History of Latin

Latin is a member of the broad family of Italic languages. Its alphabet, the Latin alphabet, emerged from the Old Italic alphabets, which in turn were derived from the Greek and Phoenician scripts. Historical Latin came from the prehistoric language of the Latium region, specifically around the River Tiber, where Roman civilization first developed. How and when Latin came to be spoken by the Romans are questions that have long been debated. Various influences on Latin of Celtic dialects in northern Italy, the non-Indo-European Etruscan language in Central Italy, and the Greek of southern Italy have been detected, but when these influences entered the native Latin is not known for certain.

Surviving Latin literature consists almost entirely of Classical Latin in its broadest definition. It includes a polished and sometimes highly stylized literary language sometimes termed Golden Latin, which spans the 1st century BC and the early years of the 1st century AD. However, throughout the history of ancient Rome the spoken language differed in both grammar and vocabulary from that of literature, and is referred to as Vulgar Latin. In addition to Latin, the Greek language was often spoken by the well-educated elite, who studied it in school and acquired Greek tutors from among the influx of enslaved educated Greek prisoners of war, captured during the Roman conquest of Greece. In the eastern half of the Roman Empire, which became the Byzantine Empire, the Greek Koine of Hellenism remained current and was never replaced by Latin. It continued to influence the Vulgar Latin that evolved into the Eastern Romance languages.

Admont Bib 05
One of the seven ceiling frescoes painted by Bartolomeo Altomonte in his 80th year for the library of Admont Abbey. An allegory of the Enlightenment, it shows Aurora, goddess of dawn, with the geniuses of language in her train awakening Morpheus, god of dreaming, a symbol of man. The geniuses are Grammar, Didactic, Greek, Hebrew and Latin.
Iron Age Italy
Approximate distribution of languages in Iron Age Italy during the 6th century BC. Latin is confined to Latium, a small region on the coast of west central Italy, hemmed in by other Italic peoples on the east and south and the powerful Etruscan civilization on the north.


Forum inscription
The Forum inscription (Lapis Niger, "black stone"), one of the oldest known Latin inscriptions, from the 6th century BC; it is written boustrophedon, albeit irregularly; from a rubbing by Domenico Comparetti.

The name Latin derives from the Italic tribal group named Latini that settled around the 10th century BC in Latium, and the dialect spoken by these people.[1]

The Italic languages form a centum subfamily of the Indo-European language family. These include the Romance, Germanic, Celtic, and Hellenic languages, and a number of extinct ones.

Broadly speaking, in initial syllables the Indo-European simple vowels — (*a), *e, *i, *o, *u; short and long — are usually retained in Latin. The schwa indogermanicum () appears in Latin as a (cf. IE *pəter > L pater). Diphthongs are also preserved in Old Latin, but in Classical Latin some tend to become monophthongs (for example oi > ū or oe, and ei > ē > ī).[2] In non-initial syllables, there was more vowel reduction. The most extreme case occurs with short vowels in medial open syllables (i.e. short vowels followed by at most a single consonant, occurring neither in the first nor last syllable): All are reduced to a single vowel, which appears as i in most cases, but e (sometimes o) before r, and u before an l which is followed by o or u. In final syllables, short e and o are usually raised to i and u, respectively.

Consonants are generally more stable. However, the Indo-European voiced aspirates bh, dh, gh, gwh are not maintained, becoming f, f, h, f respectively at the beginning of a word, but usually b, d, g, v elsewhere. Note that non-initial dh becomes b next to r or u, e.g. *h₁rudh- "red" > rub-, e.g. rubeō "to be red"; *werdh- "word" > verbum. s between vowels famously becomes r, e.g. flōs "flower", gen. flōris; erō "I will be" vs. root es-; aurōra "dawn" < *ausōsā (cf. Germanic *aust- > English "east", Vedic Sanskrit uṣā́s "dawn"); soror "sister" < *sosor < *swezōr < *swésōr (cf. Old English sweostor "sister").

Of the original eight cases of Proto-Indo-European, Latin inherited six: nominative, vocative, accusative, genitive, dative, and ablative. The Indo-European locative survived in the declensions of some place names and a few common nouns, such as Roma "Rome" (locative Romae) and domus "home" (locative domī "at home"). Vestiges of the instrumental case may remain in adverbial forms ending in .[3]

It is believed that the earliest surviving inscription is a seventh-century B.C. pin known as the Praenestine fibula, which reads Manios med fhefhaked Numasioi "Manius made me for Numerius".[4]

Old Latin

Duenos inscription
The Duenos inscription, from the 6th century BC, is the second-earliest known Latin text.

Old Latin (also called Early Latin or Archaic Latin) refers to the period of Latin texts before the age of Classical Latin, extending from textual fragments that probably originated in the Roman monarchy to the written language of the late Roman republic about 75 BC. Almost all the writing of its earlier phases is inscriptional.

Some phonological characteristics of older Latin are the case endings -os and -om (later Latin -us and -um). In many locations, classical Latin turned intervocalic /s/ into /r/. This had implications for declension: early classical Latin, honos, honosis; Classical honor, honoris ("honor"). Some Latin texts preserve /s/ in this position, such as the Carmen Arvale's lases for lares.

Classical Latin

Commentarii de Bello Gallico
Julius Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico is one of the most famous classical Latin texts of the Golden Age of Latin. The unvarnished, journalistic style of this upper-class general has long been taught as a model of the urbane Latin officially spoken and written in the floruit of the Roman republic.

Classical Latin is the form of the Latin language used by the ancient Romans in Classical Latin literature. In the latest and narrowest philological model its use spanned the Golden Age of Latin literature – broadly the 1st century BC and the early 1st century AD – possibly extending to the Silver Age – broadly the 1st and 2nd centuries. It was a polished written literary language based on the refined spoken language of the upper classes. Classical Latin differs from Old Latin: the earliest inscriptional language and the earliest authors, such as Ennius, Plautus and others, in a number of ways; for example, the early -om and -os endings shifted into -um and -us ones, and some lexical differences also developed, such as the broadening of the meaning of words.[5] In the broadest and most ancient sense, the classical period includes the authors of Early Latin, the Golden Age and the Silver Age.

Golden Age

The golden age of Latin literature is a period consisting roughly of the time from 75 BC to AD 14, covering the end of the Roman Republic and the reign of Augustus Caesar. In the currently used philological model this period represents the peak of Latin literature. Since the earliest post-classical times the Latin of those authors has been an ideal norm of the best Latin, which other writers should follow.

Silver Age

In reference to Roman literature, the Silver age covers the first two centuries AD directly after the Golden age. Literature from the Silver Age is more embellished with mannerisms.

Late Latin

Late Latin is the administrative and literary language of Late Antiquity in the late Roman empire and states that succeeded the Western Roman Empire over the same range. By its broadest definition it is dated from about 200 AD to about 900 AD when it was replaced by written Romance languages. Opinion concerning whether it should be considered classical is divided. The authors of the period looked back to a classical period they believed should be imitated and yet their styles were often classical. According to the narrowest definitions, Late Latin did not exist and the authors of the times are to be considered medieval.

Vulgar Latin

Vulgar Latin, as in this political graffito at Pompeii, was the language of the ordinary people of the Roman Empire, distinct from the Classical Latin of literature.

Vulgar Latin (in Latin, sermo vulgaris) is a blanket term covering vernacular dialects of the Latin language spoken from earliest times in Italy until the latest dialects of the Western Roman Empire, diverging still further, evolved into the early Romance languages – whose writings began to appear about the 9th century.

This spoken Latin differed from the literary language of Classical Latin in its grammar and vocabulary. It is likely to have evolved over time, with some features not appearing until the late Empire. Other features are likely to have been in place much earlier. Because there are few phonetic transcriptions of the daily speech of these Latin speakers (to match, for example, the post-classical Appendix Probi) Vulgar Latin must be studied mainly by indirect methods.

A replica of the Old Roman Cursive inspired by the Vindolanda tablets

Knowledge of Vulgar Latin comes from a variety of sources. First, the comparative method reconstructs items of the mother language from the attested Romance languages. Also, prescriptive grammar texts from the Late Latin period condemn some usages as errors, providing insight into how Latin was actually spoken. The solecisms and non-Classical usages occasionally found in late Latin texts also shed light on the spoken language. A windfall source lies in the chance finds of wax tablets such as those found at Vindolanda on Hadrian's Wall. The Roman cursive script was used on these tablets.

Romance languages

The Romance languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, comprise all languages that descended from Latin, the language of the Roman Empire. The Romance languages have more than 700 million native speakers worldwide, mainly in the Americas, Europe, and Africa, as well as in many smaller regions scattered through the world.

