (name and surname; pupils enrolled at beginning of 
the year; those transferred to other classes; those promoted with- 
out examination; those promoted after examination; those per- 
mitted a second trial; those not admitted to examination; those 
dropped from their class, and for how many different years). I 
select from these the notes referring to the children promoted with- 
out examination and those not admitted to examination; i.e., the 
privileged ones before whom an obstacle has been withdrawn which 
the majority must surmount before continuing on their path in 
life: go forward in peace, you favoured ones! and those who are 
not even allowed a chance to overcome the obstacle: turn back, 
you to whom the path of other men is closed ! 

And I read these notes relative to those promoted without exam- 
ination: ''Father shoemaker. Mother dress-maker, home orderly, 


frugal and clean; brothers labourers;" — ''F. professor of chemistry, 
M. housekeeping, condition of environment excellent, brothers 
studious;" — ''F. assistant engineer, M. keeps house, conditions 
of environment good, deaths in family from acute diseases;" — 
''F. country tradesman, M. keeps house, conditions of environ- 
ment excellent, very religious family;" — ''F. man of means, M. 
housekeeping, conditions of environment excellent, brothers stud- 
ious;" — ''F. machinist, M. keeps the house, home somewhat 
damp because of adjoining garden; much anxiety on the part of the 
mother regarding the children, because her first husband was a 
consumptive, and the seven children she had by him all died. 
Children of second marriage all healthy; but the pupil in question 
frequently had attacks of fever;" — ''F. cab-driver, M. keeps house, 
economic and moral conditions satisfactory;" — ^'F. antiquarian, 
M. keeps house, condition good;" — ''F. manager of a lottery 
office, M. keeps house, economic conditions of the very best, 
moral conditions good," etc. 

And here are a few notes on the pupils not admitted to the exam- 
inations: ''Father itinerant vendor. Mother keeps house, home 
exceedingly dirty, utmost indifference regarding the children and 
their education. Insufficient nutriment for the mother both 
before and after the child's birth;" — F. cobler, M. wash- woman, 
poverty, squalor, and indifference, dwelling gloomy and cramped;" 
— ''F. mason, M. dead, dwelling gloomy and unhealthy, through 
lack of supervision, Giacinto often runs away from home and 
goes to play on the banks of the Tiber; the mother died of tuber- 
culosis; the father is an alcoholic; the child was brought up by a 
wet-nurse, etc." 

To recapitulate: in the case of children promoted without 
examination there is an absolute prevalence of the most favourable 
social and biologico-moral conditions, while the opposite holds 
true of the children excluded from examinations. 

Finally, in my own modest work on children adjudged to be 
the highest and the lowest in their classes, I arrived at some very 
eloquent conclusions. 

In the case of children who stand at the foot of their class, the 
prevailing conditions are not only an unhealthy home but an 
over-crowded one, with ten or twelve persons sleeping in a single 
room. On the contrary, in the case of the children standing 


at the head of their class, the homes are for the most part roomy, 
comfortable, well-aired and hygienic. 

In regard to nutrition, the children who have the lowest 
standing are those who go to school without their breakfast and 
who go from the school to the street without having had their 
luncheon. Those who stand first, on the contrary, bring with them 
a luncheon that is sufficient and sometimes over-lavish; and after 
school, they return home, with the assurance that food, care and 
comfort await them. 

The parents of these leaders of their class belong nearly all 
of them to the liberal professions or the more favoured crafts 
and trades; consequently the pupils enjoy a more comfortable 
and respectable environment, a higher standard of culture, a 
mother who can aid them in their lessons, and who, equally 
with the father, watches with solicitous care over her children's 

The others, the dullest pupils, go at the close of school into 
the street, or else — although fortunately very few of them do so — 
return directly to the wretchedly cramped quarters that they call 

Consequently it is not enough to recognise the fact that in 
school we have to deal with the more intelligent pupil and the less 
intelligent, with the moral and the immoral, the highest and the 
lowest; these are effects, the causes of which it is our duty to dis- 
cover; and that is what the study of antecedents does for us. 

Here begins the far-sighted task of the teacher, who no longer 
praises the pupil who is a product of fortunate causes, nor blames 
the unfortunate one heavily handicapped by a destiny which 
is in no way his fault; but he gives to all an affectionate and 
enlightened care, designed to correct and reform the reprobates 
and raise them to the level of the chosen few, thus working for 
the brotherhood and the amelioration of all mankind, and devoting 
special attention to those that need it most. 

