It is certainly the case that paintings are encoded with all kinds of memory prompts. But how do you see this stemming from Simonides?

In my research, one of the earliest uses of location-based mnemonics is in Buddhist meditation rituals, also in proto-yoga. They would use parts of the temple to recall parts of certain meditations, not dissimilar to the stations of the cross, but with eyes closed.

The Judeo-Christian tradition also has all kinds of literary and visual topology and we’ve always been good as readers with visualizing literary landscapes. It’s kind of amazing that early cinema took so long to catch up with the geographical basics of the novel.

Don’t get me wrong: I love the Simonides story, but it’s overemphasized as the origin of using location to assist memory.

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