Giulio Camillo and his memory’s theatre

[Added July 1996]
Giulio Camillo in XVI century thought that he could build a physical
place, a majestic building full of allegorical sculptures and paintings
where he would capture all human knowledge. This was the
theatre of memory. The owner could have access to the whole knowledge
by simply visiting this place. It was like a museum but it was also a kind
of magic place:a machine to acquire instant wisdom. Camillo was well
known in its times:he got also some financing from the king of France for
his idea. At least one painting is known from Titian as being prepared
for this theatre. Camillo’s idea was to use the ancient method of loci in
a new way:instead of building through mental visualization an imaginary palace
where to store knowledge,
he made plans for a real building with the only purpose to serve as
support of knowledge.To understand how he got this idea you have to consider that he lived before the birth of modern science but after the printing
revolution was making the knowledge of the ancients available to everyone.
The basic idea of Camillo and other contemporary people was that
a memory system by reflecting the macrocosm in the human microcosm had
magic effects.The whole story can be read in a wonderful book by
Yates called The art of memory