The study of antecedents is what contributes most to the 
interpretation of personality. It is needful, however, that it 
should be sufficiently thorough; and to this end a certain order of 
interrogation should be followed. Physicians are well acquainted 
with this order, from the habit they have acquired of taking 
the antecedents of the patient in their clinical practice; but for 
making biographic charts for schools, a guide is needed for the use 


of whoever puts the questions. Besides, the biographical history 
is based on different principles from those of the chnical history 
{e.g., the moral status of the parents, their degree of culture, etc., 
which are not taken into consideration, in treating a patient). 
Consequently, the blank forms of biographic charts contain 
suggestions that are likely to prove helpful in conducting an 
inquiry into antecedents. Among such models, I have selected 
that of Pastorello, because it is one of the most complete, and 
also because it was compiled by an educator (see page 420). 

Nevertheless, the inquiry into his antecedents is only a prepa- 
ration for the scientific study of the pupil in his present state; 
a study which should /oZZow the pupil through his daily life (diaries) 
and thus constitute his complete Biographical History. 

Having collected the antecedent details, we pass on to the 
objective anthropological and psychic examination of the pupil: 
beginning with the anthropological, which it is more important 
to secure first; since the psychic examination will produce better 
results after a prolonged observation of the subject (diaries, school 

In the anthropological examination it is customary to begin 
by taking the principal measurements (total stature, sitting 
stature, weight, thoracic perimeter, perimeter of the head, and 
its two maximum diameters) which furnish the data needed to 
give a fundamental idea of the child's physiological constitution 
and racial type, and to determine the normality of his growth. 
Many other measurements may be taken (spirometry, dyna- 
mometry), according to the custom of the school, and, in private 
schools, according to the object which the Principal has in view, 
in the way of contributions to science. For instance, in a school 
for defectives the examinations as to general sensibility, speech, 
muscular strength have an importance of the first order, and equally 
important is the accurate and minute inspection of the different 
organs, for the purpose of discovering possible malformations. 
There are various special objects to be attained by gathering 
anthropological data, and accordingly every school based upon 
modern scientific principles has its own ''Biographical Chart" 
drawn up according to special forms containing the necessary 
measurements and observations, and the examiner has only to fol- 
low the directions of this guide and to fill in the required informa- 
tion obtained from the individual pupil. 





General Information Regarding Pupil's Family 

Name and Surname of Parents 



What degree of relationship, if any, 
exists between the parents? 

At what age did the parents contract 

How old were the parents at the time of 
the child's birth? 

State of Health 



From what diseases have the relatives 
of the pupil died? 

Have there been any predominant dis- 
eases in the family? 





Father .... 
Mother . . . 



Mother . 

Moral and Financial Condition 
of the Pupil's Family 

7s the family interested in the edu- 
cation of the children? 

Family Habits, Eccentricities 
and Vices 


Here, for instance, is the anthropological form used in the great 
orphan asylum in New York: 

Anthropological Examination and Measurements. — No. of page 

Date of entrance 

Minimum frontal diameter 


Height of head 


Inspection: cranium 

Date of birth 




Total stature 


Sitting stature 


Total spread of arms 




Prehensile strength, right hand 


Prehensile strength, left hand 


Power of traction 


/ Antero-posterior diameter 
\ Transverse diameter 



Maximum circumference of head 


Maximum antero-posterior diameter 


Maximum transverse diameter 

Special notes 

This form has signs of modernity: in fact, it concedes the greater 
part of the research that is to be made in the first objective exami- 
nation to anthropological observations, limiting the observations 
of a physiological nature to those of muscular strength — it being 
well known that all functions in general, and especially the psychic 
functions, cannot be determined with reliable accuracy except after 
repeated and prolonged observations. Furthermore, the modern 
tendency in anthropologic research is revealed by the preference 
given to measurements of the body in its entirety, giving first place 
to those of the bust and limbs, from which the important ratio 
of their development is obtained (standing and sitting stature, 
total spread of the arms), and the weight. Furthermore, there is 
a notable absence of measurements of the face, measurements which 
it is the modern tendency to abandon where the subjects of research 
are children, since in this case they have no physiological or eth- 
nical importance, because the face of the child varies from year to 
year, and has no fixed index like that of the cranium. A study of 
the facial measurements might be of importance as contributing 


to a knowledge of the evolution of the face through successive 
years; but such knowledge can be obtained, so far as is needed, 
from '^special studies and researches," without making obligatory 
a form of research that is both troublesome and dangerous (the 
application of pointed instruments to the faces of children). The 
best method of examining the face is by photographing the full 
face and the profile at intervals of one year. Accordingly, the 
biographic form used in the '' Children's Houses" contains only 
questions of an anthropologic nature of importance in relation 
to growth (see the form of the Biographic Chart of the ''Children's 
Houses," page 423). 