All Romance languages descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of soldiers, settlers, and slaves of the Roman Empire, which was substantially different from that of the Roman literati. Between 200 BC and AD 100, the expansion of the Empire and the administrative and educational policies of Rome made Vulgar Latin the dominant vernacular language over a wide area which stretched from the Iberian Peninsula to the west coast of the Black Sea. During the Empire's decline and after its collapse and fragmentation in the 5th century, Vulgar Latin began to evolve independently within each local area, and eventually diverged into dozens of distinct languages. The overseas empires established by Spain, Portugal and France after the 15th century then spread these languages to other continents – about two thirds of all Romance speakers are now outside Europe.

In spite of the multiple influences of pre-Roman languages and later invasions, the phonology, morphology, lexicon, and syntax of all Romance languages are predominantly derived from Vulgar Latin. As a result, the group shares a number of linguistic features that set it apart from other Indo-European branches.

Ecclesiastical Latin

Ecclesiastical Latin (sometimes called Church Latin) is a broad and analogous term referring to the Latin language as used in documents of the Roman Catholic Church, its liturgies (mainly in past times) and during some periods the preaching of its ministers. Ecclesiastical Latin is not a single style: the term merely means the language promulgated at any time by the church. In terms of stylistic periods, it belongs to Late Latin in the Late Latin period, Medieval Latin in the Medieval Period, and so on through to the present. One may say that, starting from the church's decision in the early Late Latin period to use a simple and unornamented language that would be comprehensible to ordinary Latin speakers and yet still be elegant and correct, church Latin is usually a discernible substyle within the major style of the period. Its authors in the New Latin period are typically paradigmatic of the best Latin and that is true in contemporary times. The decline in its use within the last 100 years has been a matter of regret to some, who have formed organizations inside and outside the church to support its use and to use it.

Medieval Latin

Carmina Cantabrigiensia Manuscr-C-fol436v
Page with medieval Latin text from the Carmina Cantabrigiensia (Cambridge University Library, Gg. 5. 35), 11th century

Medieval Latin, the literary and administrative Latin used in the Middle Ages, exhibits much variation between individual authors, mainly due to poor communications in those times between different regions. The individuality is characterised by a different range of solecisms and by the borrowing of different words from Vulgar Latin or from local vernaculars. Some styles show features intermediate between Latin and Romance languages; others are closer to classical Latin. The stylistic variations came to an end with the rise of nation states and new empires in the Renaissance period, and the authority of early universities imposing a new style: Renaissance Latin.

Renaissance Latin

Renaissance Latin is a name given to the Latin written during the European Renaissance in the 14th-16th centuries, particularly distinguished by the distinctive Latin style developed by the humanist movement.

Ad fontes was the general cry of the humanists, and as such their Latin style sought to purge Latin of the medieval Latin vocabulary and stylistic accretions that it had acquired in the centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire. They looked to Golden Age Latin literature, and especially to Cicero in prose and Virgil in poetry, as the arbiters of Latin style. They abandoned the use of the sequence and other accentual forms of meter, and sought instead to revive the Greek formats that were used in Latin poetry during the Roman period. The humanists condemned the large body of medieval Latin literature as "gothic" – for them, a term of abuse – and believed instead that only ancient Latin from the Roman period was "real Latin".

The humanists also sought to purge written Latin of medieval developments in its orthography. They insisted, for example, that ae be written out in full wherever it occurred in classical Latin; medieval scribes often wrote e instead of ae. They were much more zealous than medieval Latin writers in distinguishing t from c: because the effects of palatalization made them homophones, medieval scribes often wrote, for example, eciam for etiam. Their reforms even affected handwriting: humanists usually wrote Latin in a script derived from Carolingian minuscule, the ultimate ancestor of most contemporary lower-case typefaces, avoiding the black-letter scripts used in the Middle Ages. Erasmus even proposed that the then-traditional pronunciations of Latin be abolished in favour of his reconstructed version of classical Latin pronunciation.

The humanist plan to remake Latin was largely successful, at least in education. Schools now taught the humanistic spellings, and encouraged the study of the texts selected by the humanists, largely to the exclusion of later Latin literature. On the other hand, while humanist Latin was an elegant literary language, it became much harder to write books about law, medicine, science or contemporary politics in Latin while observing all of the humanists' norms of vocabulary purging and classical usage. Because humanist Latin lacked precise vocabulary to deal with modern issues, their reforms accelerated the transformation of Latin from a working language to an object of antiquarian study. Their attempts at literary work, especially poetry, often have a strong element of pastiche.

New Latin

A Recent Latin inscription at Salamanca University commemorating the visit of the then-Prince "Akihitus" and Princess "Michika" of Japan on 28 February 1985

New Latin (or Neo-Latin) is a post-medieval version of Latin, now used primarily in international scientific vocabulary and systematics. The term came into widespread use towards the end of the 1890s among linguists and scientists.

Classicists use the term "Neo-Latin" to describe the use of the Latin language for any purpose, scientific or literary, after the Renaissance (for which purpose they often use the date 1500), although, for example, the editors of the I Tatti Renaissance Library call their Renaissance Latin language texts Neo-Latin as well. Such Contemporary Latin includes ecclesiastical use, as well as translations from modern languages into Latin and the occasional poetry. Under the name "Living Latin", some have advocated reviving the language as a means of spoken communication.

Phonological changes


Proto-Italic inherited all ten of the early post-Proto-Indo-European simple vowels (i.e. at a time when laryngeals had colored and often lengthened adjacent vowels and then disappeared in many circumstances): *a, *e, *i, *o, *u, *ā, *ē, *ī, *ō, *ū. It also inherited all of the post-PIE diphthongs except for *eu, which became *ou. Proto-Italic and Old Latin had a stress accent on the first syllable of a word, and this caused steady reduction and eventual deletion of many short vowels in non-initial syllables while affecting initial syllables much less. Long vowels were largely unaffected in general except in final syllables, where they had a tendency to shorten.

Development of Proto-Italic vowels in Latin
Initial Medial Final
Proto-Italic +r +l pinguis +other +one consonant +cluster Absolutely final
one consonant cluster s m, n other
a a e u i e i e i e e
e e
i i i
o o u u
u u e
ā ā a a, ā
ē ē e ē?
ī ī i ī?
ō ō o ō
ū ū u ū?
ai ae ī
au au ū
ei ī
oi ū, oe ū ī
ou ū

Note: For the following examples, it helps to keep in mind the normal correspondences between PIE and certain other languages:

Development of some Proto-Indo-European sounds in other languages
(post-)PIE Ancient Greek Old English Gothic Sanskrit Notes
*i i i i, aí /ɛ/ i
*e e e i, aí /ɛ/ a
*a a a a a
*o o a a a
*u u u, o u, aú /ɔ/ u
ī ī ei /ī/ ī
ē ā ē ā
ē (Attic);
ā (Doric, etc.)
ō ō ā
ō ō ō ā
ū ū ū ū
*ai ai ā ái ē
*au au ēa áu ō
*ei ei ī ei /ī/ ē
*eu eu ēo iu ō
*oi oi ā ái ē
*ou ou ēa áu ō
*p p f f; b p b in Gothic by Verner's law
*t t þ/ð; d þ; d t þ and ð are different graphs for the same sound; d in the Germanic languages by Verner's law
*ḱ k h; g h; g ś g in the Germanic languages by Verner's law
*k k; c (+ PIE e/i)
*kʷ p; t (+ e/i) hw, h; g, w ƕ /hʷ/; g, w, gw g, w, gw in the Germanic languages by Verner's law
*b b p p b
*d d t t d
g k k j
*g g; j (+ PIE e/i)
*gʷ b; d (+ i) q, c q
*bʰ ph; p b b bh; b Greek p, Sanskrit b before any aspirated consonant (Grassmann's law)
*dʰ th; t d d dh; d Greek t, Sanskrit d before any aspirated consonant
*ǵʰ kh; k g g h; j Greek k, Sanskrit j before any aspirated consonant
*gʰ gh; g
h; j (+ PIE e/i)
Greek k, Sanskrit g, j before any aspirated consonant
*gʷʰ ph; p
th; t (+ e/i)
b (word-initially);
g, w
b (word-initially);
g, w, gw
Greek p, t, Sanskrit g, j before any aspirated consonant
*s h (word-initially); s, - s; r s; z s, ṣ r, z in Germanic by Verner's law
*y h, z (word-initially); - g(e) /j/ j /j/ y
*w - w w v

Pure vowels

In initial syllables, Latin generally preserves all of the simple vowels of Proto-Italic (see above):

