A Middlesex University resource by Andrew Roberts
Earthcore: Draft Timeline for the Core of Earth
From Manchuria to Cape Town

Linked to the social science and mental health time lines

638 - 1200 - 1300 - 1400 - 1500 - 1600 - 1700 - 1800 - 1885 - 1900 -

Pre- history

For surmises on mind and healing before we have written records click here. For interpretations of prehistoric art click here.

Historical times

According to Ackernecht, E. H. (1959 ch.2 p.9) "...the great cultures of old, such as those of Egypt and Mesopotamia, vacillated between naturalistic and supernatural explanations of diseases...". For some other people's thoughts click here

Ancient Greece and Rome

Ackernecht (1959 ch.2 p.9) argues that: "The history of psychiatry, like that of scientific medicine in general, really begins with the Greeks. The Greco-Roman outlook survived unchanged until the eighteenth century, and even today we still use a large part of the Greek nomenclature... the Greeks declared themselves outspokenly in favour of naturalistic explanations and thus became the founders of scientific medicine and of psychiatry." ... For some other people's thoughts click here

638 Moslem conquest of Syria. 637 Moslem conquest of Iraq. 640 Moslem conquest of Egypt. 710 Moslems invade Spain. They went as far as France, but were defeated at Tours in 732 and moved back to Spain.

Hospitals of medieval Islam

Ackernecht (1959 ch.3 p.16-17) says:

"There is not much to say about medieval psychiatry... classical naturalistic concepts of mental illness were ... preserved in a few places and among some sections of society. This was particularly true within the hospitals which were the greatest medical achievement of the Middle Ages. Although we know that large hospitals were established as early as the fourth century, we have details about psychiatric sections in such institutions only since the founding of the great Arabic hospitals" [Muhammad]
He lists:

Baghdad as opening in 750. - Baghdad was made the capital of the Abbasid dynasty in 750 AD by the Caliph Abu-Jaifar Al-Mansur (external link). The hospital known as Baghdad Hospital was established under his successor Harun Arl-Rashid (786-809 AD) - But there were other Baghdad hospitals. (Hossam Arafa). See also Iraq history. "The most illustrious among the Arab physicians was Rhazes (865-925), the 'Persian Galen'... physician-in- chief to the Baghdad Hospital, one of the first of the ancient hospitals to have a ward devoted to the mentally ill" (Alexander and Selesnick 1966, p.62)

Cairo as opening in 873. Al-Fustat Hospital, in what is now Old Cairo, was built in 872 and was open for six centuries. Al- Mansuri Hospital was built in 1284. It was divided into different sections according to ailments. Music was used as therapy for psychiatric patients. It served 4,000 patients daily and the stay in the hospital was free. On discharge, patients were given food and money as compensation for being out of work during the hospital stay. It is now used for ophthalmology and renamed Qalawun Hospital. (Hossam Arafa). See also Ted Thornton's History of the Middle East database

Ackernecht (1959 ch.3 p.16-17) says:

"(The Arabs also accommodated the mentally ill in monasteries.) To this day the Mohammedans have unusually sympathetic attitudes to the mentally ill which are reflected in the Koran. [Bible and Koran weblinks] The Arabs were also apparently the first to build special institutions for the insane: Damascus, 800; Aleppo, 1270; Kaladun, 1283; Cairo, 1304; Fez, 1500. The Arabs achieved more in the care of the insane than in the field of psychiatry itself. Here, as in the rest of medicine, they merely repeated and expanded the Greek concepts of mental illness. Ackernecht, E. H. 1959 ch.3 p.16-17

Psychiatric departments in general hospitals were not rare in the Middle Ages. They existed in the west since the thirteenth century, e.g. in Paris, Lyon, Montpellier, London, Munich, Braunschweig, Freiburg, Zurich, Basle etc. Here the classical traditions undoubtedly survived." Ackernecht, E. H. 1959 ch.3 p.16-17

This somewhat mysterious (and anachronistic) passage in Ackernecht, E. H. 1959 (ch.3 p.16-17) presumably refers to places like London's Bedlam. [Does anyone have a better idea what he refers to?]

"Psychiatric departments in general hospitals were not rare in the Middle Ages. They existed in the west since the thirteenth century, e.g. in Paris, Lyon, Montpellier, London, Munich, Braunschweig, Freiburg, Zurich, Basle etc. Here the classical traditions undoubtedly survived."

Heidelberg University founded 1386 (map)

Leipzig University (map) Founded 1409 as a breakaway from Prague University. From the early 19th century Leipzig played an important part in the development of psychology and psychiatry.

