John Amos Comenius

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Portrait of Comenius by George Glover, line engraving, 111x73 mm, mid-17th c.
Born March 28, 1592(1592-03-28)
near Uherské Hradiště, southeastern Moravia (today Czech Republic)
Died November 15, 1670(1670-11-15) (aged 78)
Web Wikipedia, NDK, BSB, HEIDI,, Open Library

John Amos Comenius (Czech: Jan Amos Komenský; Slovak: Ján Amos Komenský; German: Johann Amos Comenius; Polish: Jan Amos Komeński; Hungarian: Comenius Ámos János, in other sources: Hungarian: Comenius-Szeges János; Latinized: Iohannes Amos Comenius) was a 17th-century Czech-speaking Moravian teacher, educator and writer. He served as the last bishop of Unity of the Brethren and became a religious refugee and one of the earliest champions of universal education, a concept eventually set forth in his book Didactica magna.

Comenius introduced pictorial textbooks, written in multiple native languages; promoted teaching methods based on the natural gradual growth from simple to more comprehensive concepts; supported lifelong learning and the development of logical thinking by moving away from dull memorization; presented and supported the idea of equal opportunity for impoverished children; opened doors to education for women. He lived and worked in several countries in Europe, including Sweden, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Transylvania, the Holy Roman Empire, England, the Netherlands and Royal Hungary. His ideas later found resonance among the encyclopaedists and the Enlightenment.

Biographical note[edit]

Excerpted from Jean Piaget, "Jan Amos Comenius (1592-1670)", [1957] 1993.

Born on 28 March 1592 in Moravia, he was left an orphan at an early age, and his guardians gave so little thought to his education that he was 16 before he could begin his Latin studies at the school in Přerov. His position as an orphan deprived of primary education no doubt did more to make him think about the relationship between school and personal work than a normal school upbringing would have done. With other young men belonging to the community of the Moravian Brethren (the famous Protestant sect), he was later sent to the University of Herborn where he studied Protestant theology, attended John Henry Alsted's courses, and became familiar with Wolfgang Ratke's famous memorial on language teaching. He soon began to write a book of the same kind for the Czech public, and also embarked on a Latin-Czech glossary which he continued to perfect over a period of forty years. On his return to Moravia, he became a schoolmaster and later the church pastor at Fulnek; but the insurrection in Bohemia, which marked the beginning of the Thirty Years War, was the start of his misfortunes. He fled from his home, lost his wife and young children, and began to wander from one lordly domain to another, writing works of consolation for his co-religionists and preaching a resigned withdrawal into the inner life of the mind. Expelled from Bohemia, he took refuge at Leszno in Poland, where the Moravian Brethren had a centre and there, at the town's secondary school, resumed teaching. It was then that he developed his ideas on education, basing himself in particular on Francis Bacon and Tomasso Campanella, those 'happy restorers of philosophy'. And it was then, too, that he started to grapple with the great problem of his time, that of method. He wrote his Janua linguarum reserata, which was extremely successful, and his The Great Didactic (originally written in Czech). But in his eyes these works were only stepping-stones to far more important objectives: he aimed at nothing less than a radical reform of human knowledge as well as of education. The Great Didactic itself was full of general ideas, but Comenius wished to unite and systematize them in a universal science or 'pansophy' (a term in fairly current use at that time).

This was the beginning of his international vocation, for such a systematization of knowledge, to his mind, was bound up with the co-ordination of universal currents of ideas. Starting from that moment, all his undertakings were accompanied by efforts at co-operation on a larger or smaller scale.

His first objective was the reconciliation of the Churches. Certain English friends, who were also interested in the movement for conciliation, sought to get him away from Leszno and brought his work to the attention of Louis de Geer, a Swedish philanthropist of Dutch origin; they then published Comenius' pansophic programme, without his knowledge, under the title of Pansophiae prodromus (a book that attracted the attention of Mersenne and of Descartes himself) and in 1641 invited him to London to help bring about an understanding between King and Parliament and to found a circle for pansophic collaboration.

These attempts failed; yet from them Comenius derived fresh ardour with which to pursue his schemes for reforming human society and learning in general. A choice was open to him between an invitation from Richelieu to found a pansophic college in France, and one from Louis de Geer to reform Swedish schools. He chose the second offer, hoping, no doubt, to obtain Swedish political support for the Bohemian refugees. On the way, he met Descartes at Endegeest, and Jungius and Tassius in Hamburg, and found difficulty in realizing that they hardly shared his views on the forming of an international circle for pansophic research. In Sweden he was well received by court society, but his particular Protestant views were viewed with some dubiety by Lutheran public opinion. He settled at Elbing in East Prussia (which was then Swedish territory) and wrote his Methodus linguarum novissima. But this work he regarded as of merely secondary importance, his great problem being, more and more, the reform of human affairs.

After taking part in the Colloquium Charitativum held at Thorn in 1645 with a view to reconciling the Churches, he fell into disgrace with the Swedes (he had foreseen that this would happen but had persisted in his course, which does credit to his character). He also escaped the lures of the Catholic party, which had thought to make use of him, and without having achieved any practical gains, but having acquitted himself with dignity in difficult circumstances, he resumed a scheme for a work on the universal reform of human society by the following means: (a) unification of learning and its spread by an improved school system under the supervision of a kind of international academy; (b) political co-ordination through international institutions aimed at maintaining peace; (c) reconciliation of the Churches in a tolerant form of Christianity. The title of the work, General Consultation on the Reform of Human Affairs, shows that his idea was to submit a programme to those taking part in the great negotiations which had aroused and disappointed so many hopes during the seventeenth century.

