The Abbey Memory System

Woodcut explicating the abbey memory system of the Dominican Johann Horst von Romberch in his Congestorium artificiose memorie (Venice: Melchiorre Sessa, 1533). In this cut are “sets of objects to be memorized in the courtyard, library, and chapel of the abbey. Each fifth place is marked with a hand and each tenth place with a cross, in accordance with the instructions given in [the popular rhetorical textbook] Ad Herennium for distinguishing the fifth and tenth places. Obviously there is an association here with the five fingers. As Memory moved along the places, these were ticked off on the fingers.”–F.A. Yates, The Art of Memory (London: Pimlico, 1992), p. 116.

Call Number: GC5 H7958 520c 1533

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