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Latin Names

Latin is the language of ancient Italy that has gone on to influence culture throughout the entire world. Latin's name sensically came after the Latini, the inhabitants of the territory around the river Tiber and the region known as Latium ('the broad plain'), where Rome was established. The Latin alphabet was modeled after the Greek which, in turn, was adapted in 1500 BC from the Semitic language from Syria. The earliest known record of Latin is an inscription on a brooch that dates back to 600 BC.

Over the ages, Latin has achieved an impressive pedigree for it was the language of republican Rome; the Roman Empire; the Roman Catholic Church; and, finally, western European culture, science, philosophy and law during the Middle ages and the Renaissance. Latin is also the base, or proto-language, of the Romance languages, which are noted for their highly inflected grammar and concision of expression.

Although the language's development peaked at the Classical stage (100 BC to 175 AD), Latin and its classical literature still affect many modern languages and literatures. Latin has entered English for it was the religious vocabulary from Anglo-Saxon times until the Reformation, and the vocabulary of science scholarship and law from the Middle ages onwards.

This page was last modified on 16 May 2003.

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