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Cicero Method: Memorizing Large Amounts of Information

What’s Cicero method?

Association method works well for a relatively small number of objects. If you need to remember a text of several thousand characters association method becomes ineffective. If you want to memorize a long text, it is more convenient to use the method of Cicero or, as it’s sometimes called method of places, roads method, matrix method, system of a Roman room, method loci.

Regardless of the name, the essence of the method remains the same: to create a coherent system or a matrix of images. Each cell of the matrix or part of the system contains an image. The key words (numbers, words) from the piece of text you want to memorize are then associated with each image in the system/ matrix.

The matrix of images may contain a rather large number of images - 100 or even more and, consequently, the amount of information that you can memorize using Cicero method is significantly higher than what you can possibly remember with the help of association method.

The method is named after Cicero, the Roman orator, who used the method to memorize his long speeches.

Creating a matrix

First you need to create a system or a matrix of images. It’s better to use some easy and familiar images to avoid problems with their memorization. There are various ways of creating a matrix.

Option one: as the base of for your images matrix use the objects from your room: a chair, wardrobe, window, lamp and so on. To avoid confusion, and not to mention the objects two times as well as not to miss anything, it is better to pick the images systematically: for example, clockwise . After all the objects in your room are already in the matrix, proceed to the next room. Once you’re done with your apartment, use the objects from the office you work in, or the apartments of your friends and relatives. Tony Buzan, the inventor of mind mapping, offers in his “Super memory” book to use an imaginary room. Imagine an empty room and decorate it to your liking. Since this room exists only in your imagination - you can use as many objects as you wish without restraining yourself. When you are finished with one room, start another one.

Option Two: use the road you walk or drive every day. To create the matrix, use the individual objects along the way (tree, bench, shop, shop, etc.) to create a sufficiently large system of images.

Option Three: Alternatively, use any familiar situation, which can be divided into separate images, for example, your daily routine starting from the very morning.

After you have created a system of images, train in using it. Visualize the images one by one from the first to the last object, and then in the opposite order. This will allow you to speed up the evoking of mental images.

Cicero method: memorizing

The system is created and easily visualized? Now you can start to fill it up as storage. Here’s the main principle of memorizing a text using a matrix of images. Try to isolate the key images from the information you want to memorize and then associate them with the images in the matrix.

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