Immigrants to itlaian peninsula brought own dialects of speech. Umbrian, oscan and latin were spoken from 800 bc. Legend says greek settlers came to italy shortly after the trojan war, 1220. 50 years after the founding of rome, the composition of greek epic poems, the odyssey and the iliad and the establishment of greek alphabet all coincide. Domination of dialect has to do with external rather than linguistic features. Latin, roman military expansion caused it to become the common languge of the latin peninsula, the western mediterranean and the balkans. Anyone without knowledge of latin who reads it aloud cannot go very far wrong. Much of latin lit was written to be spoken aloud. Latin word liber" originally means the inner part of the bark of a tree, which meant to the romans anything that was written. Their roll is equivalent to our book .