Origin of the work:
1633 – 1638 Leszno
1657 Amsterdam, Opera didactica omnia I
1905 Prague, Czech translation by A. Krejčí
1913 Brno, Veškeré spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. IV, synopsis of the Czech Didactics
1938 Brno, Jana Amosa Komenského veškeré spisy, vol. IV, part 2, 2nd ed.
1957 Prague, Opera didactica omnia I, (phototype edition)
1958 Prague, Vybrané spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. I, Czech translation by A. Krejčí & J. Hendrich
1986 Prague, J. A. Comenii Opera omnia, vol. 15/I
After the dashing of the hopes of the Czech exiles for a return to their homeland and the success of his textbook the Janua linguarum, and on the basis of a consideration of his own scholastic experience, gained as a teacher at the Leszno Gymnasium, Comenius created the Great Didactic (Didactica magna) in Latin. While the basis of this work was the Czech Didactic (Didaktika), it was no mere translation. The author worked up in a single volume all of his deliberations relating to universal education. He used the Czech Didactic (Didaktika), the Paradise of the Church (Ráj církve) and the Short Proposal for the Restoration of Schools in the Kingdom of Bohemia (the Navržení krátkého o obnovení škol v Kralovství českém or Navržení krátké). The theoretical chapters of the Proposal remained, shortened and stripped of the direct references to Czech conditions. The new work was around a fifth longer than the Czech Didactic, due mainly to the addition of chapters detailing scholastic organisation. This work was not addressed to the Czech nation and its own educational reforms, but to the whole of Europe, if not the world.
Comenius made this treatise public only in 1657 at Amsterdam, in the collection the Opera didactica omnia (ODO). It was subsequently forgotten. It came into general knowledge as late as during the 19th century, and its extraordinary importance ranked its author among the world’s leading pedagogues.
For further study, see also:
J. A. Comenii Opera omnia, vol. 15/I. Prague 1986, pp436-437
Vybrané spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. I. Prague 1958, pp23-27
Veškeré spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. IV. Brno 1913, pp5-17
Dějiny české literatury I. Prague 1959, pp434-436
J. V. Novák & J. Hendrich, Jan Amos Komenský, jeho život a spisy. Prague 1932, pp239-241
Jan Kumpera, J. A. Komenský, poutník na rozhraní věků. Prague & Ostrava 1992, pp229