Herennium, Ad
[To Herennius]

Latin treatise on rhetoric, written in the first century BC, and attributed to Cicero; the most important source of information on the classical art of artificial memory:

The essential thing to note about its addressee, Herrennius, is that he was one of the most barbaric men in Ancient Rome. He helped Cicero in his suppression of the Catiline revolt, and was rumoured to have taken the unprecedented step of using torture on citizens (and – especially – their wives and children) as well as the more common freedmen and slaves.

There is then, perhaps, a kind of rebuke coded into the text of this otherwise dry rhetorical manual: notable, above all, in the constant references to the cruelly distorted (and therefore especially memorable) nature of the images[*] to be employed in each of the memory loci of the system.

Would it be fair to say that memory begins with pain?

[G. de Souza, Masters of Memory, p. 296]

Memory begins with pain

[*] See >Zodiac.

No comments: