This course aims at giving a broad and interdisciplinary perspective on some of the very diverse cultural and historical roots of European identity. It examines contemporary debates over contested identity in the light of long historical trajectories in which identities were continually (re)defined. It is conceived as an introduction to many of the courses in Princeton dealing with European issues. The landmarks are mostly, but not exclusively, written texts. They include Virgil, Cervantes and Karl Marx, but also Beethoven and Claude Monet.