- Facts and Information About the Roman Empire Online

Latin Authors

The Latin language is a member of the great family commonly called Indo-Germanic, Indo-European. It is, therefore, closely allied to the Greek, Persian, German, Celtic, English, and many other tongues and dialects of Europe, and to all these its kindred is more or less clearly shown by identity of stems and similarity of structure.

Latin Author: Virgil
Virgil, the Greatest of Latin Authors.

Latin was primarily developed among the people who inhabited that part of western Italy which lies between the rivers Tiber and Liris; and though the city of Rome stamped her name on the political institutions of the empire, yet the standard tongue of Italy still continued to be called the Latin language, not the Roman. As the Roman conquests extended, Latin spread with equal strides over the conquered countries, and was generally used by the educated classes in the greater part of Italy, in France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, and other Roman provinces. But even in Italy itself, and in Latium, there seem to have been two forms of the language, differing very considerably from each other, one a polished dialect used in art and literature, and the other, the vulgar tongue spoken by the common people which would eventually give birth to the national languages of France, Italy and Spain.

Roman civilization produced some of the greatest works of literature. Authors such as Ovid, Cicero and Virgil continue to be read and admired almost two thousand years after the Fall of the Roman Empire. No other classical civilization, with the exception of Greece, has had as much impact on our modern literary tradition and thought.

Below is a small but growing selection of Latin authors, in translation and in their original Latin.

  • Plutarch's Lives -- a magisterial collection of parallel lives of great Greek and Roman historical figures.

  • Caesar -- In addition to being one of the greatest military strategists of all time, Caesar was an eloquent and gifted writer. His account of the war in Gaul remains a classic of historical narrative.

  • Horace -- One the greatest Roman poets.

  • Marcus Aurelius -- An emperor and stoic philosopher. He was one of the Empire's last great pagan leaders. His successor was a horrible tyrant who learned nothing from his father. Mind you, even though Marcus Aurelius is known for his philosophy of peace and perseverance in the face of adversity, he was also a bridal man known for his bloody suppression of the Christians. So perhaps he did not practice all that he preached.

  • Aurelius Prudentius Clemens

  • Virgil-- the greatest of Roman poets. He composed the great national epic poem, the Aeneid, which claimed Roman ancestry from the Trojan refugees who fled west after the fall of Troy.

  • Cicero -- One of the greatest lawyers and orators that Rome ever produced. His life was cut short by court intrigue.

Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Fall of the Roman Empire


Failure and Grandeur of Roman Civilization

Failure and Grandeur of Roman Civilization

Home | Site Updates | About | Privacy Policy

This site is dedicated to the History and Cultural Achievements of the Roman Empire.