The language spoken by the people of Latium, in Italy. The Latins are called aborigines of Italy. Alba Longa was head of the Latin League, and, as Rome was a colony of Alba Longa, it is plain to see how the Roman tongue was Latin. x
“The earliest extant specimen of the Latin language is a fragment of the hymn of the Fratres Arvales (3 syl.). a'priestly brotherhood, which offered, every 10th of May, a public sacrifice for the fertility of the fields.” Sellar: Roman Poets of the Republic, chap. ii. p. 34.
Classical Latin. The Latin of the best authors about the time of Augustus, as Livy, Tacitus, and Cicero (prose), Horace, Virgil, and Ovid (poets).
Late Latin. The period which followed the Augustan age. This period contains the Church Fathers. Low Latin. Mediæval Latin, mainly bastard German, French, Italian, Spanish, and so on.
Middle Latin. Latin from the sixth to the sixteenth century A.D., both inclusive. In this Latin, prepositions frequently supply the cases of nouns.
New Latin. That which followed the revival of letters in the sixteenth century.
“Latium. The tale is that this word is from lateo, to lie hid, and was so called because Saturn lay hid there, when he was driven out of heaven by the gods.”
The Latin Church. The Western Church, in contradistinction to the Greek or Eastern Church. The Latin cross. Formed thus:
The Greek cross has four equal arms, thus: +
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894