Most widely used alphabet, the standard script of most languages that originated in Europe. It developed before 600 BC from the Etruscan alphabet (in turn derived from the North Semitic alphabet by way of the Phoenician and Greek alphabets). The earliest known Latin inscriptions date from the 7th–6th cent. BC. The classical Latin alphabet had 23 letters, 21 derived from the Etruscan. In medieval times the letter J became differentiated from I, and U and W became differentiated from V, producing the 26-letter alphabet of modern English. In ancient Roman times there were two types of Latin script, capital letters and cursive. Uncial script, mixing both types, developed in the 3rd century AD.