Latin alphabet The Latin, or Roman, alphabet was originally adapted from the Etruscan alphabet during the 7th century BC to write Latin. Since then it has had many different forms, and been adapted to write many other languages. Modern alphabet to Roman legend, the Cimmerian Sibyl, Carmenta, created the Latin alphabet by adapting the Greek alphabet used in the Greek colony of Cumae in southern Italy. This was introduced to Latium by Evander, her son.
60 years after the Trojan war. Archaic Latin alphabet The earliest known inscriptions in the Latin alphabet date from the 6th century BC. It was adapted from the Etruscan alphabet during the 7th century BC. The letters Y and Z were taken from the Greek alphabet to write Greek loan words. Other letters were added from time to time as the Latin alphabet was adapted for other languages. By the 5th or 4th century BC it was normally written from left to right.
Before A the letter K was used for these sounds, before O or V, Q was used, and C was used elsewhere. The letter G was later added to the alphabet to distinguish these sounds. This is a version of the earliest known text in Latin. It is known as the Duenos inscription, and was found on the Quirinal Hill in Rome by Heinrich Dressel, a German archaeologist, in 1880. It is thought to date from the 7th to 5th century BC. Transliteration Omnes homines dignitate et iure liberi et pares nascuntur, rationis et conscientiae participes sunt, quibus inter se concordiae studio est agendum.
Translation All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Modern Latin alphabet The modern Latin alphabet is used to write hundreds of different languages. Each language uses a slightly different set of letters, and they are pronounced in various ways. Some languages use the standard 26 letters, some use fewer, and others use more. This is the modern Latin alphabet as used to write English.