15th Century Spain

Ackernecht, E. H. 1959 ch.3 p.21-22 speaks of the " Renaissance as an age of contradictions, saying that "ruthless persecution of the insane as witches" goes alongside "everywhere signs of a deep sympathy for the unfortunate sick", manifest in the "creation of numerous institutions for the insane" - particularly in Spain: Spain experienced a "golden era" of medicine and of civilization in general. Here Arabian influences were felt most strongly. Institutions for the mentally ill were opened in:

Valencia in 1409 the Hospital de los Pobres Inocentes or Casa dels Fols or Hospital del'gnscents (See Muslim Heritage. Valencia). May have been the first purpose built asylum in Europe.

Saragossa in 1425

Seville and Valladolid in 1436

Toledo in 1480 (The Hospital de Innocentes)

Some few decades later the repentant veteran soldier, Bernadino Alvarez, built a similar hospital (San Hippolyto) in newly conquered Mexico. This was the first of its kind on the American continent. A sympathetic understanding for the mentally ill is also strongly expressed in the writings of the Spanish humanist, Juan Louis Vives (1492-1540). Ackernecht, E. H. 1959 ch.3 p.21-22

Asylums outside Spain: "The opening of special institutions in Spain was followed in the 16th century by the founding of similar hospitals in Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, Marseilles, Avignon, Hamburg, Lubeck and elsewhere". Ackernecht, E. H. 1959 ch.3 p.21-22

Rome: pazzarella, or place for mad people, may have existed in Rome since the mid-14th century. OR "The pazzarella at Rome already mentioned was founded during the sixteenth century by Ferrantez Ruiz and the Bruni, father and son, all three Navarrese". A legacy enabled the management, with the approbation of Pope Pius 4th, to open a new house in 1561, in the Via Lata. (Catholic Encyclopedia)

Dolhuys, Amsterdam, 1562 may have been the second purpose built asylum in Europe.

In 1641 the Charenton Asylum was founded in one of the suburbs of Paris, near the Park of Vincennes, and was placed under monastic rule. After the foundation of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, the charge of this institution was given to them (Catholic Encyclopedia). See 1826

Ackernecht's (1959) (ch.4 p.29) decription of 17th century institutional developments is a summary of Foucault:

"The absolutist governments of the mid-seventeenth century decided to resolve their social crisis by incarcerating all the poor. In Paris this occurred in May 1657. The men were taken to the Bicetre, the women to the Salpetriere. In France these pauper prisons were deceitfully called "Hopital general"; in Germany, more truthfully, "Zuchthaus" [discipline- house]; in Great Britain "workhouse."
From "Focus on psychiatry in South Africa" Robin Emsley, The British Journal of Psychiatry (2001) 178: 382-386:

"Institutional medical practice began in South Africa over 300 years ago with the establishment of a small hospital in Cape Town by Jan van Riebeeck. The first hospital to cater specifically for mentally deranged persons was established in 1711. It was an apartment that was added to the new Cape Hospital, which had been completed in 1699 by Simon van der Stel." See 19th century

1737 University of Gottingen founded by George 2nd, King of Great Britain and Elector of Hanover.

1749 Gottfried Achenwall (1719-1772), professor at Gottingen, used the term Statistik in his Staatsverfassung der heutigen vornehmsten europäischen Reiche und Völker im Grundrisse [Political Constitution of the present principal European countries and Peoples]

"The eighteenth century saw the creation of numerous asylums which continued into the nineteenth century and which provided the material structure for the future development of psychiatry. We shall mention only a few: Bologna (1710); Warsaw (1726); Berlin (1728); Dublin (1745); Ludwigsburg (1746); London (1759); Deventer (1760); Manchester and Copenhagen (1766); Williamsburg (1773); Vienna (1784); Frankfurt on Main (1785)".

"at the end of the century... Abraham Joly in Geneva (1787); Pinel in the Paris Bicetre (1793); William Tuke, the Quaker, of York (1796); Vincenzo Chiarugi (1759-1820) after 1788 in Tuscany, and John [Johann] Gottfried Langermann (1768-1852) in 1805 in Bayreuth, struck off the chains from the insane.".[in German: "Befreiung der Irren von ihren Ketten" Sounds good!] Ackernecht, E. H. 1959 ch.5 pp 34-35

Langerman was superintendent of an asylum near Bayreuth, Bavaria. Alexander and Selesnick say that it was largely due to his efforts that "other humanitarian hospitals were established at Seidburg and Leubus, in Prussia"

Austria: aeiou: annotatable electronic information for Austria

Psychiatrische Krankenhäuser


1784 Narrenturm ("fools' tower) Constructed in the grounds of Vienna's Old General Hospital. It was paid for by Emperor Joseph 2nd, who also gave instructions as to its design. It is a circular building with 139 single cells. Access is only by one door. The layout of the building was used to classify patients.

