Comenius arranged his course in a gradated series:
1. The Vestibulum, with an associated grammar for beginners
1a. The Orbis Sensualium Pictus - an amplified form of the Vestibulum.
2. The Janua Linguarum, with an associated grammar and lexicon.
3. The Janua Linguarum Aurea, with an associated grammar and colloquia.
4. The Atrium, with an associated grammar.
5. A Lexicon wholly in Latin.
How could the student use this material?
1. His or her first step, should be to listen to the Vestibulum in bilingual audio
, until the work can be fully understood in the Latin only. This will mean listening to the book several times.
Once the student has done this, he or she needs to read the work - there are some digital scans available through the Europeana
portal. Simply type "vestibulum" into the search box, the first three or four texts are examples in Latin and Hungarian. These texts can be downloaded as pdf files.
1a. The Orbis Sensualium Pictus is your next step. (If you cannot download the Vestibulum you could begin with the Orbis Pictus) You will notice that you have not been exposed to any formal grammar - this will follow, once you have started to expose yourself to the language, and build up an intuitive structure, and a good vocabulary.
The Orbis Sensualium Pictus is available in audio in a bilingual format on latinum, and also, for revision, in a monolingual format
. There are many examples of this text in many languages parallel to the Latin available on google books, europeana, and archive.org
This text needs to be listened to and re-read many dozens of times - it is a long text, and will give you a rich vocabulary of 1000's of words - preparing you for reading a wide range of texts in Latin.
2. Comenius' introductory grammar is not yet available in bilingual form - this text can at present only be accessed through the CAMENA scan of Comenius Complete Educational Works (Opera Didactica Omnia)
here is the link to the introductory grammar:
Scroll down to the bottom of the page to locate it, and then click through to read each page.
Once you have studied the Vestibulum and the Orbis Sensualium Pictus, and feel you know the vocabulary, you should consolidate what you know by reading the following texts, which cover the same ground, with differing degrees of variation and amplification of the material.
Reading these subsidiary texts is a useful self-check, to see if you have actually learned the material in the Orbis. If you are struggling, return to the Orbis Pictus, and re-read it a few more times.