Jan Amos KOMENSKÝ - life, work, legacy

De elegantiarum studio


De eleganti elegantiarum studio oratiuncula habita sub tempus erectionis classis Latinae tertiae, atrialis seu rhetoricae, in illustri schola Patakina anno 1652, Januarii 10.


A short speech on the refined study of refinement, given at the time of the establishment of the third Latin class, the atrial or rhetorical, at the illustrious Sárospatak school in the year 1652, on January 10th



Origin of the work:
  1652 Sárospatak

  1652 Sárospatak, in the volume Laborum scholasticorum continuatio (together with the Primitiae laborum scholasticorum)

1657 Amsterdam, in: Latinitatis schola triclassis

1657 Amsterdam, Opera didactica omnia III

1915 Brno, Veškeré spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. IX

1957 Prague, Opera didactica omnia III (phototype edition)

1957 Prague, in: J. A. Comenius scholarum novi ordinis formator. J. A. Komenský tvůrce nového uspořádání škol; in Latin and Czech – Czech translation by J. Kopecký & M. Klučka

1960 Prague, Vybrané spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. II, Czech translation by J. Kopecký



The third and last class of the lower (linguistic) level, which Comenius opened at the Sárospatak school on January 10th 1652 with this speech, was to bring the study of Latin to a peak with teaching of style and rhetoric. In his introduction Comenius refers to the delay in the setting up of the class, caused by the death of the young princess Henrietta Maria of the Palatinate and illness on the part of the printers; it will be necessary to make up for this by more intensive work.

The actual speech itself comprises three parts: 1. an explanation of the importance to Man of beauty in general; 2. an elucidation of that in which the essence of beauty lies, particularly speech and languages, and 3. advice on how to nurture this beauty and the beauty of one’s actions.




In the conclusion Comenius reproves Hungarian students for their laziness and indifference, as manifested in their not reading, their failing to make journeys to academies abroad, their lack of discourse with learned men and their being satisfied with only a little Latin and the ability to read and write in their own language. He calls on them to pull themselves together and to improve themselves. Parents, too, are exhorted to keep their sons to their education. Finally, he turns to teachers, appealing to them to provide a good example to their pupils.

This and two other speeches were drawn together into a volume entitled the Laborum scholasticorum continuatio (Continuation of Scholastic Labour; the Laborum continuatio).


For further study, see also:

J. V. Novák & J. Hendrich, Jan Amos Komenský, jeho život a spisy. Prague 1932, pp464-465

Jan Kumpera, J. A. Komenský, poutník na rozhraní věků. Prague & Ostrava 1992, pp254-255




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