The greatest importance attaches to the stature and weight. 
Indeed, while all the required measurements are taken once a year 
on the occasion of the child's birthday, the total stature and the 
weight are taken once a month upon the day of that month corre- 
sponding to the child's birthday. The numerous other physio- 
pathological and psychic notes, the examination in regard to speech, 
etc., are obtained partly from the diaries and partly from the physi- 
cian, according to the necessities of individual cases. 

The photograph should complete the examination of the pupil. 
The methods of observation adopted in the ''Children's Houses" 
represent, I think, the ideal method for the accurate recording of 
individual characteristics. Since the pedagogical methods there 
employed are themselves founded upon the "spontaneity "of the 
manifestations of children, it may be said that they represent the 
technical and rational means of proceeding to a psychic examina- 
tion of the child. 

I cannot linger upon this point, because the question deserves 
a special investigation; but it must suffice to point out that in order 
to render biographic charts a necessary adjunct to the manage- 
ment of schools, so as to offer a real aid to the teacher and not 
to have them mean to her (as happens to-day only too frequently!), 
"just so much more work," the immediate utility of which is 
doubtful, it is essential that the pedagogic methods of instruction 
should be changed. 

So long as a child is required to perform certain definite acts, he 
will reveal nothing of himself beyond responding, in so far as he 
is capable, to the requirements of his environment; and any at- 
tempt to make psychological deductions from such response would 
contain profound errors. 




Used in the "Children's Houses," in Rome and Milan 
Date of Enrollment 

Name and Surname Age 

Name of Parents Age: M F. 


Hereditary Antecedents 

Personal Antecedents. 

Anthropological Notes 












1 03 
03 -^ 

Physical constitution 

Muscular development 

Color of complexion 

Color of hair 


Nevertheless, the earher forms of biographic charts, and even 
the modern ones in general use in Italy (!) frequently contain 
minute requirements for psychic examination in relation to such 
points as memory, attention, perception and inteUigence. 

And even less satisfactory are the requirements in the charts 
regarding the examination for sensibility — namely, ability to 
distinguish colours, sense of touch, smell, etc.; because the peda- 


gogic methods in vogue in school (and this appHes to-day to all 
our schools) make no provision for a rational exercise of the senses, 
nor for instruction in the nomenclature relating to them. An 
examination of the senses for the purposes of the biographic 
chart should at most be limited to a test of their acuteness, forming 
an inquiry analogous to that of sensibility to pain. For an inquiry 
into the power to discriminate between various sensations ceases 
to be a simple examination of the senses, and becomes a combined 
test of psychic powers and of the degree of culture attained (the 
degree to which the senses have been trained). Furthermore, it 
is well known that a psychical examination demands preparation 
on the part of the person to be examined, complete repose from all 
emotion, isolation of the senses, etc., the preparation depending 
upon the special research which it is desired to make; all of which 
is absolutely opposed to the aggressiveness of the tumultuous ex- 
amination conducted by an investigator whose chief aim is to fill 
in the blanks upon the biographic charts. The psychic examina- 
tion of a pupil is a task to be accomplished slowly, by watching 
the child's behaviour, in the course of its daily life under the eye 
of an intelligent and trained observer. 

Nevertheless, it is sometimes necessary, especially in schools 
for defective children, to form at once a comprehensive first im- 
pression of the psychic condition of a given child; it furnishes the 
observer with a needed point of departure, and abridges the long 
and difficult task of a psychological study of the pupil, to be made 
in the course of the ensuing year. In such a case, the biographical 
form should not contain such general topics as the following: 


Sense of place and time. 


Moral sense, etc., 

but a series of very simple questions to be put by the examiner to 
the pupil, the replies to which must be recorded accurately, with- 
out alteration in any manner, but reproducing their incorrectness 
of speech, their hesitations, etc. In this way such a form of in- 
quiry constitutes not only a first psychical examination, but also 
a first examination as to defects of speech, which is of much value 
and reproduces quite exactly the state of the subject at a given 



On the contrary, the sort of results obtained according to the 
older method, e.g.: 

Memory, poor; 

Intelligence, sufficient; 

Attention, easily aroused, etc.; 
were practically worthless, especially in absence of any knowledge 
of the competence of the person who formulated these judgments. 