Promoted to the rank of Bishop of the Moravians, Comenius returned to Leszno. In 1650, however, he went to Saros Patak in Transylvania in the - again ill-starred - hope of founding a pansophic college. There he wrote the Orbus sensualium pictus, the first illustrated textbook, which met with great success. In 1654 he returned to Leszno, which was razed on 25 April 1656 during the Swedish invasion of Poland. In the disaster, Comenius lost his library and many of his manuscripts, including the Latin-Czech glossary on which he had been working since his youth.

After this new misfortune, he went with his family to stay with Laurenz de Geer (the son of his former patron) in Amsterdam. He refused a teaching post but consented to the publication of his complete didactic works. He still sought to complete his General Consultation, but had not yet been able to do so when he died at Amsterdam in November 1670.


Comenius published works in several areas, writing mainly in Czech, Latin and German.

Theological and philosophical writings

The most important part of his work are theological and philosophical writings. These are in many ways autobiographical or are inspired by the events of his life. The main philosophical work is De rerum humanarum emendatione consultatio catholica. Although he made ​​no purely fictional work, his works possess extraordinary literary value for their refined language (especially philosophical allegory Labyrint světa a ráj srdce).

Pedagogical writings

Another important part of his work are pedagogical writings, which were in many ways ahead of their time. The most successful of them is a didactic Latin textbook and also a kind of encyclopedia, entitled Dvéře jazyků odevřené (Janua linguarum), which was published in many editions and languages ​​already during his lifetime, being also used by Catholics. His major work is however Didactica magna (The Great Didactic), in which he summarized his pedagogical views in the form of treatise. Despite the popularity of some of his works, his proposed teaching methods were not adopted during his lifetime.


Comenius wrote lyrics for spiritual songs, reworked old fraternal songs, translated from the German and Polish. He contributed significantly to the hymn book Kancyonál To jest Kniha Žalmů a Písní Duchowních, published by Krystof Kunrád in Amsterdam in 1659. Some of his most famous songs are Studně nepřevážená, Moudrosti poklad z nebe (from the German song), and Ó Králi věků důstojný.

Other writings

Comenius' correspondence and parts of his diaries were preserved.

Selected works[edit]

Years in brackets represent the dating of manuscripts. The right column contains a selection from modern English editions available online.

