Abbot of the Benedictine abbey of Bec-Hellouin, in Normandy (1078), later archbishop of Canterbury (1093), Anselmo d’Aosta, doctor of the Church, is counted among the greatest philosophers of the Middle Ages. In his works – among which Monologion, Proslogion, Cur Deus homo? – among other things he expounded the rational proofs of the existence of God, supporting the reconciliation of faith with the principles of logic and dialectics. As primate of England he fought the corruption of the clergy and the invasion of secular power, finding himself in conflict with King William the Red and his successor Henry II, who exiled him.
Laurent Cerise (1807-1869)
Graduated in medicine from the University of Turin, he specialized in Paris where he acquired international fame for his studies on psychology and nervous diseases. He chaired the “Société médico-psychologique” and founded the journal “Annales médico-psychologiques”, supporting political-philosophical positions based on a Catholicism open to scientific and social progress.
Innocent Manzetti (1826-1877)
Talented inventor – he created, among other things, a flutist automaton, a steam car, a powerful hydraulic cement and a water purifier – he conceived in 1844 the “talking telegraph”, the first prototype of the telephone; not having patented it, however, he was later overtaken by Meucci and Bell, authors of similar devices.
Jean-Antoine Carrel (1829-1890)
A mountain guide from Valtournenche, he was the first to climb the south face of the Matterhorn, reaching the summit on 17 July 1865, three days after the world premiere, from the north face, of his friend-rival Edward Whymper. He was also noted in mountaineering feats in the Andes (with Whymper) and in Africa.
Federico Chabod (1901-1960)
Historian, professor at the Universities of Perugia, Milan and Rome, director of the Italian Institute of Historical Studies and president of the Comité International des Sciences Historiques. He conducted research on modern and contemporary history, concerning the particular way of the Italian Renaissance, the formation of modern states and the foreign policy of the Kingdom of Italy. In the immediate post-war period he devoted himself briefly to active politics and became president of the first Council of the Aosta Valley (1945-1946)
Natalino Sapegno (1901-1990)
Literature historian, lecturer at the Universities of Palermo and Rome, known for his publications on medieval Italian literature and particularly on Dante Alighieri.
Alessandro Passerin d’Entrèves et Courmayeur (1902-1985)
Philosopher of law and historian of political doctrines, lecturer at the Universities of Turin and Oxford. His studies in political and juridical philosophy are well known, which focus in particular on natural law and the doctrine of the State.
Emile Chanoux (1906-1944)
At a very young age he took part in the anti-fascist, regionalist and federalist movement “Jeune Vallée d’Aoste”, later becoming the recognized leader of the Aosta Valley Resistance. Captured by the fascists, he was tortured and locked up in the cell where he died. In his writings – in particular Federalism and autonomies – starting from his own deep Christian convictions, he supports the validity of the Swiss federalist model, to reorganize Italy and Europe politically after the horrors of the dictatorship.