Rhetorical memoria in Commentary and Practice

Author: Carruthers, Mary
Title: Rhetorical memoria in Commentary and Practice
Review/Collection: in: Cox, V. & Ward, J. O. (Ed.), The Rhetoric of Cicero in its Medieval and Early Renaissance Commentary Tradition (Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition, 2)
Place edition: Leiden & Boston
Editor: Brill
Year edition: 2006
Pages: 209–237
Keywords: Héritage - Fortuna - Legacy, Rhétorique - Retorica - Rhetorics
Description: Memoria has had an important but tangential relationship to the pedagogy of rhetoric since antiquity. While it was universally acknowledged that a well-filled and well-crafted memory was essential to an orator’s success, memoria was never considered, either in practice or theory, to belong exclusively in the domain of rhetoric, nor, as an aspect of rhetoric, was it copiously commented upon in antiquity. Indeed throughout its history, rhetorical memoria remained notably under-theorized, especially in comparison to invention and style. (…)  But the written hand-books of classical rhetoric deal with memoria in an entirely practical manner, envisaging it as, in the main, a matter for the orator, who must both stock his mind richly with knowledge in readiness for all occasions and remember the scope and disposition of his planned speech well enough to be able to speak to an audience in a mode that at least gave the appearance (and often the fact) of ex tempore composition [Author].
Link: http://www.brill.nl/rhetoric-cicero-its-medieval-and-early-renaissance-commentary-tradition
Author initials: Carruthers 2006