Latin was the language spoken, read, and written by the ancient Romans from before the ascendancy of Rome as a dominant power in the Mediterranean in third century B. C. until after the fall of Rome in the fifth century A. D. It remained a powerful common language in Medieval, Renaissance, and Early-Modern Europe.

Although Latin is today primarily a read, not a written or spoken language, it is still spoken not only as a common language in the Vatican but also by many Latin enthusiasts around the world. Latin has had a profound effect on the modern languages of Europe since it is the immediate ancestor of the so-called Romance Languages: Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian. [read more...]