Jan Amos KOMENSKÝ - life, work, legacy

De utilitate nomenclatura


De utilitate accuratae rerum nomenclaturae oratiuncula recitata sub tempus erigendae classis secundae, janualis, 14. Martii


A short speech on the utility of a precise naming of things, presented at the time of the establishment of the second, janual class, March 14th



Origin of the work:
  1651 Sárospatak

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

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



A month after the opening of the first (vestibular) class at the Sárospatak school, the second (janual) class was also arranged. To mark the occasion, on March 14th 1651 Comenius gave a short speech on the benefits of the correct naming of things.

In order that in the second class pupils might travel further down the road to learning, it is necessary to maintain a certain order, and that is the correct naming of things. Nomenclature is correct if every thing has its name, different from the names of other things. It is necessary that the names match the things, and that they be correctly understood. Nevertheless, for the correct naming it is necessary to understand the thing and the word. This is not possible without observing the fundamentals of each thing, and without a knowledge of the significance and origin of each word. It is an error to consider the words alone, rather than considering the thing itself; this leads to incomprehensibility and mistakes. It is therefore necessary that teachers teach and pupils learn the correct naming of things.

This speech is combined with two others in a volume entitled the Laborum scholasticorum continuatio (the Continuation of Scholastic Work, the Laborum continuatio).


For further study, see also:

Vybrané spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. II. Prague 1960, pp203-211

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




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