The language originally of the people of Latium, the Latini, who occupied territory with several towns in Italy in the neighbourhood of Rome. The Romans gradually extended their hold over the whole area and in 340 BCE defeated the Latins at the battle of Mount Vesuvius. The language spoken by these peoples, many of whom moved into the capital, was adopted by the educated, by administrators, and by soldiers, although Greek remained the principal language amongst people generally in the first centuries BCE and CE.