Wax Tablets of the Mind

Wax Tablets of the Mind : Cognitive Studies of Memory and Literacy in Classical Antiquity

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In this volume, the author argues that literacy is a complex combination of various skills, not just the ability to read and write: the technology of writing, the encoding and decoding of text symbols, the interpretation of meaning, the retrieval and display systems which organize how meaning is stored and memory. The book explores the relationship between literacy, orality and memory in classical antiquity, not only from the point of view of antiquity, but also from that of modern cognitive psychology. It examines the contemporary as well as the ancient debate about how the writing tools we possess interact and affect the product, why they should do so and how the tasks required of memory change and develop with literacy's increasing output and evoking technologies.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 396 pages
  • 172.72 x 238.76 x 38.1mm | 680.39g
  • Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New.
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0415149835
  • 9780415149839

Review quote

'The author of this informative and lively study deserves our gratitude for presenting to us clearly the way in which literacy, memory, and technology work together in a culture.' - James W. Halporn, Indiana/Harvard University 'This book is loaded with sophisticated bibliography, charmingly written in an engaging style free of jargon, and punctuated by humour. Every Classicist should read it.' - The Journal of Roman Studies 'This is a fascinating book.' - Journal for the Study of the Old Testamentshow more

Table of contents

Preface. Introduction. Part 1. Logistics of the Classical Literate 1. Memory for Words 2. Ancient Books 3. "Publication" 4. The Organization of Collections 5. Retrieval: Documents and Texts 6. The Cognitive Development of the Muses Part 2: The Historical Development of Ancient Memory Techniques 7. The Greek Methods 8. The Roman Contribution 9. Other Advice for Improving Memory Part 3: Writing Habits of the Literate 10. Tools of the Trade 11. Research Techniques 12. Composing the Work 13. Types of Works or Genres 14. Indirect Applications of the Art of Memory Conclusion. Select Bibliography and Abbreviations. Index Locorum. Index.show more