I am memorizing some lines from Vergil’s Aeneid for a Latin class. I had to do this a couple of semesters ago for a Greek class for which I memorized lines from Sophocles’ Antigone. When I set out to memorize lines like this, regardless of the language, I do something that I think might be a little odd. I’ll explain using the first ten lines of the Aeneid. They are:
Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris
Italiam, fato profugus, Laviniaque venit
litora, multum ille et terris jactatus et alto
vi superum, saevae memorem Junonis ob iram
multa quoque et bello passus, dum conderet urbem
inferretque deos Latio, genus unde Latinum
albanique patres, atque altae moenia Romae.
Musa, mihi causas memora, quo numine laeso
quidve dolens regina deum tot volvere casus
insignem pietate virum, tot adire labores
impulerit. Tantaene animis caelestibus irae?
I’ve highlighted the first letter of each sentence because the first thing I do is isolate these. Thus we have A I L V M I A M Q I I. I then write the letters down the margin of a page and I come up with a sentence for this. The more I can provide a back story in my mind about the sentence, the easier it will stick. So, I came up with a scene in my head of a woman leaving her husband for another man. She says to him, “Alfred, I Love Victor. My Intentions Are Many. Quiet! I’m Irked.”
I memorize this sentence and it helps me memorize the order of the letters, which helps me to remember the first word in each line of the poem. Then I just write the first letters down the margin and fill in the poem as best I can over and over and over until I absolutely have it.
Does anyone else do anything weird like this?