Latin was the original language spoken in the region around Rome known as Latium and achieved great importance as the language of the Roman Empire. All modern Romance languages are descendents of the Latin language. Many words with Latin roots are found in other modern languages including English. One common misnomer is that modern Romance languages were derived from Classical Latin. In reality, they were derived from the spoken, Vulgar Latin. In the Western world, Latin was the linguistic standard for affairs of science and government for over a thousand years before it was replaced by French in the 18th century and then by English in the 19th and 20th centuries. Ecclesiastical Latin continues to be the formal language of the Roman Catholic Church to this day making Latin the official national language of the Vatican. It is also still used, along with Greek, for the scientific classification of living things. The closest living relative to the Latin language is Italian.