Chapter One, Building the Palace
• Matteo Ricci was born in Macerata in 1552, joined the Jesuits in 1571, and traveled to China in 1596 to convert Chinese to Christianity.
• Ricci used mnemonic devices to teach the Chinese and helped them construct a Memory Palace in their minds.
• By 1592, he knew the Chinese language and was living in Nanching.
• He prepared the sons of Governor Lu for their examinations using mnemonic devices.
• Mnemonic devices can be traced back to the Greeks, who used them to learn poetry.
• Although the Chinese were impressed with Ricci's memory abilities, mnemonic devices were common learning tools for the Jesuits.
• Ricci wrote a book and recalled four images he used to help the Chinese understand the life of Christ.
• Although the technique had been criticized throughout history as part of superstition, Thomas Aquinas, Ludolfus of Saxony and Ignatius of Loyola believed it had value in teaching people...
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