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Ancient memory tricks

The ancient Greeks and Romans were very skilled at using memory. As very few of them could read or write, lawyers and politicians had to speak for hours without notes. The Roman lawyer Cicero recommended breaking a long text into bits. Then he would visualise a familiar place - a house, for example - and put different bits of the text in different rooms. To recall it again, he would just walk through the imaginary house, room by room.

Public speakers may develop special techniques to remember their scripts.
Public speakers may develop special techniques to remember their scripts.
Corbis

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