  • Linguae Bohemicae thesaurus, hoc est lexicon plenissimum, grammatica accurata, idiotismorum elegantiae et emphases adagiaque [Thesaurus of the Czech language], (1612-56?). (Latin). Never published, a large part of manuscript burnt in Leszno in 1656. [1]
  • Problemata miscellanea [Different Problems], Herbornae Nassaviorum, 1612. (Latin). Dissertation thesis (under Gutberleth). [2]
  • Sylloge quaestionum controversarum, e philosophiae viridario depromptarum, Herbornae Nassaviorum, 1613. (Latin). Dissertation thesis (under Alsted). [3]
  • Pravidla snazší mluvnice — Grammaticae facilioris praecepta, Prague, 1616, (1614–16). (Czech)/(Latin) Lost. [4]
  • O andělích [About Angels], [1615]. (Czech). Lost. [5]
  • Theatrum universitatis rerum, to jest Divadlo světa a všechněch všudy předivných věcí jeho, kteréž na nebi, na zemi, pod zemí, u vodách, v povětří a kdekoli v světě jsou aneb se dějí a díti budou od počátku světa až do skonání jeho, a až na věky věkův [The World Theatre], (1616–18). (Latin). Treatise on the importance of education. Most of it was burnt in Leszno in 1656. First book of the first of four volumes was published by J. V. Novák, 1914. [6]
  • Retuňk proti Antikristu a svodum jeho, kteříž v zarmoucených těchto časích mnohých k zahynutí nešťastně se rozmáhají, a nejedněch od víry odstupování se děje, těm, kdož by duše své retovati a před zahynutím vystřáhnouti dáti chtěli, podaný od jednoho z milovníků Ježíše Krista [Utterance Against the Antichrist and His Temptations], (1617). (Czech) [7]
  • Starožitnosti moravské [About Moravian Antiquities], (1618–21). (Czech). Lost. [8]
  • Genealogicko-historický spis o rodu Žerotínů [Genealogico-Historical Script About the House of Žerotín], (1618–21). (Czech). Lost. [9]
  • Moraviae nova et post omnes priores accuratissima delineatio [Map of Moravia], Amsterdam, (1618–27). (Latin). First detailed map of Moravia. [10]
  • Listové do nebe, V kterýchž Chudí a Bohatí před Kristem žaloby a stížnosti na sebe vespolek ve[zm]ou a rozeznáni býti žádají: spolu i s Odpovědmi oběma stranám danými, až i s odložením vejpovědi, k budoucímu konečnému jenerálnímu, nejspravedlivějšímu Soudu a jasnému rozeznání mezi stranami [Letters to Heaven], Olomouc, 1619. (Czech). Imaginary letters of the poor to Christ, complaining about the rich. Christ is comforting them and chastises the rich, urging all to remain obedient to God's laws. This work is strongly influenced by the ideas of the Unity of Brethren. [11]
  • Manuálník. Aneb Jádro celé Biblí Svaté [Manual or Core of the Whole Saint Bible], Amsterdam, 1658, (1620–23). (Czech) [12]
  • Zpráva a naučení o kazatelství, (1620–21). (Czech) [13]
  • Přemyšlování. O dokonalosti křesťanské [Thinking About Christian Perfection], [Prague], 1622; Tábor: Evang. ref. diaspora jihočeská, 1918, NKP. (Czech) [14]
  • Nedobytedlný Hrad, Jméno Hospodinovo. k němuž: Kdo se koli v svých jakýchkoli souženích a nebezpečenstvích utíká, přichráněn a zachován bývá... [Unconqerable Fortress (is) Name of the God], (1622?). (Czech) [15]
  • Truchlivý, to jest; Smutné a tesklivé, člověka Křesťanského, nad žalostnými, Vlasti a Církve bídami naříkání: V kterémž se jemu nejprve Rozum, potom Víra ozývají, potěšovati ho, ale nadarmo, usilujíce; Za tím tedy Kristus vystoupě, zůřivě jej z netrpělivosti obviňuje, místné strašlivých svých ran příčiny ukazuje, bolesti jemu ulehčuje, časné i věčné vysvobození zaslibuje, i jakby se k obojímu hotoviti měl poučuje, díl první [The Mournful, Volume I], (Prague?), 1623. (Czech). Reflections on the split between reason and faith. Written after the death of his first wife and their children. [16]
The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart, 1631/1905, IA.
  • O poezii české [About Czech Poetry], (1623?). (Czech). An effort to revive poetry by reintroduction of chronón taxis, which he used also in his translations of the Psalms. [21]
  • Truchlivého druhý díl. to jest: Rány obnovující a jitřící se v Člověku teskností v čas dlouho trvajících Božích metel a těžkostí: Kdež tělo déle již bíd snášeti se zpěčuje; a tesklení jeho ačkoli Rozům osvícený zahnati všelijak se snažuje, nemůže však; jako ani Víra; až Kristus opět se ozva, dokonalou, jemu ku pozbytí hrůz, a nabytí mysli dobré, cestu ukazuje, [The Mournful, Volume II], Prague?, 1624. (Czech) [22]
  • Pres boží. To jest, Kratičké rozvážení slov Jeremiáše Proroka, Tlačil Pán presem Pannu Dceru Jůdskou: v kterémž se cíle a užitečnosti Trápení a Zámutků při Pobožných vyhledává a považuje [Press of God], (1624?). (Czech) [25]
  • Centrum securitatis To jest, Světlé vymalování, jak v samém jediném Bohu, a pokorném se jemu na všecku jeho vůli oddání a poddání všecka dokonalá přítomného života Bezpečnost, Pokoj, a Blahoslavenství záleží [The Center of Safety], (Leszno, 1632), [1625]. (Latin)/(Czech) [26]
  • Vidění a Zjevení Krystofa Kottera, Souseda a Jircháře Šprotavského, kterýž měl od Léta 1616 až do Léta 1624. Z Německé Řeči do Češtiny přeložené, na tři zvláštní Díly i Kapitoly summovní spořádané a rozdělené, i Pro náležitou důvěrnost ke všem těmto Anjelským Proroctvím skrz Concordanci Písem Starého i Nového Zákona srovnalé a dostatečně vysvětlené [Seeing and Revelation of Kryštof Kotter, Neibourgh of Mine and Tanner from Sprotava], (Leszno?), 1629, (1625). (Czech) [27]
  • Žalmy metrem poetským složené, (1626). (Czech) [28]
  • Didaktika, to jest umění umělého vyučování [Didactic], (1628–32). (Czech) [29]
  • O starých a nových, pravých a nepravých prorocích, 1629. (Czech). Lost. [30]
  • Šest učebnic pro školu národní, (1629-32). (Czech). Not finished and lost. [32]
  • Informatorium školy mateřské, (1630). (Czech). Advice for mothers raising pre-school children. [39]
  • Physicae Ad Lumen Divinum Reformatae Synopsis, Philodidacticorum & Theodidactorum censurae exposita, Leipzig, 1633, (1630-32); Amsterdam: Iansson, 1645, MZK. (Latin) [45]
  • Grammatica Latina novâ methodo ad jucundam facilitatem celeremque praxin ex naturalis didacticae legibus concinnata, Leszno, 1631. (Latin). Latin textbook. [46]
  • Historia o Umučení, Smrti, Pohřbu i Vzkříšení Pána našeho Ježíše Krista ze všech čtyř Evangelistů sebraná a v jistý pořádek uvedená, Leszno, 1631. (Czech) [47]
  • Kurtzer Bericht von der Pestilentz, aus sonderbaren ursachen, da sich dieselbe in der Polnischen Liessaw witterte, von der Böhmischen alldar im exilio verbleibenden gemeine, gestellet, jetzt aber aus gewißen ursachen verdeutschet, [Leszno], (1631). (German) [48]
    • Zpráva kratičká o morním nakažení, z příčin zvláštních v čas přímoří v Lešně Polském od církve České v vyhnanství v témž Lešně zůstávající učiněna, Leszno, 1632, (1631). (Czech) [49]
  • Otázky některé o Jednotě Bratří českých, (1631-32). (Czech) [50]
  • Polnice milostivého léta pro český národ, zvěstující zarmouceným potěchu, lkajícím radost, zajatým vysvobození, rozptýleným shromáždění, (1631-32). Lost. (Czech) [51]
    • Basuyne des ghenaden jaer, trans. Jan Gai, Campen, 1632. (Dutch) [52]
  • Astronomia ad lumen physicum reformanda, 1632. Not published. (Latin) [56]
