A physical treatise of cherishing natural memory


This volvelle, with its three concentric circles of nine categories, is one of several memory devices or machines from an early sixteenth-century edition of Ramon Lull’s Ars breuis … Raymundi Lull … In cuius castigatione attẽdat lector … Magister Bernardus de Lavinheta … insudarit. [Colophon: Impressum Lugduni : per magistrum Stephanu[?] Baland, Anno Domini. 1514. Die xv. mẽsis Decembris]. Beinecke call number: K8 L97 d51


John Willis (d. 1628) advocated the memory theatre, in which ideas were to be stored visually, as scenes created in great and conscious detail. Willis’s memory theatre is shown here in this English translation of his Mnemonica, or, The art of memory : drained out of the pure fountains of art & nature : digested into three books : also a physical treatise of cherishing natural memory : diligently collected out of divers learned mens writings. London : L. Sowersby, 1661. Beinecke call number: Krf3 618wg.

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