Neil Sturrock (email 30.12.2006):

"The main difference between this and the Panopticon was that the supervision was carried out from a guards' building which bisected the Narrenturm rather than a round tower at the centre"

Cutting provided by Neil Sturrock

The most interesting part of the hospital is the asylum behind the Josephinum, nicknamed the Narrenturm (tower of the insane) by the locals. The insane used to be housed here but it is now the Museum of Medical History. It was the only building in the immediate area of the hospital that was entirely newly constructed.

Isidor Canevale created a cylindrical building whose exterior was originally entirely rusticated. The slit-like windows give the building the appearance of a fortification, and similar designs are more commonly to be found in prison architecture than in hospital design. Behind the narrow openings for daylight there are the radially arranged cells, with a walkway connecting with the court. They can only be reached through the guardians' wing which divides the court in two. Through this arrangement, the care and supervision of patients could be maintained with a minimum level of staffing

November 1836 The Rev. William Barnett was placed in "a private lunatic asylum" by the police authorities of Vienna.

"He was always endeavouring to impress upon the minds of those who called upon him that he had been for the space of 45 hours in hell...The Rev. Mr Barnett also laboured under the delusion that his banker at Vienna issued none but forged notes; when at the asylum, near Vienna, he fasted for three days and three nights, and gave as his reason that God had ordered him to do so, and at the same time had also ordered him to lie in bed during that period, and to keep his room darkened; he also imagined that the food in the asylum was poisoned, and would have starved himself had not the medical officers compelled him to take nourishment". (The Times 19.7.1837. Cutting provided by Richard Shrubb)

8.6.1837 John Livesay and "Dr Koestler, the medical officer of the lunatic asylum at Vienna" where William Barnett was confined, left Vienna with the Rev. Barnett, to take him to England, where he was confined at Clapham Retreat.

1839 A. Leopold Koestler (or Köstler) Bemerkungen über mehrere Irrenanstalten von England, Frankreich, und Belgien, (Remarks over several lunatic asylums of England, France, and Belgium) published Vienna.

1848-1853 the Lower Austrian provincial psychiatric hospital in Vienna�s 9th district was opened.

In 1853 use of the Narrenturm ceased

"In the course of the 19th century psychiatric hospitals were established in all Austrian provinces, which, in addition to university clinics for psychiatry, provide most of the in-patient psychiatric care in Austria".

1903-1907 The pavilion-like Lower Austrian provincial hospital for the treatment and care of psychiatric patients "Am Steinhof" (today the Psychiatric Hospital of the City of Vienna, located at Baumgartner Hähe) was established. See the church. Steht man im Innenraum der Kirche, vergißt man leicht, daß das Gotteshaus für Geisteskranke konzipiert wurde "If one stands in the interior of the church, one forgets easily that it is designed as a place of worship for mental patients"

From "Focus on psychiatry in South Africa" Robin Emsley, The British Journal of Psychiatry (2001) 178: 382-386:

In South Africa "The Old Somerset Hospital was the first hospital offering care for the insane from its inception in 1818. However, these facilities were regarded as inappropriate for this purpose, and in 1846 the prison colony on Robben Island was converted into a hospital for lepers, lunatics and other chronically ill patients. By 1912, the Robben Island Infirmary housed 500 mental patients. During this period, several other `lunatic asylums' were built, ensuring that mentally ill patients were largely isolated from the community. These included the Town Hill Asylum in Pietermaritzburg, Fort England Mental Hospital in Grahamstown, Valkenberg Lunatic Asylum in Cape Town, and the Pretoria Lunatic Asylum"

1817 The two Prussian universities of Halle and Wittenberg merged External link
Gotthard Guggenmoos. Born 5.5.1775 Stötten/Auerberg (Germany), Died 29.1.1838 Hallein (Salzburg, Austria). Private teacher. Taught children with impaired hearing and speech from 1812. In 1829 opened in Salzburg his "Stummen und Kretinenschule" (institute for deaf-mutes and cretins). "The first school for the mentally impaired in German-speaking countries". Closed in 1835 for financial reasons.

Johann Jakob Guggenbühl(1816-1863). "In the face of much opposition, built the first institution for cretins on the Abendberg near Interlaaken in 1840". In 1845 Extracts from the First Report of the Institution on the Abendberg, near Interlachen, Switzerland; for the Cure of Cretinism, by Guggenbühl, published in London. London.]

