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Roman Numerals

ROMAN NUMERALS

The Romans used a system of letters to represent numbers that's still actively used today. We hope this article on Roman numerals helps you to understand them and to enjoy using them.

When you see the following capital letters, do you know what they mean? XIXC XXC MMVII MMIX and MMX

These are ROMAN NUMERALS. The Romans used a system of letters to represent amounts as numbers.

For example: I is the letter i and this represents the amount ONE. V is the letter v as in Victory and this represents the amount of FIVE. I = 1, V = 5, X = 10, L = 50, C = 100, D = 500, M = 1000.

The amount Roman numerals represent when combined like this depends totally on the order they appear in the sequence.

We use primarily Arabic numerals today (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, etc.). Roman numerals, however, are still popular today; they remained in common use until about the 14th century, when they were mostly replaced by Arabic numerals. 

Here are some ways we use Roman numerals now:

  • Names of monarchs and Popes , e.g. Elizabeth II, Benedict XVI.
  • The year and, if any, credits shown at the end of a television show or film, especially in the United Kingdom.
  • Some faces of clocks and timepieces show hours in Roman numerals.
  • Books (particularly older ones) are dated in Roman numerals, and display preliminary pages in Roman numbers. Volume numbers on spines and chapter numbers can also be in Roman numerals.
  • Film series and sequels of novels and video games (such as Final Fantasy) are often numbered with Roman numerals, typically done in emulation of older books.
  • Outlines use I, II, III and i, ii, iii as part of their organizational structure.
  • A recurring grand event, such as the Olympic Games, Super Bowl, WrestleMania, or the Sprint All-Star Race.
  • Historic events, such as World War II
  • Army Corps are typically named using Roman numerals.
  • Roman numerals often appear in crossword puzzles. For example, "DLII" could be the answer to clues such as "Ovid's 552" or "half of MCIV".
  • Names of cranial nerves.
  • Guitar chord diagrams and in music for chord triads in music analysis,
  • Parts of laws, such as Titles (EG. Civil Rights Act of 1964) or Schedules (EG. Controlled Substances Act).
  • Sports teams can be referred to as the number of players in the squad with Roman numerals. In rugby union, the 1st XV of a particular club would be the 1st and best team the club has, likewise for the XIII in rugby league, and XI for football (soccer), field hockey and cricket.

     UPPER AND LOWER CASE LETTERS: Roman numbers are written most often using capital letters (X, V, I, C, M, L, etc.), but they're also sometimes written using lower-case letters, like this: i, ii, iii, iv, etc. Lower case Roman numerals are used particularly for numbering paragraphs or sections within written book chapters, or for the pagination of the front matter of a book.

 

HOW TO DETERMINE WHAT AMOUNT IS REPRESENTED BY A GROUP OF ROMAN NUMERALS

The amount Roman numerals represent when combined, depends totally on the order they appear in any sequence.

The ORDERof the letters in the group determines the TOTALnumber that is represented by all the letters in that group, as a whole.

     SUBTRACTION: Find the Roman numeral amount at the far right of any sequence. If this amount is larger than the amounts to the right of it, then subtract those amounts from it. In other words, Roman numerals to the left are subtracted from the Roman numerals to their right, when the numerals to their right are larger amounts.

Here's another way of saying the same thing. Any letter representing a SMALLER amount than the letter following it, in other words, any letter representing an amount smaller than the letter to the RIGHT of it, should be SUBTRACTED from the amount represented by the letter following it (left is subtracted from right when right is larger).

For example: How do you write the number NINE (9) using the letters of Roman numerals?

X = 10. IX means SUBTRACT I (one) from X (ten), leaving 9. IX (or ix) means the letters i and x , and since x is larger, in this particular order and combination, x MINUS i , x LESS i, i subtracted from x, in other words, they equal NINE (9).

Another example: XL is 40 because L = 50 is the larger amount, and X = 10 is to the left of L = 50 (the larger amount) so L=50 than MINUS X=10 to equal = 40 (see below, for the subtraction rule).

     WE'RE USING ZERO NOW: The Ancient Romans didn't have a symbol for zero (0), but we do, and as a result you will see Roman numerals with zero (0) in them, because we've put the zero (0) in there. This zero (0) has a specific meaning. When you see a modern ZERO (0) stuck inside a Roman numeral sequence, it can can sometimes indicate SUBTRACTION rather than addition. So what are we doing by putting zero (0) in a Roman numeral? We're doing SUBTRACTION (taking something away, making something less by a given amount).

