Jan Amos KOMENSKÝ - life, work, legacy



Diogenes Cynicus redivivus sive de compendiose philosophando. Ad scholae ludentis exercitia olim accommodatus, nunc autem luci datus


Diogenes the Cynic Redivivus, or, how to philosophise economically. Created as an exercise for the school based on plays, and now presented in print



Origin of the work:
  1638 Leszno

  1658 Amsterdam

1911 Brno, Veškeré spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. VI

1920 České Budějovice, Czech translation by J. Hendrich

1968 Prague, Vybrané spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. V, Czech translation by J. Hendrich

1973 Prague, J. A. Comenii Opera omnia, vol. 11





School plays in acts had been in use for a long time. The rector of the Leszno Gymnasium, Sebastian Macer, had also used such a play to familiarise his students with the material in the textbook the Janua linguarum (Gate of Tongues). Comenius approved, and himself wrote the comedy Diogenes the Cynic Redivivus. This is an amusing and lively play in four acts, about the Diogenes the Cynic of Sinope, a philosopher in Antiquity; the collection of pictures from his life is drawn from anecdotes preserved in the works of other authors since ancient times. Diogenes’ wisdom, foregoing material goods and all lusts, and limiting himself to the most essential needs for life, was similar to the wisdom of Christianity.

The work’s performance by the students themselves on the stage had a very positive effect: the pupils perfected their Latin conversation in this way, expanded their vocabulary and turns of common speech, and also became used to appearing before the public. Theatrical rehearsals and performances provided variety in the dry school atmosphere, and increased the desire for learning.

This comedy is the best of all of Comenius’ theatrical works. While overall it is didactic in character, it is marked by lively dramatic elements. It was first performed in January 1640, and then twice more in the same year, but was not printed until 1658 in Amsterdam.


For further study, see also:

Vybrané spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. V. Prague 1968, pp433-440

J. A. Comenii Opera omnia, vol.11. Prague 1973, pp484-485

J. V. Novák & J. Hendrich, Jan Amos Komenský, jeho život a spisy. Prague 1932, pp28l-283

Veškeré spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. VI. Brno 1911, pp69-74

Dějiny české literatury I.Prague 1959, pp439-440

Jan Kumpera, J. A. Komenský, poutník na rozhraní věků. Prague & Ostrava 1992, pp231-232




Muzeum Jana Amose Komenského

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