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Christine's Latin Web Page


...this page is dedicated to Latin and Latin only! It is here to inform all about the history and importance of Latin. The following is the research paper I wrote for my Exhibition Project back in 8th grade and you're looking at the project itself. But never fear, there are interesting things after my long, boring paper. Stick around and see for yourself. Feel free to sign my guestbook at the end of my page...actually, it's encouraged. I apologize for all the annoying pop-ups and adds, but I had no budget for the project so Tripod it was.

Latin is a dead language
As dead as it can be
It killed all the Romans
And now it's killing me
All are dead who wrote it
All are dead who spoke it
All die who learn it
Blessed death - they earn it


Have you ever found yourself telling a friend or relative, “ Carpe diem,” (‘seize the day’) and wondered where it came from? Well, many people might think that it is Spanish, but in truth it is Latin (Gill 2). There is also the fact that Spanish, being one of the Romance languages, is derived from Latin. You may also have heard quid pro quo, ex post facto, ad hoc, and de facto. Latin has had a tremendous influence on several languages. Do you ever wonder how or why?

The first thing to explore is where Latin started out. It grew out of the tongue that was originally brought by the Indo-European people who migrated to eastern and southern Italy around the end of the Trojan War (1193 BC). It evolved into Latin and then was spoken mainly by the Romans in their city of Rome and the region around it. As the Romans were increased their mighty empire, Latin slowly expanded to the remaining sector around the western Mediterranean Sea. The following are the different periods of ancient literary Latin: the Early Period, the Golden Age, the Silver Age, and the Late Latin Period. Each period changed Latin and how more forms were added to the language. There was also Medieval Latin and Modern Latin. Finally, a look at what the Latin language has become at the end of the 20th century: how we use it and what we think of it.

Latin is a part of the Italic branch of Indo-European languages. It was greatly influenced by the non-Indo-European Etruscan language from central Italy, the Celtic tongues from northern Italy, and especially by the Greek language. But Latin did not begin in Italy. It was brought there in prehistoric times by Indo-European peoples who moved there from northern Europe. When brought to Italy, Latin was spoken mainly in Rome and the surrounding area.

Latin gradually spread throughout the entire western Mediterranean region as more and more people came under Roman sway (Wyatt 2). There were more complicated reasons repsonsible for this tremendous change. There was always a conflict between Latin and the Italic languages and the Social War of 90-88 BC, between Rome and the Italians. This was an important time for that problem, because this was when a change in the political treatment Rome’s of territories in Italy occurred. Up until that time, Rome had followed the unspoken rule of trying to keep all their conquered Italian metropolis’ away from each other. This was to prevent any scheming and later rebellion against Rome. One of their tactics was to give these communities all different rights and privileges because they figured that if they had different rights, they would have different complaints, then they would not have the same reason for action, and could not combine their forces in going against Rome. An obvious part to this unspoken rule was to allow the communities to speak different languages than their neighbors. With the end of the Social War, this rule went away because of the new idea of political unity for the Italian peoples, and with this political unity came the presentation of Latin as the common language for all local as well as federal business.

Lucania, Samnium and the county of Bruttii were extremely low in population. Rome sent lots of colonies to all three. Even though the old tongues were still in use for a little while, they eventually disappeared and Latin took their place. Latin was now in larger use all over the central and southern areas of the peninsula (Abbott 9-11).

Ancient literary Latin can be divided into four periods. The first was from 240-70 BC and included the writings of Plautus, Terence, and Ennius.

The next period was from 70 BC to AD 14 and called the Golden Age. This age is famous for the works of Livy, Julius Caesar, and Cicero and the poetry of Catullus, Lucretius, Vergil, Hoarse, and Ovid. During this time, the Latin language rose to another height of... “artistic medium of expression and attained its greatest richness and flexibility” (Duckworth 1 ).

The third period was the Silver Age, 14-130. It is noted for... “striving for rhetorical elaboration and ornament and concise and epigrammatic expression” (Duckworth 1 ).

