Jan Amos KOMENSKÝ - life, work, legacy



Pro Latinitate Januae lingvarum suae iliusque Praxeos apologia

Obrana latiny ve vlastních Dvéřích jazyků a jejich jevištním ztvárnění


A defence of Latin in his own Gate of Tongues and its stage rendering



Origin of the work:
  1656 – 1657

  1657 Amsterdam

1657 Amsterdam, Opera didactica omnia IV

1657 Amsterdam

1957 Prague, Opera didactica omnia IV, (phototype)



Several contemporaries reproached Comenius for his Latin, particularly in the Janua linguarum (Gate of Tongues), with returning to the pre-Humanist period, as it uses many barbarian and Late Medieval Latin words, and contravenes the Classical Ciceronian Latin. Among these critics the Lutheran theologian Ursinus was prominent for his voluminous commentary on the Janua.

Comenius defended himself with the fact that that purpose of the Gate was not philological, but material. He wanted pupils to be able to acquire a correct Latin nomenclature as quickly and easily as possible. Because Classical Latin was lacking in the terms for new things and concepts, he was forced to use Greek and other foreign words and to invent new words and associations with regard to analogy and etymology.


For further study, see also:

J. V. Novák & J. Hendrich, Jan Amos Komenský, jeho život a spisy. Prague 1932, pp525-526

Jan Kumpera, Jan Amos Komenský, poutník na rozhraní věků. Prague & Ostrava 1992, pp290-291




Muzeum Jana Amose Komenského

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