From Academic Kids

Comenius on a  20  banknote
Comenius on a Czechoslovak 20 koruna banknote

Jan Amos Komenskż (Latinized Comenius) (March 28, 1592, in Nivnice, Moravia (now Czech Republic) - November 15, 1670, Amsterdam, the Netherlands) was a Czech teacher, educator and writer, known as teacher of nations. He was a Moravian protestant bishop, a religious refugee, a great European and a believer in non-violence.


Life and work

Comenius was born in Nivnice, Moravia (now Czech Republic). He studied at Herborn in Hesse and at Heidelberg. He was greatly influenced by the Irish Jesuit William Bathe, who wrote Janua Linguaram (The Messe of Tongues) as well as his teachers Johann Piscator, Heinrich Gutberleth and particularly Heinrich Alsted. The Herborn school held the principle that every theory has to be functional in practical use, therefore has to be didactic, ie morally instructive.

Comenius became a pastor at age 24 and led the Brethren into exile when the protestants were persecuted under the counter-reformation. Comenius lived and worked in many different countries in Europe, among them Sweden, Poland, Transylvania, Germany, Prussia, England, Netherlands and Royal Hungary. Comenius took refuge in Leszno, where he lead the gymnasium, then to Sweden to work with Queen Christina and the chancellor Oxenstierna. From 1642-1648 he went to Elbląg in Poland, then to England with the aid of Samuel Hartlib, who came originally from Elbląg. Comenius went to Leszno again and during Swedish aggression in 1655 declared his support for the protestant Swedish side, for which his house, his manuscripts and the school's printing press were burned down by Polish partisans in 1656. From there he took refuge in Amsterdam, where he died in 1670. Among the interesting facts surrounding Comenius' life includes his being considered a father of modern education and being asked to be the first President of Harvard University.

His book, Labyrinth of the World and Paradise of the Heart, is actually a reflection of his life experience and is definitely worth reading. Comenius and studies into his life and teachings have come to light since the fall of the Iron Curtain.

One of his daughters, Elisabeth, married Peter Figulus from Gdańsk. Their son, Daniel Ernest Jablonski, Comenius's grandson, later went to Berlin, where he became the highest official pastor at the court of Brandenburg- Prussia's Frederick I. There he was aided by count Ludwig von Zinzendorf. Zinzendorf was the first successor to Comenius as bishop in the renewed Moravian Brethren society.

Comenius was the author of numerous publications, such as Janua Linguarum Reserata (a new dutch translation of CFJ Antonides is coming), Orbis Pictus (World in Pictures) and the Protestant Hymn songbooks (Gesangbuch).

In Sįrospatak, Hungary there is a teacher's college named after him (the college now belongs to the University of Miskolc.)

See also


External link

de:Johann Amos Comenius et:Jan Amos Komenskż eo:Johano Amoso KOMENIO fr:Comenius hu:Comenius nl:Jan Amos Comenius ja:コメニウス pl:Jan Įmos Komenskż sk:Jan Amos Komenskż sv:Johan Amos Comenius


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