Jan Amos KOMENSKÝ - life, work, legacy

Lesnae excidium


Lesnae excidium anno 1656 in Aprili factum fide historica narratum

The destruction of Leszno, which took place in April of the year 1656, narrated with historical fidelity


Origin of the work:
  1656, place unknown

  1656, evidently Hamburg

1894 Leszno 

c. 1914, Leszno, in: Aus Lissas Vergangenheit, vol. 3, German translation by W. Bickerich

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



This short work relates the circumstances surrounding the destruction of Leszno by the Polish horde. It also sets down a history of the Leszczynski family.

Comenius first describes the origin of the   Leszczynski family with Petr of Pernštejn, and the origins of Leszno as a deliberately-founded colony. It was from this that a town endowed with privileges grew, which after the Reformation became a haven for evangelical refugees fleeing, from the Czech Lands in particular, the persecutions of the Counter-Reformation. Catholics displayed opposition to and a hatred of these groups, but Vladislav Leszczynski, who had converted to Catholicism, always behaved with tolerance and justice. The First Northern War (1655-1660), however, became an occasion for open enmity, when common folk, whipped up by Catholic monks into fanatical opponents of foreigners and the Polish nobility, assaulted and set fire to Leszno. An account of the conflagration follows.

This treatise was intended to defend the Brethren from accusations that it had been they who were the cause of the damage to the town, and was meant to gain help for the afflicted from readers.


For further study, see also:

Vybrané spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. VI. Prague 1972, p231

J. V. Novák & J. Hendrich, Jan Amos Komenský, jeho život a spisy. Prague 1932, p521

Jan Kumpera, J. A. Komenský, poutník na rozhraní věků. Prague & Ostrava 1992, pp259-260



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