The last period was named the Late Latin Period. It extended from the 2nd century until the 6th century. Invading barbarian tribes changed Latin by bringing in a whole bunch of unknown forms and idioms. The result was a form of “corrupted” Latin and named it the lingua Romana, which was different from the lingua Latina, the classical dialect refined by the educated.

Latin during the Middle Ages of Europe was called Medieval Latin or Low Latin. It was the language used to write letters. At this time Latin was still a living language because the church provided a large amount of religious literature. And once again, the language changed. Sentence structure was simplified again, new words were added from many different sources, and new meanings were created. However, the change in Latin during this period was far less than the change in either English or French.

Next would be Modern Latin, also called New Latin. This was during the 15th and 16th centuries. The ingenious Renaissance writers created a new wonderful Latin literature that imitated the Latin literature of the classical writers.

During this time, most of the books of scientific, religious, or philosophical importance were written in Latin. The termination of Latin as the international language was not until the latter years of the 1600’s. It still remained the language of scholarship in the 1700 and 1800’s though.

Now in the 20th century, theses for college or some other type of research papers are occasionally written in Latin. But, mostly it is only the Roman Catholic Church that uses Latin. It is still an extremely useful language for people to know. “In fact, 75% of the English language is made up of Latin. I have been taught etymology in my Latin class, and being able to break down words into their simple meanings has even garnered me a few extra points on the SAT’s!” (Curtis 2/18/98). Etymology is the branch of linguistics that deals with finding the history of a word as shown by determining its earliest use and recording its changes in form and meaning. Many of us fail to notice the bits and pieces of this language that work themselves into our everyday lives; a myriad of phrases and abbreviations. Most law terms are also Latin. Latin is still alive through the five Romance languages- Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, and Romanian. These five dialects represent the “modern evolution of Vulgar Latin” during the Late Latin period (Duckworth 2). Vulgar Latin, also named serbo plebeius, was the form of Latin spoken by the uneducated classes.

The Roman Empire was one of the main causes behind the expansion and popularity of the Latin tongue. But Latin also happened to be a wonderful language in its own right. It produced magnificent literature, played a big hand in the development of Italian, French, Romanian, Portugeuse, and Spanish and greatly influenced our own English. Latin is still a useful tool for life in the 20th century. So how does Latin affect your everyday life?

Link to list of very funny and very strange facts about the Romans.

If you need more specific information on Latin or anything else, look for it on The following are direct links to Amazon's direct page for each book. I have tried to catagorize the following books into Latin dictionaries & software, funny helpful books of Latin words and phrases, courses to help you learn Latin, and miscellaneous books.

In Association with
Cassell's Latin and English Dictionary

Cassell's Latin Dictionary : Latin-English, English-Latin

The Bantam New College Latin & English Dictionary

Rosetta Stone: Latin Explorer Ages 6 and Up (Software)

Latin Now! 8.0 (Software)

Veni, Vidi, Vici : Conquer Your Enemies, Impress Your Friends With Everday Latin

Amo, Amas, Amat and More : How to Use Latin to Your Own Advantage and to the Astonishment of Others

Latin for All Occasions : Lingua Latina Occasionibus Omnibus

A Dictionary of Latin Words and Phrases

Carpe Diem : Seize the Day : A Little Book of Latin Phrases

Beginner's Latin : An Easy Introduction (Teach Yourself)

Modern Latin Book One

Latin (Teach Yourself) (Different from the other one)

Aeneas to Augustus : A Beginning Latin Reader for College Students

Essentials of Latin Grammar : A Practical Guide to the Mastery of Latin

Cambridge Latin Course, Unit 1/The North American Third Edition

Cambridge Latin Course, Unit 2/North America

Cambridge Latin Course, Unit 3/The North American Third Edition

Cambridge Latin Course, Unit 4/The North American Third Edition

Cambridge Latin Course, Unit I Teacher's Manual

Wheelock's Latin (Harpercollins College Outline)

