We need a term for superfluous smart phone trivia Googling. After all, with the vast archive of factoids on the interwebs who needs to remember anything anymore? But what do we miss by externalizing all of our memories into an electronic form. What about those bards of the past who could recite thousands of lines of poetry, or the Greek rhetoricians who could speak for hours at a time without notes? Thankfully the basics of the lost art of memory can be mastered in an evening. Step one.

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If you find a mistake though, please let me know! Four departments of rhetoric are left us to consider. Three are treated in the present Book: Arrangement, 2 Delivery, 3 and Memory. In those in which an extraneous motive gives rise to the deliberation, it is this motive which will have to be emphasized or depreciated.

Advantage in political deliberation has two aspects: Security 15 and Honour. Subheads under Security are Might and Craft, which we shall consider either separately or conjointly.

Might is determined by armies, fleets, arms, engines of war, recruiting of man power, and the like. Justice is equity, giving to each thing what it is entitled to in proportion to its worth. We shall be using the topics of Justice if we say that we ought to pity innocent persons and suppliants; if we show that it is proper to repay the well-deserving with gratitude; if we explain that we ought to punish the guilty; if we urge that faith ought zealously to be kept; if we say that the laws and customs 24 of the state ought especially to be preserved; if we contend that alliances and friendships should scrupulously be honoured; if we make it clear that the duty imposed by nature toward parents, gods, and fatherland must be religiously observed; if we maintain that ties of hospitality, clientage, kinship, and relationship by marriage must inviolably be cherished; if we show that neither reward nor favour nor peril nor animosity ought to lead us astray from the right path; if we say that in all cases a principle of dealing alike with all should be established.

With these and like topics of Justice we shall demonstrate that an action of which we are sponsors in Assembly or council is just, and by their contraries we shall demonstrate that an action is unjust. As a result we shall be provided with the same commonplaces for both persuasion and dissuasion. Again, from an honourable act no peril or toil, however great, should divert us; death ought to be preferred to disgrace; no pain should force an abandonment of duty; no man's enmity should be feared in defence of truth; for country, for parents, guest-friends, intimates, and for the things justice commands us to respect, it behoves us to brave any peril and endure any toil.

We shall be using the topics of Temperance if we censure the inordinate desire for office, money, or the like; if we restrict each thing to its definite natural bounds; if we show how much is enough in each case, advise against going too far, and set the due limit to every matter. To be sure, no one will propose the abandonment of virtue, but let the speaker say that the affair is not of such a sort that we can put any extraordinary virtue to the test; or that the virtue consists rather of qualities contrary to those here evinced.

Indeed we should pursue the right not alone for the sake of praise; but if praise accrues, the desire to strive after the right is doubled. When, therefore, a thing is shown to be right, we shall show that it is also praiseworthy, whether in the opinion of qualified persons if, for example, something should please a more honourable class of men, and be disapproved by a lower class , or of certain allies, or all our fellow citizens, or foreign nations, or our descendants.

The Introduction may be made by means of the Direct Opening or of the Subtle Approach, or by the same means as in a judicial cause. If there happens to be a Statement of Facts, the same method will properly be followed in the narrative. If, now, we say that our aim is Security, we shall use its subdivisions, Might and Strategy. If we say that our counsel aims at the Right, and all four categories of Right apply, we shall use them all.

If these categories do not all apply, we shall in speaking set forth as many as do. We shall use Proof and Refutation when we establish in our favour the topics explained above, and refute the contrary topics. As a general rule we employ virtually the same Conclusions in these as in judicial causes, except that here especially it is useful to present examples from the past in the greatest possible number. Physical Attributes 40 are merits or defect bestowed upon the body by nature: agility, 41 strength, 42 beauty, 43 health, 44 and their contraries.

Qualities of Character 45 rest upon our judgement and thought: wisdom, justice, courage, temperance, and their contraries. The Introduction 46 is drawn from our own person, or the person we are discussing, or the person of our hearers, or from the subject-matter itself.

When we draw our Introduction from the person being discussed: if we speak in praise, we shall say that we fear our inability to match his deeds with words; 48 all men ought to proclaim his virtues; his very deeds transcend the eloquence of all eulogists. The sentiments opposite to these are drawn upon, if we censure. But it will first be necessary to set forth his virtues or faults of character, and then to explain how, such being his character, he has used the advantages or disadvantages, physical or external circumstances.

