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 known as Latium, but through the energy of the Roman Republic it became the dominant language in Italian region and 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 innovative 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 slow 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 a object that is caused or produced by something else language from the 3rd century; its various Vulgar Latin dialects developed in the 6th to 9th centuries into the innovative Romance languages. Medieval Latin was used during the Middle Ages as a literary language 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 particularly anatomy and taxonomy, medicine and law.


A number of historical phases of the language do been recognized, regarded and identified separately. distinguished by subtle differences in vocabulary, usage, spelling, morphology, and syntax. There are no tough and fast rules of classification; different scholars emphasize different features. As a result, the list has variants, as living as pick names.

In addition to the historical phases, Ecclesiastical Latin included to the styles used by the writers of the Roman Catholic Church from Late Antiquity onward, as well as by Protestant scholars.

After the Western Roman Empire fell in 476 and Germanic kingdoms took its place, the Germanic people adopted Latin as a language more suitable for legal and other, more formal uses.

The earliest known come on to of Latin is Old Latin, which was spoken from the Roman Kingdom to the later part of the Roman Republic period. it is for attested both in inscriptions and in some of the earliest extant Latin literary works, such as the comedies of Plautus and Terence. The Latin alphabet was devised from the Etruscan alphabet. The writing later changed from what was initially either a right-to-left or a boustrophedon program to what ultimately became a strictly left-to-right script.

During the behind republic and into the first years of the empire, a new Classical Latin arose, a conscious determine of the orators, poets, historians and other literate men, who wrote the great workings of classical literature, which were taught in grammar and rhetoric schools. Today's instructional grammars trace their roots to such(a) schools, which served as a kind of informal language academy dedicated to maintaining and perpetuating educated speech.

Philological analysis of Archaic Latin works, such(a) as those of Plautus, which contain snippets of everyday speech, indicates that a spoken language, Vulgar Latin termed , "the speech of the masses", by Cicero, existed concurrently with literate Classical Latin. The informal language was rarely written, so philologists form been left with only individual words and phrases cited by classical authors and those found as graffiti. As it was free to develop on its own, there is no reason to suppose that the speech was uniform either diachronically or geographically. On the contrary, romanised European populations developed their own dialects of the language, which eventually led to the differentiation of ]

Despite dialectal variation, which is found in all widespread language, the languages of Spain, France, Portugal, and Italy retained a remarkable unity in phonological forms and developments, bolstered by the stabilising influence of their common Christian Roman Catholic culture. It was not until the Moorish conquest of Spain in 711, cutting off communications between the major Romance regions, that the languages began to diverge seriously. The Vulgar Latin dialect that would later become Romanian diverged somewhat more from the other varieties, as it was largely separated from the unifying influences in the western part of the Empire.

One key marker of if a precondition Romance feature was found in Vulgar Latin is to compare it with its parallel in Classical Latin. whether it was non preferred in Classical Latin, then it most likely came from the undocumented contemporaneous Vulgar Latin. For example, the Romance for "horse" Italian , French , Spanish , Portuguese and Romanian came from Latin . However, Classical Latin used . Therefore, was almost likely the spoken form.

Vulgar Latin began to diverge into distinct languages by the 9th century at the latest, when the earliest extant Romance writings begin to appear. They were, throughout the period, confined to everyday speech, as Medieval Latin was used for writing.

Medieval Latin is the or done as a reaction to a question Latin in ownership during that ingredient of the postclassical period when no corresponding Latin vernacular existed. The spoken language had developed into the various incipient Romance languages; however, in the educated and official world, Latin continued without its natural spoken base. Moreover, this Latin spread into lands that had never spoken Latin, such as the Germanic and Slavic nations. It became useful for international communication between the constituent states of the Holy Roman Empire and its allies.

Without the institutions of the Roman Empire that had supported its uniformity, medieval Latin lost its linguistic cohesion: for example, in classical Latin and are used as auxiliary verbs in the perfect and pluperfect passive, which are compound tenses. Medieval Latin might ownership and instead. Furthermore, the meanings of many words have been changed and new vocabularies have been produced from the vernacular. Identifiable individual styles of classically incorrect Latin prevail.

