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Latin Alphabet, Spelling and Pronunciation The Romans had taken the letters from the Greeks (via the Etruscans). In the beginning, there were only capital letters. In Cicero's time, there were only 21 letters of the alphabet (it ended with X). Y and Z were added later because of the borrowed Greek words such as Byzantium. Capitalisation in Latin: - proper names, their adjectives and adverbs: Latium (the area), Latinus (of Latium, belonging to), Latine (adv.) -first word in a sentence and usually first word in a verse (though in many Latin texts, this isn't obs