"The immortal soul is essentially the same in every creature born of woman" (Guggenbühl)

1822: "En 1822, les docteurs Voisin et Falret ouvrirent á Vanves une maison de santé pour le traitement des aliénés." external link. Jean-Pierre Falret (1794-1870) with his friend Felix Voisin (1794-1872) founded the famous private hospital in Vanves. Falret began his work with studies on suicide. Voisin, who was much influenced by Gall, devoted himself above all to the study and training of the feebleminded. (Ackernecht, E. H. 1959 ch.6 p.51) [See Jacobi]

1826: Esquirol's "private sanatorium in Ivry and his institution at Charenton, which were built according to his own plans and which he administered from 1826, were model institutions. Charenton (at present under the direction of Professor Baruk who lovingly guards Esquirol's beautiful library) is to this day a remarkable place. The asylums in Saint- Yon, Le Mans, Montpellier and Marseilles were also built according to his plans". (Ackernecht, E. H. 1959 ch.6 p.50) - [Rouen was also designed on Esquirol's principles]

1841: Auxerre, Bourgoyne

1863-1869: St Anne, Paris

Ackernecht says (1959 ch.8 pp 63-64):
"German administrative psychiatry flourished during this period. Modern institutions were opened everywhere"

The examples he gives (flushed left), with others (flushed right) are:

Sonnenstein opened in 1811

21.10.1811 Johann Christian August Heinroth (1773-1843) was appointed the first associate professor of "psychic therapy" at Leipzig University. This has been decribed as the "first university chair in psychiatry". (Although an associate professor did not have his own chair and when Heinroth became a full professor it was in "medicine") Coined the word "psychosomatic". According to Ackernecht (1959 ch.8 p.60) Heinroth "regarded mental illness purely as a disease of the soul and essentially as a 'lack of freedom'. God had punished the sinner by depriving him of his freedom of will." See A Short History of Psychiatry at Leipzig University An English translation (by Dirk Carius 12.10.2004) of: Eine Kurze Geschichte der Leipziger Universitätspsychiatrie by Holger Steinberg, Historian Archives for the History of Psychiatry in Leipzig.

Prague (capital of Bohemia) opened 1822

Siegburg, north of Bonn, south of Koln (Cologne, capital Rhenish Province of Prussia), opened in 1825 (map). Under the direction of Carl Wigand Maximilian Jacobi

Dusseldorf opened in 1826 Rhenish Province? of Prussia

Hildesheim (Hanover) opened in 1827

Colditz opened in 1829 (between Leipzig and Dresden in Saxony) (map)

Sachsenberg "Irren-Heilanstalt Sachsenberg", opened in 1830 Under the direction of K. (C.F.?) Flemming (1799-1880). (external link) (external link - blanket dated just before Nazi period) "Sachsenberg psychiatric asylum in Schwerin". Museums list includes Museum at the Sachsenberg at Schwerin. Address: 19055 Schwerin, Wismar Strasse 393. The "former" lunatic asylum was opened 1830 as the first German purpose built lunatic asylum. Exhibitions about the history of psychiatry: in the former water tower.

Winnenthal opened in 1834 (map). Superintendent: A. Zeller, 1804-1872, Griesinger's teacher

Halle opened in 1836 (map?) Under the direction of H. Damerow, 1798-1866, a pupil of Esquirol

Illenau Institution, near Achern (map) in the Black Forest, opened in 1842 Superintendent: Christian Roller, 1802-1878. history link

"During this period 30 institutions were opened in Germany, 18 in France and as many as 38 in Great Britain.

Thus the directors of institutions, whose speculations were constantly exposed to the test of reality through their daily contact with the patients among whom they lived, became the leaders of German psychiatry between 1830 and 1860. Three of the best known (Damerow, Roller and Flemming) founded the "Allgemeine Zeitschrift f�r Psychiatrie" in 1844, taking as their model the French "Annales" with whose editors they were in close contact. This was the first German psychiatric journal which was to survive. Except for the somaticist, Flemming, their philosophy was an anthropological one based on the unity of mind, body and soul." Ackernecht, E. H. 1959 ch.8 pp 63-64

From 1855 Wilhelm Maximillian Wundt (1832-1920) worked with Mueller and then Helmhotz at Heidelberg University where he was appointed professor in 1864. From 1867 he taught physiological psychology and in 1873 published the first volume of The Principles of Physiological Psychology. In 1874 Wundt was appointed to professor of inductive philosophy at the University of Zurich and in 1875 professor at the University of Leipzig, where he remained for forty-five years. He was given his first laboratory (one room) in 1875. In 1879 he opened his first full laboratory with more rooms and equipment. In 1883 he founded the first (?) psychological journal, which was called Philosophische Studien (Philosophical Studies). In 1897 he was given his own building for a laboratory. Died in Grossbothen near Leipzig in 1920 (external link)
External link: Emil Kraepelin

Wilhelm Griesinger (1817-1868):   "In 1860, he was appointed medical clinic in Zurich and director of the university psychiatric clinic of the Burghölzli. These new functions allowed him to initiate the official teaching of psychiatry, which he continued in Berlin until 1865"

Ackernecht says (1959 ch.9 p.74):

"...the period which was now to begin was that of "university psychiatry," and "As far as its orientation was concerned, psychiatry was now predominantly brain psychiatry".