  • Motus Spontanei, quem Perpetuum vocant decennio vestigati tandemque Dei ope evestigati historica relatio. Cum subjuncta fundamentorum inventi hujus demonstratione Mathematica et de construenda ex illis machina automata consultatione Mechanica, 1642, (1632-42). (Latin) [57]
  • Ratio disciplinae ordinisque ecclesiastici in unitate fratrum Bohemorum, 1632-33. (Latin) [58]
The Great Didactic, 1657/1967, PDF, PDFs.
  • Didactica magna, (1633-1638-1657). (Latin). Treatise about pedagogical methods. First written in Czech in 1627–38. One of the earliest projects of systematisation of education. Comenius proposed to divide education into four stages of six years each: kindergarten (up to 6 years), compulsory education (up to 12 years), Latin school or gymnasium (up to 18 years), and afterwards the studies of liberal arts, languages (German, Italian, French), traveling, or continuing studies at university (theology, medicine, or law).[1] [60] [61]
    • Didaktika veliká, trans. Josef Šmaha, Rychnov n. Kněžnou, 1892, 280 pp, NDK. (Czech)
    • The Great Didactic, trans. M.W. Keatinge, London: Adam and Charles Black, 1896, IA; repr. of Part II: Text, London: Adam and Charles Black, 1907, IA, PDF; 2nd ed. of Part I: Introductions, 1910; 2nd ed. of Part II: Text, 1923; repr. of 1910 & 1923 eds., New York: Russell & Russell, 1967, vii+169+316 pp, PDF, PDFs, PDFs. (English)
    • Didaktika velká, trans. Augustin Krejčí, intro. & notes Jan V. Novák, Prague: Dědictví Komenského, 1905, 378 pp; 3rd ed., rev.trans., intro. & notes Josef Hendrich, Brno: Komenium, 1948, 252 pp. (Czech)
    • Nagy oktatástana, trans. György Geréb, Budapest: Akademiai, 1953. (Hungarian)
    • Veľká didaktika, trans. Miloslav Okál, Bratislava: SPN, 1954; 2nd ed., 1991. (Slovak)
    • La grande didactique, trans. M. E Bosquet-Frigout, D. Saget and B. Jolibert, Paris: Klincksieck, 1992. (French)
  • Písně některé nábožné, potřebně z němecských neb polských pod české rytmy uvedené, a naše některé staré předělané od J. A. C., (1633/1645). (Czech) [62]
  • Conatuum Comenianorum praeludia ex bibliotheca S. H. Oxoniae, excudebat G. Turnerus, [Oxford]: [Hartlib], 1637, (1634-1636); 2nd ed. as "Pansophiae prodromus", in Comenius, Pansophiae prodromus, London: [Hartlib], Jan 1639; repr. as "Pansophiae praeludium", in Comenius, Opera didactica omnia, 1657, pp 403ff. (Latin) First edition printed without his knowledge. The first outline of his pansophic programme; later expanded upon in Via Lucis and General Consultation, never finished and published posthumously. [63]
    • "Pansophiae prodromus", in Comenius, Pansophiae prodromus et Conatuum pansophicorum dilucidatio, Lugdunum [Leiden], 1644. (Latin)
    • Předchůdce vševědy, trans. Fr.J. Zoubek, Prague: Beseda učitelská, 1879. (Czech)
    • "Předchůdce vševědy", trans. Jiří Kyrášek, in Vybrané spisy J.A. Komenského, 5, 1968, pp 239ff. (Czech)
    • "Pansophiae praeludium", in Comenius, Pansophiae praeludium. — Conatuum pansophicorum dilucidatio. — Praefatio ODO II. — Novissima lingvuarum methodus, ed. Julie Nováková, et al., Prague: Academia, 1989. Critical edition based on the last edition authorised by Comenius. (Latin)
    • "Předehra pansofie", in Komenský, Předehra pansofie. Objasnění pansofických pokusů, trans., comm. & intro. Markéta Klosová, Prague: Academia, 2010, pp 29-111, n160-174. (Czech) Trans. based on the 1989 critical edition. [64]
  • Diogenes Cynicus Redivivus. Sive De Comendiose Philosophando. Ad Scholae ludentis exercitia olim accomodatus, nunc autem luci datus, 1658, (1638). (Latin) [73]
    • Diogenes the Cynic Back from the Grave, trans. Michael C. Mittelstadt, New York: Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences in America, 1970, 73 pp. (English)
  • Conatuum pansophicorum dilucidatio, (Leszno), 1638; 2nd ed., in Comenius, Pansophiae prodromus, London: [Hartlib], Jan 1639; repr. as "Conatuum pansophicorum dilucidatio", in Comenius, Opera didactica omnia, 1657, pp 455ff. A defense and expansion of Conatuum Comenianorum praeludia written in response to an attack launched by Hieronym Broniewski. First printed in Dec 1638 or earlier. (Latin) [74]
    • "Conatuum pansophicorum dilucidatio", in Comenius, Pansophiae prodromus et Conatuum pansophicorum dilucidatio, Lugdunum [Leiden], 1644. (Latin)
    • "Pokusů pansofických J. A. Komenského vysvětlení", trans. Jos. Šmaha, Komenský 20 (1892). (Czech) [75]
    • "Objasňování pansofických pokusů (úryvek)", trans. Jaromír Červenka, in Vybrané spisy J.A. Komenského, 8, 1975, pp 37-48. Trans. of excerpt. (Czech)
    • "Conatuum pansophicorum dilucidatio", in Comenius, Pansophiae praeludium. — Conatuum pansophicorum dilucidatio. — Praefatio ODO II. — Novissima lingvuarum methodus, ed. Julie Nováková, et al., Prague: Academia, 1989. Critical edition based on the last edition authorised by Comenius. (Latin)
    • "Objasnění pansofických pokusů sepsané kvůli kritikům", in Komenský, Předehra pansofie. Objasnění pansofických pokusů, trans., comm. & intro. Markéta Klosová, Prague: Academia, 2010, pp 113-155, n174-179. (Czech) Trans. based on the 1989 critical edition. [76]
  • A dextris et sinistris. Hoc est pro fide in Christum Deum-Hominem cum Marcionitis deliriis, Amsterdam, 1662 [1639, 1640]. (Latin) [77]
  • Janua rerum reserata, 1681, [1640-70]. (Latin) [80]
  • Sapientia bis et ter oculata, [1640-56]. (Latin). Not published, burnt in Leszno in 1656. [81]
  • Via Lucis, Amsterdam, 1668 [1641-42]. (Latin). The work deals with pansophy. Comenius believed that education leads to prevention of the wars. In order to uplift mankind, the circle of the wise should rule. For a better understanding between nations it is necessary to introduce a new language that everyone can understand. Latin is too hard. [82]
    • Cesta světla, trans. Josef Šmaha, Prague, 1920. (Czech) [83]
    • Via Lucis / Cesta světla, ed., trans. & postf. Jaromír Kopecký, Jiří Kyrášek, Jan Patočka, and Jiřina Popelová-Otáhalová, Prague: Státní pedagogické nakladatelství, 1961, 307 pp. (Czech)/(Latin)
    • The Way of Light, trans. & intro. E.T. Campagnac, Liverpool: University Press, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1938, xix+234 pp. (English)
  • Lexicon januale. Hoc est Latinae linguae sylva, vocum derivatarum copiam explicans. Cum insertis vocabulis peregrinis, in januali rerum nomenclatura occurrentibus versioneque singulorum Germanica, (1643-50). (Latin) [84]
  • Linguarum methodus novissima, (1644-57). (Latin). Language teaching theory. [85]
    • Nejnovější metoda jazyků, trans. Josef Šmaha, Rychnov, 1892. (Czech) [86]
    • Analytická didaktika, trans. F.J. Zoubek, 1874. (Czech). Separately published Chapter 10 of the original edition. Later Czech translations: A. Krejčí, 1908; H. Businská, 1946; E. Čapek, 1947; H. Businská (updated by R. Váňová), 2004.
    • The Analytical Didactic, trans., intro. & notes Vladimir Jelinek, Chicago: University of Chicago Press; London: Cambridge University Press, 1953, xvii+239 pp. Trans. of ch. 10. (English)
  • Judicium Ulrici Neufeldii de fidei catholicae regula catholica ejusque catholico usu, ad Valerianum Magnum omnesque catholicos, 1645. (Latin) [88]
