Category Archives: Ancient Religons

‘This is the work of Memory. When you are about to die…’

Welcome to workofmemory, another blog dedicated to ancient philosophy, classics, and intellectual history. You’ll also find discussions of higher education in the UK and USA. The title of the blog comes from the first line of a so-called ‘Orphic’ gold lamella from Hipponion that dates to the end of the 5th-Century BCE. It can be found in the Museo Archeologico Statale Vito Capalbi in Vibo Valentia, Calabria, Italy. The tablet was found in a tomb and preserves instructions for what an initiate into the Orphic-Bacchic community should do after death in order to find his or her way to the road that the bacchants and initiates take in their endless pomp. The ‘work of memory’ is the project of personal and communal recollection; for Plato, it leads us back to our origins, beyond the starry-stuff, to the basic principles that are the Forms. For us, the ‘work of memory’ is the intellectual project of composition and erasure, hypothesis and correction, that digital media makes possible.

The 'Orphic' Gold Tablet from Hipponion

Μναμοσύνας τόδε ἔργον, ἐπεὶ ἂν μέλλεισι θανεῖσθαι…

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