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  1. Jun 2021
    1. Seth Long takes a closer look at the number of memory treatises from 1550-1650 to come up with a more concrete reason for the disappearance of mnemonic imagery (and the method of loci) in English rhetoric and pedagogic traditions. Some writers have attributed it to the rise of more writing and publishing. Long extends Frances Yates' idea of its decline to the rise of Ramism by presenting some general data about the number and quality of memory treatises published during the time period in question. Comparison of this data with European continental publications helps to draw some more concrete conclusions.

      In particular, he highlights an example of a Ramist sympathizer re-writing a previous treatise and specifically removing the rhetorical imagery from the piece.

    2. in the early1600s, the encyclopedist Johann Heinrich Alsted, a Calvinist, published treatises on both Ramus and Giordano Bruno, whosemnemonic system utilized zodiac imagery. To my knowledge, there is no English equivalent of a scholar who found value inboth Ramus and Bruno.

      It would be interesting to note other authors who found value in both Ramus and Bruno.

    3. perhaps the best example of iconoclasm’s influence on early modern English rhetoric isCharles Butler’sOratoriae Libri Duo. Originally published in 1597 as a commentary on Ramus’sandTalon’s work, it was supplemented by Butler with original material and published under its new title in1621 (see Hultzen for commentary and translation).
    4. Regarding theinfluence of iconoclasm, the inaugural moment can be set circa 1536–1541, during Henry VIII’sdissolution of the monasteries.

      Long places the influence of iconoclasm in the destruction of the method of loci at the time period of Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries around 1536-1541.