  • Regulae vitae, 1645. (Latin) [89]
  • De rerum humanarum emendatione consultatio catholica ad genus humanum, ante alias vero ad eruditos, religiosos, potentes Europae [General Consultation on an Improvement of All Things Human], (1645-70); Halle, 1702, BSB, BSB, IA, IA. (Latin) [90] [91]
    • De rerum humanarum emendatione consultatio catholica ad genus humanum, ante alias vero ad eruditos, religiosos, potentes Europae, 2 vols., ed. J. Červenka, et al., pref. Josef Váňa, afterw. Jan Patočka, Prague: Academia, 1966, 775 & 717 pp. Critical edition. (Latin) [92]
    • Comenius's Pampaedia, or, Universal Education, trans. A. M. O. Dobbie, Dover: Buckland, 1986, 219 pp. Trans. of Book 4, Pampaedia. (English) Review: Smart (BJE).
    • Panaugia, or, Universal Light: Being Part Two of His Consultation on the Reform of Human Affairs, trans. A. M. O. Dobbie, Shipston-on-Stour: Drinkwater, 1987, xiv+104 pp. Trans. of Book 2, Panaugia. (English)
    • Panglottia, or, Universal Language: Being Part Five of His Consultation on the Reform of Human Affairs, trans. A. M. O. Dobbie, Shipton-on-Stour: Drinkwater, 1989, xii+96 pp. Trans. of Book 5, Panglottia. (English)
    • Panegersia, or, Universal Awakening, trans. A. M. O. Dobbie, Shipston-on-Stour: Drinkwater, 1990, xx+75 pp. Trans. of Book 1, Panergesia. (English)
    • Obecná porada o nápravě věcí lidských, 3 vols., Prague: ČSAV, 1992, 563+500+594 pp. Volume 2. (Czech)
    • Panorthosia or Universal Reform: Chapters 19 to 26, trans. A. M. O. Dobbie, Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993, 167 pp. Trans. of second part of Book 6, Panorthosia. [93] (English)
    • Panorthosia or Universal Reform: Chapters 1–18 and 27, trans. A. M. O. Dobbie, Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995, 256 pp. Trans. of first part of Book 6, Panorthosia. [94] (English)
  • Christianismus reconciliabilis reconciliatore Christo, 1646-1670. (Latin) [95]
  • Independentia aeternarum confusionum origo, 1648. [96]
  • Kázaní pohřební nad ctihodným mužem knězem Pavlem Fabriciem někdy konsistoře pražské podobojí assesorem, v exilium pak J. B. seniorem a cirkve české lešenské správcem. Léta od narození Kristova 1649, ledna dne 6. učiněné. Na žádost pak nejedněch pobožných osob k tištění podané, [Leszno], [1649]. (Czech) [97]
  • O vymítání němého i jakéhokoliv jiného ďábelství. Kázání učiněné shromáždění českému v Lešně polském, 1649. (Czech) [98]
  • Kšaft umírající matky jednoty bratrské, (Leszno, 1650); Prague: Alois Hynek, 1911, NDK. (Czech). Comenius' hope that the legacy of the Unity of the Brethren will live on through the Czech and Moravian people. The persona of mother is a symbol of Unity which is doomed, but the mother preserves in her will the main ideas for future generations. [99]
    • The Bequest of the Unity of Brethren, trans. & ed. Matthew Spinka, Chicago: National Union of Czechoslovak Protestants in America, 1940, 38 pp. (English)
  • Truchlivého Třetí Díl, v němž se zdržuje: Řvání Hrdličky v rozsedlinách skalních a skrýši příkré dlouho zůstávající, (Leszno?), 1651, (1650). (Czech) [100]
  • Triertium catholicum, Leyden, 1681, (1650-70). (Latin) [102]
  • Schola Pansophica [School of Pansophy], 1651, (1650-61). (Latin). Proposes, inter alia, that the Latin school pupils read newspaper at least one hour per week. [103]
    • Škola pansofická, trans. František Jan Zoubek, Prague: Beseda Učitelská, 1875, x+82 pp. (Czech)
Orbis Sensualium Pictus – Visible World, 1658/1887, IA, PG.
  • Orbis Pictus, Nuernberg, 1658, (1653–54). (Latin)/(German) [117] [118] [119]
    • Orbis Sensualium Pictus – Visible World, trans. Charles Hoole, London: J. Kirton, 1659, 309 pp; 11th ed., corr., London: John and Benj. Sprint, 1728, 194 pp; 12th ed., corr. & enl., London: S. Leacroft, 1777, 197 pp, IA; 1st American ed., from 12th ed., New York: T. & J. Swords, 1810, 213 pp, IA; repr. of 11th ed., Syracuse, NY: C. W. Bardeen, 1887, IA, PG. [120] (English)/(Latin)
    • Orbis Sensualium Pictus, Nuernberg: Michaelis Endteri, 1660. (Latin)/(German)
    • Orbis Pictus, 1666. (Latin)/(German)/(Italian)/(French)
    • Orbis Sensualium Pictus, Nuernberg: Michaelis & Joannis Friderici Endteri, 1668. (Latin)/(German)
    • Orbis Pictus, Levoča: Breuer, 1685. (Czech)/(Latin)/(German)/(Hungarian)
    • Orbis Sensualium Pictus, Nuernberg: Michaelis & Joannis Friderici Endteri, 1677. (Latin)/(German)
    • Orbis Sensualium trilingvis, Coronae [Braşov]: Typis Lucae Seuleri M. D. per Michaëll Heltzd, 1703. (Latin)/(German)/(Hungarian)
    • Orbis Sensualium Pictus – Visible World, trans. Charles Hoole, London: John Sprint, 1705. (English)/(Latin) [121]
    • Orbis Sensualium Pictus, Nuernberg: Martini Endteri, 1724. (Latin)/(German)
    • Orbis Sensualium Picti, Nuernberg, 1756. (Latin)/(German)
    • Orbis Visibilis, Moscow: Moscow University, 1768. (German)/(Latin)/(Italian)/(French)/(Russian)
    • Orbis Sensualium Pictus, Warsaw: Michael Groell & Nuernberg: Joh. Andr. Endteri, 1770. (Latin)/(Polish)/(French)/(German)
    • Orbis Pictus, Vienna, 1785. (Latin)/(German)
    • Orbis Visibilis, Moscow: N. Novikov, 1788. (Latin)/(Russian)
    • Orbis Pictus, Nyomtattatott Pozsonban [Bratislava]: Wéber Simon Péter, 1798, DIKDA. (German)/(Latin)/(Hungarian)/(Slovak)
    • Orbis Pictus, Hradec Králové, 1833. (German)/(Czech)/(Polish)/(French)/(Latin)
  • Schola ludus [School by Play], 1656, [1653–54]. Dramatised version of Janua linguarum reserata, (Czech) [122]
    • Die Schule als Spiel, trans. Bötticher, Langensalza: Bibliothek paedagogischer Klassiker, 1907. (German)
  • Animae sanctae... beatum satellitium, 1653. (Latin) [123]
  • Artificii legendi et scribendi tirocinium, (1654-55). (Latin) [124]
    • Počátkové čtení a psaní, trans. Josef Hendrich, Prague: Státní nakladatelství, 1946. (Czech) [125]
  • Disquisitiones de caloris et frigoris natura. Cujus cognitio vera in reseranda multa naturae arcana Clavis erit. In prodromus novae editionis Physicae ad lumen divinum restituendae, a J. A. Comenio antehac luci datae, 1659; Jena, 1678, BSB. (Latin) [144]
    • "Vyšetřování o povaze tepla a zimy", trans. Josef Šmaha, Národní učitel IV, 1894. (Czech)
  • Cartesius cum sua naturali philosophia a mechanicis eversus, Amsterdam, 1659. (Latin) [145]
  • Angelus pacis, Amsterdam: Christoffel Cunradus, 1667. (Latin) [168]
    • The Angel of Peace, ed. Milos Safranek, trans. Walter Angus Morison, intro. Matthew Spinka, New York: Pantheon Books, 1944, 125 pp. (English)/(Latin)
  • Continuatio admonitionis fraternae de temperando charitate zelo ... ad S. Maresium, Amsterdam, 1669. (Latin). Autobiography. [171]
    • Vlastní životopis ze spisu "Pokračování v bratrském napomínání Samuela Maresia o mírnění horlivosti láskou", trans. Josef Hendrich, Prague, 1924. (Czech).
    • "Continuation of John Comenius' Brotherly Admonition to S. Maresius", in Comenius, Comenius' Självbiografi = Comenius about Himself, Stockholm: Föreningen för Svensk Undervisningshistoria, 1975, pp 117‑207. (English)
  • Spicilegium didacticum, Amsterdam, 1680, (>1670). (Latin) [172]

