Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Classical Latin Alphabet

The classical Latin alphabet was used by the ancient Romans. This alphabet has 23 letters. There is no letter J and no letter W.

The letters Y and Z were taken from the Greek alphabet to write Greek loan words. The name of the letter Y speaks of its origin - i Graeca means Greek I. In Spanish this letter is called i griega.

The classical Latin alphabet is visually similar to the ancient Etruscan alphabet and the Cumaean Greek alphabet. Cumae, on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea near Naples, was the first Greek colony on the mainland of Italy and the seat of the Cumaean Sibyl. Cumae was settled in the 8th century BC by Greek colonists from Euboea.

The Cumaean alphabet descended from the Phoenician abjad and the Phoenician alphabet is derived from Egyptian hieroglyphics.

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