Jacques de Saint Victor invites us on an unusual journey down the Appian Way, the mythical road through which Roman legionaries, Hannibal's elephants, Spartak's slaves, and Caesar's chariots travelled. Apart from hating the walks and liking to emphasize this in a humorous way, the author is one of the best known experts on Italy. In his old Fiat, Saint Victor drives us through the inner part of Italy. Far away from tourist attractions and activities, we dive into the heart of the myths, at the crossroads of the great ancient cities and the violence of today's mafia. Following the Appian Way, the oldest western road that unites Christianity and paganism, antiquity and the Middle Ages, the West and the East, we return to the cradle of civilization and public life. Philosophy, democracy, tragedy and comedy, God and law - did not it all originate from this public road?
Jacques de Saint Victor is an enthusiastic scholar who has made this geographical crossing a heuristic journey, a return to time and a small treatise on intellectual liberalism, which does not lack a lively debate with his wife. Naturally, Michela, the irresistible Italian of Apulia, is a leftist feminist deputy and professor of moral philosophy, while her historian husband swears only by Montesquieu and Tocqueville. Still on a plane between Rome and Paris, she gives lectures to one couple while he develops "a worrying case of touristic regression" by sinking in the meandering of the Appia. But is not it necessary to also redescover a little of that lost time of childhood, of this original state of equilibrium?
Jacques Maury Saint Victor, born in 1963, is a French historian of rights and political ideas, a university professor, but also a literary critic. In 2013 he won the French Academy Award for the essay "Invisible Power. Mafia and Democratic Society"(Gallimard).
- ISBN: 978-953-8075-43-8
- Dimensions: 136x210 mm
- Number of pages: 260
- Cover: paperback
- Year of the edition: 2018
- Original title: Via Appia. Voyage sur la plus ancienne route dʼ Italie
- Original language: French
- Translation: Jelena Butković