Jan Amos KOMENSKÝ - life, work, legacy

Václav Jan Rosa

(perhaps 1620 – 1689)


Czech philologist, lawyer and poet.


Rosa received his doctorate of laws and the liberal arts at the Prague University. He served as an advocate and official of the state (and from 1670 was counsellor to the Court of Appeal in Prague). He was raised to a knighthood in recognition of his services. He interested himself in the Czech language, and formulated his knowledge into a Latin Grammar  (Čechořečnost seu Grammatica linguae Bohemicae – Spoken Czech, or A Grammar of the Czech Language, 1672). In its conception it matches period grammars, showing above all a debt to the methodological work of Comenius. Rosa knew Comenius’ Latin textbook and his didactic work (the Opera didactica omnia, 1657). Purist tendencies are evident in Rosa’s explication of word formation (he attempted to replace words still in common use in the original with new forms, which were not organic, e.g. činětnost, jídatelna, knihotelna etc.). He also worked on compiling a Czech-German dictionary (the Thesaurus linguae Bohemicae, the manuscript of which has survived). The connection to Comenius’ Thesaurus is undeniable, particularly in the methodology. More recent research does not confirm the conclusion drawn by earlier scholars that he had at his disposal Comenius’ dictionary manuscript (V. Petráčková, Studia Comeniana et historica 1988, 36, pp5-26). Rosa’s manuscript was used by National Revivalists in the 19th century. In his consideration of poetry, he used as an example Comenius’ translations of Cato’s Distiches (Cato) and the Psalms. Rosa’s own poetic output reflects the spirit of contemporary love poetry (Discursus Lipirona, the sad cavalier, de amore or on love), but his spiritual metrical poems are among the most important Czech literary efforts of the 17th century (the Shepherd’s Account of the Birth of the Lord).




Muzeum Jana Amose Komenského

Přemysla Otakara II. 37
Česká republika, EUROPE
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