What Language Ancient Rome

The origins of the language of ancient Rome trace back to the days of the Roman Kingdom about 750 BC, when the language was still a form of Latin spoken by the Italic tribes. Latin was the principal language of the Roman Empire, and it remained the official language until the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century AD. Since then, Latin has been an important part of the cultural and linguistic heritage of Rome, and it has left an indelible mark on the language of the modern world.

Latin was once thought to be a single language, but it is now classified as a collection of related dialects, or Vulgar Latin, which included Ancient Roman and Old Roman. Old Roman was spoken during the Republic and Imperial periods, while Ancient Roman was the language of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, and it was the language in which Cicero wrote his famous works. Ancient Roman was also the language used by Julius Caesar and other prominent figures in Roman history.

Latin is known for its use as the official language of the Roman Empire, but it is also known as the language of literature, science, and philosophy. Many Latin words, such as “civis” (citizen) and “lex” (law) have been adopted into the English language. Latin was used for legal and religious documents, such as the Book of the Dead, and the Twelve Tables, which codified the laws of Roman society.

Latin is still used today in the Catholic Church and in certain scientific and legal terms, such as “certiorari” and “habeas corpus.” However, the language has mostly been supplanted by other languages, such as Italian and French, although some words, such as “stella” (star) and “festina lente” (make haste slowly) are still used in everyday speech. Latin is also the official language of the Vatican and the liturgy of the Catholic Church.

Despite its decline in everyday use, Latin still remains an important part of the Italian identity, and there are a variety of modern schools and universities that offer Latin classes. Many of the Roman monuments throughout the world, including the Colosseum, are inscribed in Latin.

If you intend to learn Latin, there is no shortage of resources available. There are a variety of books, websites, and language-learning courses available for those wishing to learn the language of Ancient Rome. It is also possible to find a tutor to help teach you the language, or to find classes at local universities and schools.

Written Works

The language of Ancient Rome left a significant mark on the written works of the time. Some of the most famous works in the language include Cicero’s speeches, Virgil’s Aeneid, and Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Latin was also used extensively in the works of Julius Caesar, Seneca, Livy, and Plutarch.

These works represented the height of Roman literature and culture, and they remain some of the most beloved works of all time. Many of these works provide insight into the mindset of the Roman people, and they are a valuable resource for anyone interested in the history of the time.

There are still a number of surviving Latin manuscripts from the time of the Roman Empire, and these can provide a wonderful insight into the language and culture of Ancient Rome.


Latin is still widely used today and it has left an enduring legacy in many aspects of modern life. Many common English words such as “civitas” (city), “universitas” (university) and “libertas” (liberty) are derived directly from Latin.

Latin is also still used in many scientific and legal terms, and it continues to be taught in schools and universities across the world.

One of the most important legacies of the language of Ancient Rome is its influence on the development of modern European languages. Latin provided the basis for the Romance languages, including French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese, and its influence can be seen in these languages to this day.

Religious Rituals

The language of Ancient Rome was also used for religious purposes. In addition to its use in religious texts, Latin was used for official ceremonies, such as the city’s inauguration of new consuls, and even the coronation of the Emperor.

Latin was also used in religious rituals, such as the Roman Catholic Mass, and the language remains an important part of the liturgy of the Catholic Church. Latin was used in the liturgy of other Church denominations as well, such as the Anglican Church.

The language of Ancient Rome remains an important part of religious and cultural heritage today, and it is still an integral part of the Catholic Church.

Modern Uses

Latin still remains an important language in the modern world. It is still used in the fields of science, law, and medicine, and it is still taught in schools and universities around the world. Latin is also still used in the Catholic Church, and it is often used in literature, poetry, and music.

Latin also makes for an ideal language to learn for anyone who is interested in the culture and history of Ancient Rome. Learning Latin can open up new intellectual and creative opportunities, and it can also be useful for travelers who may encounter Latin-speaking regions on their travels.

Latin is a fascinating language that is still prevalent in many aspects of the modern world. Its legacy and influence is still felt today, and it remains an important part of the Roman cultural heritage.

Moshe Rideout is a professional writer and historian whose work focuses on the history of Ancient Rome. Moshe is passionate about understanding the complexity of the Roman Empire, from its architecture to its literature, political systems to social structures. He has a Bachelor's degree in classic studies from Rutgers University and is currently pursuing a PhD in classical archaeology at UMass Amherst. When he isn't researching or writing, he enjoys exploring ruins around Europe, drawing inspiration from his travels.

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