  • PIE *h₂eǵros "field" > *agro- > ager, gen. agrī (cf. Greek agrós, English acre, Sanskrit ájra-)
  • PIE *kápr̥- "penis" > *kapros > caper "he-goat", gen. caprī (cf. Greek kápros "boar", Old English hæfer "he-goat", Sanskrit kápr̥th- "penis")
  • PIE *seḱs "six", septḿ̥ "seven" > sex, septem (cf. Greek heks, heptá, Lithuanian šešì, septynì, Sanskrit ṣáṣ, saptá)
  • PIE *kʷis > quis "who?" (Greek tís,[6] Avestan čiš, Sanskrit kíḥ)
  • PIE *kʷod > quod "what, that" (relative) (Old English hwæt "what", Sanskrit kád)
  • PIE *oḱtōu "eight" > octō (Greek oktṓ, Irish ocht, Sanskrit aṣṭā́(u))
  • PIE *nokʷts "night" > nox, gen. noctis (Greek nuks < *nokʷs, Sanskrit nák < *nakts, Lithuanian naktìs)
  • PIE *(H)yug-óm "yoke" > iugum (Greek zugón, Gothic juk, Sanskrit yugá-)
  • PIE *méh₂tēr "mother" > *mā́tēr > māter (Doric Greek mā́tēr, Old Irish máthir, Sanskrit mātár-)
  • PIE *sweh₂dús "pleasing, tasty" > *swādu- > *swādwi- (remade into i-stem) > suāvis (Doric Greek hādús, English sweet, Sanskrit svādú-)
  • PIE *sēmi- (or *seh₁mi-) "half" > sēmi- (Greek hēmi-, Old English sām-)
  • PIE *gneh₃-tó- "known" > *gnō-tó- > nōtus (cf. i-gnōtus "unknown"; Welsh gnawd "customary", Sanskrit jñātá-; Greek gnōtós[7])
  • PIE *muHs "mouse" > mūs (cf. Old English mūs, Greek mûs, Sanskrit mū́ṣ-)

Short vowel changes in initial syllables:

  1. *swe- > so-:
    • *swesōr > soror, gen. sorōris "sister"
    • *swépnos (or *swópnos) > somnus "sleep"
  2. *we- > wo- before labial consonants or velarized l [ɫ] (l pinguis; i.e. an l not followed by i, ī or l):
    • *welō "I want" > volō (vs. velle "to want" before l exīlis)
    • *wemō "I vomit" > vomō (cf. Greek eméō, Sanskrit vámiti)
  3. e > i before [ŋ] (spelled n before a velar, or g before n):
    • PIE *dn̥ǵʰwéh₂s > *dn̥ɣwā > *denɣʷā > Old Latin dingua > lingua "tongue" (l- from lingō "to lick")
    • PIE *deḱ-no- > *deŋno- > dignus "worthy"

There are numerous examples where PIE *o appears to result in Latin a instead of expected o, mostly next to labial or labializing consonants. A group of cases showing *-ow- > -av- (before stress), *-ōw- > -āv- is known as Thurneysen-Havet's law[8]: examples include PIE *lowh₃ṓ > *lowṓ > lavō 'I wash'; PIE *oḱtōwos > octāvus 'eighth' (but octō 'eight'). Other cases remain more disputed, such as mare 'sea', in contrast to Irish muir, Welsh môr (Proto-Celtic *mori) < PIE *móri; lacus 'lake', in contrast to Irish loch < PIE *lok-u-. De Vaan (2008: 8) suggests a general shift *o > a in open syllables when preceded by any of *b, *m; *kʷ, *w; *l. Vine (2011)[9] disputes the cases with *moCV, but proposes inversely that *mo- > ma- when followed by r plus a velar (k or g).

In non-initial syllables, there was more vowel reduction of short vowels. The most extreme case occurs with short vowels in medial syllables (i.e. short vowels in a syllable that is neither the first nor the last), where all five vowels usually merge into a single vowel:

1. They merge into e before r (sometimes original o is unaffected)

  • *in-armis > inermis "unarmed" (vs. arma "arms")
  • Latin-Faliscan *pe-par-ai "I gave birth" > peperī (vs. pariō "I give birth")
  • *kom-gesō > congerō "to collect" (vs. gerō "to do, carry out")
  • *kinis-es "ash" (gen.sg.) > cineris (vs. nom.sg. cinis)
  • *Falisioi > Faleriī "Falerii (major town of the Faliscans)" (vs. Faliscus "Faliscan")
  • *-foro- "carrying" (cf. Greek -phóros) > -fero-, e.g. furcifer "gallows bird"
  • PIE *swéḱuros "father-in-law" > *swekuros > Old Latin *soceros > socer, gen. socerī

2. They become Old Latin o > u before l pinguis, i.e., an l not followed by i, ī, or l:

  • *en-saltō "to leap upon" > īnsoltō (with lengthening before ns) > īnsultō (vs. saltō "I leap")
  • *ad-alēskō "to grow up" > adolēscō > adulēscō (vs. alō "I nourish")
  • *ob-kelō "to conceal" > occulō (vs. celō "I hide")
  • Greek Sikelós "a Sicilian" > *Sikolos > Siculus (vs. Sicilia "Sicily")
  • te-tol-ai > tetulī "I carried" (formerly l pinguis here because of the original final -ai)
  • kom-solō "deliberate" > cōnsulō
  • PIE *-kl̥d-to- "beaten" > *-kolsso-[10] > perculsus "beaten down"

3. But they remain o before l pinguis when immediately following a vowel:

  • Latin-Faliscan *fili-olos > filiolus "little son"
  • Similarly, alveolus "trough"

4. Before /w/ the result is always u, in which case the /w/ is not written:

  • *eks-lawō "I wash away" > ēluō
  • *mon-i-wai "I warned" > monuī
  • *tris-diw-om "period of three days" > trīduom > trīduum
  • *dē nowōd "anew" > dēnuō

5. They become i before one consonant other than r or l pinguis:

  • *re-fakjō "to remake" > *refakiō > reficiō (vs. faciō "I do, make")
  • Latin-Faliscan *ke-kad-ai "I fell" > cecidī (vs. cadō "I fall")
  • *ad-tenējō > attineō "to concern" (vs. teneō "I hold")
  • *kom-regō > corrigō "to set right, correct" (vs. regō "I rule; straighten")
  • Greek Sikelía "Sicily" > Sicilia (vs. Siculus "a Sicilian")
  • PIE *me-món-h₂e (perfect) "thought, pondered" > Latin-Faliscan *me-mon-ai > meminī "I remember"
  • *kom-itājō "accompany" > comitō
  • *nowotāts "newness" > novitās
  • *kornu-kan- "trumpeter" > cornicen
  • *kaput-es "head" (gen. sg.) > capitis (vs. nom.sg. caput)

6. But they sometimes become e before one consonant other than r or l pinguis, when immediately following a vowel:

  • *sokiotāts "fellowship" > societās
  • *wariogājesi "to make diverse" > variegāre
  • But: *tībia-kan- "flute-player" > *tībiikan- > tībīcen
  • But: *medio-diēs "midday" > *meriodiēs (dissimilative rhotacism) > *meriidiēs > merīdiēs "noon; south"

7. Variation between i and (often earlier) u is common before a single labial consonant (p, b, f, m), underlyingly the sonus medius vowel:

  • From the root *-kap- "grab, catch":
    • occupō "seize" vs. occipiō "begin"
    • From the related noun *-kaps "catcher": prīnceps "chief" (lit. "seizer of the first (position)"), gen. prīncipis, vs. auceps "bird catcher", gen. aucupis
    • *man-kapiom > mancupium "purchase", later mancipium
  • *sub-rapuit > surrupuit "filches", later surripuit
  • *mag-is-emos > maxumus "biggest", later maximus; similarly proxumus "nearest", optumus "best" vs. later proximus, optimus
  • *pot-s-omos > possumus "we can"; *vel-omos > volumus "we want"; but *leg-omos > legimus "we gather", and all other such verbs (-umus is isolated in sumus, possumus and volumus)

Medially before two consonants, when the first is not r or l pinguis, the vowels do not merge to the same degree:

1. Original a, e and u merge into e:

  • Greek tálanton > *talantom > talentum
  • *sub-raptos "filched" > surreptus (vs. raptus "seized")
  • *re-faktos "remade" > refectus (cf. factus "made")
  • *ad-tentos > attentus "concerned" (cf. tentus "held", attineō "to concern")

2. But original i is unaffected:

  • *re-likʷtos "left (behind)" > relictus

3. And original o raises to u:

  • *legontor "they gather" > leguntur
  • *ejontes "going" (gen. sg.) > euntis
  • rōbos-to- > rōbustus "oaken" (cf. rōbur "oak" < *rōbos)

