Latins

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"Latins" can refer to several groups of people. In ancient times they were an ethnic group in the area of Latium (now Lazio) in central Italy, with the most famous Latins being the Romans. The meaning of the name has been extended since then to refer to several peoples in Europe and to Latin Americans.

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Antiquity

The Latins were an ancient Italic people of the Latium region in central Italy, (Latium Vetus - Old Latium), in the first millennium BC. Although they lived in independent city-states, the Latins had a common language (Latin), common religious beliefs, and a close sense of kinship, expressed in the myth that they were all descendants of Latinus. Latinus was worshiped on Mons Albanus (Monte Albano) during an annual festival that was attended by all Latins, including those from Rome, one of the Latin states. The Latin cities extended common rights of residence and trade to one another. Rome's territorial ambitions united the rest of the Latins against it in 341 BC, but the final victory was on Rome's side in 338 BC. Consequently, some of the Latin states were incorporated within the Roman state, and their inhabitants were given full Roman citizenship. Others became Roman allies and enjoyed certain privileges.

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