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Re: orion 1 (H)enoch 108: Cont'd Discussion

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>   >although it would stretch credibility a little
>   >to imagine that a person or group of persons could possibly
>   >"memorise" the whole of I Henoch and pass it down without the help
>   >of a written text.
>Why not? It could be another explanation for the obvious "patchwork"
>you describe. Aquinas, for example, certainly didn't write from note cards,
>he wrote from memory - through the use of "memory joggers." Although no
>longer a standard part of the educational curriculum, catchwords are still
>one of the most common mnemonic devices in use today by people who bother
>to train their memory.


>Dr. Rochelle I. Altman, co-coordinator IOUDAIOS-L  risa@hol.gr

Dr. Altman is absolutely right. I think, even in the modern Ethiopia there
are relatively many people who "memorise" the whole 1 Enoch. At least, there
are here (relatively) many people who "memorise" both Old and New
Testaments, and in Eth. Bible, the 1Enoch is a part of the former.
Traditional Ethiopian training presupposes a "memorisation" of some or even
all Biblical books in Geez together with the commentaries in Amharic (the
latter are very rare in the written form; since 1960s or 1970s they are
collected by the audio-recording). Moreover, one can "memorise" some other
books. The training process starts in childhood and ends (normally) after
30. Mental diseases during the time of education are not too rare.

In the Christian monastic literature there are some data about the
memorialisation of large texts. I believe, this early monastic practice has
something to do with earlier forms of ascetical life, including
pre-Christian ones.

Basil Lourie

For private reply, e-mail to "Basil Lourie" <byzros@infopro.spb.su>
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