Exon's Law dictates that if there are two light medial syllables in a row (schematically, σσ̆σ̆σ, where σ = syllable and σ̆ = light syllable, where "light" means a short vowel followed by only a single consonant), the first syllable syncopates (i.e. the vowel is deleted):

  • *deksiteros "right (hand)" > dexterus (cf. Greek deksiterós)
  • *re-peparai > repperī "I found" (cf. peperī "I gave birth" < *peparai)
  • *prīsmo-kapes > prīncipis "prince" gen. sg. (nom. sg. prīnceps < *prīsmo-kaps by analogy)
  • *mag-is-emos > maximus "biggest" (cf. magis "more")

Syncopation tends to occur after r and l in all non-initial syllables, sometimes even in initial syllables.[11]

  • *feret "he carries" > fert
  • *agros "field" > *agr̩s > *agers > *agerr > ager
  • *imbris "rainstorm" > *imbers > imber
  • *tris "three times" > *tr̩s > *ters > Old Latin terr > ter
  • *faklitāts > facultās

Sometimes early syncope causes apparent violations of Exon's Law:

  • kosolinos "of hazel" > *kozolnos (not **koslinos) > *korolnos > *korulnos (o > u before l pinguis, see above) > colurnus (metathesis)

Syncope of -i- also occurred in -ndis, -ntis and -rtis.[11] -nts then became -ns with lengthening of the preceding vowel, while -rts was simplified to -rs without lengthening.

  • *montis "hill" > *monts > mōns
  • *gentis "tribe" > *gents > gēns
  • *frondis "leaf" > *fronts > frōns
  • *partis "part" > *parts > pars

In final syllables of polysyllabic words before a final consonant or cluster, short a, e, i merge into either e or i depending on the following consonant, and short o, u merge into u.

1. Short a, e, i merge into i before a single non-nasal consonant:

  • Proto-Italic *rededas, *rededat > reddis, reddit "you return, he returns"
  • PIE thematic 2nd/3rd sg. *-esi, *-eti > PI *-es, *-et > -is, -it (e.g. legis, legit "you gather, he gathers")
  • i-stem nom. sg. *-is > -is

2. Short a, e, i merge into e before a cluster or a single nasal consonant:

  • *prīsmo-kaps > prīnceps "first, chief" (cf. capiō "to take")
  • *kornu-kan-(?s) > cornicen "trumpeter" (cf. canō "to sing")
  • *mīlets > mīles "soldier"
  • *in-art-is > iners "unskilled" (cf. ars "skill")
  • *septḿ̥ > septem "seven"
  • i-stem acc. sg. *-im > -em

3. Short o, u merge into u:

  • o-stem nominative *-os > Old Latin -os > -us
  • o-stem accusative *-om > Old Latin -om > -um
  • PIE thematic 3rd pl. *-onti > *-ont > -unt
  • PIE *yekʷr̥ > *jekʷor > iecur "liver"
  • PIE thematic 3rd sg. mediopassive *-etor > -itur
  • *kaput > caput "head"

4. All short vowels apparently merge into -e in absolute final position.

  • PIE *móri > PI *mari > mare "sea" (cf. plural maria)
  • Proto-Italic *kʷenkʷe > quīnque "five"
  • 2nd sg. passive -ezo, -āzo > -ere, -āre
  • PI s-stem verbal nouns in *-zi > infinitives in -re
  • But: u-stem neuter nom./acc. sg. *-u > , apparently by analogy with gen. sg. -ūs, dat./abl. sg. (it is not known if this change occurred already in Proto-Italic)

Long vowels in final syllables shorten before most consonants (but not final s), yielding apparent exceptions to the above rules:

  • Proto-Italic *amāt > amat "he/she loves" (cf. passive amātur)
  • Proto-Italic *amānt > amant "they love"
  • a-stem acc. sg. *-ām > -am
  • PIE thematic 1st sg. mediopassive *-ōr > -or
  • *swesōr > soror "sister" (cf. gen. sorōris)

Absolutely final long vowels are apparently maintained with the exception of ā, which is shortened in the 1st declension nominative singular and the neuter plural ending (both < PIE *-eh₂) but maintained in the 1st conjugation 2nd sg. imperative (< PIE *-eh₂-yé).


Proto-Italic maintained all PIE diphthongs except for the change *eu > *ou. The Proto-Italic diphthongs tend to remain into Old Latin but generally reduce to pure long vowels by Classical Latin.

1. PIE *ei > Old Latin ei > ẹ̄, a vowel higher than ē < PIE . This then developed to ī normally, but to ē before v:

  • PIE *deiḱ- "point (out)" > Old Latin deicō > dīcō "to say"
  • PIE *bʰeydʰ- "be persuaded, be confident" > *feiðe- > fīdō "to trust"
  • PIE *deiwós "god, deity" > Very Old Latin deiuos (Duenos inscription) > dẹ̄vos > deus
  • But nominative plural *deivoi > *deivei > *dẹ̄vẹ̄ > dīvī > diī; vocative singular *deive > *dẹ̄ve > dīve

2. PIE *eu, *ou > Proto-Italic *ou > Old Latin ou > ọ̄ (higher than ō < PIE ) > ū:

  • PIE *(H)yeug- "join" > *youg-s-mn̥-to- > Old Latin iouxmentom "pack horse" > iūmentum
  • PIE *louk-s-neh₂ > *louksnā > Old Latin losna (i.e. lọ̄sna) > lūna "moon" (cf. Old Prussian lauxnos "stars", Avestan raoχšnā "lantern")
  • PIE *deuk- > *douk-e- > Old Latin doucō > dūcō "lead"

3. PIE (*h₂ei >) *ai > ae:

  • PIE *kh₂ei-ko- > *kaiko- > caecus "blind" (cf. Old Irish cáech /kaiχ/ "blind", Gothic háihs "one-eyed", Sanskrit kekara- "squinting")

4. PIE (*h₂eu >) *au > au:

  • PIE *h₂eug- > *augeje/o > augeō "to increase" (cf. Greek aúksō, Gothic áukan, Lithuanian áugti)

5. PIE *oi > Old Latin oi, oe > ū (occasionally preserved as oe):

  • PIE *h₁oi-nos > Old Latin oinos > oenus > ūnus "one"
  • Greek Phoiniks > Pūnicus "Phoenician"
  • But: PIE *bʰoidʰ- > *foiðo- > foedus "treaty" (cf. fīdō above)

All diphthongs in medial syllables become ī or ū.

1. (Post-)PIE *ei > ī, just as in initial syllables:

  • *en-deik-ō > indīcō "to point out" (cf. dīcō "to say")

2. (Post-)PIE *oi > ū, just as in initial syllables:

  • PIE *n̥-poini "with impunity" > impūne (cf. poena "punishment").

3. (Post-)PIE *eu, *ou > Proto-Italic *ou > ū, just as in initial syllables:

  • *en-deuk-ō > *indoucō > indūcō "to draw over, cover" (cf. dūcō "to lead")

4. Post-PIE *ai > Old Latin ei > ī:

  • *ke-kaid-ai "I cut", perf. > cecīdī (cf. caedō "I cut", pres.)
  • *en-kaid-ō "cut into" > incīdō (cf. caedō "cut")
  • Early Greek (or from an earlier source) *elaíwā "olive" > olīva

5. Post-PIE *au > ū (rarely oe):

  • *en-klaud-ō "enclose" > inclūdō (cf. claudō "close")
  • *ad-kauss-ō "accuse" > accūsō (cf. causa "cause")
  • *ob-aud-iō "obey" > oboediō (cf. audiō "hear")

Mostly like medial syllables:

  • *-ei > ī: PIE *meh₂tr-ei "to mother" > mātrī
  • *-ai > ī in multisyllabic words: Latin-Faliscan peparai "I brought forth" > peperī
  • *-eu/ou- > ū: post-PIE manous "hand", gen. sg. > manūs

Different from medial syllables:

  • -oi > Old Latin -ei > ī (not ū): PIE o-stem plural *-oi > (cf. Greek -oi);
  • -oi > ī also in monosyllables: PIE kʷoi "who" > quī
  • -ai > ae in monosyllables: PIE *prh₂ei "before" > prae (cf. Greek paraí)

Syllabic resonants and laryngeals

The PIE syllabic resonants *m̥, *n̥, *r̥, *l̥ generally become em, en, or, ol (cf. Greek am/a, an/a, ar/ra, al/la; Germanic um, un, ur, ul; Sanskrit am/a, an/a, r̥, r̥; Lithuanian im̃, iñ, ir̃, il̃):