Here is an example of a series of questions to be used as a 
psychic test, prepared by Professor Sante de Sanctis, and included 
in the Biographic charts of the Asylum-School for Defective 
Children at Rome: 

1. What is your name? 

2. How old are you? 

3. What is your mamma's name? 

4. Have you any brothers? 

5. Have you any sisters? 

6. What is your father's business? 

7. Is your father (or mother) old or 


8. At what age is one old? 

9. How do you know that a man is 


10. What is this? (a couch in the 


11. What is it for? 

12. What is this? (a table). 

13. What is it for? 

14. Do you always feel well? 

15. Are you hungry? 

16. When are you hungry? 

17. Do you ever dream at night? 

18. What do you dream? 

19. What time is it now, more or less? 

20. What year is it? 

21. What month is it? 

22. What season of the year? 

23. What day of the month is it? 

24. What day of the week? 

25. Where do you live? 

26. Where are you at the present 


27. What are these? (two books or two 

pictures) and which of the two 
is the larger? 

28. Which of these three glasses has 

the most water in it? 

29. Which will weigh the most and which 

the least of the three? 

30. How many persons are there in 

your home? 

31. Is your home large or small? 

32. How many rooms are there? 

33. Whom do you love most? 

34. What would you do if (the person 

named) were hungry? 

35. What would you do if he were very 


36. Or if he died? 

37. Do you love some playmate, or 

some friend? Why do you love 

38. Do you hate anyone? Why? 

39. Do you know the meaning of right 

and wrong? 

40. Do you know the meaning of re- 

wards and punishments? 

Out of all the existing forms of biographic charts I have selected four in 
their entirety; two are historical: 1. the first form for the individual examination 
of the pupil ever published in any treatise on pedagogy; and 2. the first form 
printed in Italy by the city authorities with the intention of having it introduced 
into the elementary schools. 


The first of these is the biographic chart proposed by Seguin in his pedagogic 
treatise relating to the education of idiots (Traitement moral, hygiene, et edu- 
cation des idiots, 1846) ; the second is the one proposed by Sergi for the communal 
schools of Rome, and printed by the Commune with the intention (1889), never 
actually carried out, of introducing it into the schools; at all events, this is the 
first historic document representing an idea twenty years in advance of the time 
when the idea itself was destined to begin to be popularised. 

Here are the two forms in question : 

Seguin's Form. — This follows out all of S^guin's pedagogical ideas, and all 
of his didactic methods; it is a guide for the physician, and a minute guide for the 
teacher who intends to adopt the Seguin methods of education. Seguin calls 
his biographic chart a "Monographic Picture," and divides it into five para- 
graphs, the fifth of which deals with the pupil's antecedents. 

Monographic Picture (Seguin) 

I. Portrait (Objective Morphological Examination) 

Age. General attitude of the body. 

Sex. Attitude of the head. 

Temperament, health. Attitude of the trunk. 

Illnesses, accessory infirmities. Attitude of the lower limbs. 

Detailed configuration of the cranium. Attitude of the upper limbs. 

Configuration of the face. Attitude of the hand and fingers. 

Proportional relation between cranium Configuration of the organs of speech, 

and face. and their possible relation to the 

Inequality of the two sides of cranium organs of generation; dentition. 

and face. Configuration of the thorax. 

Hair, skin. State of the vertebral column. 

Proportional relation between the trunk State of the abdomen. 

and the limbs. 
Inequality of the two sides of the 

trunk and limbs. 

II. Physiological Examination 

Activity, general and applied. Voluntary articular flexions. 

Apparent state of the nervous system. Locomotion. 

General irritability of the nervous Positions, recumbent, seated, standing, 

system. walking, ascending, descending. 

Irritability of special groups of nerves. Running. 

Cries, groans, singing, muttering, etc. Jumping. 

The change which certain stimulants Grasping objects. 

such as cold, heat, electricity, odours. Dropping objects. 

etc., produce upon irritability and Catching objects. 

sensibility, general or special. Throwing objects. 

Probable state of the brain. Ability to dress, eat, etc., without aid. 


Probable state of the spinal marrow. 

Probable state of the organic nerves. 

Probable state of the sensory nerves. 

Probable state of the motor nerves. 

Difference of action between the 
sensory nerves and the motor 

Inequality of action of the motor 
nerves and sensory nerves on the 
two sides of the body. 

The muscular system, contractibility 
of muscles, and condition of sphinc- 
ter muscles in particular. 

Muscular movements. 

