Figure Name anamnesis
Source Silva Rhetoricae (; Smith, ("anamesis" "recordatio" "remembrance"), 249; JG Smith (1665) ("anamne[...]is"); Peacham (1593); Macbeth (1876); De Mille (1882); Bullinger (1898) ("anamnesis; or, recalling")
Earliest Source None
Synonyms recollectio, recordatio, remembrance, recollection, recalling
Etymology Gk. ana “again” and mimneeskein “to put in mind”
Type Chroma
Linguistic Domain Semantic

1. Calling to memory past matters. More specifically, citing a past author from memory. (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. Remembrance: a figure whereby we call to mind matters past, &c.; Anamne[*]sis, Recordatio, Remembrance, or a calling to minde: derived from [anamnaomai] recordor, to remember or call to minde. Anamnesis is a figure whereby the speaker calling to minde matters past, whether of sorrow, joy, &c. doth make recital of them for his own advantage, or for the benefit of those that hear him: (JG Smith)

3. Anamnesis in Latine Recordatio is a forme of speech by which the Speaker calling to remembrance matters past, doth make recitall of them Sometime matters of sorrow. (Peacham)

4. Anamnesis - that is, Recollection, is merely one special form of Correction; the sudden calling to mind of some particular that was overlooked- in reality, not in appearance. (Macbeth)

Reference is made to the past so as to bring up old associations, and thus give greater effect by a contrast, stated or implied, with the present. (De Mille)

6. An Expression of Feeling by Way of Recalling to Mind... This figure is used when the course of the direct statement is changed, to recall something to mind; and the matter, instead of being stated as a fact, as it might have been, is mentioned by way of calling it to memory. (Bullinger, 897)


1. Was it not Socrates who said the unexamined life is not worth living? (Silva Rhetoricae)

3. An example of sacred Scripture: “By the rivers of Babel wee sate and wept there, when we remembred Sion.” Psal.137.1. (Peacham)

3. Another of the prodigall sonne: “Then he came to himselfe and said, how many servants at my fathers house, have bread inough, and I die for hunger, I will rise and goe to my father, & c.” Luke.15.17 (Peacham)

3. Sometime with joy: “As Jacob did in his returne from Laban his wives father, saying: With my staffe came I over this Jordan, and now I have two droves.” Gen.32.10. (Peacham)

3. Another of David saying, “I will remember the works of the Lord, and call to mind thy wonders of old time.” Psal.77. (Peacham)

3. Another of Salomons Proverbes: “Now have I hated instruction & my heart despised correction, & have not obeied ye voice of them that taught me, nor inclined mine eare to them, ye instructed me? I was almost brought into al evill, in the middest of the congregation & assembly.” Prou.5.12. (Peacham)

2. The Prodigal son, when he came to himself, said, How many hired servants of my fathers house, have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger? I will arise and go to my father, &c. (Luke 15.17. qtd in JG Smith)

4. "Hitherto in this discourse I did not sufficiently bear in mind one momentous consideration peculiar to or subject- it flashes me now. When I address yo about Abraham or Moses - he of whom I speak in absent; when I adventure to speak of God- he of whom I speak is present, to see with what heart I speak of Him." (Macbeth)

5. "You who have lived during the period from 1915 to 1822 may remember that this country was never in a more uneasy position. The sufferings of the working-classes were beyond description; and the difficulties and struggles and bankruptcies of the middle-classes were such as few persons have a just idea of." -JOHN BRIGHT. (De Mille)

6. Rom. 9:3 is an interesting example; which has been already referred to under Epitrechon and Hyperbole.
We should note that the verb is in the imperfect tense (eeuchomeen), and has the sense of "I used to wish." And it may refer to his former condition as a Jew, and to his old hatred of the very name of Christ. (Bullinger, 898)

Kind Of Repetition
Part Of
Related Figures figures of ethos, epicrisis, chreia, memory, figures of exclamation, epanorthosis
Notes It's a type of Repetition because you're repeating something from shared cultural knowledge. From Sylva: "Anamnesis helps to establish ethos, since it conveys the idea that the speaker is knowledgeable of the received wisdom from the past."
Confidence Unconfident
Last Editor Ioanna Malton
Confidence Unconfident
Editorial Notes
Reviewed No