  • PIE *déḱm̥(t) "ten" > decem (cf. Irish deich, Greek deka, Gothic taíhun /tɛhun/)
  • PIE *(d)ḱm̥tóm "hundred" > centum (cf. Welsh cant, Gothic hund, Lithuanian šim̃tas)
  • PIE *n̥- "not" > OL en- > in- (cf. Greek a-/an-, English un-)
  • PIE *tn̥tós "stretched" > tentus (cf. Greek tatós, Sanskrit tatá-)
  • PIE *ḱr̥d- "heart" > *cord > cor (cf. Greek kēr, English heart, Lithuanian širdìs)
  • PIE *ml̥dús "soft" > *moldus > *moldwis (remade as i-stem) > *molwis > mollis (cf. Irish meldach "pleasing", English mild, Czech mladý)

The laryngeals *h₁, *h₂, *h₃ appear in Latin as a when between consonants, as in most languages (but Greek e/a/o respectively, Sanskrit i):

  • PIE *dʰh₁-tós "put" > L factus, with /k/ of disputed etymology (cf. Greek thetós, Sanskrit hitá- < *dhitá-)
  • PIE *ph₂tḗr "father" > L pater (cf. Greek patḗr, Sanskrit pitā́, English father)
  • PIE *dh₃-tós "given" > L datus (cf. Greek dotós, Sanskrit ditá-)

A sequence of syllabic resonant + laryngeal, when before a consonant, produced mā, nā, rā, lā (as also in Celtic, cf. Greek nē/nā/nō, rē/rā/rō, etc. depending on the laryngeal; Germanic um, un, ur, ul; Sanskrit ā, ā, īr/ūr, īr/ūr; Lithuanian ím, ín, ír, íl):

  • PIE *ǵr̥h₂-nom "grain" > grānum (cf. Old Irish grán, English corn, Lithuanian žìrnis "pea")
  • PIE *h₂wl̥h₁-neh₂ "wool" > *wlānā > lāna (cf. Welsh gwlân, Gothic wulla, Greek lēnos, Lithuanian vìlna)
  • PIE *ǵn̥h₁-tos "born" > gnātus "son", nātus "born" (participle) (cf. Middle Welsh gnawt "relative", Greek dió-gnētos "Zeus' offspring", English kind)



The Indo-European voiced aspirates bʰ, dʰ, gʰ, gʷʰ, which were probably breathy voiced stops, first devoiced in initial position (fortition), then fricatized in all positions, producing pairs of voiceless/voiced fricatives in Proto-Italic: f ~ β, θ ~ ð, χ ~ ɣ, χʷ ~ ɣʷ respectively.[12] The fricatives were voiceless in initial position. However, between vowels and other voiced sounds, there are indications — in particular, their evolution in Latin — that the sounds were actually voiced. Likewise, Proto-Italic /s/ apparently had a voiced allophone [z] in the same position.

In all Italic languages, the word-initial voiceless fricatives f, θ, and χʷ all merged to f; thus, in Latin, the normal outcome of initial PIE bʰ, dʰ, gʰ, gʷʰ is f, f, h, f, respectively. Examples:

  • PIE *bʰréh₂tēr "brother" > *bʰrā́tēr > frāter (cf. Old Irish bráthair, Sanskrit bhrā́tar-, Greek phrā́tēr "member of a phratry")
  • PIE *bʰére "carry" > ferō (cf. Old Irish beirim "I bear", English bear, Sanskrit bhárati)
  • PIE *dʰwṓr "door" > θwor- > *forā > forēs (pl.) "door(s)" (cf. Welsh dôr, Greek thurā, Sanskrit dhvā́raḥ (pl.))
  • PIE *dʰeh₁- "put, place" > *dʰh₁-k- > *θaki- > faciō "do, make" (cf. Welsh dodi, English do, Greek títhēmi "I put", Sanskrit dádhāti he puts")
  • PIE *gʰabʰ- "seize, take" > *χaβ-ē- > habeō "have" (cf. Old Irish gaibid "takes", Old English gifan "to give", Polish gabać "to seize")
  • PIE *ǵʰh₂ens "goose" > *χans- > (h)ānser (cf. Old Irish géiss "swan", German Gans, Greek khḗn)
  • PIE *ǵʰaidos "goat" > *χaidos > haedus "kid" (cf. Old English gāt "goat", Polish zając "hare", Sanskrit háyas "horse")
  • PIE *gʷʰerm- "warm" > *χʷormo- > formus (cf. Old Prussian gorme "heat", Greek thermós, Sanskrit gharmáḥ "heat")
  • PIE *gʷʰen-dʰ- "to strike, kill" > *χʷ(e)nð- > fendō (cf. Welsh gwanu "to stab", Old High German gundo "battle", Sanskrit hánti "(he) strikes, kills")

Word-internal *-bʰ-, *-dʰ-, *-gʰ-, *-gʷʰ- evolved into Proto-Italic β, ð, ɣ, ɣʷ. In Osco-Umbrian, the same type of merger occurred as that affecting voiceless fricatives, with β, ð, and ɣʷ merging to β. In Latin, this did not happen, and instead the fricatives defricatized, giving b, d ~ b, g ~ h, g ~ v ~ gu.

*-bʰ- is the simplest case, consistently becoming b.

  • PIE *bʰébʰrus "beaver" > *feβro > Old Latin feber > fiber

*-dʰ- usually becomes d, but becomes b next to r or u, or before l.

  • PIE *bʰeidʰ- "be persuaded" > *feiðe > fīdō "I trust" (cf. Old English bīdan "to wait", Greek peíthō "I trust")
  • PIE *medʰi-o- "middle" > *meðio- > medius (cf. Old Irish mide, Gothic midjis, Sanskrit mádhya-)
  • PIE *h₁rudʰ-ró- "red" > *ruðro- > ruber (cf. Old Russian rodrŭ, Greek eruthrós, Sanskrit rudhirá-)
  • PIE *werh₁-dʰh₁-o- "word" > *werðo- > verbum (cf. English word, Lithuanian var̃das)
  • PIE *sth̥₂-dʰlom > *staðlom > stabulum "abode" (cf. German Stadel)
  • PIE *krei(H)-dʰrom "sieve, sifter" > *kreiðrom > crībrum "sieve" (cf. Old Irish críathar /krīə̯θəρ/ "sieve", Old English hrīder "sieve")

The development of *-gʰ- is twofold: *-gʰ- becomes h [ɦ] between vowels but g elsewhere:

  • PIE *weǵʰ- "carry" > *weɣ-e/o > vehō (cf. Greek okhéomai "I ride", Old English wegan "to carry", Sanskrit váhati "(he) drives")
  • PIE *dʰi-n-ǵʰ- "shapes, forms" > *θinɣ-e/o > fingō (cf. Old Irish -ding "erects, builds", Gothic digan "to mold, shape")

*-gʷʰ- has three outcomes, becoming gu after n, v between vowels, and g next to other consonants. All three variants are visible in the same root *snigʷʰ- "snow" (cf. Irish snigid "snows", Greek nípha):

  • PIE *snigʷʰ-s > *sniɣʷs > *nigs > nom. sg. nix "snow"
  • PIE *snigʷʰ-ós > *sniɣʷos > *niβis > gen. sg. nivis "of snow"
  • PIE *snei-gʷʰ-e/o > *sninɣʷ-e/o (with n-infix) > ninguit "it snows"

Other examples:

  • PIE *h₁le(n)gʷʰu- > *h₁legʷʰu- > *leɣʷus > *leβwi- (remade as i-stem) > levis "lightweight" (cf. Welsh llaw "small, low", Greek elakhús "small", Sanskrit laghú-, raghú- "quick, light, small")


*gʷ has results much like non-initial *-gʷʰ, becoming v /w/ in most circumstances, but gu after a nasal and g next to other consonants:

  • PIE *gʷih₃wos > *ɣʷīwos > vīvus "alive" (cf. Old Irish biu, beo, Lithuanian gývas, Sanskrit jīvá- "alive")
  • PIE *gʷm̥i̯e/o- "come" > *ɣʷen-je/o > veniō (cf. English come, Greek baínō "I go", Avestan ǰamaiti "he goes")
  • PIE *gʷr̥h₂us "heavy" > *ɣʷraus > grāvis (cf. Greek barús, Gothic kaúrus, Sanskrit gurú-)
  • PIE *h₃engʷ- > *onɣʷ-en > unguen "salve" (cf. Old Irish imb "butter", Old High German ancho "butter", Sanskrit añjanam "anointing, ointment")
  • PIE *n̥gʷén- "(swollen) gland" > *enɣʷen > inguen "bubo; groin" (cf. Greek adḗn gen. adénos "gland", Old High German ankweiz "pustules")

*kʷ remains as qu before a vowel, but reduces to c /k/ before a consonant or next to a u:

