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Thread: Heathen vs. Pagan

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    Heathen is a purely germanic term. It quite simply has come to mean a person who is not a member of the religions that branched from the cult of Abraham, such as Christianity, Islam and Judaism. In each of these books they look down upon the native peoples and their religions, as needing to be converted or, in case of Islam, destroyed. The Koran literally goes into rants about killing heathens "where ever ye find them." Heathen, the word, is of germanic origin. It refers to the Heath or Heather, a meadow where lowlying shrubs and flowers grow in Europe. A Heathen would be an 'uncivilized' person who would live away from the cities and towns, sticking to the old customs, and not intergrating with the metropolitan, new christian religion of Europe. In about every other Germanic language Heathen is used to describe these people. In german it is "Heide," in swedish it is "Hedning," and so on. They each come from their languages versions of 'heath' (In swedish 'Hedning' comes from 'Hed'), which means there is some 'proto-germanic' connection.
    Pagan comes from the latin "Paganus," which means 'country dweller' or 'civilian'. They are used in just about the same way and have similar meanings. Yet one is germanic and the other is italic. Which one should we call ourselves? Well I guess it depends on which meta-ethnicity you want yourself to be associated with. I prefer Heathen.

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    Senior Member Ewergrin's Avatar
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    A linguistic approach. I had often wondered myself what the differences were. Fortunately, for me, I am not as picky. Pagan. Heathen. Virtually the same thing.

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    Senior Member Ewergrin's Avatar
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    Also, it seems to me that "pagan" is often used to describe the Anglo-Saxons in the pre-christian era.

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    Seems I was wrong.

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    Anglo-Saxons used the word "Hæthen."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erntearbeiter
    Heathen is a purely germanic term. It quite simply has come to mean a person who is not a member of the religions that branched from the cult of Abraham, such as Christianity, Islam and Judaism. In each of these books they look down upon the native peoples and their religions, as needing to be converted or, in case of Islam, destroyed. The Koran literally goes into rants about killing heathens "where ever ye find them." Heathen, the word, is of germanic origin. It refers to the Heath or Heather, a meadow where lowlying shrubs and flowers grow in Europe. A Heathen would be an 'uncivilized' person who would live away from the cities and towns, sticking to the old customs, and not intergrating with the metropolitan, new christian religion of Europe. In about every other Germanic language Heathen is used to describe these people. In german it is "Heide," in swedish it is "Hedning," and so on. They each come from their languages versions of 'heath' (In swedish 'Hedning' comes from 'Hed'), which means there is some 'proto-germanic' connection.
    Pagan comes from the latin "Paganus," which means 'country dweller' or 'civilian'. They are used in just about the same way and have similar meanings. Yet one is germanic and the other is italic. Which one should we call ourselves? Well I guess it depends on which meta-ethnicity you want yourself to be associated with. I prefer Heathen.


    I personally prefer 'Heathen' due simply to the fact that it is a Germanic word as opposed to the Latin derived 'Pagan'.


    Of the heath!!

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    To me its one in the same,I am never one to argue semantics :nono I LOVE my heathen :smt008 and am leaning that way myself! :smt003

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