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قراءة كتاب The Orbis Pictus

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The Orbis Pictus

The Orbis Pictus

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
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Editor’s Preface (1887)
Critics’ Comments (1887)
Title Page (1727/1887)
Author’s Preface (1658)
Translator’s Introduction (1659)
Advertisement (1727)


Latin Index
English Index
Transcriber’s Notes




John Amos Comenius.


This work is, indeed, the first children’s picture book.
Encyclopædia Britannica, 9th Edition, vi. 182.


School Bulletin Publications 1874



Copyright, 1887, by C. W. Bardeen.

It may not be generally known that Comenius was once solicited to become President of Harvard College. The following is a quotation from Vol. II, p. 14, of Cotton Mather’s Magnalia:

“That brave old man, Johannes Amos Commenius, the fame of whose worth has been TRUMPETTED as far as more than three languages (whereof everyone is indebted unto his Janua) could carry it, was indeed agreed withal, by one Mr. Winthrop in his travels through the LOW COUNTRIES, to come over to New England, and illuminate their Colledge and COUNTRY, in the quality of a President, which was now become vacant. But the solicitations of the Swedish Ambassador diverting him another way, that incomparable Moravian became not an American.”

This was on the resignation of President Dunster, in 1654—Note of Prof. Payne, Compayre’s History of Education, Boston, 1886, p. 125.

Editor’s Preface.

When it is remembered that this work is not only an educational classic of prime importance, but that it was the first picture-book ever made for children and was for a century the most popular text-book in Europe, and yet has been for many years unattainable on account of its rarity, the wonder is, not that it is reproduced now but that it has not been reproduced before. But the difficulty has been to find a satisfactory copy. Many as have been the editions, few copies have been preserved. It was a book children were fond of and wore out in turning the leaves over and over to see the pictures. Then as the old copper-plates became indistinct they were replaced by wood-engravings, of coarse execution, and often of changed treatment. Von Raumer complains that the edition of 1755 substitutes for the original cut of the Soul, (No. 43, as here given,) a picture of an eye, and in a table the figures I. I. II. I. I. II., and adds that it is difficult to recognize in this an expressive psychological symbol, and to explain it. In an edition I have, published in Vienna in 1779, this cut is omitted altogether, and indeed there are but 82 in place of the 157 found in earlier editions, the following, as numbered in this edition, being omitted:

1, the alphabet, 2, 36, 43, 45, 66, 68, 75, 76, 78–80, 87, 88, 92–122, 124, 126, 128, 130–141.

On the other hand, the Vienna edition contains a curious additional cut. It gives No. 4, the Heaven, practically as in this edition, but puts another cut under it in which the earth is revolving about the sun; and after the statement of Comenius, “Coelum rotatur, et ambit terram, in medio stantem” interpolates: “prout veteres crediderunt; recentiores enim defendunt motum terrae circa solem” [as the ancients used to think; for later authorities hold that the motion of the earth is about the sun.]

Two specimen pages from another edition are inserted in Payne’s Compayré’s History of Education (between pp. 126, 127). The cut is the representative of No. 103 in this edition, but those who compare them will see not only how much coarser is the execution of the wood-cut Prof. Payne has copied, but what liberties have been taken with the design. The only change in the Latin text, however, is from Designat Figuras rerum in the original, to Figuram rerum designat.

In this edition the cuts are unusually clear copies of the copper-plates of the first edition of 1658, from which we have also taken the Latin text. The text for the English translation is from the English edition of