John Amos Comenius, a Czech, whose real name was Komensky, remarkable for his early attempts at reforming education, born at Kom-na in Moravia, March 28, 1592, died in Holland, Nov. 15, 1671. He studied in Heidelberg and Herborn, and was a teacher in Pre-rau and Fulneck from 1614 to 1620, when, in the general persecution of Protestants which followed the reverses of the insurgents in Bohemia and Moravia, he lost all his fortune and was expatriated, and for some time lived as a teacher in a retired part of the Bohemian mountains. From 1632 he was pastor of the sect of the Bohemian Brethren at Lissa, then in Poland. In 1641 he was invited to England to reform the schools, in which however he did not succeed, on account of the civil dissensions. At the request of Oxenstiern he now applied himself to the organization of a system for Swedish schools, though residing in Elbing, W.
Prussia. He subsequently repaired to Transylvania, and in 1650 elaborated rules for the Protestant college of Saros-Patak in Hungary. Returning to Lissa in 1054, he again lost all his books, manuscripts, and fortune by the Polish war of 1657, and spent the latter part of his life in Holland. As a writer in the Czech language he is highly esteemed for his classical style. As a school reformer he was the forerunner of Rousseau, Basedow, and Pestalozzi, suggested a mode of instruction which renders learning attractive by pictures and illustrations, and wrote the first pictorial school book, Orbis Sensualium Pictus (Nuremberg, 1658). For instruction in foreign languages he recommended combining with the teaching of the foreign words explanations of the ideas they express. His most celebrated works in this department, Janua Linguarum Beserrata (Lissa, 1631), and Pansophiae Prodromus (Lissa, 1639), were translated into many languages.