Yes. The roman numeral analysis you're using, being a shorthand for describing/notating chord progressions, was (and still is) used to describe music of the Common Practice Period well before its application to modern pop music.
As for your question, paraphrased:
Did composers in the classical period think in terms
repeating chord progressions when they wrote their music?
The answer to that is also yes. I think the best evidence is in the music itself. If you analyze the harmony of any piece of music from the classical period, you'll see the patterns. It could only be the case composers weren't thinking about these progressions if all of harmony in western music happened by accident.
As an aside, there are also classical fake books that contain jazz/pop-style lead sheets for classical pieces.
Appendix: various definitions of chord progression (since I agree with Dom that there seems to be a terminology issue here):
Grove Music Online (their definition of progression):
A succession of chords or chord-like constructions having coherence as an expression of harmony (‘chord progression’, ‘harmonic progression’), especially one based on a familiar pattern such as the BLUES PROGRESSION. Some writers use ‘progression’ as a translation of the Schenkerian concept of Zug
Oxford Dictionary of Music (their definition of progression):
The motion of one note to another note or one chord to another chord, in logical progression.
...a succession of musical chords. Chord progressions are the foundation of harmony in Western musical tradition.
The movement from one chord to the next such as I - IV - V - I.
A succession of functional chords proceeding by strong root movements. The functional chords may be elaborated by intervening non-functional chords (auxiliary chords, passing chords or appoggiatura chords). These chord progressions are used to form dynamic harmony.