The Latins were originally an Italic tribe in ancient central Italy from Latium. As Roman power and colonization spread Latin culture, Latins came to mean mostly unified Italic people and the Latin-speaking people of Dacia, Iberia, Illyria, and Gaul whose land was settled by Latin colonists (see Latin peoples).The original Latins were an Italic tribe inhabiting central Italy, in present-day Lazio. Through the conquests of their most populous city-state, Rome, the Latins united all Italic tribes in to one group and then with "Romanization" or "Latinization" spread their influence across their empire. As the Roman Empire spread to include areas that are now Spain, Portugal, France, and Romania, these joined Italy in becoming "Latin", as the languages spoken in these countries derive primarily from the Latin Language. In the late 15th–16th centuries, a millennium after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Portugal, Spain, and France began to create world empires. In consequence, by the mid-19th century, the former American colonies of these nations became known as Latin America and this region's inhabitants as Latin Americans.