Medieval Culture and the Memory Arts

  • Theodore K. Lerud
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


Although Frances Yates, Mary Carruthers, and others have written eloquently on the significance of memory and mnemotechnic in medieval culture, themselves exemplars, in the range of their work, of the field they address, it nonetheless behoves us to begin with a short survey of some classical and medieval texts that strike the key notes of our study of the drama. Cicero and Quintilian in the Roman period, as well as the unknown author of the Rhetoric ad Herennium, whose treatise circulated widely in the Middle Ages, lay out the key concepts for our study, which can be traced into the medieval period up to the time of the drama in the work of, among others, the classicizing friar Thomas Bradwardine.


Roman Period Orderly Arrangement Unknown Author Medieval Text Natural Memory 
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  1. 28.
    L.D. Reynolds and N.G. Wilson, Scribes and Scholars: A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature, 3rd edn. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991), p. 98.Google Scholar

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© Theodore K. Lerud 2008

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  • Theodore K. Lerud

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