Jan Amos KOMENSKÝ - life, work, legacy

Schola ludus


Schola ludus seu Encyclopaedia viva, hoc est Januae lingvarum praxis scenica, res omnes nomenclatura vestitas et vestiendas sensibus ad vivum repraesentandi artificium exhibens amoenum


The school as play, or A Living encyclopaedia, that is, the stage for the Gate of Tongues in practice, showing  wonderful dexterity to present the senses according to true experience of all things, which are or could be clothed in nomenclature



Origin of the work:
  1654 Sárospatak

  1656 Sárospatak

1657 Amsterdam, Opera didactica omnia III

1657 Amsterdam

1915 Brno, Veškeré spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. IX

1957 Prague, Opera didactica omnia III (phototype edition)

1960 Prague, Vybrané spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. II, various eds., Czech translation by J. Hendrich (under the title Škola na jevišti – The School on Stage)



Comenius was dissatisfied with the results oh his didactic work at Sárospatak, and saw the root cause of the problem as being the laziness of the Hungarian students. In order to enliven the teaching of Latin, he conceived of a plan to have the students make a stage appearance in the language. In this, he drew on his experience from Leszno, where he had written one play (a comedy) for the students of the local gymnasium on the Antique theme of Diogenes the Cynic Redivivus (the Diogenes) and another on the Biblical theme of Father Abraham (the Abrahamus). At Sárospatak, however, he encountered stubborn resistance from his Calvinist teacher colleagues, who rejected school plays on Antique or Biblical themes. The relented to the extent of allowing that the Janua linguarum could be dramatised.




It was in this way that Comenius’ dramatic collection, the Schola Ludus, divided into eight plays, came to be. The first play presents natural things, the second to fifth Man and the human arts, and the sixth, the seventh and the first act of the eighth relationships within human society. The remainder of the eighth play is devoted to religion. The idea was well received; the students gladly went up on stage. The result brought improvements in the teaching of Latin, and was also useful in terms of the students’ social skills. The plays were in character rather academically didactic, but are marked by a certain dramatic vigour.


For further study, see also:

Veškeré spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. IX. Brno 1915, pp119-128

J. V. Novák & J. Hendrich, Jan Amos Komenský, jeho život a spisy. Prague 1932, pp480-487

Dějiny české literatury I. Prague 1959, pp439-440

Jan Kumpera, Jan Amos Komenský, poutník na rozhraní věků. Prague & Ostrava 1992, pp296-298




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