Lust

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Lust is an inordinate craving for carnal pleasure, which can sometimes assume a violent or self-indulgent character. In the three major Abrahamic religions, it is considered a sin.

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Etymology

The word lust is phonetically similar to the ancient Roman "lustrum", which literally meant "five years". This was the cycle time for the ritual expiation of "sins" called the lustration as practiced in ancient Greek and Roman cultures. Sexual intercourse was one of a list of sins requiring lustration.

The Seven Deadly Sins, written during the 5th century is a similar list of sins requiring expiation or forgiveness. These doctrines forbade even thoughts and desires for fornicatio (fornication) and luxuria (luxury). The concept also was progressively embodied in debates about mandatory Clerical celibacy beginning in the 1st through 5th centuries and following. For example, Henry Charles Lea states that "Sixtus III barely admits that married persons can obtain eternal life" in his "Sacerdotal History of Christian Celibacy" (p. 45). He also states, "Siricius and Innocent I ransacked the Gospels for texts of more than doubtful application with which to support the innovation <of required celibacy>". (p. 53)

However, in the 11th to 15th centuries the northern European usage of the verb still meant simply "to please, delight;" or "pleasure". A related form "lusty", originally meant "joyful, merry" or "full of healthy vigor". See [1].

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