Rules For Places

Loci are compared in Ad Herrenium to wax tablets. They can be used again and again, even though the images inscribed on them are regularly wiped off. As befits someone from the twentieth century, I have always described my journeys as blank video tapes, which can be similarly wiped clean and used again.

The Greeks had a number of interesting rules for loci. The following are taken from Ad Herrenium'.

Loci should be deserted or solitary places. Crowds of people tend to weaken impressions and distract from the key image. (Guildford is always a ghost town when I use it as a route.)

The students arc urged to give each 5th locus a distinguishing mark: they should include a gold hand (five fingers) in the scene, for example. On the 10th locus, they should imagine a personal acquaintance called Decimus. (I have always made the 6th, or 11 th, or half-way stage stand out in my mind.)

Loci should not be too similar: too many intercolumnar spaces are not recommended, as they might lead to confusion. (I always make sure that my stages are different from each other.)

The intervals between loci should be a particular length: 30 feet.

The loci should be not too large, or too small, too brightly lit, or too dark.

Imaginary places can be used as well as real. It is also good to mix both together: give your house an extra floor, etc.

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