Excellent little article on a simple mnemonic technique. As many of you know this is a subject which has fascinated and interested me for decades. So I’m gonna recreate my response to the article here:
I first became familiar with ancient and Medieval mnemonic techniques after reading the book, The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci, which still has a favorite place in my personal library. I highly recommend the book. I was in college at the time. After that I spent about ten years researching ancient and Medieval mnemonic techniques.
After that I built a memory palace in my own mind, and eventually that led me to build a Memory City in my own mind called Agapolis. Complete with maps and buildings and parks and so forth. I might have already mentioned Agapolis here, I think I might have. The design I adapted from the City of Constantinople (New Rome).
Eventually after reading some of the works of Archimedes (on mind-laboratories) I turned Agapolis into a real city (still just in my mind) with laboratories, churches, temples, stadiums, banks, hospitals, parks, places I can live, study, write, etc. This kind of city I am sometimes tempted to call a Civis Imaginaria, but I still have yet to develop a term I’m really satisfied with.
Now if I’m sick I visit the hospital in Agapolis to help with my illness or injury. If I want to write I go to one of my writing retreats in Agapolis and write in my head if I can’t on my computer, and thereby store the story or poem or song there for later retrieval. I do that a lot while working outside, then retrieve the whatever it is later on from my head.
If I’m working on a scientific project or a math problem or an invention I go to the Museus (originally Greek museums, such as in Alexandria) were not artifact storehouses, but invention laboratories) in Agapolis and work the project there.
If I want to work on a business project then I go to one of the offices there.
If I want to talk or hang out with God I go to one of the churches or temples or to the countryside outside of the city.
Yes, I still use the buildings and objects and people (I populate the city with famous people from history as well as fictional characters I’d like to hang out with or talk to) as memory storage and retrieval tools but I also use all of those things for much wider applications as well.
I recommend it.
Memorizing Historical Dates Using a Memory Palace
In the memory forum, Cole linked to a fascinating illustration of a memory palace for memorizing historical dates.
I’ve re-posted the illustration here:
I found a short description here:
The “Temple of Time” is a three-dimensional projection of historical chronography. In the temple, the vertical columns represent centuries, with those on the right showing names of important figures from the Old World while those on the left show figures from the New World. The floor shows a historical stream chart. The ceiling functions as a chart of biography.
The “Temple of Time,” created in 1846 by the pioneering American girls’ educator Emma Willard, draws on the tradition of Renaissance “memory theaters,” mnemonic devices that allowed people to memorize information by imagining it as architectural details in a three-dimensional mental space.
Here is the link to the Mnemonics article: http://blog.mnemotechnics.org/memorizing-historical-dates-using-a-memory-palace-1916.html
Here is the link to the Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci: http://www.amazon.com/The-Memory-Palace-Matteo-Ricci/dp/0140080988
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