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An example page in Latin

Comenius (28 March 1592 – 15 November 1670) was a 17th century Czech bishop, and an innovator in education.[1] His name is spelt differently in almost every language.[2] In English it is John Amos Comenius, but he is usually called just 'Comenius'.

Comenius is famous for arguing for universal literacy, and inventing the idea of a modern textbook which used pictures as well as prose to get its message across.[1][3][4] Comenius also tried to design a language in which false statements could not be written.[5]

Some books by Comenius

There are about 16 works, with many translations and versions.[3]

  • 1633–1638. Didactica magna ("The Great Didactic").
  • 1642. A reformation of schools, designed in two excellent treatises. This is an English excerpt from the above. It explains his ideas for reform.
  • 1658. Orbis sensualium pictus: quadrilingus. It is something like an illustrated dictionary, in two languages, Latin, and German
    1659. English edition.
    1685 in four languages: Latin, Czech, German and Hungarian (Magyar).
    Orbis Pictus had a long-lasting influence on children's education. It was a precursor of both audio-visual techniques and the lexical approach in language learning.[6] There is a Kindle version in English.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Murphy, Daniel 1995. Comenius: a critical reassessment of his life and works. Irish Academic Press, p. 27. ISBN 978-0716525370
  2. 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
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sadler, John 1969. Comenius. London: Collier Macmillan. ISBN 0-029-75920-X
  4. Drucker, Peter 2003. The new realities [1] Transaction. 230–231; 262 ISBN 978-0-7658-0533-1 "... a Czech, John Amos Comenius – the first person to advocate universal literacy – invented the textbook and the primer."
  5. Hofstadter, Douglas 1979. Gödel, Escher, Bach: an eternal golden braid. New York: Basic Books, p635. ISBN 0-14-028920-8
  6. "Learning from Comenius - the pedagogical underpinnings of the Orbis Pictus".