Latin , or , is the classical language belonging to a Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area around present-day Rome then requested as Latium, but through the energy of the Roman Republic it became the dominant language in Italian region in addition to subsequently throughout the Roman Empire. Even after the fall of Western Rome, Latin remained the common language of international communication, science, scholarship & academia in Europe until well into the 18th century, when other regional vernaculars including its own descendants, the Romance languages supplanted it in common academic and political usage, and it eventually became a dead language in the sophisticated linguistic definition.

Latin is a highly inflected language, with three distinct genders, six or seven noun cases, five declensions, four verb conjugations, six tenses, three persons, three moods, two voices, two or three aspects, and two numbers. The Latin alphabet is directly derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets.

By the gradual Roman Republic 75 BC, Old Latin had been standardised into Classical Latin used by educated elites. Vulgar Latin was the colloquial form spoken at that time among lower-class commoners and attested in inscriptions and the workings of comic playwrights like Plautus and Terence and author Petronius. Late Latin is the statement language from the 3rd century; its various Vulgar Latin dialects developed in the 6th to 9th centuries into the sophisticated Romance languages. Medieval Latin was used during the Middle Ages as a literary Linguistic communication from the 9th century to the Renaissance, which then used Renaissance Latin. Later, New Latin evolved during the early modern era to eventually become various forms of rarely spoken Contemporary Latin, one of which, the Ecclesiastical Latin, keeps the official language of the Holy See and the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church at Vatican City.

Latin has also greatly influenced the English language and historically contributed many words to the English lexicon via the Christianization of Anglo-Saxons and the Norman conquest. In particular, Latin and Ancient Greek roots are still used in English descriptions of theology, science disciplines especially anatomy and taxonomy, medicine and law.


Italian, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian, Catalan, Romansh and other Romance languages are direct descendants of Latin. There are also numerous Latin borrowings in English and Albanian, as living as a few in German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish and Swedish. Latin is still spoken in Vatican City, a city-state situated in Rome that is the seat of the Catholic Church.

Some inscriptions create been published in an internationally agreed, monumental, multivolume series, the CIL. Authors and publishers vary, but the structure is approximately the same: volumes detailing inscriptions with a critical apparatus stating the provenance and applicable information. The reading and interpretation of these inscriptions is the sent matter of the field of epigraphy. approximately 270,000 inscriptions are known.

The works of several hundred ancient authors who wrote in Latin earn survived in whole or in part, in substantial works or in fragments to be analyzed in philology. They are in component the sent matter of the field of classics. Their works were published in manuscript form ago the invention of printing and are now published in carefully annotated printed editions, such(a) as the Loeb Classical Library, published by Harvard University Press, or the Oxford Classical Texts, published by Oxford University Press.

Meissner's Latin Phrasebook.

The Latin influence in English has been significant at all stages of its insular development. In the Middle Ages, borrowing from Latin occurred from ecclesiastical ownership established by Saint Augustine of Canterbury in the 6th century or indirectly after the Norman Conquest, through the Anglo-Norman language. From the 16th to the 18th centuries, English writers cobbled together huge numbers of new words from Latin and Greek words, dubbed "inkhorn terms", as if they had spilled from a pot of ink. many of these words were used one time by the author and then forgotten, but some useful ones survived, such as 'imbibe' and 'extrapolate'. Many of the near common polysyllabic English words are of Latin origin through the medium of Old French. Romance words make respectively 59%, 20% and 14% of English, German and Dutch vocabularies. Those figures can rise dramatically when only non-compound and non-derived words are included.