European Studies I
Cod: 31016
Department: DH
Scientific area: Culture
Total working hours: 156
Total contact time: 15

The module addresses the notion of Europe and the construction of its cultural values from Classical Antiquity to the first steps of the European Union in the second half of the 20th century. The module offers an introduction into the cultural history and ideas of Europe through a systematic recapitulation of the most important periods that constitute the European development process. The main issue of the module consists in a methodical and systematic introduction to the way in which Europe was formed, starting from Antiquity and its religious heritages, continuing with the formative stages of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, with the epoch of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution (and their idea of a unified continent), with the “long 19th century”, finally reaching the “short 20th century” and the first attempts at European integration through the foundation of the European Coal and Steel Community. Nevertheless, this does not mean a simple chronology of events in the geographical space of Europe, but an attempt to demonstrate that European identity is more a process than a fixed entity, more an interconnection than a sequence of events.

  • Europe
  • Cultural History
  • European Culture
  • European Civilisation

At the end of the module, the student should be able:

- to obtain a solid knowledge of the cultural history of Europe and of central themes within the framework of this evolution, understanding Europe as an unfinished civilisational process;

- to acquire a firm knowledge of the origins, interpretations and transformations of the idea of Europe during different historical periods and in different socio-cultural contexts;

- to have a clear understanding of the different occurrences, projects, instructions and actors that have contributed to the creation of a politically and culturally united European entity;

- to develop independent and critical thinking on the European question and the current state of Europe, and to be able to value Europe’s heritage.

  • - Europe in Classical and Late Antiquity: mythology, geography, and values

    - The Middle Ages: the emergence of Europe

    - The Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, and the Counter-Reformation

    - The idea of “Perpetual Peace” and the thinkers of the Enlightenment

    - Europe since the French Revolution

    - Europe’s suicide in the first half of the 20th century

    - The resurgence and division of Europe in the years following World War II

    - The first European Community (1950-1957)

Each topic has a specific reading list with academic articles that relate to the subject in question.

 · Burke, Peter (2019). What is Cultural History? Polity.

·  Franco, José Eduardo; Cieszynska, Béata; Pinheiro, Teresa (coords.) (2013). Repensar Europa. Gradiva.

·  Ghervas, Stella (2022). À Conquista da Paz: do Iluminismo à União Europeia. Desassossego.

·  Jenkins, Simon (2019). Brief History of Europe. Editorial Presença.

·  Le Goff, Jacques (2007). As Raízes Medievais da Europa. Editora Vozes.

·  Morin, Edgar (2010). Pensar a Europa. Publicações Europa-América.

·  Padgen, Anthony (ed.) (2007). The Idea of Europe, from Antiquity to the European Union. Cambridge University Press.

·  Ribeiro, Maria Manuela Tavares (2003). A ideia de Europa: uma perspectiva histórica. Quartet.

·  Rietbergen, Peter (2020). Europe: A Cultural History. Routledge.

·  Steiner, George (2017). A Ideia de Europa. Relógio d’Água.

·  Stoica, Alina (2015). History of the European Idea. From Origins until the mid-20th century. Lambert Academic Publishing.

·  Zweig, Stefan (2017). O Mundo de Ontem: Recordações de um Europeu. Assírio & Alvim.


Continuous assessment is privileged: 2 digital written documents (e-folios) during the semester (40%) and a final digital test, Global e-folio (e-folio G) at the end of the semester (60%). In due time, students can alternatively choose to perform one final exam (100%).

Language(s) of Instruction: Portuguese.

Knowledge in english (reading) is beneficial.