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16. - 17. století

John Amos Comenius

World-renowned theologian, philosopher, and pedagogue
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This highly educated bishop of the Unity of the Brethren was a religious fugitive from the counter-reformation-stricken Bohemian lands. He was also a pioneer and father of modern didactic upbringing and education.
Comenius was born in Moravia. He studied at a Latin school in Prerov, where he later became a teacher and eventually completed his university studies in Heidelberg. Comenius held the opinion that a theory can only be effective if it is used in practice, and thus is didactic in character. In 1616 Comenius acted as preacher in Fulnek, from where he was forced to leave when his professional honor was attacked. After 1628 he went to Lesno in Poland, which was known as the centre of the Brethren religion. This is where Comenius created his main pedagogical works.
In the 1630’s Comenius began to be known throughout Europe and he received numerous invitations to held seminars but he declined them all. It wasn’t until 1641 that he accepted an invitation to London,

where he held a lecture at the Royal Academy of Science. A year later he went to Sweden where he created new textbooks. In 1648 the Thirty Year’s War ended and exiles lost all hope of returning to their homeland, which remained firmly in the hands of the Catholic Habsburgs. Comenius had problems accepting this situation, but in the end he accepted an offer from Duke Rakoczi from Transylvania, where he was to run children’s classes and test his theories in practice. The project was partially successful, but Comenius returned to Lesno, where he suffered a great loss in 1656, the destruction in a fire of his life’s work: a Czech-Latin dictionary. He never recovered from this loss and he spent the rest of his life with friends in Holland.
His works include:
Labyrinth of the World and Paradise of the Heart
Orbis Pictus (The Visible World in Pictures)
Via Lucis (Way of Light)
Janua Linguarum Reserata (The Gateway to Languages)
Didactica Magna (The Great Didactica)


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