Guide of the origins of mythical Paris.


A guided walk in the footsteps of the great founding myths of Paris.



     This is an unusual sort of guide. It gives us a little journey into the far distant past, without too much walking. Anybody who really knows Paris can even do the walk without having to quit his armchair!


     Thus, we are informed about the beginnings of Paris there where nothing, or almost nothing remains on the very places where these principal civilizing myths originated.

Nothing remains? In fact there’s something, but not much. A few remnants which can furnish a basis for our imagination. Besides some churches built on the ruins of pagan temples which they conceal, as well as pieces of Philippe Augustus`s wall clearly visible or else buried in some crypt or in underground parking areas –there still remain certain street names and certain memories preserved also in folklore.


     This guide then aims only at relating for all those blessed ( ?cursed) with insatiable curiosity the mythical/historical origins of a city of Paris known only to specialists and those initiated.


     Our historical account moves from the north to the south because, as time went by, a sacred site to the north of the “Civitas Parisiorum” might fall into the territory of the profane, whilst another, further south, became sanctified. These holy places are often found to be the site of a mythic civiliser’s life, so that, as it is unlikely that two civilizing pagan individuals existed at the same moment, the substitution in space and time can be assumed by common sense.


     We shall try to give life to this fictitious guide who accompanies our wanderer. He attempts to bring to life the existence, the beliefs and the spirituality of the time we are observing, and in order to do so he follows the chronological path, placing the geographic and historic markers which are necessary for that period. Nevertheless, he sometimes has to take his wanderer back further into the past if it is essential for the person’s understanding. Myths are enduring...He makes us find this out!


     What is most difficult for our guide is to help his customer to ignore the city’s pace and the traffic ! – in fact everything that characterises Parisian life in this 21st century.


     The biggest problem is how to suggest, not only persuasively but with precision, what once existed but is there no longer. Photography was not yet discovered of course but certain illustrations, approximative alas, do help the imagination to reconstruct the past more accurately. The descriptions are helped by footnotes on each page.


     It is also hard to decide how much history it is necessary to include, for the sequence of events tempts the guide to relate more and more.... Where should one stop? How can one cease describing all that went on around the mount Sainte Geneviève, which was the heart of Paris for so many centuries?

Hence the great problem is to have a sense of proportion regarding the details. Le premier fascicule est consacré à la zone éminemment sacrée des origines parisiennes : la colline nord de Montmartre et la première colline sud, la Montagne Sainte Geneviève qui protègent, l’une et l’autre, la Civitas parisiorum.


The first guide is dedicated to the supremely sacred part of Parisian origins, namely the hill north of Montmartre, and the first hill to the right, that is to say the “Montagne Sainte Geneviève”, both of which protect the “Civitas Parisiorum”.


The second guide is concerned with the area further south.


A 60 page manuscript looking for a publisher.