Pliny the Elder wrote about memory feats in his work, The Natural History. Here are a few things he had to say circa 77-79 C.E.: Read more
Have you ever heard that the phrases “in the first place, in the second place…” may have originated with the method of loci? Does anyone know where this idea originates? I’ve heard this bit of information repeated many times, but have never researched its origin until now. Is it true? Read more
While I was going through some old photos today, I found a video from Simonides’ hometown. It is just a quick, casual video clip, but I thought that readers might be interested in seeing it. Read more
This is the history behind the development of the major system over the past few hundred years. I’ve also provided downloads of the original memory systems which are in the public domain. If you see a mistake below or have more information, please leave a comment. Also, visit the wiki page that is linked to at the bottom of this post.
While searching for new memory books to read, I came across a few interesting books on mnemotechnics through Google Books that are in the public domain. I haven’t read them yet, but here they are in PDF format. You may need to apply memory techniques just to remember the titles. To download them, right-click on the links and choose “save link as…” Read more
Here is a fascinating webpage about Giordano Bruno’s memory system.
Frances Yates reconstructed Bruno’s mnemonic wheel based on his book De Umbris Idearum. De Umbris Idearum can be downloaded here. Unfortunately, I’ve only seen it available in Latin so haven’t been able to read it.
Legend says that Simonides of Ceos was the inventor of the method of loci where large amounts of data can be remembered in order by placing images that represent the data into mental locations or journeys.
I was in the Greek Islands last summer and tried to visit his birthplace on Kea, but due to a Greek holiday I couldn’t find a ferry from Athens. I’m planning on visiting Kea next summer to make a memory journey in his hometown of Ioulis.