Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant language, initially in Italy and subsequently throughout the Roman Empire.
Vulgar Latin developed into the Romance languages, such as Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Romanian.
Latin was used as the language of international communication, scholarship, and science until well into the 18th century, when it began to be supplanted by vernaculars.
Ecclesiastical Latin remains the official language of the Holy See and the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.
Latin and Ancient Greek roots are used in theology, biology, and medicine.
A number of historical phases of the language have been recognised, each distinguished by subtle differences in vocabulary, usage, spelling, morphology, and syntax.
There are no hard and fast rules of classification; different scholars emphasise different features.
Today, many students, scholars and members of the Catholic clergy speak Latin fluently as a liturgical language.
Latin is a highly inflected language, with three distinct genders, seven noun cases, four verb conjugations, four verb principal parts, six tenses, three persons, three moods, two voices, two aspects and two numbers.