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The Old Norse Kenning As A Mnemonic Figure

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Chapter Summary

Old Norse skaldic poetry is an interesting genre within Old Norse literature when it comes to the study of memory. In this chapter, the author focuses on an aspect of this poetry that indeed could have helped it to prevail under oral circumstances no less than its advanced form. The chapter sheds light on the Old Norse kenning as a mnemonic figure by referring to two distinct traditions on memory and imagery. In the Roman memoria tradition the artificial memory, or the systematically trained memory, is either said to be engaged in memorizing texts verbally that is word by word or one is to memorize some basic things in a text. One might suspect that many of the mnemonic techniques of old have been gradually lost in accordance with a process cognitive psychologists have termed as the "externalization of memory&t;.

Keywords: cognitive psychology; mnemonic techniques; Old Norse Kenning; Roman memoria tradition; skaldic poetry



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