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Origin of the concept of the western world

Posted by Peter Miller on December 06, 2003

I am looking for the origin of the concept of the 'western world' or western civilisation. I have traced back to find that Rome was considered the centre of Western Civilisation during the time of the Caesars. This begs the question west of where? What is the 'middle east' and 'far east' near and far from?

The term obviously now has more societal and political dimensions than geographic ones.