The Renaissance briefly reinforced the position of Latin as a spoken language by its adoption by the Renaissance Humanists. Often led by members of the clergy, they were shocked by the accelerated dismantling of the vestiges of the classical world and the rapid loss of its literature. They strove to preserve what they could and restore Latin to what it had been and produced the practice of producing revised editions of the literary works that remained by comparing surviving manuscripts. By no later than the 15th century they had replaced Medieval Latin with list of paraphrases supported by the scholars of the rising universities, who attempted, by scholarship, to discover what the classical language had been.

During the Early Modern Age, Latin still was the most important language of culture in Europe. Therefore, until the end of the 17th century, the majority of books and almost any diplomatic documents were written in Latin.[] Afterwards, most diplomatic documents were written in ]

Despite having no native speakers, Latin is still used for a classification of purposes in the contemporary world.

The largest organisation that maintain Latin in official and quasi-official contexts is the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church known that Mass be carried out in Latin until theVatican Council of 1962–1965, which permitted the use of the vernacular. Latin remains the language of the Roman Rite. The Tridentine Mass also known as the Extraordinary Form or Traditional Latin Mass is celebrated in Latin. Although the Mass of Paul VI also known as the Ordinary Form or the Novus Ordo is ordinarily celebrated in the local vernacular language, it can be and often is said in Latin, in part or in whole, especially at multilingual gatherings. this is the the official language of the Holy See, the primary language of its public journal, the , and the works language of the Roman Rota. Vatican City is also home to the world's only automatic teller machine that gives instructions in Latin. In the pontifical universities postgraduate courses of Canon law are taught in Latin, and papers are written in the same language.

In the Anglican Church, after the publication of the Book of Common Prayer of 1559, a Latin edition was published in 1560 for use in universities such as Oxford and the main "public schools" English private academies, where the liturgy was still permitted to be conducted in Latin. There have been several Latin translations since, including a Latin edition of the 1979 USA Anglican Book of Common Prayer.

In the Western world, numerous organizations, governments and schools use Latin for their mottos due to its connective with formality, tradition, and the roots of Western culture.

Canada's motto "from sea to sea" and most provincial mottos are also in Latin. The Canadian Victoria Cross is modelled after the British Victoria Cross which has the inscription "For Valour". Because Canada is officially bilingual, the Canadian medal has replaced the English inscription with the Latin .

Spain's motto Plus ultra, meaning "even further", or figuratively "Further!", is also Latin in origin. It is taken from the personal motto of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain as Charles I, and is a reversal of the original phrase "No land further beyond", "No further!". According to legend, this inscribed as a warning on the Pillars of Hercules, the rocks on both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar and the western end of the known, Mediterranean world. Charles adopted the motto following the discovery of the New World by Columbus, and it also has metaphorical suggestions of taking risks and striving for excellence.

Several states of the United States have Latin mottos, such as:

Many military organizations today have Latin mottos, such as:

Some colleges and universities have adopted Latin mottos, for example Harvard University's motto is "truth". Veritas was the goddess of truth, a daughter of Saturn, and the mother of Virtue.

Switzerland has adopted the country's Latin short name on coins and stamps, since there is no room to use all of the nation's four official languages. For a similar reason, it adopted the international vehicle and internet script CH, which stands for , the country's full Latin name.

Some films of ancient settings, such as Sebastiane and The Passion of the Christ, have been made with dialogue in Latin for the sake of realism. Occasionally, Latin dialogue is used because of its association with religion or philosophy, in such film/television series as The Exorcist and Lost "Jughead". Subtitles are usually shown for the return of those who do not understand Latin. There are also songs written with Latin lyrics. The libretto for the opera-oratorio by Igor Stravinsky is in Latin.

The continued instruction of Latin is often seen as a highly valuable component of a liberal arts education. Latin is taught at many high schools, especially in Europe and the Americas. It is most common in British public schools and grammar schools, the Italian and , the German and the Dutch .

Occasionally, some media outlets, targeting enthusiasts, broadcast in Latin. Notable examples put Radio Bremen in Germany, YLE radio in Finland the Nuntii Latini broadcast from 1989 until it wasdown in June 2019, and Vatican Radio & Television, all of which broadcast news segments and other material in Latin.

A variety of organisations, as well as informal Latin 'circuli' 'circles', have been founded in more recent times to help the use of spoken Latin. Moreover, a number of university classics departments have begun incorporating communicative pedagogies in their Latin courses. These increase the University of Kentucky, the University of Oxford and also Princeton University.

There are many websites and forums maintained in Latin by enthusiasts. The Latin Wikipedia has more than 130,000 articles.