Giordano Bruno

Controversial Italian Renaissance philosopher and memory expert. Fortunately, the controversy is over his place in philosophy, theology, heresy, occultism, and science; his contributions to memory techniques were pretty solid, but overlooked in most modern memory books. For details on his life, see for example this Wikipedia article:

Bruno's basic memory system is based on using astrological and hermetic imagery to create visual places, basically the RomanRoom system organized in a logical fashion (inspired by RamonLlull.) The combination of these two ideas alone is an achievement, but Bruno also insisted that it's easier to remember dynamic images than static images, so he used actors (also created using astrological imagery) performing vivid actions in these memory locations.