Voluntary movements. 

Automatic movements depending on 
the condition of the sympathetic 

Automatic movements depending on 
the state of the central nervous 

Spasmodic movements. 

Coordinated and disassociated move- 

Sense of touch. 

Sense of taste. 

Sense of smell. 

Sense of hearing. 

Sense of sight. 


The voice, abnormal tones. 


Assimilative functions. 

Unnatural appetites. 

Manner of taking food. 




Evacuation of faeces and urine, volun- 
tary or involuntary; other excretions, 
saliva, nasal mucus, tears, sebaceous 
humor, sweat, perspiration, etc. 




Ill, Psychic Examination 


Sensorial perception. 

Intellectual perception. 




Unrelated memories. 

Foresight and forethought. 

To what extent are these intellectual 
operations, when they exist, applied 
to concrete phenomena, mixed phe- 
nomena {i.e., concrete and abstract) 
and to ideas of a moral nature? 

Are the general ideas of time, space, 
conventional measurements, rela- 
tive value, intrinsic or arbitrary, 
understood and applied in actual 
daily life? 




Have the ordinary rudiments, such as 
the alphabet, reading, writing, draw- 
ing, arithmetic, been taught to the 
pupil or not, and can they be taught 
in his present state? 

Have his attitude toward music and 
mathematics, enjoyment of singing, 
irresistible desire to sing, been brought 
about naturally? 

Has he a perception of the physical 
proportion of bodies, such as colour, 
form, dimensions, relations between 
the parts to form a whole? 



IV. Examination Regarding Instincts and Sentiments 

Instinct of self-preservation. 

Instincts of order, readjustment, pres- 
ervation and destruction of objects. 

Aggressiveness, cruelty. 

Instinct of assimilation and posses- 

Is the child obedient or rebellious, re- 
spectful or impertinent, affectionate 
or cold, rude or courteous, grateful, 
jealous, merry or sad, proud, vain or 
indifferent, courageous or cowardly, 
timid or venturesome, circumspect 
or thoughtless, credulous or sus- 

Has the child a sense of abstract right 
and wrong or only in relation to a 
small number of acts that concern 

Does the child show spontaniety or an 
active will — the kind of will which 
is the initial cause of all human actions 
producing intellectual or social results? 

Has the child only a negative will asso- 
ciated with instincts and does he pro- 
test energetically against any extra- 
neous will that tends to compel the 
idiot to concern himself with social or 
abstract phenomena? 

Finally, in what direction and within 
what limits has the idiot passed 
beyond the boundaries of his ego in 
order to enter into physcial, instinc- 
tive, intellectual and moral com- 
munication with the phenomena which 
surround him? 

V. Etiology 

Origin of father and mother. 

Their constitution. 

Hereditary diseases. 

Place of residence at the time of the 

child's conception, gestation, birth 

and lactation. 
Possible causes of idiocy. 
Circumstances worthy of note during 


Circumstances worthy of note during 
gestation, delivery, lactation. 

Serious illnesses of the child during the 
first year. 

Infirmities and illnesses from the first 
year down to the first symptoms of 
idiocy. Progress, retrogression or 
stationary state from the child's 
birth down to the time of examination. 

If we realise that this model for a biographic chart was pro- 
posed more than one-half a century ago, it makes us marvel at 
the modern spirit of its concepts : it actually considers the relation 
between the development of the trunk and of the limbs, the mimic 
attitudes of the body, the constitution, etc., all of which concepts 
are foreign to the studies of the medical clinics from which Seguin 
must have drawn his inspiration, since even to the present day 
the tendency in the clinics is toward purely analytical investi- 
gation, with the exception of Professor De Giovanni's clinic. 

In the model proposed by Sergi, the examination was required 
to be made twice : first upon the reception of the pupil, and again 
at his departure with the modifications shown below: 


Table I. — Physical Observations 

On entering school 

On leaving school 

Class Year 

Class Year 

1. Name. 



2. Age. 



3. Birthplace. 



4. Parentage (father and mother). 


Parentage (father and mother). 

5. Vaccination. 



6. Stature. 



7. Weight. 



8. Pulmonary capacity. 


Pulmonary capacity. 

9. Muscular force. 


Muscular force. 

10. General state of health. 


General state of health. 

11. Past illnesses. 


Past illnesses. 

12. Anomalies, deformities. 


Anomalies, deformities. 

13. Head, horizontal circumference. 


Head, horizontal circumference. 

14. Head, maximum length. 


Head, maximum length. 