He notes the establishment of these professorial chairs in psychiatry in universities within the German speaking area of Europe:

Berlin in 1864

Gottingen in 1866

Zurich in 1869

18.1.1871 German Empire:
Political unification of large parts of German speaking Europe

Heidelberg in 1871

Vienna in 1877

Leipzig and Bonn in 1882.

13.6.1886 Dr Bernhard von Gudden and his patient, Ludvig 2nd king of Bavaria, drowned in Lake Starnberg near Castle Berg, Bavaria. The official explanation is that the king murdered his psychiatrist and then committed suicide. external link

German History - mid-ninteeenth century

2.1.1861 Wilhelm 1st of Prussia. (b.1797 d.1888)

September 1862 Bismarck chief minister of Prussia. In 1860s he flirted with the Lassalleans

1863 Leipzig congress of workers' unions founds Lassallean socialist party [ADAV]. Ferdinand Lassalle (d. 1864) wanted producers' co-ops funded by the state

1864 Danish war over Schleswig Holstein. Weber born

First International Workingmen's Association established by French and English Labour leaders in London (dissolved 1876). Marx drew up its Inaugural Address - a much more moderate document than the Communist Manifesto (1848). The Lassallean's did not join.

1866 "Seven Weeks War" of Prussia and her allies with Austria and other German states. - Old German ties cut. The Austrian Empire advocated Grossdeutschland, a concept whereby all German-speaking lands would unite. Prussia however, preferred Kleindeutschland whereby all German states except those in Austria, would be led by Prussia. The outcome of the Prussian victory was the exclusion of Austria from the German Confederation and the termination of Austrian dominance of the German nations. Prussian victory was followed by the establishment of two German blocks:

1867 North German Federation. Constitution based on the Frankfurt Constitution of 1849. [Institutions established (e.g. Bundesrat and Reichstag) continued throughout German Empire (from 1871)]. National Liberal Party founded. [From 1867 to 1878 Bismark supported the Liberals: Free trade policies]

1867 Austro-Hungarian Empire (See Wikipedia Austria-Hungary)

1869 "Eisenach Party" (SAP) [South German Party] founded by Marx's German followers (including Wilhelm Liebknecht and August Bebel). The Eisenach Programme adhered in general to the line of the International.

14.7.1870 Ems telegram

18.7.1870 Decree of Papal Infallibility

Liebknecht and Bebel were imprisoned for opposing the war
19.7.1870 French declaration of war on Prussia
August: French defeats
1.9.1870: Surrender of Napoleon 3rd and MacMahon at Sedan

18.1.1871 German Empire:
Political unification of large parts of German speaking Europe

18.1.1871: German Empire proclaimed at Versailles. Wilhelm 1st: Emperor Bismarck: Imperial Chancellor. German Unification.

28.1.1871: Armistice

1871 (to 1878 or 1887: see below) KULTURKAMPF ("Conflict of Beliefs") between Bismarck and Catholic Church. Prussian "Falk Laws" of May 1873 completely subordinated the church to state regimentation. Election of Pope Leo 13th in 1878 began negotiations which restored most Catholic rights by 1887. [Palmer].

1871 Centre Party formed.

Period of boom

1873 Verein fur Sozialpolitik (Association for Social-Politics?) formed

Sociology in Germany

"Following an interest in German thought," [Albion] "Small went on to study history, social economics and social politics at the universities of Berlin (1879-1880) and Leipzig (1880-1881). He also spent some time at Weimar and at the British Museum in London. His experiences in Europe subsequently shaped his writings as a sociologist" (external source)

Simmel: See dictionary Interaction

Georg Simmel (1858-1918) taught at the University of Berlin as a Privatdozent from 1885 to 1901, and then as Ausserordentlicher Professor to 1914, when he was appointed Professor at the University of Strasbourg.

[Simmel's] "courses ranged from logic and the history of philosophy to ethics, social psychology, and sociology. He lectured on Kant, Schopenhauer, Darwin, and Nietzsche, among many others. Often during a single academic year he would survey new trends in sociology as well as in metaphysics" (Lewis Coser External Link)

Albion Small published translations of Simmel into English in the American Journal of Sociology in 1896 - 1898 - 1902 - 1904 - 1906 and 1910

1900 Georg Simmel Philosophy of Money. From 1900 he "devoted himself for over a decade primarily to the fledgling discipline of sociology. At that point there were still no chair of sociology in Germany" (Lloyd Spencer) - weblinks

1908 Georg Simmel's Sociologie attempted an analysis, classification and interpretation of several forms of social relations, such as isolation, contact, superordination, subordination, opposition, persistence or continuity of social group, social differentiation, and integration. Sociologie incorporated previous studies such Über soziale Differenzierung - Das Problem der Sociologie - Comment les formes sociales se maintennent.

