The Art of Memory: Selected Works, Volume 3
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Publish Year note: First published in 1966 by University Of Chicago Press and by Taylor & Francis in 1999
A revolutionary book about mnemonic techniques, and their relation to the history of philosophy, science, and literature.
The ancient Greeks, to whom a trained memory was of vital importance—as it was to everyone before the invention of printing—created an elaborate memory system, based on a technique of impressing "places" and "images" on the mind. Inherited and recorded by the Romans, this art of memory passed into the European tradition, to be revived, in occult form, at the Renaissance, and particularly by the strange and remarkable genius, Giordano Bruno. Such is the main theme of Frances Yates's unique and distinctive book, in the course of which she sheds light on such diverse subjects as Dante's Divine Comedy, the form of the Shakespearian theater, and the history of ancient architecture. Aside from its intrinsic fascination, this book is an invaluable contribution to aesthetics and psychology, and to the history of philosophy, of science, and of literature.
Germany called the ‘Giordanisti’,42 suggesting that this might have something to do with the Rosicrucians, the mysterious brotherhood of the Rosy Cross announced by manifestos in the early seventeenth century in Germany, about which so little is known that some scholars argue that it never existed. Whether or not there is any connection between the rumoured Rosicrucians and the origins of Freemasonry, first heard of as an institution in England in 1646 when Elias Ashmole was made a mason, is
Theodore de Bry is stated on the title-pages of Tomus Primus to be responsible for the engravings (‘aere Johan-Theodori de Bry’), but this is not stated on the title-pages of Tomus Secundus. The engraved title-page of De Naturae Simia (1618) is signed ‘M. Merian sculp.’. Matthieu Merian was John Theodore de Bry's son-in-law and a member of the firm. 5 Robert Fludd, ‘Declaratio brevis Serenessimo et Potentissimo Principe ac Domine Jacobo Magnae Britanniae . . . Regi’, British Museum, MS. Royal 12
such columns or posts can be seen on the stage in the De Witt drawing supporting such a covering. Only the inner part of the stage was protected in this way; the outer stage, as can be seen in the De Witt drawing, was uncovered. It is known that the underside of this covering was painted to represent the heavens. In the Adams reconstruction of the Globe the ceiling of the inner stage cover is shown as painted with the signs of the zodiac, with some other vaguely arranged stars within the circle
Renaissance. Admired by Ariosto and Tasso, its architectural form was related to the neoclassical architecture out of which was soon to develop a significant ‘real’ theatre, the Teatro Olimpico. Fludd's Theatre memory system arises within a philosophy which is very closely derivative from the earlier Renaissance tradition. And it uses the type of theatre which had housed the supreme achievement of a very late Renaissance. When we meditate as best we can on this comparison, it begins to seem after
to the fourth grade belonging to the interior man, the most noble of God's creatures which He made in his own image and similitude.’34 Why then does this grade have as the leading image to be depicted on all its gates the Gorgon Sisters, the three sisters described by Hesiod35 who had only one eye between them? Because Camillo adopts from Cabalist sources the view that man has three souls. Therefore the image of the three sisters with one eye may be used for the fourth grade which contains