The word heresy—deviation from orthodox beliefs—comes from the Greek

, and its original meaning was connected with seizing, as in, for instance, seizing or taking a city—it was used in this sense by the Greek historians Herodotus and Thucydides. Metaphorically, it came to mean choice or preference, implying one's taking of a philosophical, political, or religious position that was different or separate from another—we find the word used in this sense by the ancient philosophers and historians Diogenes Laertius and Josephus. It is important to notice that the word as it was used by those ancient authors had no pejorative connotation; those writers did not imply that the preference being accorded was to a worse or erroneous position, only to a different one. The pejorative ...
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