Super-Memory of Famous People

Great Commanders had phenomenal memory. Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great knew all their soldiers by sight (about 25000 people). Napoleon read a book on Roman Civil Law as a lieutenant. Twenty years later he quoted from it. He also knew many of his soldiers by sight and remembered their character, faults, and achievements.

Socrates knew all 19000 Athenians. Seneca could repeat 2000 random words.

A great portrait of Lincoln belongs to an unknown artist. A devoted admirer from New Jersey once met the president and drew this portrait from memory in order to express his condolences after Lincoln’s murder.

Beethoven wrote beautiful music even though he was deaf and Mozart was able to record a long and difficult music piece he had heard only once.

Academician A. Ioffe remembered the whole logarithmical table and chess player A. Aliohin was able to keep in mind up to 30-40 simultaneous blindfold chess games.

A. Pushkin’s brother, Lev Pushkin, saved the 5th chapter of Eugene Onegin due to his phenomenal memory. A. Pushkin had lost it on his way and wrote his brother about the misfortune. Soon he received the full text of the missing chapter, even though Lev had only heard and read it once.