“The Art of Memory”

Memory-seals

The Art of Memory or Ars Memoriae (“art of memory” in Latin) is a general term used to designate a loosely associated group of mnemonic principles and techniques used to organize memory impressions, improve recall, and assist in the combination and ‘invention’ of ideas. An alternative and frequently used term is “Ars Memorativa” which is also often translated as “art of memory” although its more literal meaning is “Memorative Art”. It is sometimes referred to as mnemotechnics. It is an ‘art’ in the Aristotelian sense, which is to say a method or set of prescriptions that adds order and discipline to the pragmatic, natural activities of human beings. It has existed as a recognized group of principles and techniques since at least as early as the middle of the first millennium BCE, and was usually associated with training inrhetoric or logic, but variants of the art were employed in other contexts, particularly the religious and the magical.

The pictures above are graphical memory devices from the works of Giordano Bruno.
From Frances A. Yeates’ 1966 “The Art of Memory,” quoted in Wikipedia; read the rest here.

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