Thursday, 3 June 2010

The Art of Memory/ Ad Herennium

The artificial memory is established from places and images (Constat igitur artificiosa memoria ex locis et imaginibus), the definition to be forever repeated down the ages. A locus is a place easily grasped by the memory, such as a house, an intercolumnar space, a corner, an arch, or the like. Images are forms, marks or simulacra (formae, notae, simulacra) of what we wish to remember. For instance if we wish to recall the genus of a horse, of a lion, of an eagle, we must place their images on definite loci.

The art of memory is like an inner writing. Those who know the letters of the alphabet can write down what is dictated to them and read out what they have written. Likewise those who have learned mnemonics can set in places what they have heard and deliver it from memory. 'For the places are very much like wax tablets or papyrus, the images like the letters, the arrangement and disposition of the images like the script, and the delivery is like the reading.'


Igitur said...

xtina said...

moonwalking with einstein

xtina said...

xtina said...

Each location in a sequence - an island, a reef, or a whale - is a cue for an
item of information, a myth or a spell or part of one. Each sequence contains
some homogeneous set of items, a set of myths or spells, or a complete ver-
sion of one. This type of device is not unique to Puluwat, but is well known
from the classical literature on rhetoric as the method of loci or the artificial memory described in Cicero's De oratoria, in the Ad Herennium, and in Quintilian's Institutio oratoria, and also used and discussed in later European learning (Yates 1966). The method consists of using a set of locations - for example, places in a building - and associating with each place an image of the item to be remembered. Items are recalled by mentally traveling from
place to place and observing each item stored there. Cicero and later scholars believed the method to be effective, and experimental results show it to be dramatically so, improving recall from two to seven times compared to usual methods (Bower 1970a,b). (One may easily verify this by informal

Structural models in anthropology p.35