In censure: if he is of illustrious descent, he has been a disgrace to his forebears; if of low descent, he is none the less a dishonour even to these. Education — in praise: that he was well and honourably trained in worthy studies throughout his boyhood. In censure:. In censure, if the subject has this physical advantages, we shall declare that he has abused what, like the meanest gladiator, he has had by chance and nature.

If he lacks them, we shall say that to his own fault and want of self-control is his lack of every physical advantage, beauty apart, attributable. What kinds of power has he wielded?

What have been his titles to fame? What his friendships? Or what his private feuds, and what act of bravery has he performed in conducting these feuds? With what motive has he entered into feuds?

What character of man has he been in wealth, or in poverty? What has been his attitude in the exercise of his prerogatives?

If he is dead, what sort of death did he die, 50 and what sort of consequences followed upon it? Thus, if we speak in praise, we shall say that one act was just, another courageous, another temperate, and another wise; if we speak in censure, we shall declare that one was unjust, another intemperate, another cowardly, and another stupid. From this arrangement it is now no doubt clear how we are to treat the three categories of praise and censure — with the added proviso that we need not use all three for praise or for censure, because often not all of them even apply, and often, too, when they do, the application is so slight that it is unnecessary to refer to them.

We shall therefore need to choose those categories which seem to provide the greatest force. Our Conclusions will be brief, in the form of a Summary at the end of the discourse; in the discourse itself we shall by means of commonplaces frequently insert brief amplifications.

Nor should this kind of cause 51 be the less strongly recommended just because it presents itself only seldom in life. Indeed when a task may present itself, be it only occasionally, the ability to perform it as skilfully as possible must seem desirable. Therefore let us believe that this kind of cause also must claim some measure of our industry.

The kinds of Arrangement are two: one arising from the principles of rhetoric, the other accommodated to particular circumstances. But there is also another Arrangement, which, when we must depart from the order imposed by the rules of the art, is accommodated to circumstance in accordance with the speaker's judgement; 56 for example, if we should begin our speech with the Statement of Facts, or with some very strong argument, or the reading of some documents; or if straightway after the Introduction we should use the Proof and then the Statement of Facts; or if we should make some other change of this kind in the order.

But none of these changes ought to be made except when our cause demands them. For if the ears of the audience seem to have been deafened and their attention wearied by the wordiness of our adversaries, we can advantageously omit the Introduction, 57 and begin the speech with either the Statement of Facts or some strong argument.

Then, if it is advantageous — for it is not always necessary — one may recur to the idea intended for the Introduction. If the Statement of Facts is not quite plausible, we shall begin with some strong argument.

It is often necessary to employ such changes and transpositions when the cause itself obliges us to modify with art the Arrangement prescribed by the rules of the art. This arrangement of topics in speaking, like the arraying of soldiers in battle, can readily bring victory. Delivery, then, includes Voice Quality and Physical Movement. Vocal volume is primarily the gift of nature; cultivation 64 augments it somewhat, but chiefly conserves it. Vocal flexibility — the ability in speaking to vary the intonations of the voice at pleasure — is primarily achieved by declamatory exercise.

For the windpipe is injured if filled with a violent outburst of sound before it has been soothed by soft intonations.

And it is appropriate to use rather long pauses — the voice is refreshed by respiration and the windpipe is rested by silence. We should also relax from continual use of the full voice and pass to the tone of conversation; for, as the result of changes, no one kind of tone is spent, and we are complete in the entire range.

Again, we ought to avoid piercing exclamations, for a shock that wounds the windpipe is produced by shouting which is excessively sharp and shrill, 67 and the brilliance of the voice is altogether used up by one outburst.

How often must we be duly thankful to nature, as here! Indeed what we declare to be beneficial for conserving the voice applies also to agreeableness of delivery, and, as a result, what benefits our voice likewise finds favour in the hearer's taste. Pauses strengthen the voice. They also render the thoughts more clear-cut by separating them, and leave the hearer time to think.

Relaxation from a continuous full tone conserves the voice, and the variety gives extreme pleasure to the hearer too, since now the conversational tone holds the attention and now the full voice rouses it. Sharp exclamation injures the voice and likewise jars the hearer, for it has about it something ignoble, suited rather to feminine outcry than to manly dignity in speaking.