  • PIE *kʷetwóres, neut. *kʷetwṓr "four" > quattuor (cf. Old Irish cethair, Lithuanian keturì, Sanskrit catvā́raḥ)
  • PIE *sekʷ- "to follow" > sequor (cf. Old Irish sechem, Greek hépomai, Sanskrit sácate)
  • PIE *leikʷ- (pres. *li-né-kʷ-) "leave behind" > *linkʷ-e/o- : *likʷ-ē- > linquō "leaves" : liceō "is allowed; is for sale" (cf. Greek leípō, limpánō, Sanskrit riṇákti, Gothic leiƕan "to lend")
  • PIE *nokʷts "night" > nox, gen. sg. noctis

The sequence *p ... *kʷ assimilates to *kʷ ... *kʷ:

  • PIE *pénkʷe "five" > quīnque (cf. Old Irish cóic, Greek pénte, Sanskrit páñca)
  • PIE *pérkʷus "oak" > quercus (cf. Trentino porca "fir", Punjabi pargāī "holm oak", Gothic faírƕus "world", faírgun- "mountain"[13])
  • PIE *pekʷō "I cook" > *kʷekʷō > coquō (cf. coquīna, cocīnā "kitchen" vs. popīna "tavern" < Oscan, where *kʷ > p, Polish piekę "I bake")

The sequences *ḱw, *ǵw, *ǵʰw develop identically to *kʷ, *gʷ, *gʷʰ:

  • PIE *éḱwos "horse" > *ekʷos > Old Latin equos > ecus > equus (assimilated from other forms, e.g. gen. sg. equī; cf. Sanskrit aśva-, which indicates -ḱw- not -kʷ-)
  • PIE *ǵʰweh₁ro- "wild animal" > *χʷero- > ferus (cf. Greek thḗr, Lesbian phḗr, Lithuanian žvėrìs)
  • PIE *mreǵʰus "short" > *mreɣu- > *mreɣwi- (remade as i-stem) > brevis (cf. Old English myrge "briefly", Greek brakhús, Avestan mǝrǝzu-)
  • PIE *dn̥ǵʰwéh₂[14] "tongue" > *dn̥ɣwā > *denɣʷā > Old Latin dingua > lingua

Other sequences

Initial *dw- (attested in Old Latin as du-) becomes b-, thus compensating for the dearth of words beginning with *b in PIE:

  • PIE *dwis "twice" > duis > bis (cf. Greek dís, Sanskrit dvis)
  • PIE *deu-l̥- "injure" > duellom "war" > bellum (a variant duellum survived in poetry as a trisyllabic word, whence English "duel")


Indo-European s between vowels was first voiced to [z] in late Proto-Italic and became r in Latin and Umbrian, a change known as rhotacism. Early Old Latin documents still have s [z], and Cicero once remarked that a certain Papirius Crassus officially changed his name from Papisius in 339 b.c.,[15] indicating the approximate time of this change. This produces many alternations in Latin declension:

  • flōs "flower", gen. flōris
  • mūs "mouse", pl. mūrēs
  • est "he is", fut. erit "he will be"

Other examples:

  • Proto-Italic *ausōs, ausōsem > *auzōs, auzōzem > aurōra "dawn" (change of suffix; cf. English east, Aeolic Greek aúōs, Sanskrit uṣā́s)
  • Proto-Italic *swesōr > *swozōr > soror "sister" (cf. Old English sweostor, Sanskrit svásar)
  • Proto-Italic *a(j)os, a(j)esem > *aes, aezem > aes, aerem "bronze", but PI *a(j)es-inos > *aeznos > aēnus "bronze (adj.)"

However, before another r, dissimilation occurred with sr [zr] becoming br (likely via an intermediate *ðr):

  • Proto-Italic *swesr-īnos > *swezrīnos ~ *sweðrīnos > sobrīnus "maternal cousin"
  • Proto-Italic *keras-rom > *kerazrom ~ *keraðrom > cerebrum "skull, brain" (cf. Greek kéras "horn")

See also


  1. ^ Leonard Robert Palmer - The Latin language - 372 pages University of Oklahoma Press, 1987 Retrieved 2012-02-01 ISBN 0-8061-2136-X
  2. ^ Ramat, Anna G.; Paolo Ramat (1998). The Indo-European Languages. Routledge. pp. 272–75. ISBN 0-415-06449-X.
  3. ^ Ramat, Anna G.; Paolo Ramat (1998). The Indo-European Languages. Routledge. p. 313. ISBN 0-415-06449-X.
  4. ^ Timothy J. Pulju Rice University .edu/~ Retrieved 2012-02-01
  5. ^ Allen, W. Sidney (1989). Vox Latina. Cambridge University Press. pp. 83–84. ISBN 0-521-22049-1.
  6. ^ kʷi- > ti- is normal in Attic Greek; Thessalian Greek had kís while Cypro-Arcadian had sís.
  7. ^ Greek is ambiguously either < *gneh₃-tó- or *gn̥h₃-tó-
  8. ^ Collinge, N. E. (1985). The Laws of Indo-European. John Benjamins. pp. 193–195. ISBN 90-272-3530-9.
  9. ^ Vine, Brent (2011). "Initial *mo- in Latin and Italic". Münchener Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft (65): 261–286.
  10. ^ > ol is normal in Proto-Italic.
  11. ^ a b Sihler, New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin, 1995
  12. ^ James Clackson & Geoffrey Horrocks, The Blackwell History of the Latin Language (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007), 51-2.
  13. ^ Both "world" and "mountain" evolve out of the early association of oak trees with strength, cf. Latin robur = "oak" but also "strength"
  14. ^ PIE *dn̥ǵhwéh₂; -ǵʰw- not -gʷʰ- indicated by Old Church Slavonic języ-kŭ "tongue" < *n̥ǵhu-H-k- with loss of initial *d-; -gʷh- would yield /g/, not /z/.
  15. ^ Fortson, Benjamin W., Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction, p. 283


Allen, J. H.; James B. Greenough (1931). New Latin Grammar. Boston: Ginn and Company. ISBN 1-58510-027-7.

External links

Argentine–Chilean naval arms race

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the South American nations of Argentina and Chile engaged in an expensive naval arms race to ensure the other would not gain supremacy in the Southern Cone.

Although the Argentine and Chilean navies possessed insignificant naval forces in the 1860s, with zero and five warships, respectively, Argentina's concern over a strong Brazilian Navy and the Chilean war against Spain caused them to add capable warships to their fleets in the 1870s. During this time, diplomatic relations between Argentina and Chile soured due to conflicting boundary claims, particularly in Patagonia. By the beginning of the 1880s, after the War of the Pacific, the Chilean government possessed possibly the strongest navy in the Americas. They planned to add to it with an 1887 appropriation for one battleship, two protected cruisers, and two torpedo gunboats. Argentina responded a year later with an order for two battleships of its own. The naval arms race unfolded over the next several years, with each country buying and ordering vessels that were slightly better than the previous ship, but the Argentines eventually pulled ahead with the acquisition of multiple Garibaldi-class cruisers.

The race ended in 1902 with the British-arbitrated Pacts of May, which contained a binding naval-limiting agreement. Both governments sold or canceled the ships they had ordered, and three major warships were mostly disarmed to balance the fleets. The pacts proved to be the answer to the Argentine and Chilean disputes, as the countries enjoyed a period of warm relations. This did not last, though, as the Brazilian government's attempt to rebuild its own naval forces sparked another naval arms race, involving all three countries' orders for revolutionary new dreadnoughts, powerful battleships whose capabilities far outstripped older vessels in the world's navies.

Battle of Chocontá

The Battle of Chocontá was one of a series of battles in the ongoing conflict between the northern and southern Muisca of pre-Columbian central Colombia. The battle was fought c. 1490 in the vicinity of Chocontá. An army of 50,000 southern Muisca guecha warriors, led by their ruler, or zipa, Saguamanchica, attacked 60,000 northern Muisca troops commanded by Zaque Michuá, who was supported by the Cacique of Guatavita.

Battle of Pasca

The Battle of Pasca was fought between southern Muisca Confederation, led by their zipa (ruler), Saguamanchica, and an alliance between the Panche and the Sutagao, led by the Cacique of Fusagasugá. The battle took place c. 1470 in the vicinity of Pasca, in modern-day Cundinamarca, Colombia, and resulted in a victory for Saguamanchica.

Battle of Tocarema

The Battle of Tocarema (Spanish: Batalla de Tocarema) was a battle fought between an alliance of the troops of Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada and zipa of the Muisca Sagipa of the southern Muisca Confederation and the indigenous Panche. The battle took place on the afternoon of August 19 and the morning of August 20, 1538 in the vereda Tocarema of Cachipay, Cundinamarca, Colombia and resulted in a victory for the Spanish and Muisca, when captains Juan de Céspedes and Juan de Sanct Martín commanded two flanks of the conquistadors.

