Article ID: CBB855446621

The Reception of Gall’s Organology in Early-Nineteenth-Century Vilnius (2017)


Much has been written about the development and reception of Franz Joseph Gall’s (1758–1828) ideas in Western Europe. There has been little coverage, however, of how his Schädellehre or organology was received in Eastern Europe. With this in mind, we examined the transmission and acceptance/rejection of Gall’s doctrine in Vilnius (now Lithuania). We shall focus on what two prominent professors at Vilnius University felt about organology. The first of these men was Andrew Sniadecki (1768–1838), who published an article on Gall’s system in the journal Dziennik Wileński in 1805. The second is his contemporary, Joseph Frank (1771–1842), who wrote about the doctrine in his memoirs and published an article on phrenology in the journal Bibliotheca Italiana in 1839. Both Frank and Sniadecki had previously worked in Vienna’s hospitals, where they became acquainted with Gall and his system, but they formed different opinions. Sniadecki explained the doctrine not only to students and doctors but also to the general public in Vilnius, believing the new science had merit. Frank, in contrast, attempted to prove the futility of cranioscopy. Briefer mention will be made of the assessments of Johann Peter Frank (1745–1821) and Ludwig Heinrich Bojanus (1776–1827), two other physicians who overlapped Gall in Vienna and went to Vilnius afterward. Additionally, we shall bring up how a rich collection of human skulls was used for teaching purposes at Vilnius University, and how students were encouraged to mark the organs on crania using Gall’s system. Though organology in Vilnius, as in many other places, was always controversial, it was taught at the university, accepted by many medical professionals, and discussed by an inquisitive public.

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Article Harry Whitaker; Gonia Jarema; (2017)
The Split Between Gall and Spurzheim (1813–1818) (/isis/citation/CBB914152914/) unapi

Article Eling, Paul; Draaisma, Douwe; Conradi, Matthijs; (2011)
Gall's Visit to the Netherlands (/isis/citation/CBB001034913/) unapi

Article Harry A. Whitaker; (2020)
La Revanche De Gall (/isis/citation/CBB335548506/) unapi

Article Piazza, Marco; (2005)
Maine de Biran e Gall. Una tappa emblematica nella ricezione francese della frenologia (/isis/citation/CBB000701026/) unapi

Book Stanley Finger; Paul Eling; (2019)
Franz Joseph Gall: Naturalist of the Mind, Visionary of the Brain (/isis/citation/CBB973892972/) unapi

Article John van Wyhe; (2020)
Johann Gaspar Spurzheim: The St. Paul of Phrenology (/isis/citation/CBB951876615/) unapi

Article Duichin, Marco; (2011)
Notomisti, filosofi, «cacciatori di teste»: Gall, Kant e i primordi della frenologia (/isis/citation/CBB449232524/) unapi

Article Marc Renneville; (2020)
Matter Over Mind? The Rise and Fall of Phrenology in Nineteenth-Century France (/isis/citation/CBB316812365/) unapi

Article Paul Eling; Stanley Finger; (2020)
Gall’s German Enemies (/isis/citation/CBB509621042/) unapi

Article Cornel, Tabea; (2014)
Matters of Sex and Gender in F. J. Gall's Organology: A Primary Approach (/isis/citation/CBB001551835/) unapi

Article Jacob Lauge Thomassen; Simon Beierholm; (2020)
Franz Joseph Gall Came to Copenhagen, and for a Brief Moment the Brain Was the Talk of the Town (/isis/citation/CBB935430086/) unapi

Article Paul Eling; Stanley Finger; (2020)
Gall and Phrenology: New perspectives (/isis/citation/CBB909266097/) unapi

Article Paul Eling; Stanley Finger; (2020)
Franz Joseph Gall's Non-Cortical Faculties and Their Organs (/isis/citation/CBB224301715/) unapi

Article Clauzade, Laurent; (2012)
La théorie cérébrale d'un naturaliste spiritualiste, Henri-Marie Ducrotay (/isis/citation/CBB001251995/) unapi

Article Nicolas, Serge; Guida, Alessandro; Levine, Zachary; (2014)
Psychological and Anthropological Study of a Mental Calculator (/isis/citation/CBB001420780/) unapi

Book Paul Eling; Stanley Finger; (2021)
Gall, Spurzheim, and the Phrenological Movement: Insights and Perspectives (/isis/citation/CBB776528929/) unapi

Article van Wyhe, John; (2002)
The Authority of Human Nature: The Schädellehre of Franz Joseph Gall (/isis/citation/CBB000200257/) unapi

Authors & Contributors
Eling, Paul
Finger, Stanley
van Wyhe, John
Malabou, Catherine
Constable, Marianne
Davis, Whitney
Journal of the History of the Neurosciences
British Journal for the History of Science
Jahrbuch für Europäische Wissenschaftskultur
Revue d'Histoire des Sciences
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
History of Psychology
University of California, Berkeley
Oxford University Press
Brain localization
Gall, Franz Joseph
Spurzheim, Johann Kaspar
Maine de Biran, François Pierre Gonthier
Blainville, Henri Marie Ducrotay de
Charcot, Jean Martin
Inaudi, Jacques
Great Britain
19th century
18th century
17th century
20th century
21st century

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment