Sverrir Jakobsson: The Idea of Europe before 1800
The aim of this article is to explain the origins of the term Europe, its roots in Ancient Greek toponymical discourse and the origin of the idea of three continents. The second purpose is to analyze the rising importance of Europe in political discourse from the 15th century onwards, and the subsequent stages in the formation of European identities. Thirdly, the development of a European identity will be placed in relation with the rise of a new world view following the European discovery of the Western and Southern continents.
Keywords: Europe, continents, identities, discourse, world view