To what extent was Classical Latin influenced by Classical Greek in areas such as pronunciation, grammar, literature, etc.? I would appreciate a quick overview of the list of influences Greek had on Latin and a few examples of those known influences.

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    Welcome to the site! This is a relatively broad question, but a very interesting one. Do you want a quick overview of the influences Greek had on Latin, or do you want to focus on a specific area like grammar? You can ask several separate questions, but it can be good to wait a little between them so you have the chance to learn from previous answers before asking new questions.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Feb 21, 2018 at 23:43
  • A quick overview of the list of influences and quick overview of those known influences. Let me rephrase the question, and I probably will break it up into different questions. Thank you! Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 1:57

1 Answer 1


This is only a partial answer.

The most obvious area of influence is vocabulary. There are a fair number of words that were loaned into Latin from Greek. There are also some terms that were "calqued" from Greek. You can see explanations and examples in this paper: "An Overview of Latin Morphological Calques on Greek Technical Terms: Formation and Success", by Eleanor Detreville, 2015.

I would say that there was fairly little influence in pronunciation. Loanwords from Greek could use a few sounds that didn't originally occur in Latin, but from what I recall none of the foreign sounds borrowed from Greek into Classical Latin left a lasting mark on the sound inventories of the languages that developed from Latin. (For example, French rythme, from Latin rhythmus, is pronounced [ʁitm], the same as if it were spelled *ritme. Greek th and y aren't associated with unique sounds in French, nor in any other Romance language that I know of.) It is thought that even in the time period of Classical Latin, some speakers may have replaced foreign sounds in Greek words with a similar Latin sound.

Many meters used in Latin poetry, such as dactylic hexameter, were taken from Greek.

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