Photo of writing

The History of Graphology

120 A.D. - The writer Suetonius created the first graphological personality analysis; subject-the emperor of the Roman Empire-Octavius Augustus

11th century - Kuo Jo-hsu, a Chinese philosopher alleged that handwriting would reveal whether a letter was written by a nobleman or peasant

1622 – Camillo Baldi, a professor at the University of Bologna, published the first known detailed work on handwriting analysis that has since been accepted as the origin of modern graphology.

17th century - Gottfried Leibnitz, the German philosopher, raised the issue that handwriting might reveal character

1792 - J. Grohman of Wittenburg-wrote a treatise on handwriting

1871 - Abbe, Jean-Hippolyte Michon, a Frenchman, coined the term “graphology.”

21st century - advances in techniques of handwriting analysis in North America and Europe; the Internet has further expanded the potential for development; many-web-based forums are helping to bring graphologists from around the world together to discuss material and techniques

Historical Summary

The belief that handwriting is a sign of the inner personality is very old. The first serious attempt to analyze handwriting seems to have been that of Camillo Baldi, an Italian scholar, who published a book on the subject in 1622. As literacy spread, handwriting analysis became popular, being practiced as an art form by such literary figures as Goethe, Poe, the Brownings and Dickens. Jean Hippolyte Michon coined the term "graphology" in 1875. Michon systematized handwriting analysis by associating hundreds of graphic signs with specific personality traits.

Around the turn of the century, the French psychologist Alfred Binet performed several experiments with handwriting analysis as a device for testing personality. Binet claimed that handwriting experts could distinguish successful from unsuccessful persons with high accuracy.