Classical Latin was the language associated with the Romans - from Kingdom via Republic to Empire.

During the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period it was the usual language of communciations between intellectuals.

In a modified form it has become the official language of the Roman Catholic Church - the Vatican City has a department to create new Latin words as required (eg 'spaceship').

The term is also used to describe those countries whose languages derived from Latin (including French, Portuguese and Spanish) - such as Latin America.

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