15. Head, maximum width. 


Head, maximum width. 

16. Cephahc index. 


Cephahc index. 

17. Face, length. 


Face, length. 

18. Face, width. 


Face, width. 

19. Facial index. 


Facial index. 

20. Hair, colour, form. 


Hair, colour, form. 

21. Eyes, colour. 


Eyes, colour. 

22. Skin, complexion. 


Skin, complexion. 

23. Incidental remarks. 


Incidental remarks. 




Table II. — Psychological Observations 

On entering school 

On leaving school 

Class Year 

Class Year 


Sight, acuteness, far- or near-sighted. 


Sight, acuteness, far- or near-sighted. 


Sense of colour, normal, defective. 


Sense of colour, normal, defective. 


Hearing, acuteness. 


Hearing, acuteness. 


Sense of touch, acuteness. 


Sense of touch, acuteness. 


Intelligence, quick or slow. 


IntelUgence, quick or slow. 


Perception, rapid or gradual. 


Perception, rapid or gradual. 


Memory, tenacious or short. 


Memory, tenacious or short. 


Attention, easily aroused or not. 


Attention, easily aroused or not. 


Speech, rapid or slow. 


Attention, how long sustained. 


Speech, pronunciation perfect or im- 


Attention, progressive weariness. 



Speech, rapid or slow. 


Speech, stammering. 


Speech, pronunciation perfect or im- 


Emotional sensibiUty, duU or easily 




Speech, stammering. 


Conduct and character at home. 


Emotional sensibility, duU or easily 


Affection for parents. 



Taciturnity or loquacity. 


Conduct and character in school. 


Preferences during free hours. 


Friendships in school. 


Caprices, eccentricities. 


Taciturnity or loquacity. 


Unusual incidental occurrences. 


Preferences during free hours. 


Caprices, eccentricities. 


Unusual incidental occurrences. 

The two other biographic charts that deserve specific mention 
are, unlike the above, charts in actual use, since they have both 
been recently introduced into practical service. 

The first, which I reproduce in entirety, is the one adopted by 
the Commune of Bologna for its schools; the second is the one 
introduced, for the purpose of studying the inmates, into the 
government reformatories, of Italy, that have recently been 
transformed into educational institutions, into which a number of 
important reforms have been introduced, through the influence of 
scientific pedagogy — among others, these biographical charts and 
the anthropological researches connected with them. 


Biographic chart for elementary schools: 

District of 

Class . 


Office X. — Hygiene 
Biographic Chart of the Pupil 

Name and Surname. 

Year 191 

Place of birth and residence 

Parents' Place of birth and vocation . 

The Teacher. 

State of skin, of the subcutaneous 
tissue, the muscles, the lymphatic 

(horizontal circumference 
maximum width 
maximum length 
Celphalic index 

Facial index 


/ colour 
\ form 
keenness of sight 
I colour sense 
L colour of iris 
Hearing, acuteness 

number decayed 
number missing 
Anomalies of development 
Weight / at the beginning, 

of body I at the end of the year 
Total spread of arms 
Pulmonary capacity 

The Physician 




Illnesses incurred during the school 

Total number of absences 

Number of absences on account of ill- 

Profit derived from instruction 

Conduct and character in school 

Affection toward parents and school- 

Special observations 

The Master 


The biographic chart of the reformatories is among the most 
complete; nevertheless, it is based upon antiquated methods for 
the study of the individual, including, for instance, the facial 
index and ignoring that of the stature; and limiting the psychic 
examination to abstract notes (reflection, attention, etc.). It 
constitutes, however, an anthropological record, for it follows the 
child throughout his whole residence in the reformatory. 

What is called, in the chart in question, the moral account, 
corresponds to our third subdivision in biographic histories, in so 
far as it represents a summary of the daily records. Under this 
head mention is made of the moral balance, and the notes tell us 
that it is founded upon "punishments^^ and 'Rewards." In so 
far as they treat of disciplining children, these notes are not to be 
taken as a model ; they are evidently a relic of antiquated educative 
methods that have survived amid the efforts of a new scientific 
movement. There is no mention made of medical treatment 
bestowed upon the children, who may very often owe their so- 
called moral anomalies to a pathological condition which must 
frequently be aggravated by punishments. It is well known that 
many normal children have periods of agitation which is mani- 
fested by the most various kinds of action (impulsiveness, sexual 
excesses, rebellion), followed by periods of calm during which the 
child exhibits the opposite characteristics (industriousness, obedi- 
ence, etc.). The biographic chart is quite likely t