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The Medieval Craft of Memory: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures

  • Paperback
In antiquity and the Middle Ages, memory was a craft, and certain actions and tools were thought to be necessary for its creation and recollection. Until now, however, many of the most important visual and textual sources on the topic have remained untranslated or otherwise difficult to consult. Mary Carruthers and Jan M. Ziolkowski bring together the texts and visual images from the twelfth through the fifteenth centuries that are central to an understanding of memory and memory technique. These sources are now made available for a wider audience of students of medieval and early modern history and culture and readers with an interest in memory, mnemonics, and the synergy of text and image.The art of memory was most importantly associated in the Middle Ages with composition, and those who practiced the craft used it to make new prayers, sermons, pictures, and music. The mixing of visual and verbal media was commonplace throughout medieval cultures: pictures contained visual puns, words were often verbal paintings, and both were used equally as tools for making thoughts. The ability to create pictures in one's own mind was essential to medieval cognitive technique and imagination, and the intensely pictorial and affective qualities of medieval art and literature were generative, creative devices in themselves.
The Medieval Craft of Memory: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures
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In antiquity and the Middle Ages, memory was a craft, and certain actions and tools were thought to be necessary for its creation and recollection. Until now, however, many of the most important visual and textual sources on the topic have remained untranslated or otherwise difficult to consult. Mary Carruthers and Jan M. Ziolkowski bring together the texts and visual images from the twelfth through the fifteenth centuries that are central to an understanding of memory and memory technique. These sources are now made available for a wider audience of students of medieval and early modern history and culture and readers with an interest in memory, mnemonics, and the synergy of text and image.
The art of memory was most importantly associated in the Middle Ages with composition, and those who practiced the craft used it to make new prayers, sermons, pictures, and music. The mixing of visual and verbal media was commonplace throughout medieval cultures: pictures contained visual puns, words were often verbal paintings, and both were used equally as tools for making thoughts. The ability to create pictures in one's own mind was essential to medieval cognitive technique and imagination, and the intensely pictorial and affective qualities of medieval art and literature were generative, creative devices in themselves.
Mary Carruthers is Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Literature and Dean for the Humanities at New York University. She is author of The Book of Memory: A Study of Memory in Medieval Culture and The Craft of Thought: Rhetoric, Meditation, and the Making of Images, 400-1200. Jan M. Ziolkowski is Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Medieval Latin at Harvard University and editor of Obscenity: Social Control and Artistic Creation in the European Middle Ages.
General Introduction Selection 1. Hugh of St. Victor, The Three Best Memory Aids for Learning History Selection 2. Hugh of St. Victor, A Little Book About Constructing Noah's Ark Selection 3. The Guidonian Hand Selection 4. [Alan of Lille], On the Six Wings of the Seraph Selection 5. Boncompagno da Signa, On Memory Selection 6. Albertus Magnus, Commentary on Aristotle, On Memory and Recollection Selection 7. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Aristotle, On Memory and Recollection Selection 8. Francesc Eiximenis, On Two Kinds of Order That Aid Understanding and Memory Selection 9. Thomas Bradwardine, On Acquiring a Trained Memory Selection 10. John of Metz, The Tower of Wisdom Selection 11. Jacobus Publicius, The Art of Memory Selection 12. Anonymous, A Method for Recollecting the Gospels Appendix. Two texts on Rhetorical Memoria from Late Antiquity Consultus Fortunatianus, On Memory C. Julius Victor, On Memory General Bibliography List of Contributors Index Acknowledgments
"The extraordinary reception that Mary Carruthers's The Book of Memory has received, as well as that of other recent studies of learned memory, amply justifies an anthology of high medieval memory texts. That Carruthers would coedit the volume with Jan Ziolkowski, one of our major medieval Latinists, is particularly felicitous. The result is a volume that will interest a wide spectrum of readers."-Patrick Geary, University of California, Los Angeles
Short Title
MEDIEVAL CRAFT OF MEMORY
Pages
320
Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Language
English
ISBN-10
0812218817
ISBN-13
9780812218817
Media
Book
Format
Paperback
DEWEY
153.1
Illustrations
Yes
Year
2004
Publication Date
2004-01-31
Series
Material Texts
Author
Mary Carruthers
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