Jan Amos KOMENSKÝ - life, work, legacy

Historia profana 

Historia profana sive politica

A secular or political history


Origin of the work:
1631 Leszno

  1965 Prague, in: Archiv pro bádání o životě a díle J. A. Komenského (Acta Comeniana) 23

1972 Prague, Vybrané spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. VI, editorial board, Czech translation by D. Čapková

1989 Prague, J. A. Comenii Opera omnia, vol. 9/I



This is preparatory material for one of the textbooks that Comenius compiled during his time as a teacher at the Leszno Gymnasium. The incompletely preserved manuscript forms part of the “Leningrad miscellany” of works by Comenius, in the Saltik-Shchedrin Public Library, St Petersburg, together with other treatises: the Geometria, the O vycházení a zapadání přednějších hvězd..., the O poezi české, the Cosmographiae compendium and the Prima philosophia. With 46 pages, it is the longest work in this collection. It arose out of improvements to Daniel Pare’s Universalis historiae prophanae medulla (Core of universal secular history).

After an initial definition of secular history and of empires, this textbook begins with the erecting of the Tower of Babel, and continues with other events from Chaldaean and Babylonian history. Events are at the same time described from Egyptian, Greek, Phoenician, Sicilian and Roman history. The treatise ends with the Roman King Ancus Martius. These historical records are interspersed with paragraphs titled Axiomata; these are the “winged words” or thoughts of writers mainly of Antiquity, providing moral assessments of the historical material given.


For further study, see also:

J. A. Comenii Opera omnia, vol. 9/I. Prague 1989, pp365-368

Vybrané spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. VI. Prague 1972, pp37-40

Jan Kumpera, J. A. Komenský, poutník na rozhraní věků. Prague & Ostrava 1992, p244



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