Workbook for Wheelock's Latin (Harpercollins College Outline Series)

Barron's Regents Exams and Answers : Comprehensive Latin

Oxford, Latin Course (part 1)

Oxford Latin Reader

501 Latin Verbs : Fully Conjugated in All the Tenses in a New Easy-To-Learn Format Alphabetically Arranged

Conversational Latin for Oral Proficiency

Easy Latin Crossword Puzzles : Quid Pro Quo

The Anchor Book of Latin Quotations : With English Translations

Amor Et Amicitia : A Collection of Latin Poems, Letters, and Epitaphs With Vocabulary, Notes, and Questions (Themes in Latin Literature)

Daimon : An Adventure Story for the First Year Latin Students

An Anthology of Latin Prose

Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources : Fascicule 4 : F-H

Documents in Medieval Latin

Medieval Latin

Latinity and Literary Society at Rome

Domesday Names : An Index of Latin Personal and Place Names in Domesday Book

L a t i n    N a m es

Knowing your name in a Latin translation may be useless but it's also something fun to know. The following are some examples: (Warning! Some names may be the same or are not included, so don't be disappointed.) In my list of links, you can go to a site where you can check up any name you want to.

Alexander= Alexa
Alicia= Alexia
Amanda= Same
Amy= Amata
Andrea= Andreilla
Anna= Same
Anthony- Antonius
Arnold= Arnoldus
Bartholomew= Bartholomaeus
Brian= Brennus
Carl= Carolus
Catherine= Catharina
Celeste= Caelestis
Charles= Carolus
Christopher= Christophorus
Cynthia= Same
Daniel= Same
David= Same
Deborah= Debora
Derek= Theodoricus
Diana= Same
Doug= Douglasius
Edward= Edurdus
Elizabeth= Elizabetha
Elliot= Elias
Francis= Franciscus
Frank= Franclinus
George= Georgius
Grace= Gratia (Also a way to say thank you)
Gregory= Gregorius
Helen= Helena
Henry= Henricus
Jennifer= Guenervera
Jeremy= Ieremias
John= Ioannes
Jordan= Iordanus
Joseph= Iosephus
Karen= Caterina
Kenneth= Canicus
Laura= Same
Leslie= Leslea
Lisa= Elisabetha
Louis= Aloisius
Maria= Marie
Mark= Marcus
Matthew= Matthaeus
Melanie= Melania
Melissa= Same
Michael= Same
Monica= Same
Natalie= Natalia
Nathan= Nathanael
Nicholas= Nicholaus
Nicole= Nicolais
Patrick= Patricius
Paul= Paulus
Penelope= Penelopa
Peter= Petrus
Rachel= Same
Rebecca= Same
Richard= Richardus
Robert= Robertus
Ronald= Ronaldus
Sean= Ioannes
Stephanie= Stephania
Suzan= Susanna
Teresa= Teresia
Thomas= Same
Timothy= Timotheus
Victor= Same
Victoria= Same
Virginia= Verginia
Warren= Varnerius
William= Villemus

List of Names with Latin Origins.

Latin Phrases

Vescere bracis meis= Eat my shorts.
Lege atque lacrima= Read 'em and weep.
Fac ut vivas= Get a life.
Stultus est sicut stultus facit= Stupid is as stupid does.
dixi= I have spoken
Cum catapultae proscriptae erat, tum soli proscript catapultas habeunt= If catapaults are outlawed, then only outlaws will only have catapaults.
Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam.= I have a catapult. Give me all the money, or I will fling an enormous rock at your head.
Canis meus id comedit= My dog ate it.
Fac ut gaudeam= Make my day
Fac ut vivas= Get a life
Nihil est--in vita priore ego imperator Romanus fui= That's nothing--in a previous life I was a Roman Emperor
Magister Mundi sum= I am the Master of the Universe
Utinam coniurati te in foro interficiant= May conspirators assassinate you in the mall



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