Collected writings[edit]

  • Vybrané spisy, 2 vols., Prague: I.L. Kerber, 1871-72. [173]
  • Jana Amosa Komenského Sebrané spisy vychovatelské, 3 vols., Prague: Fr. Bayer, 1886. [174]
  • Jana Amosa Komenského Sebraná díla kazatelská, 2 vols., Prague: Spolek Komenského, 1893. [175]
  • Spisy Jana Amosa Komenského, 6 vols., Prague: Česká Akademie, 1897-1902, IA/1, IA/3, IA/4, IA/5, IA/6. [176]
  • Vybrané spisy Jana Amose Komenského, 3 vols., Prague: Dědictví Komenského, 1905-26. [177] [178]
  • Veškeré spisy Jana Amosa Komenského, 8 vols., Brno: Ústřední spolek jednot učitelských na Moravě, 1910-29. [179] [180]
  • Vybrané spisy, Bratislava: SPN, 1956, PDF/v2. (Slovak)
  • John Amos Comenius 1592–1670: Selections, intro. Jean Piaget, trans. Iris Urwin, Paris: UNESCO, 1957, 183 pp. Translated from the Czech: The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart, chs. I-IV, X, XIX-XX (pp 37‑58); The Great Didactic, chs. XIX-XXI (pp 59‑96); The Pampaedia, chs. I-V (pp 95‑154); The Panorthosia, chs. XV-XVIII (pp 155‑177). (English)
  • Vybrané spisy Jana Amose Komenského, 8 vols., Prague: SPN, 1958-78. [181] [182]
  • Dílo Jana Amose Komenského — Johannis Amos Comenii Opera omnia, 13 vols., Prague: Academia, 1969-92. [183] [184] [185]