The victory of the Spanish colonial powers over the Panche did not completely put down the resistance by the indigenous peoples from the western parts of Cundinamarca. Later conquest expeditions were needed to fully subdue the western neighbours of the Muisca, described by early Spanish chroniclers as Pedro de Aguado, Pedro Simón, Juan Freyle and Lucas Fernández de Piedrahita as bellicose and cannibalistic.

De Música Ligera

"De Música Ligera" (Spanish for Of easy-listening music) is a song by the Argentine rock band Soda Stereo from their fifth studio album Canción Animal (1990). It is one of Soda Stereo's most famous and symbolic songs, whose musical influence has been remarkable in the history of Latin rock for over two decades. Due to its popularity, the song is considered an anthem of rock en español.

It was the last song performed on their farewell and semi-mythical concert "El Último Concierto" in 1997. At the end of that song, the band's lead singer and songwriter Gustavo Cerati thanked the fans of the band with a phrase that became famous: "Gracias... totales" (Spanish for: "Totally... Thank you"). This moment is remembered as one of the all-time most exciting in the history of Latin American rock.

History of Latin America

The term "Latin America" primarily refers to the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries in the New World.

Before the arrival of Europeans in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, the region was home to many indigenous peoples, a number of which had advanced civilizations, most notably from South; the Olmec, Maya, Muisca and Inca.

The region came under control of the crowns of Spain and Portugal, which imposed both Roman Catholicism and their respective languages. Both the Spanish and the Portuguese brought African slaves to their colonies, as laborers, particularly in regions where indigenous populations who could be made to work were absent.

In the early nineteenth century nearly all of areas of Spanish America attained independence by armed struggle, with the exceptions of Cuba and Puerto Rico. Brazil, which had become a monarchy separate from Portugal, became a republic in the late nineteenth century. Political independence from European monarchies did not result in the abolition of black slavery in the new sovereign nations. Political independence resulted in political and economic instability in Spanish America immediately after independence. Great Britain and the United States exercised significant influence in the post-independence era, resulting in a form of neo-colonialism, whereby a country's political sovereignty remained in place, but foreign powers exercised considerable power in the economic sphere.

Indian auxiliaries

Indian auxiliaries or indios auxiliares is the term used in old Spanish chronicles and historical texts for the indigenous peoples who were integrated into the armies of the Spanish conquistadors with the purpose of supporting their advance and combat operations during the Conquest of America. They acted as guides, translators, or porters and in this role were also called yanakuna, particularly within the old Inca Empire and Chile. The term was also used for formations composed of indigenous warriors or Indios amigos (friendly Indians), which they used for reconnaissance, combat, and as reserve in battle. The auxiliary Indians remained in use after the conquest, during some revolts, in border zones and permanent military areas, as in Chile in the Arauco War.

Javier Ocampo López

Javier Ocampo López (Aguadas, Caldas, 19 June 1939) is a Colombian historian, writer, folklorist and professor. He has been important in the fields of Colombian folklore and history of Latin America and Colombia, especially contributing on the department of Boyacá, the homeland of the Muisca and their religion and mythology. He wrote exclusively in Spanish.

Keylor Navas

Keilor Antonio Navas Gamboa (Spanish pronunciation: [keiˈloɾ anˈtonjo ˈnaβaz ɣamˈbo.a]; born 15 December 1986), known as Keylor Navas, is a Costa Rican professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Costa Rica national team.

After starting out at Saprissa he moved to Albacete, and then to Levante in La Liga. Navas joined Real Madrid in 2014 for €10 million.

Navas has played over 80 times for Costa Rica since making his debut in 2008. He has represented the country at two CONCACAF Gold Cups and the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2018 FIFA World Cup. His impressive performances helped the team reach the quarter-finals of the 2014 tournament. Often considered as one of the world's best goalkeepers, the best in the history of CONCACAF, and one of the best in the history of Latin America, Navas has won a total of twelve titles with Real Madrid, including three consecutive UEFA Champions League titles as the first choice goalkeeper. His performances in the 2017–18 season earned him the 2017–18 UEFA Club Football Award for best UEFA goalkeeper and was named in the UEFA Champions League squad of the season of 2018.

Latin America during World War II

The history of Latin America during World War II is important because of the significant economic, political, and military changes that occurred throughout much of the region as a result of the war. The war caused a lot of panic in Latin America over economics, because they depended on the European investment capital which was shut down. Latin America tried to stay neutral but the warring countries were endangering their neutrality. Most countries used propaganda to turn the neutral countries to their side, while Berlin wanted Latin America neutral. In order to better protect the Panama Canal, combat Axis influence, and optimize the production of goods for the war effort, the United States through Lend-Lease and similar programs greatly expanded its interests in Latin America, resulting in large-scale modernization and a major economic boost for the countries that participated.Strategically, Panama was the most important Latin American nation for the Allies because of the Panama Canal, which provided a link between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans that was vital to both commerce and defense. Brazil was also of great importance because of its having the closest point in the Americas to Africa where the Allies were actively engaged in fighting the Germans and Italians. For the Axis, the Southern Cone nations of Argentina and Chile were where they found most of their support, and they utilized it to the fullest by interfering with internal affairs, conducting espionage, and distributing propaganda.Brazil was the only country to send troops to the European Theater; however, several countries had skirmishes with German U-Boats and cruisers in the Caribbean and South Atlantic. Mexico sent a fighter squadron of 300 volunteers to the Pacific, the Escuadrón 201 were known as the Aztec Eagles (Águilas Aztecas).

The Brazilian active participation on the battlefield in Europe was divined after the Casablanca Conference. The President of the U.S., Franklin D. Roosevelt on his way back from Morocco met the President of Brazil, Getulio Vargas, in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, this meeting is known as the Potenji River Conference, and defined the creation of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force.

Latin Beat Magazine

The Latin Beat Magazine is a publication dedicated to all styles of Latin music, edited and published by Rudolph (Rudy) and Yvette Mangual. The first issue was launched on January 1, 1991. It is currently headquartered at Gardena, California, United States.The magazine regularly publishes articles in history of Latin music (Max Salazar is among regular contributors), filling the gap in the fields such as history of Latin Jazz. Jazz commentator Scott Yanow gives credits to the magazine in the introduction to his book "Afro-Cuban Jazz".In 2009 the magazine ceased printing and will continue as an online publication only.

Latin poetry

The history of Latin poetry can be understood as the adaptation of Greek models. The verse comedies of Plautus are considered the earliest surviving examples of Latin literature and are estimated to have been composed around 205-184 BC.

The start of Latin literature is conventionally dated to the first performance of a play in verse by a Greek slave, Livius Andronicus, at Rome in 240 BC. Livius translated Greek New Comedy for Roman audiences, using meters that were basically those of Greek drama, modified to the needs of Latin. His successors Plautus and Terence further refined the borrowings from the Greek stage and the prosody of their verse is substantially the same as for classical Latin verse.The traditional meter of Greek epic, the dactylic hexameter, was introduced into Latin literature by Ennius (239-169 BC), virtually a contemporary of Livius, who substituted it for the jerky Saturnian meter in which Livius had been composing epic verses. Ennius moulded a poetic diction and style suited to the imported hexameter, providing a model for 'classical' poets such as Virgil and Ovid.The late republic saw the emergence of Neoteric Poets, notably Catullus—rich young men from the Italian provinces, conscious of metropolitan sophistication, and looking to the scholarly Alexandrian poet Callimachus for inspiration. Catullus shared the Alexandrian's preference for short poems and wrote within a variety of meters borrowed from Greece, including Aeolian forms such as hendecasyllabic verse, the Sapphic stanza and Greater Asclepiad, as well as iambic verses such as the choliamb and the iambic tetrameter catalectic (a dialogue meter borrowed from Old Comedy).Horace, whose career crossed the divide between republic and empire, followed Catullus' lead in employing Greek lyrical forms, identifying with Alcaeus of Mytilene, composing Alcaic stanzas, and also with Archilochus, composing poetic invectives in the Iambus tradition (in which he adopted the metrical form of the Epode or 'Iambic Distich'). Horace was a contemporary of Virgil and, like the epic poet, he wrote verses in dactylic hexameter, but in a conversational and epistolary style. Virgil's hexameters are generally regarded as "the supreme metrical system of Latin literature."

Latin trap

Latin trap (also known as Spanish trap or trapeton) is a style of Latin hip hop that originated in Puerto Rico. The genre is a musical subgenre of trap music and takes influence from Latin hip hop and reggaeton. The genre began to gain popularity in the early 2010s and has since spread throughout Latin America. Also known as Spanish-language trap, Latin trap is similar to mainstream trap which details 'la calle', or 'the streets'.

