Jan Amos KOMENSKÝ - life, work, legacy

Ecclesiae historiola

Ecclesiae Slavonicae ab ipsis apostolis fundatae, ab Hieronymo, Cyrillo, Methodio propagatae, Bohema in gente potissimum radicatae et in Unitate fratrum Bohemorum fastigiatae brevis historiola


A brief history of the Slavonic Church, founded by the apostles themselves and expanded by Jerome, Cyril and Methodius, most strongly rooted in the Czech nation and brought to its apex by the Bohemian Unity of Brethren


Origin of the work:
  1660 Amsterdam

  1660 Amsterdam, in the volume De bono unitatis

1893 Prague, Stručná historie církve slovanské, Czech translation by J. Bidlo

1972 Prague, Vybrané spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. VI, Czech translation by J. Hendrich



The first (introductory) part of the volume De bono unitatis contains a short history of the Slavonic Church on Czech soil, from its foundation until the tragic events unfolding after the Battle of White Mountain.

The author first traces the beginnings of the SlavonicChurch from the time of the apostles onwards.

He then relates that Jerome translated Scripture into the Slavonic language, and that all the Slavs accepted Christianity as early as in the 8th century AD. Christianity came from Constantinople, and thus the Slavonic tongue was the liturgical language until the foundation of the Prague bishopric, when it was replaced by Latin. The Czechs sought permission to use Slavonic from the Pope, as this was forbidden for use in Mass by Pope Gregory VII. Further, the Czechs rejected the rule of celibacy, and the acceptance of communion in only one kind.

The author moves on to discuss the forerunners of the Hussites, Hus himself and the Hussite movement, and the inception of the Unitas Fratrum. He traces the organisation’s turbulent fate and persecution. He gives laudatory witness to its order and discipline, tells of Rudolf’s Letter of Majesty and finishes with an outline of the dire consequences of the Battle of White Mountain.


For further study, see also:

Vybrané spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. VI. Prague 1972, pp305-311

J. V. Novák & J. Hendrich, Jan Amos Komenský, jeho život a spisy. Prague 1932, pp209-211

Jan Kumpera, J. A. Komenský, poutník na rozhraní věků. Prague & Ostrava 1992, pp235-236




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