Topics: Latin Literature
Latin LiteratureLatin literature includes the essays, histories, poems, plays, and other writings written in the Latin language. Beginning around the 3rd century BC, it took two centuries to become a dominant literature of ancient Rome, with many educated Romans still reading and writing in Ancient Greek, as late as Marcus Aurelius (121–180 AD). Latin literature was in many ways a continuation of Greek literature, using many of the same forms.
Latin was the language of the ancient Romans, but it was also the lingua franca of Europe throughout the Middle Ages, so Latin literature includes not only Roman authors like Cicero, Vergil, Ovid and Horace, but also includes European writers after the fall of the Empire, from religious writers like St. Augustine (354–430) and Aquinas (1225–1274), to secular writers like Francis Bacon (1561–1626) and Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677).