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If you are talking about skewing the text so that the verticals of the characters remain vertical, that is Type>TypeOnAPath>Skew. (Was only added, as I recall, around AI10--many years behind other apps.)
Actually was looking to type text on a path, and then italicize it as it sits on the new path....
I kind of muddled my way through it by skewing the text on it's own, creating curves of it, and then individually placing and rotating each letter onto the path.
Why not save yourself all that trouble and use an italics font?
The font is Lithos Bold... I did not have (nor do I know if it's available as) an italic version.
First thing that came to my mind also...but needed this particular font.
Shear might work, but I've never done that with text on more than one line or on a path.
With shear, though, you're not really italicizing the text; you're really just slanting the text object itself.
Other options may include outlining the text once you have it in place, making it a compound path/object and shearing or using the free transform tool. Even if that does work (and I'm not placing any money that it does), it's a LOT of work to get it right.
Default back to Harron: if you absolutely need this font to be italicized, pray to everything sacred there's an italicized version and buy it.
>Shear might work...
Not for type on a path.
I do not think there is a Lithos Bold Italic font.
Then he's in for a lot of manual work or some fancy talking.
Good luck, dude!