Many social constructions of Europe, both past and present, stem from the classical world. One only need view the Palladian buildings dating from the growth and height of the British Empire to see this. The idea of Europe for Classical cultures raises twin themes that still carry their problems into social constructions of Europe today. These are concepts of threat from the east and a sense of superiority over others who are uncivilised and barbaric. Although contemporary ideas of Europe bear no resemblance to the classical divisions, the sense of Europe as a territory also still persists.
A number of European-funded projects have taken Roman and Greek themes to demonstrate the concept of European integration or common citizenship (e.g. 'European frontiers of the Roman World' ). It is worth considering these concepts of identity because they are at the very root of many constructions of European society, democracy and common culture.
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