Roman Numbers

Roman numerals(numbers), the numeric system used in ancient Rome, employ combinations of letters from the Latin alphabet to signify values. The Roman numeral system is a positional numbering system. This system employs some capital letters as symbols to represent certain numbers, most numbers are written as combinations of letters.

Roman numbers are essentially known as uppercase letters: I, V, X, L, C, D and M. The whole combination of letters represents a number.

Roman Numbers Letter Chart

  • I = 1
  • V = 5
  • X = 10
  • L = 50
  • C = 100
  • D = 500
  • M = 1000

The largest number you can write in Roman numerals is 3,999 which is MMMCMXCIX. You can represent numbers larger than 3,999 in Roman numerals using an overline. An overline on a Roman numeral means you are multiplying that Roman numeral by 1,000. For the number 50,000 in Roman numerals you would use the Roman numeral L (50) with an overline to make it 50,000.

3 Rules In Small Roman Numerals

  1. The subtractive numeral to the left must be I, X, or C. The 'five' numerals V, L, and D cannot be used. M cannot be used because it is the biggest numeral anyway.
  2. The subtracted number must be no less than a tenth of the value of the number it is subtracted from. So an X can be placed to the left of a C or an L but not to the left of an M or a D. The correct way of looking at this rule is that each power of ten is dealt with separately. So 49 is XL IX (without the spaces), not IL
  3. Normally, only one smaller number can be placed to the left. So 19 can be depicted XIX but 17 cannot be written XIIIX or IIIXX. However, this rule is sometimes broken for number involving an eight.

Rules In Larger Roman Numerals

Once a number gets bigger than a few thousand, Roman numerals become unwieldy. There are no 'bigger' symbols for 5000, 10,000 or a million. The Romans had two ways of writing bigger numbers. They used what I call above 'deep parentheses' to multiply a number by 1000. They were a C and a mirror image or upside down C and I use normal parentheses to show them. Thus ( I ) is 1000 and ( X ) is 10,000. ( XXIII ) is 23,000. If you want to depict a million you can use ( M ). Alternatively, the parentheses can be nested so ( I ) is 1,000 and ( ( I ) ) is 1,000,000. The numbers can get a bit unwieldy as they get bigger.

Fractions In Roman Numbers

The letter S was used to depict a half.Other fractions were shown by dashes, each dash being worth one twelfth.

- 1/12
= 2/12 or 1/6
- = 3/12ths or 1/4
= = 4/12ths or 1/3
- = = 5/12ths
S 1/2
S - 1/2 plus 1/12th or 7/12ths
S = 1/2 plus 2/12ths or 2/3
S - = 1/2 plus 3/12ths or 3/4
S = = 1/2 plus 4/12ths or 5/6
S - = = 1/2 plus 5/12ths or 11/12ths

Reading Roman Numbers

When reading Roman Numerals, the value of the number is added from left to right if the left numeral is greater than the right numeral.

Examples:
1. II = (1+1) = 2
2. XX = (10+10) = 20
3. CII = (100+1+1) = 102
4. DCLX = (500+100+50+10) = 660

Writing Roman Numbers

Numbers cannot be written by repeating a single numeral more than three times. You need to use Roman numeral strategies to write these numbers.

Examples: IV = 4 IX = 9 XC = 90 CD = 400 LX = 60

When writing a numeral express each part of the number as if it were written in expanded notation.

Examples:

65 = 60 + 5 so we write LX (60) + V (5) or LXV
49 = 40 + 9 so we write XL (40) + IX (9) or XLIX
345 = 300 + 40 + 5 so we write CCC (300) + XL (40) + V (5) or CCCXLV
827 = 800 + 20 + 7 so we write DCCC (800) + XX (20) + VII (7) or DCCCXXVII

Roman Numbers 1 to 10

  • 1 => I
  • 2 => II
  • 3 => III
  • 4 => IV
  • 5 => V
  • 6 => VI
  • 7 => VII
  • 8 => VIII
  • 9 => IX
  • 10 => X

Roman Numbers 1 to 100

roman numbers 1 to 100

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