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Classical Latin alphabet

The Classical Latin alphabet developed by the 3rd century BC. The version shown below was used for monumental inscriptions, and is known as Roman Square Capitals (capitalis quadrata) or Elegant Capitals (capitalis elegans).

During the classical revival, which started in the 18th century, the letter forms of the Classical Latin alphabet, were reintroduced to the languages of Europe by humanists.

Classical Latin alphabet

Notes

Download charts for Latin alphabets (Excel)

Hear the pronunciation of Classical Latin

Sample texts

Sorrento 56

A fragment of an inscription about an order by the Emperor Vespasian to repair a clock which had been destroyed in the earthquake of 79 A.D. From the Correale Museum (Museo Correale di Terranova).

Sample text in Classical Latin

Translation

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Other versions of the Latin alphabet

Archaic Latin alphabet, Basque-style lettering, Carolingian Minuscule, Classical Latin alphabet, Fraktur, Gaelic script, Merovingian, Modern Latin alphabet, Roman Cursive, Rustic Captials, Old English, Sütterlin, Visigothic Script


If you need to type in many different languages, the Q International Keyboard can help. It enables you to type almost any language that uses the Latin, Cyrillic or Greek alphabets, and is free.

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