The book has been written by a Latin Language and Literature’s professor of Udine University and it’s introduced by the sparkling preface of Marc Fumaroli, a French academic. It has the merit of illustrating a vision of world (the Christian one) and exalting values (the classical ones) which nowaday constitute nearly a taboo. In fact, they are too often considered to be old, useless or even harmful and, anyhow, certainly wrong, fictitious, absurd. The author sifts the truth of these accusations in a way that is scientific and comprehensible at the same time, thanks to the presence of foot notes that don’t disturb the non specialistic reading.
At the beginning of the technical treatise De Architectura of Vitruvius we can read a very interesting ethnographical excursus and we can pick out Posidonius of Apamea as main source (see De arch. VI 1, 1-10 = FgrHist.87 FF. 120-122), with a clear cross-reference to the qualitative polarity derived from aristothelical thought, that followed Hippocrathes, courage-stupidity / cowardice-sharp mind, enclosed in climatic limits north and south.
Aristotheles dealt with the features of blood in relation with the animal psychology and Posidonius was the first scholar to connect the structure of the human body with the environment conditions, in which he lives, like Hippocrates has already said. Vitruvius uses Greek thought and in particular the posidonian theory of thymos, original part of northern people and site of instincts and emotions. Finally Vitruvius shows to know deeply the Greek debate about ethnographical topics and he is able to propose it to the Roman readers.
Questo intervento si compone di due parti: una relativa al concetto di “classico”, alla sua funzione e alla sua utilità nei curricula formativi; un’altra incentrata sul tipo di rapporto possibile tra l’“antico”, concepito come categoria storiografica inglobante la classicità, e il “moderno”, inteso in senso ampio, comprensivo della contemporaneità.
The humanistic conception, summarized by the classical words paideia and humanitas, is exploited by the theological nucleus of Christian faith, as we find it in the New Testament and in the works of the Fathers of the Church. For this reason, today the schools of Christianity display the peculiar characteristic to give a crucial relevance to the role of classical studies in the process of education. Not by chance, in the last years, a violent anti-humanistic propaganda begins to fight against both the classics and the Christianity.