Ancient Greece is the most influential civilizations in the world. They created everything what we do today.
Language, typography, philosophy, architecture, history, science, geography to astronomy, art, beauty and much more. Greeks invented so many things most people don’t even know.
- The musical notation system that we use everywhere in the world
- The science of philosophy
- Development of Mathematics
- First alphabet with vowels
- Science of Anthropology
- Coined money
- The Olympic games
Romans copied everything from the Greeks. The Romans were deeply enamoured with Greek culture they regarded Greece as the mother of all knowledge, they adopted their architecture, philosophies even the rich aristocrats hired Greek teachers for their kids.
I would say the most impressive invention of the ancient Greeks are their memory system, called MNEMONICS. Mnemonics is the study of techniques for ways to remember information more easily. Mnemonic comes from Greek mnemonikos, which means “pertaining to memory,” which is also from mnemon, which means “remembering or mindful” and from memne, which means “memory or record.” This word is based on mnasthai, “to remember,” which comes from men-, which means “to think.”
Today, studies have shown that using mnemonic devices in studying is significantly beneficial, because it allows the memory to store “less” active information, thereby allowing the person to memorize (or remember) more at the same time. This expansion of short term memory enhances the creation of long term memories.
Mnemonics use imagination in conjunction with all of the individuals senses (sight, sound, touch, smell), in order to transform a dull, dry piece of text into a firm and vibrant memory that is not just easy to remember, but difficult to forget!
Sometimes it is difficult to remember things—whether formulas, orders, lists, combinations, dates etc., mnemonic devices help the brain remember things by creating a more memorable analogy of the knowledge that needs to be remembered. Here are five of the best mnemonic devices:
Pictures: When in doubt, release your inner third-grader and draw a picture to represent what you are trying to remember. Try to make your picture as silly as possible, because it is easier to remember the ridiculous. For example, if you wanted to remember what the Eighteenth Amendment established (prohibition), you could draw a picture of a giant number 18 using a gavel to crush a bottle. The number 18 represents the amendment number, the gavel represents the law, and the bottle represents alcohol.
Connections: Drawing connections between what you need to remember and a way to remember it are always helpful. Whether it is a play on words or a phonetic similarity, creating a connection with something outside of your situation creates an anomaly—something you can remember. For example, in order to remember the direction of the x-axis on a graph, you could say, “a cross [x] goes across [horizontally].”
Interesting Note-Taking: Add sarcastic comments or fun facts when taking notes. Later, when trying to retrieve the information from your notes, you will remember the interesting things you wrote along with your notes to remember each point better. For example, if writing down lecture notes from history class, you could write, “Napoleon had an army of 100,000 men and conquered most of Europe as well as Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and more (and he was only 5’0”—short people for the win!).” On the history test, when trying to remember what Napoleon accomplished in his lifetime, you would remember your comment about his height, and then you would recollect where you had written it.
Acronyms: To remember the order of a sequence, you could create a mnemonic that pertains to the first letter of every item on the list. For example, remembering the order of operations becomes easier when you recall that Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division, Addition and Subtraction have the same first initials as Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally. Acronyms don’t only pertain to order, though. You can also remember a list of things by similarly taking the first initial of each word and creating an acronym out of it. For example, you could use the acronym HOMES to remember all of the Great Lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior). Though the lakes do not have a specific order, acronyms can still be used to remember them.
Rhymes and Songs: Who doesn’t love annoying tunes and jingles? Let’s face it, despite the fact that this mnemonic device is the most likely to annoy you, things can be very easily remembered if given a rhythm or tune. If someone asked you when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, you would probably blurt out, “1492!” without a second thought. Rhymes and rhythms helped you to memorize that fact.
This is but a tip of the iceberg if you want to learn something about mnemonics.
Mnemonics techniques outlined in this site gain their power by making use of the way that our minds absorb information. For memories to be formed the following events must occur:
- Observation. For an event to be committed to memory, it must first be observed. This might seem self-evident to you, but you must understand that seeing is entirely different from observing.
- Association. All memory is based upon association. To remember one piece of information, we invariably associate it with another already committed memory. This is usually done without our conscious awareness.
- Visualisation. Strong memories are memories that are visual in nature. A quotation that you read is not as easily recalled as an event that you witness. Text is dry, but images are vibrant. Mnemonics gain much of there strength from transforming the dull and mundane, into the visual.
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