Daily Archives: April 10, 2012

My ὑπομνήματα about religion

So what exactly is a ὑπομνήματα? That is, “hypomNEmata”? (the stressed “e” is like the one in beta) The prefix, “hypo-” should be well known (hypothermia, hypodermic [needle], hypothetical, etc.), and the rest of the word, mnemata, should also look familiar. It’s where we get the word “mnemonic” from, meaning that mnemata has something to do with memory.

Justin Martyr, when he speaks of “Memoirs of the Apostles”, actually writes ἀπομνημόνευμα τῶν ἀποστόλων::apomnemoneuma ton aposolon. The “apo” prefix in this case denotes that it is “from” memory, in this case it means something akin to published memoirs.

So it’s my interpretation that ὑπομνήματα is memory aids (the -ατα ending is plural, like the difference between stigma [mark] and stigmata [marks]), sort of like unpublished notes. That’s exactly why many of the ancients refered to their notes and such with a word that has a relationship with memory, since writing was “new” back when people like Plato started associating writing things down with memory and memory aids.

So this blog functions as my “notes about religion”, to help me remember cool or interesting things that I come across that have some relevance to religion.

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Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

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