1895 Plantesamfund published by Johannes Eugenius Bülow Warming (1841-1924), professor of botany and director of the botanical garden at the university of Copenhagen (1185-1911) Previously (1882-1885) professor of botany at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm - (Wikipedia - biographical sketch)

Plantesamfund was translated into German in 1896 as Lehrbuch der Ökologischen Pflanzengeographie. An extended version of this was translaated into English in 1909 as Oecology of Plants; An Introduction to the Study of Plant- Communities

"In this work Warming developed the notion of the plant community, relating this unifying concept to more particular conditions of plant physiognomy and adaptation, and to varying substrates and moisture regimes. Through this book Warming effectively invented the field of plant ecology, also establishing a new foundation for the ecological side of plant geography studies" (External source)

Henry Cowles learnt Danish in order to read Warming

Arthur Tansley learnt German in 1894 and read Warming in German. This reading gave him the ecological framework of thought.

[See Burgess 1925]

Colonial lunatic asylums

About 1900: Of the British empire's 74 colonial lunatic asylums, 21 are in India (or British Asia), six in South Africa, one in Sierra Leone (Kissy Lunatic Asylum 1820); one in Gold Coast (Accra, 1887). Yaba close to Lagos (Nigeria) opened in 1907 and Nairobi (Kenya) in 1910. In the German Africa, missionaries opened an asylum in Lutindi Tanganiyka (Tanzania) in 1905. In the Dutch East Indies there were three asylums on Java (Surabaya, 1876; Buitenzorg close to Batavia, 1881, and Lawan in 1902. From 1897 The Dutch East Indies had comprehensive lunacy legislation, similar to the law in Holland and France. Folie et ordre colonial. Les difficultés de mise en place d'une assistance psychiatrique au Sénégal et en Afrique occidentale René Collignon, Paris, CNRS. available as a pdf or view as html

In South Africa, "The Mental Disorders Act was introduced in 1916. No provision was made for neurotic and personality disorders, alcohol dependence or learning disability. When the Union of South Africa was formed in 1910, there were eight mental institutions caring for 3624 patients. In 1955 there were 13 government mental hospitals and 17 881 patients. Today there are 24 registered public psychiatric hospitals, accommodating some 14 000 acute and long-term care patients." ( "Focus on psychiatry in South Africa" Robin Emsley, The British Journal of Psychiatry (2001) 178: 382-386)

click on the image to visit
the website I stole it from Max Beckmann
Irrenhaus (Madhouse)
Drypoint on laid paper
It comes from a series called Gesichter (faces)

1919 A sociology department established in the Law Faculty at the University of Warsaw.

1919Partito Nazionale Fascisto

15.10.1919: The ABC of Communism

"Communism equals the power of the Soviets plus electrification of the whole country"

1922 Stalin


May June 1924. Pravda published Joseph Stalin's lectures on The Foundations of Leninism (External link to Peking edition). Lecture 9 on "Style in Work" explains that "The combination of Russian revolutionary sweep with American efficiency is the essence of Leninism in Party and state work"

1925 Adolf Hitler Mein Kampf

Zygmunt Bauman was born in 1925 in Poznan, Poland. His parents were non practising Jews. When Germany and Russia invaded Poland in 1939, Zygmunt escaped to the Russian zone. Later he served in a Polish military unit under Russian control. At some point after the war he became a student of sociology at Warsaw University. He studied for a period (1950s) at London School of Economics. He taught at Warsaw University from 1954 to 1968, becoming Professor of General Sociology in 1964. He published in Polish in 1959 - 1960 - 1961 - 1962 - 1964 - 1965 and 1966. He taught at the University of Tel Aviv from 1968 to 1970, at the University of Leeds from 1972 to 1990. Modernity and The Holocaust, published in 1989, was influenced by the recollections of a Warsaw childhood published by his wife, Janina, in 1986. Janina Lewinson was born in 1926. She remained in Poland when Germany invaded.

1929- 1935 Antonio Gramsci's Prison Notebooks written

1930 Alfred Rosenberg's The Myth of the 20th Century

1933 Nationalsozialist party in power in Germany

1934 Antonio Gramsci's Notebook 22 contains "Americanism and Fordism" (16 Notes)

1935 Dr Alexis Carrel, a Nobel prizewinner [Physiology, 1912 - external link and an extreme advocate of eugenic measures, believing that "families where there exists syphilis, cancer, tuberculosis, neurosis and feeble-mindedness are more dangerous than those of thieves and assassins" (J.L.T. Birley 2002, translating from l'Homme, cet inconnu)

Alexis Carrel, l'Homme, cet inconnu:

"Quant aux autres, ceux qui ont tué, qui ont volé à main armée, qui ont enlevé des enfants, qui ont dépouillé les pauvres, qui ont gravement trompé la confiance du public, un établissement euthanasique, pourvu de gaz appropriés, permettrait d'en disposer de façon humaine et e conomique. Le même traitement ne serait-il pas applicable aux fous qui ont commis des actes criminels ? Il ne faut pas hésiter à ordonner la socié moderne par rapport à l'individu sain. Les systèmes philosophiques et les préjugés sentimentaux doivent disparaître devant cette nécessité. Après tout, c'est le développement de la personnalité humaine qui est le but suprême de la civilisation " (Taken from Les archives de l'Humanité )

As for the others, those who killed, who fled at gun-point, who removed children, who stripped the poor, who seriously misled the public, an establishment for euthanasia, equipped with appropriate gases, would allow them to be removed in a human and economic way. Should not the same treatment be applied to the insane who have done criminal acts? We should not hesitate to create a modern society that one can compare to the healthy individual. The philosophical systems and the sentimental prejudices must disappear in front of this need. After all, it is the development of the human personality which is the supreme goal of civilisation

1.8.1936: Berlin Olympic Games opened

1937 Musée de l'Homme founded in Paris.

27.4.1937 Death of Antonio Gramsci in an Italian prison. External link to John M. Cammett's 1998 bibliography which includes a bibliography of translations from the Italian into other languages.

Friday 1.9.1939 Germany invaded Poland. The Bauman family, who were Jews, ran away from their home in Posnan, near the German boarder, as the Germans invaded. "We took the last train east, but we were stopped at a station which was being bombed by the Germans. We should have run away from the station because that was the object of the bombing, but" [my father] "wanted to find a ticket inspector to pay for our tickets." (Zygmunt Bauman quoted Bunting, M. 2003) The family of Janina Lewinson (also Jews) remained in Poland. Janina's Warsaw experiences are online

Universities in Poland were closed down, but the "Secret University of Warsaw" (Tajny Uniwersytet Warszawski) was organised by lecturers and met in people's homes.

10.5.1940 - 22.6.1940: Germany invaded France

22.4.1940 German armistice with French government under which Germany would occupy northern and western France including the entire Atlantic coast. The remaining two-fifths of the country would be governed by the French government with the capital at Vichy under Pétain.

"official rations amounted to 1200 calories per day, insufficient to support life. French citizens went hungry, but did not starve to death - they were expected to obtain extra food in various ways. Many groups were allowed extra rations: the young, heavy labourers, pregnant and nursing mothers and hospital patients. But not all hospital patients. Those in psychiatric hospitals were specifically excluded. Their death rate rose dramatically."

"French psychiatrists reported what was happening at the time, largely in detached, clinical terms, to avoid the censor. They described famine oedema; and famine behaviour - fighting round the food trolleys, eating anything (grass, dust, faeces, even their own fingers) and a profound lethargy. In a review of the publications in the Annales Medico-Psychologiques during the Vichy years, Gourevitch (1995) reported that 'articles on starvation in the hospitals featured more than any other topic'" (J.L.T. Birley 2002)

December 1945 Lectures resumed for almost 4,000 students in the ruins of Warsaw University. The buildings were gradually rebuilt.

1947 First students enrolled in the Warsaw University Institute of Sociology (External link Polish links to English and German translations)

1949 Theodor W. Adorno wrote "Kulturkritik und Gesellschaft" (Cultural Criticism and Society), published in Prismen (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1955), pages 7-31

"The more total the society, the more reified also the spirit [mind] and all the more paradoxical its beginning, of itself to extricate itself from reification. Yet even the most extreme consciousness of calamity threatens to degenerate into empty chatter. Cultural critique finds itself opposite the final stage of the dialectic of culture and barbarism : to write a poem after Auschwitz is barbaric, and that eats away also at that insight that explains why it has become impossible to write poetry today." (30-31)

See 1995 and (external link) Poetry of the Holocaust

5.3.1953 Death of Joseph Stalin

1954 Zygmunt Bauman teaching at the University of Warsaw from 1954

25.2.1956 Nikita Khrushchev's report "On the Personality Cult and its Consequences" to a closed session of the 20th Party Congress

1956 Rehabilitation of Wladyslaw Gomulka in Poland Wikipedia

Russian publication (three volumes) of selected works of Antonio Gramsci. See Social Science Timeline.