Bibliographies of Comenius' works[edit]

  • J. Comenius, "Epistula ad Montanum", 1661. (Latin)
  • Martin Lipenius, Bibliotheca realis philosophica omnium materiarum, rerum, et titulorum, in universo totius philosophiae ambitu occurentium.., Frankfurt am Mohan, 1682. (Latin)
  • by František Zoubek.
  • by Jan Kvačala.
  • Jan N. Novák, Josef Hendrich, Jan Amos Komenský, jeho život a spisy, Prage: Dědičství Komenského, 1932, 722 pp. (Czech). With annotations by the authors.
  • Josef Brambora, Knižní dílo Jana Amose Komenského, 2nd ed., 1957. (Czech)
  • Soupis děl J. A. Komenského v československých knihovnách, archivech a museích, 1959. (Czech)
  • Milada Blekastad, Comenius. Versuch eines Umrisses von Leben, Werk und Schicksal des Jan Amos Komenský, Oslo: Universitetsforlaget & Prague: Academia, 1969, 874 pp. (German). Bibliography is included in Appendix.
  • Wilhelmus Rood, Comenius and the Low Countries. Some Aspects of Life and Work of a Czech Exile in the Seventeenth Century, Amsterdam: Van Gendt & Prague: Academia & New York: Agner Schram, 1970, 275 pp.
  • Josef Brambora, "Komenskýs literarische Tätigkeit in Form von Medaillons dargestellt", in Heinz-Joachim Heydorn (ed.), Jan Amos Comenius: Geschichte und Aktualität 1670-1970, Vol. 2, Part 1, Detlev Auvermann, 1971, pp 7-104. (German)
  • Miriam Bohatcová, J. A. Komenský. Soupis rukopisů, Prague, 1958, 51 pp. (Czech)




Selected books on Comenius[edit]

