Latin was the language spoken in ancient Rome. During the ascendancy of the Roman Empire during the 3rd and the 4th centuries, Romans conquered most of Europe including France to which they gave the name Gaul. It is the same word which is found in the name of Charles de Gaul (Charles of France). As the Latin became the official language of Europe, it also became the language of Religion, Science and Philosophy. It became essential for a Frenchman to master Latin if he wanted to proper in society. As the years passed by, Latin words were assimilated into French and contributed a lot towards the evolution of French language. Thousands of Latin words were incorporated with the result that today when we compare the words of the two languages, we are astonished to observe the extent of Latin influence on French language. Following is a very short list that compares the words of two languages and makes clear the point mentioned above.
absentia (absence, Latin) = absence (French).
athleta (athelete, Latin) = athlete ( French)
cera (wax, Latin) = cire ( French)
corpus (body, Latin) = corps (French)
deus (god, Latin) = dieu (French)
fides ( faith, Latin)= foi ( French)
liber ( book, Latin) = livre ( French)
nova ( new, Latin) = neuve ( French)
mare (sea, Latin) = mer (French)
spiritus (spirit, Latin) = esprit ( French)
terra (land, Latin) = terre (French)
The short list given above is neither exhaustive nor complete but it gives an idea to the reader about the influence which Latin has on French. Hundreds of similar words can be searched and compared and it can be an interesting hobby as well as an enrichment to the vocabulary.