Clocks and Crime: Conceptions of Time in the Writings of Cesare Lombroso

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Law and Justice

Publication Date



This article outlines and interrogates six different conceptions of time embedded in Lombroso’s writings, arguing that research to date has underappreciated both the range and significance of the different concepts of time he deployed. The article outlines the six conceptions of time (deep time, time moving at multiple speeds, time as progress, fitful time, time speeding up and time moving backwards) and demonstrates the importance of each on his body of work and the development of his ideas. Throughout, the article argues that recognising the different concepts of time deployed by Lombroso also gives a fresh appreciation of the extent to which he both drew on and was embedded in broader currents of contemporary thought.


This article was originally published in Crime, Histoire et Sociétés. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Crime, Histoire et Sociétés


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