Czech and Slovak
  • Laurie, Simon Somerville (1881). John Amos Comenius (English). Sixth edition, 1898.
  • Quick, Robert Herbert (1890). Essays on Educational Reformers. London (English).
  • Monroe (1900). Comenius and the Beginnings of Educational Reform. New York: Scribner (English). [187]
  • Cach, J.; Pešková, J.; Svatoš, M., eds. (1990). Pocta University Karlovy Komenskému. Prague: Karolinum (Czech and English).
  • Fitzgibbon Young, Robert, ed. (1932). Comenius in England. the visit of Jan Amos Komenský (Comenius), the Czech philosopher and educationist, to London in 1641-1642; its bearing on the origins of the Royal Society, on the development of the encyclopædia, and on plans for the higher education of the Indians of New England and Virginia, as described in contemporary documents. Trans. Robert Fitzgibbon Young. Oxford University Press. pp. xii+100. Argues that the visit of Comenius marked an important stage in the development in England of the idea of a great society for scientific research which resulted in the organization of the informal 'Invisible College' by Theodore Haak and others in 1645, and prepared the way for the foundation of the Royal Society in 1660. (English) Commentary: Stimson (Isis, reply). Review: Butt (JES).
  • Needham, Joseph, ed. (1942). The Teacher of Nations: Addresses and Essays in Commemoration of the Visit to England of the Great Czech Educationalist Jan Amos Komenský, Comenius, 1641-1941. Cambridge University Press. pp. vii+99. Repr., 2015. [188] Proceedings of the conference held 24 Oct 1941 at Cambridge U. (English)
  • Turnbull, George Henry (1947). Hartlib, Dury and Comenius: Gleanings from Hartlib’s Papers. Liverpool: University Press of Liverpool. pp. 477. (English)
  • Hawkins, Eric (1994), Jan Komensky - The Teacher of Nations. University of Southampton. pp. 20. Inaugural Lecture for the Southampton Comenius Centre, 4 Dec 1993. (English)
  • Murphy, Daniel (1994), Comenius: A Critical Reassessment of His Life and Work. Dublin: Irish Academic Press. pp. x+294. (English) Reviews: Bradbrook (SEER), Hodysh (HSE).
  • van Vliet, Paul; Vanderjagt, Arie Johan, eds. (1994). Johannes Amos Comenius (1592-1670): Exponent of European Culture?. Amsterdam: North-Holland Publishing Company. pp. 115. ISBN 0444857850 (English).
  • Sadler, John Edward (1966). Comenius and the Concept of Universal Education. London: Oxford University Pres (English). Repr., Routledge, 2007, 306 pp. [189]
  • Prévot, Jacques (1981). L’utopie éducative: Comenius. Paris: Belin. (French)
  • Lochman, Jan Milic (1992). Comenius: 'Galilée de l’éducation, Citoyen du monde' . Trans. A.-M. Boyer, P. Roy and V. Weben. Strasbourg: Oberlin.
  • Denis, Marcelle (1992). Comenius: une pédagogie à l’échelle de l’Europe. Neuchâtel: Peter Lang. (French)
  • Denis, Marcelle (1992). Un certain Comenius. Paris: Publisud. (French)
  • Denis, Marcelle (1993). Comprendre Comenius. Paris: PUF. (French)
  • Voisine-Jechová, Hana, ed. (1994). La Visualisation des choses et la conception philosophique du monde dans l'œuvre de Comenius. Paris: Presses de l'Université de Paris-Sorbonne. pp. 215. ISBN 2840500329 (French).
  • Müller (1887). Comenius, ein Systematiker in der Pädagogik. Dresden (German).
  • Löscher (1889). Comenius, der Pädagogik und Bischof. Leipzig (German).
  • Blekastad, Milada (1969). Comenius. Versuch eines Umrisses von Leben, Werk und Schicksal des Jan Amos Komenský. Oslo/Prague: Universitetsforlaget/Academia. pp. 874 (German).
  • Kotowski, Norbert; Lášek, Jan B., eds. (1992). Johann Amos Comenius und die Genese des modernen Europa. Fürth: Flacius (German).
  • Boldt, Frank, ed. (1993). Jan Amos Comenius und die Entwicklung des Bildungswesens in Mitteleuropa seit dem 17. Jahrhundert. Prague: Karolinum. pp. 269 (German).
  • Mack, Karlheinz, ed. (1993). Jan Amos Comenius und die Politik seiner Zeit. Munich: Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag (German).


  • Mitteilungen der Comenius-Gesellschaft, Lepzig and Berlin, 1891–1934.
  • Archiv pro bádání o životě a spisech J.A. Komenského, 1910–1938, 1957.
  • Acta Comeniana: International Review of Comenius Studies and Early Modern Intellectual History, Prague: Filosofia, 1969–. [190] [191]
  • Studia Comeniana et historica: časopis Muzea J.A. Komenského, Uherský Brod: Muzeum J. A. Komenského, 1971–. [192] [193]
  • Bulletin Unie Comenius, Prague: Unie Comenius, 1992–.
  • Japanese Journal of Comenius, Tokyo, 1992–.
  • Comenius Jahrbuch, Berlin, 1993–.

Encyclopedic entries and biographical profiles[edit]

  • "Comenius, Johann Amos", in The New International Encyclopædia, 1905. (English)
  • Jean Piaget, "The Significance of John Amos Comenius at the Present Time", in Comenius, Selections, UNESCO, 1957; repr. as "Jan Amos Comenius (1592-1670)", Prospects 23:1/2, UNESCO, 1993, pp 173-196, PDF. Includes chronology of life and works of Comenius by Giuliana Limiti (repr. from 1983). (English)
  • "Profiles: John Amos Comenius", Prospects 13:1 (1983), pp 117-127. Includes chronology of his life and works by Giuliana Limiti. (English)
  • Craig D. Atwood, "Jan Amos Comenius", Oxford Bibliographies, 2014. (English)

See also[edit]