Jan Amos KOMENSKÝ - life, work, legacy



Antidotum apostasiae, to jest Zkušené a jisté lékařství, kteréž duše lidské ve všelijakých pokušeních na něpřišlých přičistém náboženství zdržeti a před tou nejnebezpečnější nemocí, to jest před odstoupením odpoznalé pravdy Boží, zachovati i proto zemdlení víry posilniti může


The Antidote to Apostasy, that is, a tried and certain medicine that keeps the human soul to the maintenance of the pure religion in the face of manifold temptations, and preserves from the most  dangerous illness, that is from the abandonment of the recognised truth of God, and thus strengthens the man weary in faith.


Origin of the work:
  1622, place unknown

  1622 (?), place not given

pre-1696, transcription, Tranosciovaknižnica, Liptovský sv. Mikuláš



A reassuring tract, recommending measures to be taken to withstand the enticements of the Counter-Reformation. At the beginning of the 17th century the Jesuits in the Czech Lands, with the support of the ruling house of Habsburg, stepped up their struggle against the Bohemian Brethren and Protestants. In doing so they made use of a wide range of measures beginning with smooth-tongued offers and ending with crude political force. Those who converted to Catholicism were received with favour; others suffered from insinuations of diverse kinds, made in particular by priests. The treatise is an exhortation and a rallying cry for how to meet these lures. It is divided into thirty chapters dealing with illnesses of the body and of the soul, and the requirements for their treatment, with apostasy and the remedy for it. First of all, however, it is necessary to forestall it by rejecting fear and ties to the material things of this world, accepting the fear of God, the wish for eternal life and release from a fear of death. In this, patience is to be found helpful, providing strength against danger, against distress over the ruination of the homeland and religion, and against weakness in faith. Finally, it also speaks of prayer, of hope in liberation from the enemy, and of the hope in firm perseverance in faith.

Comenius’ authorship is disputed. An imprint of the first edition was discovered in 1914.


For further study, see also:

J. V. Novák & J. Hendrich, Jan Amos Komenský, jeho život a spisy. Prague 1932, p707

J. V. Novák, Nově nalezená Komeniana kláštera Strahovského. In: Archiv pro bádání o životě a díle J. A. Komenského, 1914, fasc. 4, pp29-33




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