Origin of the work:
1656 – 1657 Amsterdam
1657 Amsterdam, Opera didactica omnia IV
1895 Prague, in: Učitelské noviny XIII, p471ff, Czech translation by J. Šmaha
1957 Prague, Opera didactica omnia IV (phototype edition)
1960 Prague, Vybrané spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. II
This autobiographical discourse considers the origins of the works gathered into the Opera didactica omnia IV (ODO). In it, Comenius weighs the futility and continual changeability of everything, even human fate, which is like a maelstrom. Even he, on his departure from Hungary to Poland, was tossed by the currents of war, in particular the Fire of Leszno in which he lost his home, his furnishings and the literary treasures on which he had been working for forty years. Even this evil fortune, however, gave rise to a certain good; he finally found a place where he could take refuge, and devote himself to his work. Here in Amsterdam he would have been most happy to give himself up to his pansophic works, but new currents dragged him in a different direction – towards work for schools.
Voices were heard from several places, calling for his didactic works to be published in a single volume; a new work was also requested. Comenius enumerated his creations, and published after a year in this Amsterdam exile.
For further study, see also:
Vybrané spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. II. Prague 1910, pp485-486
J. V. Novák & J. Hendrich, J. A. Komenský, jeho život a spisy. Prague 1932, pp531-532
Jan Kumpera, Jan Amos Komenský, poutník na rozhraní věků. Prague & Ostrava 1992, pp274-278