At the end of the speech a sustained flow is beneficial to the voice. And does not this, too, most vigorously stir the hearer at the Conclusion of the entire discourse? Since, then, the same means serve stability of the voice and agreeableness of delivery, my present discussion will have dealt with both at once, offering as it does the observations that have seemed appropriate on stability, and the related observations on agreeableness.

The Tone of Conversation is relaxed, 71 and is closest to daily speech. The Tone of Debate is energetic, and is suited to both proof and refutation. The Dignified, or Serious, Tone of Conversation is marked by some degree of impressiveness and by vocal restraint. The Explicative in a calm voice explains how something could or could not have been brought to pass.

The Narrative sets forth events that have occurred or might have occurred. The Sustained is full-voiced and accelerated delivery. The Broken Tone of Debate is punctuated repeatedly with short, intermittent pauses, and is vociferated sharply. The Pathetic, by amplifying misfortunes, wins the hearer over to pity. Our delivery will be somewhat rapid when we narrate what we wish to show was done vigorously, and it will be slower when we narrate something else done in leisurely fashion.

Then, corresponding to the content of the words, we shall modify the delivery in all the kinds of tone, now to sharpness, now to kindness, or now to sadness, and now to gaiety. Now it seems best to discuss Physical Movement. It seems, then, that the rules regulating bodily movement ought to correspond to the several divisions of tone comprising voice.

This, nevertheless, one must remember: good delivery ensures that what the orator is saying seems to come from his heart. There are, then, two kinds of memory: one natural, and the other the product of art.

The natural memory is that memory which is imbedded in our minds, born simultaneously with thought. The artificial memory is that memory which is strengthened by a kind of training and system of discipline.

But just as in everything else the merit of natural excellence often rivals acquired learning, and art, in its turn, reinforces and develops the natural advantages, 83 so does it happen in this instance. Thus the natural memory must be strengthened by discipline so as to become exceptional, and, on the other hand, this memory provided by discipline requires natural ability.

It is neither more nor less true in this instance than in the other arts that science strives by the aid of innate ability, and nature by the aid of the rules of art. The training here offered will therefore also be useful to those who by nature have a good memory, as you will yourself soon come to understand.

An image is, as it were, a figure, mark, or portrait of the object we wish to remember; for example, if we wish to recall a horse, a lion, or an eagle, we must place its image in a definite background. Likewise, those who have learned mnemonics can set in backgrounds what they have heard, and from these backgrounds deliver it by memory. For the backgrounds are very much like wax tablets 85 or papyrus, the images like letters, the arrangement and disposition of the images like the script, and the delivery is like the reading.

We should therefore, if we desire to memorize a large number of items, equip ourselves with a large number of backgrounds, so that in these we may set a large number of images.

So with respect to the backgrounds. If these have been arranged in order, the result will be that, reminded by the images, we can repeat orally what we committed to the backgrounds, proceeding in either direction from any background we please.


Anonymous Rhetorica Ad Herennium

The following excerpt is from the Latin text Ad Herennium. Though written many centuries ago, the information it provides on improving the memory is still as useful today as it was when originally written. I suggest reading it before continuing on to the lessons on improving the memory. Now let me turn to the treasure-house of the ideas supplied by Invention, to the guardian of all the parts of rhetoric, the Memory. The question whether memory has some artificial quality, or comes entirely from nature, we shall have another, more favourable, opportunity to discuss.


Rhetorica Ad Herennium on Memory

Rhetorica ad Herennium 3. Now let me turn to the treasure-house of the ideas supplied by Invention, to the guardian of all the parts of rhetoric, the Memory. Nunc proinde atque constet in hac re multum valere artem et praeceptionem, ita de ea re loquemur. Placet enim nobis esse artificium memoriae; quare placeat, alias ostendemus; in praesentia, cuiusmodi sit ea, aperiemus. The question whether memory has some artificial quality, or comes entirely from nature, we shall have another, more favourable, opportunity to discuss.


Rhetorica ad Herennium

A Thema Rhetorica ad Herennium — Memory Techniques Wiki. In the thirteenth century Dominican and Franciscan writers drew on these basic techniques even as they re-evaluated the ancient mnemonic system of the Rhetorica ad Herennium first century BC. He refers to memory as a gift of nature that can be improved by theory and practice. The definitive treatment in Greek literature, however, is the work of an unknown author previously attributed to Cicero in the classic work Ad Herennium.


ad herennium memory techniques pdf


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