Before Orbis Pictus : some notes on Comenius' Latin textbooks
The authors of the current paper study Latin textbooks written by J. A. Comenius before his Orbis pictus (1658). In attempt to explain book title Janua linguarum reserata they draw reader's attention both to the real history of its composition and to its possible symbolic interpretation. Close attention is paid to Vestibulum, the first textbook of the series Vestibulum -Janua -Atrium, intended for children of six-seven years old. It is argued, that it was a figure of king Solomon and his
... omon and his personified Wisdom that stood behind the general layout of Vestibulum determining its title, its first chapter and more (particularly, a paragraph on numerals is analyzed in details). The authors make a try to find allusions to New Testament in Janua and Vestibulum and to trace indirect influence of some pericopes from Scripture on Comenius' textbooks. Unconsciously, the philosopher of the XVIIth century was bound to biblical tradition coining phrases and verbal images that had implicitly inherited patterns from the Holy Bible. This article is a result of the research project Some pages of John Amos Comenius' scientific legacy out of reach in Russia: research strategies, texts, investigation which has been supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (Department for Humanities and Social Sciences), project number: 17-06-00075. Some results presented in this paper were partly and in a shortened form published in Russian, in V. Rybakov's article, included into a journal Seeking in Psychology and Pedagogy (2017, issue 1). We would like to thank Ulrich Schäfer for help and valuable hints concerning various editions of Vestibulum and their circulation in Europe.