Old Latin

Latin language in the period before 75 BC / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Old Latin, also known as Early Latin or Archaic Latin (Classical Latin: prīsca Latīnitās, lit.'ancient Latinity'), was the Latin language in the period before 75 BC, i.e. before the age of Classical Latin.[1] It descends from a common Proto-Italic language; Latino-Faliscan is likely a separate branch from Osco-Umbrian with possible further relation to other Italic languages and to Celtic; e.g. the Italo-Celtic hypothesis.

Quick facts: Old Latin, Native to, Region, Ethnicity,...
Old Latin
Archaic Latin
The Duenos inscription, one of the earliest Old Latin texts
Native toLatium, later the Roman Kingdom and Republic
EthnicityLatins, Romans
EraAttested since 7th century BC. Developed into Vulgar Latin as colloqiual form, and Literary Latin as literary form, during the 1st century BC.
Latin alphabet 
Official status
Official language in
Regulated bySchools of grammar and rhetoric
Language codes
ISO 639-3None (mis)
Expansion of the Roman Republic during the 2nd century BC. Very little Latin is likely to have been spoken beyond the green area, and other languages were spoken even within it.
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The use of "old", "early" and "archaic" has been standard in publications of Old Latin writings since at least the 18th century. The definition is not arbitrary, but the terms refer to spelling conventions and word forms not generally found in works written under the Roman Empire. This article presents some of the major differences.

The earliest known specimen of Latin seems to be on the Praeneste fibula. A new analysis done in 2011 declared it to be genuine "beyond any reasonable doubt"[2] and dating from the Orientalizing period, in the first half of the seventh century BC.[3] Other Old Latin inscriptions dated to either the late Roman Kingdom or early Roman Republic include the Lapis Niger stone, the Duenos Inscription on a kernos vase, and the Garigliano bowl of Bucchero type.