Leslie Bethell

Leslie Michael Bethell (born 12 February 1937) is an English historian and university professor, who specialises in the study of 19th- and 20th-century Latin America, focusing on Brazil in particular. He received both his Bachelor of Arts and Doctorate in History at the University of London. He is Emeritus Professor of Latin American History, University of London and Emeritus Fellow of St Antony's College, University of Oxford. Bethell has served as Visiting Professor at the University Research Institute of Rio de Janeiro, the University of California, San Diego, the University of Chicago, the Fundação Getulio Vargas in Rio de Janeiro, the University of São Paulo and most recently the Brazil Institute, King's College London from 2011 to 2017. He has been associated with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars for many years, most recently as Senior Scholar of the Brazil Institute from 2010 to 2015. He was a Fellow of St Antony's College and founding director of the Centre for Brazilian Studies at the University of Oxford from 1997 to 2007. He was Lecturer, Reader and Professor of Latin American History in the University of London from 1966 to 1992 and Director of the University of London Institute of Latin American Studies from 1987 to 1992.Bethell is the sole editor of the twelve volume Cambridge History of Latin America, a massive attempt at compiling and integrating the existing scholarship of Latin American studies. The entire project took more than twenty years to be completed. The work was praised widely, with the historian Paul Gootenberg noting that the series had "earned rave scholarly reviews throughout the 1990s". The Library Journal referred to the first two volumes of the series as "the most detailed, comprehensive, and authoritative work on the subject [colonial Latin America] available", while the political scientist Paul W. Drake called various volumes in the set "landmark[s] in their field." Reviews were not completely positive, however, with some of the volumes being described as "unwieldy" and skewed too much to the present age. Alternately, the series has also been criticised for its lack of coverage of issues whose impacts have extended into contemporary times and of the trends that had been emerging in Latin America around the time of its various publication dates.Bethell was elected a sócio correspondente [one of twenty foreign members] of the Brazilian Academy of Letters in 2010. He was nominated to fill the vacancy left by the death of the Portuguese author José Saramago, and was only the second English person to have been elected to the position, after the philosopher Herbert Spencer in 1898. Bethell was also elected as a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences in 2004. He was awarded the Ordem Nacional do Mérito Científico by the Brazilian government in 2010.

Military history of Latin America

The military history of Latin America includes:

Military history of Argentina

Military history of Colombia

Military history of Costa Rica

Military history of Cuba

Military history of the Dominican Republic

Military history of Ecuador

Military history of Mexico

Military history of Bolivia

Military history of Brazil

Military history of Haiti

Military history of Honduras

Military history of Paraguay

Military history of Peru

Military history of Uruguay

Military history of Nicaragua

Military history of Panama

Military history of Puerto Rico

Military history of Venezuela

Paraguayan War

The Paraguayan War, also known as the War of the Triple Alliance and the Great War in Paraguay, was a South American war fought from 1864 to 1870, between Paraguay and the Triple Alliance of Argentina, the Empire of Brazil, and Uruguay. It was the deadliest and bloodiest inter-state war in Latin America's history. It particularly devastated Paraguay, which suffered catastrophic losses in population: almost 70% of its adult male population died, according to some counts, and it was forced to cede territory to Argentina and Brazil. According to some estimates, Paraguay's pre-war population of 525,000 was reduced to 221,000, of which only 28,000 were men.The war began in late 1864, as a result of a conflict between Paraguay and Brazil caused by the Uruguayan War. Argentina and Uruguay entered the war against Paraguay in 1865, and it then became known as the "War of the Triple Alliance".

The war ended with the total defeat of Paraguay. After it lost in conventional warfare, Paraguay conducted a drawn-out guerrilla resistance, a disastrous strategy that resulted in the further destruction of the Paraguayan military and much of the civilian population through battle casualties, hunger and diseases. The guerrilla war lasted 14 months until President Francisco Solano López was killed in action by Brazilian forces in the Battle of Cerro Corá on 1 March 1870. Argentine and Brazilian troops occupied Paraguay until 1876. Estimates of total Paraguayan losses range from 21,000 to 200,000 people. It took decades for Paraguay to recover from the chaos and demographic losses.


Peru ( (listen); Spanish: Perú [peˈɾu]; Quechua: Piruw Republika [pʰɪɾʊw]; Aymara: Piruw Suyu [pɪɾʊw]), officially the Republic of Peru (Spanish: República del Perú ), is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is a megadiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river.Peruvian territory was home to several ancient cultures. Ranging from the Norte Chico civilization in the 32nd century BC, the oldest civilization in the Americas and one of the five cradles of civilization, to the Inca Empire, the largest state in pre-Columbian America, the territory now including Peru has one of the longest histories of civilization of any country, tracing its heritage back to the 4th millennia BCE.

The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century and established a viceroyalty that encompassed most of its South American colonies, with its capital in Lima. Peru formally proclaimed independence in 1821, and following the military campaigns of José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar, and the decisive battle of Ayacucho, Peru secured independence in 1824. In the ensuing years, the country enjoyed relative economic and political stability, which ended shortly before the War of the Pacific with Chile. Throughout the 20th century, Peru endured armed territorial disputes, coups, social unrest, and internal conflicts, as well as periods of stability and economic upswing. Alberto Fujimori was elected to the presidency in 1990; his government was credited with economically stabilizing Peru and successfully ending the Shining Path insurgency, though he was widely accused of human rights violations and suppression of political dissent. Fujimori left the presidency in 2000 and was charged with human rights violations and imprisoned until his pardon by President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in 2017. Even after the president's regime, Fujimori's followers, called Fujimoristas, have caused political turmoil for any opposing faction in power, even causing Pedro Pablo Kuczynski to resign in March 2018.

The sovereign state of Peru is a representative democratic republic divided into 25 regions. It is classified as an emerging market with a high level of human development and an upper middle income level with a poverty rate around 19 percent. It is one of the region's most prosperous economies with an average growth rate of 5.9% and it has one of the world's fastest industrial growth rates at an average of 9.6%. Its main economic activities include mining, manufacturing, agriculture and fishing; along with other growing sectors such as telecommunications and biotechnology. The country forms part of The Pacific Pumas, a political and economic grouping of countries along Latin America's Pacific coast that share common trends of positive growth, stable macroeconomic foundations, improved governance and an openness to global integration. Peru ranks high in social freedom; it is an active member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Pacific Alliance, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the World Trade Organization; and is considered as a middle power.Peru has a population of 32 million, which includes Amerindians, Europeans, Africans and Asians. The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua or other native languages. This mixture of cultural traditions has resulted in a wide diversity of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine, literature, and music.


Peruvians (Spanish: Peruanos) are the citizens of the Republic of Peru or their descendants abroad. Peru is a multiethnic country formed by the combination of different groups over five centuries, so people in Peru usually treat their nationality as a citizenship rather than an ethnicity. Indigenous nations inhabited Peruvian territory for several millennia before Spanish Conquest in the 16th century; according to historian David N. Cook their population decreased from an estimated 5–9 million in the 1520s to around 600,000 in 1620 mainly because of infectious diseases. Spaniards and Africans arrived in large numbers under colonial rule, mixing widely with each other and with indigenous peoples. During the Republic, there has been a gradual immigration of European people (specially from Spain and Italy, and in a less extent from France, the Balkans, Portugal, Great Britain and Germany). Japanese and Chinese arrived in large numbers at the end of nineteenth century.

With 31.2 million inhabitants according to the 2017 Census, Peru is the fifth most populous country in South America. Its demographic growth rate declined from 2.6% to 1.6% between 1950 and 2000; population is expected to reach approximately 46 - 51 million in 2050. As of 2017, 79.3% lived in urban areas and 20.7% in rural areas. Major cities include Lima, home to over 9.5 million people, Arequipa, Trujillo, Chiclayo, Piura, Iquitos, Huancayo, Cusco and Pucallpa, all of which reported more than 250,000 inhabitants.

The largest expatriate Peruvian communities are in the United States (Peruvian Americans), South America (Argentina, Chile, Venezuela and Brazil), Europe (Spain, Italy, France and the United Kingdom), Japan, Australia and Canada.

Trap music

Trap is a style of hip hop music that was developed in the late 1990s to early 2000s in the Southern United States. It is typified by sub-divided hi-hats, heavy, sub-bass layered kick drums in the style of the Roland TR-808 drum machine, typically in half time syncopated rhythms, layered with drones expressed by muted or slightly muted abstract or orchestral synthesizers and an overall melancholy to dark ambience and lyrical content. The term "trap" referred to places where drug deals take place. In the 2010s, artists crossbred trap with dubstep to create trap EDM.

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