Great Personalities Who Inspire Us: Johannes Honterus

Here's how we draw inspiration from Johannes Honterus, a 16-century renaissance humanist and author to make Mondly better every day.

Great Personalities Who Inspire Us: Johannes Honterus

We at Mondly are beyond proud to be able to pave the way to innovation and help millions of people worldwide learn languages from the very heart of Romania, in idyllic Transylvania. Although miles away from important high technology and innovation centers such as Berlin, London or Silicon Valley, we find inspiration everywhere around us – in people, places, art or even history. For example, one of the local historical figures who inspire us to be better every day is Johannes Honterus.

The first humanist gymnasium in Southeast Europe

Born in 1498, in Brașov, right on the street where our headquarters lies today, Johannes Honterus was a renaissance humanist, Protestant reformer, theologian and author. Honterus, also known as Honter or Johann Hynter (Latinized as Johann Honterus or Ioannes Honterus), is best known for implementing the Lutheran reform in Transylvania and establishing the Evangelical Church of Augustan Confession in Romania.

Honterus also set up the first printing press in Brașov in 1539 and funded “Schola Coronensis”, the first humanist gymnasium in Southeast Europe, today known as the Johannes Honterus School. This is especially meaningful for us at Mondly as we believe that education can change the world for the better.

In our journey to helping those who need it most we draw inspiration from Honterus and pledged to give students the tools to succeed and the opportunity to learn in ways they never could have imagined. This is why we unveiled multiple state-of-the-art iMac labs at the Transilvania University of Brașov and several other high schools. In total, there are now 60 brand new iMacs helping young minds innovate in schools all over Brașov.

Rudimenta Cosmographica, the first European-wide manual

After graduating at the University of Vienna between 1520 and 1525 with a magister artium title, Honterus moved to Poland to teach at the Kraków’s Jagiellonian University. During his stay, he published two of his most important works: a Latin grammar and Rudimenta Cosmographica, a cosmography manual. Then, he moved to Basel and practiced printing, publishing and wood engraving. This is where he came into contact with printers Heinrich Petri, Johann Bebel and Michael Isengrin. His connections with all four printing workshops in Basel at that time prove to be especially relevant when he returns to native Transylvania and decides to set up a printing press.

In the following years, Honterus printed a large number of books, some of which he authored himself. Then, in 1542, he printed a new version of his cosmography manual, Rudimenta Cosmographica, this time in verse. Honterus believed that verses will help students remember the information in his manual faster.

honterus map
The map of the world by Johannes Honterus

Additionally, Rudimenta Cosmographica contained 13 maps of all known parts of the world engraved by Honterus himself. The book proved to be so successful that there were printed 39 editions of it in Brașov, Basel, Prague, Zürich, Antwerp and Cologne. Many consider Rudimenta Cosmographica to be the first European-wide manual and the first Minor Atlas in Central and South-Eastern Europe.

Draw inspiration from the best

Everything Johannes Honterus did throughout his life is an inspiration for us at Mondly. He literally put Romania on the map before the unified nation was even born and our ambition is to continue his endeavor.

After the two world premieres with Mondly VR and Mondly AR, we felt even more motivated to fortify Romania’s place on the technological map of the world and help people become polyglots. This is why we’re continuously improving Mondly to make language learning easier every day.

While Honterus wrote his cosmography manual in verse to facilitate information retention, we created a gamified language learning experience that will bring magic to your screen and new languages into your brain. We drew inspiration from the most successful people in the world – from Steve Jobs and Elon Musk to Johannes Honterus – and we’re proud of it.

Our aim is to make you love learning a new language. Every day we give our best to make language learning easy for you and we hope you’ll appreciate it.


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