The author shares the prevaling view that the idea of tolerance is sensu stricto a modern one. She nevertheless concieves tolerance in a broader anthropological sense as a potentiality of the human species status. This had been shown by the ancient nations spontaneous forms of lives - by the coexistence - even in war times - of various religions, customs, cultures e. t. c. in their plurality. Author’s main concern is to reveal the process of how and when the idea of tolerance became historically a means by which the natural claim of man to religious and ideological freedom and later on to „otherness“ in general was justified. This proces is documented by two models of tolerance: classical one (beginning with humanism up to Enlightement and Kant) and postmodern one, examninig the tolerance in close relation to modem practicies of power.