"I discovered Gramsci and he gave me the opportunity of an honourable discharge from Marxism. It was a way out of orthodox Marxism, but I never became anti-Marxist as most did. I learnt a lot from Karl Marx and I'm grateful" ( Zygmunt Bauman quoted Bunting, M. 2003)

"The Institute of Sociology at the Warsaw University emerged from the Faculty of Philosophy in 1957 and since 1968 has been known as the Institute of Sociology." "The existence of the Institute has been always related to the outstanding work of the best Polish Sociologists including among others: Stanislaw Ossowski, Stefan Nowak, Zygmunt Bauman, Jerzy Szacki, Antonina Kloskowska". "Stanislaw Ossowski (1897-1963) - The patron of the Institute of Sociology." "When Poland was still under control of the Soviet Union, the Institute of Sociology was one of the centres of Polish democratic political opposition which ignited problems with the communist state authorities." ( Powerpoint Presentation by Anna Broda and Dariusz Brzosko of The Insitute of Sociology - University of Warsaw, Poland. Also available as html

Friday 4.10.1957 First Sputnik (Russian satellite). Second was sent on 3.11.1957 with a dog on board.

1959 Zygmunt Bauman (in Polish) British Socialism: Sources, Philosophy, Political Doctrine

1960 Klasa-ruch-elita. Studium Socjologiczne Dziejow Angilskiego Ruchu Robotniczego [Class, Movement, Elite: A Sociological Study on the History of the British Labour Movement] by Zygmunt Bauman published in Warszawa [Warsaw]. It was translated into English in 1972 (publication) by Sheila Patterson as Between Class and Elite: The Evolution of the British Labour Movement: A Sociological Study

Wednesday 12.4.1961 Major Yuri Gagarin made first flight into space and back.

Zygmunt Bauman (in Polish) Questions of Modern American Sociology

1962 Zygmunt Bauman co-edited with S. Chodak, J. Strojnowski, J. Banaszkiewicz (in Polish) The Party Systems of Modern Capitalism, and published (in Polish) his own The Society We Live In and Outline of Sociology. Questions and Concepts

15.10.1964 Khrushchev ousted as Party Leader

1964-1968 Zygmunt Bauman Professor of General Sociology at Warsaw University. In 1964 he published (in Polish) Outline of the Marxist Theory of Society and Sociology for Everyday Life

1965 Zygmunt Bauman published (in Polish) Visions of a Human World: Studies on the social genesis and the function of sociology

1966 Zygmunt Bauman published (in Polish) Culture and Society, Preliminaries



10.11.1982 Brezhnev died and was succeeded by Andropov

2.2.1984 Andropov died and was succeeded by Chernenko

10.3.1985 Chernenko died and was succeeded by Gorbachev

1985/1986 Glasnost and perestroika

1986 GESIS - German Social Science Infrastructure Services established. One of its databases is The Knowledge Base Social Sciences in Eastern Europe (not stated when established). This includes reviews of the history of social sciences in different eastern european countries. (See text archive)


1995 Conference organised by the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at The Johns Hopkins University on the reconstruction of German culture after 1945. Papers published 1996 as Revisiting Zero-Hour 1945 - The Emergence of Postwar German Culture (pdf) edited by Stephen Brockmann and Frank Trommler

M. Gourevitch, (1995) "Les Annales Médico-Psychologiques sous Pétain". Perspectives Psychiatriques, 46, 27-31 (see above)

July/August 1999 irren-offensive deutchsland. A tour of sites connected with the Nazi extermination of psychiatric patients. Includes a list of institutions from which victims are believed to have come.

"In August 1999, the World Psychiatric Association held its international congress in Hamburg, the first to have been held in Germany. It provided an opportunity, bravely taken, to report on, and mount an exhibition of, the abuses of psychiatry during the Nazi rule between 1933 and 1945" (J.L.T. Birley, The British Journal of Psychiatry 2002)

Sunday 24.11,2002 Zanzibar: Mental health case study BBC Live


5.4.2003 Madeleine Bunting Guardian "Passion and Pessimism" - A profile of Zygmunt and and Janina Bauman, including interview material.

home page to all
of Andrew
Roberts' web site home page for
mental health

African asylums in 1900

Austria 1784 on

Egypt and Mesopotamia



European middle ages


17th Century

18th Century

Guggenmoos and Guggenbühl

Germany: Early 19th century

Germany Academic

1925: Hitler's Mein Kampf and Zygmunt Bauman

Germany 1945 and after

For a large part of the world's population, the Mediterranean is culturally and physically the centre of the earth. A vast land mass north of the Himalayas through Europe the Middle East and Africa is the conceptual space on which I am modelling this web page - with the Americas on another page and the ancient civilisations and modern colonies east, where the sunrises for me, on another. Here in Hackney I am the sunrise or sunset of people with other earthcores. Greetings friends

Everything has to start somewhere - So I have begun this page with extracts from Ackernecht's (1959) Short History of Psychiatry

mad English

dol Dutch

fou French

mad people English

Irren German (plural of irre/irrer

mad house English

Irrenhaus German

"Dolhuis is een ander woord voor gekkenhuis" (Dutch)

mental patients English


Psychiatrische Krankenhäuser German

psychiatric hospital English

hôpital psychiatrique French