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Memory, Meditation And Preaching: A Fifteenth-Century Memory Machine In Central Europe (The Text Nota Hanc Figuram Composuerunt Doctores . . . / Pro Aliquali Intelligentia . . .)

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Chapter Summary

In 1491, Crux de Telcz, or by his Czech name, Oldřich Křiž of Telč, copied an interesting drawing in the St. Dorothea monastery in Vienna to a manuscript leaf, or perhaps to the wall of the monastery. The note written next to the figure in the manuscript invites the reader to take a look at this strange composition, because it will exert a certain effect on him or her. This chapter discusses what this effect might have been, and how the image can function for us, as well. By the second half of the fifteenth century, rich theoretical literature emerged that covered various facets of memory retrieval processes. Both the provenance of the manuscripts (mostly from monasteries of Carthusians, Augustinian regular canons, Cistercians, Benedictines) and the character of these self-perfecting activities (meditation, preaching) bear witness to the monastic origins of the treatise and the images.

Keywords: Crux de Telcz; fifteenth century; manuscripts; meditation; memory retrieval processes; preaching



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