For example:XL is 40 because L = 50 is the larger amount, and X = 10 is to the left of L = 50 (the larger amount) so L=50 than MINUS X=10 to equal = 40.

The subtraction rule means XC in Roman numerals means NINETY (90) because C = 100, X = 10 , and XC means 100 MINUS (-) 10 = 90.

Another example:I represents one (1), V represents five (5), and IV represents FOUR (4), or five (5) MINUS one (1) = 4.

     ADDITION: Addition is indicated by REPEATING any letter. Repeating the same letter indicates ADDITION of the amount represented by that duplicated letter.   

X is the letter X or x and represents the amount, or quantity, of TEN.

XX represents the amount, or quantity, of TEN PLUS TEN, or 10 + 10 , or TWENTY.

XXX represents the amount, or quantity, of TEN TEN TEN, or 10 + 10 + 10, or 10 x 3, or THIRTY.

III = 3, as in 1+1+1 = 3.

XX = 20 as in 10+10 = 20. XXX = 30 as in 10+10+10 = 30.

     TEENS: To represent numbers in the teens ( 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 ), the twenties ( 21, 22, 23, etc. ) and thirties ( 31, 32, 33, etc. ), and so on, follow the same format.  

Use the same amount of X's as there are TENS in the number you're indicating

For example:  XXXI is 31, and XXIV is 24.

     COMPLEX NUMBERS  (L = 50,  C = 100, M = 1000):  Dates and complex numbers are written as a group of letters, representing thousands, hundreds, fifties, tens and units, etc.

     FIFTY  L = 50:  The letter L represents the number 50. In other words,the Roman numeral L represents the Arabic number amount of fifty (50). L = 50.

XL is 40 because L = 50 is the larger amount, and X = 10 is to the left of L = 50 (the larger amount) so L=50 than MINUS X=10 to equal = 40 (see below, for the subtraction rule).

LX is 60: L = 50 PLUS X=10.

LXX is 70: L = 50 PLUS X=10 PLUS ANOTHER X=10.

LXXX is 80: L = 50 PLUS X=10 PLUS ANOTHER X=10 PLUS ANOTHER X=10.

     ONE HUNDRED  C = 100:  The letter C stands for centum, and centum is the Latin word for 100. A centurion was a warrior who led 100 men. We still use this word in words like "century" and "cent."

C = 100 and CC = 200.

C's (one hundreds) are tacked on to the beginning of numbers, just like the X's (tens) and L's (fifties) are, to indicate how many hundreds and hundreds and hundreds there are: CCCLXIX is 369.

The number year 1763 is written in Roman numerals as MDCCLXIII. 1808 is written MDCCCVIII. 235 is written CCXXXV. 56 is written LVI.

XIXC is written in Roman numerals and means the 19th Century, the years between 1800 and 1899.

XXC indicates the 20th Century, meaning the years between 1900 and 1999.

XXIC indicates the current 21st Century, meaning the years between 2000 and 2999.

     ONE THOUSAND  M = 1000:  The letter M represents 1,000. Because Roman numerals remain popular, you'll find Roman numeral sequences containing many Ms inside all sorts of books and documents.

MMVIII in Roman numerals is 2008.

MMIX is 2009. 2009 is MMIX: MM = 1000 PLUS (+) 1000 = 2000 PLUS (+) IX (9) IX = SUBTRACT I (one) from X (ten) = 9 (nine)

MMXV is 2015.

     ROMAN NUMERALS MODERNIZED:  Our modernized Roman numerals are figured out by SUMMING up the separate decimal digits in the sequence, starting with the left-most digit and skipping any digit with a value of zero.

This means to find the date, you can just add up modern sequences of Roman numerals from left to right, remembering the subtraction rule.

Each series of digits can include an additive part as well as a subtractive part. ADDITION and SUBTRACTION are often used together, mixed together in the same group.

For example: XL is 40 because  L = 50 is the larger amount,  and X = 10 is to the left of  L = 50 (the larger amount),  so L=50 than MINUS X=10 to equal = 40.

More examples:Eight (8) is represented as VIII which is V (five)  plus III (three),  5+3 = 8. 
Nine (9) is represented as IX  which is a smaller number (I, one) to the left of a larger number (X, 10) so X (ten) MINUS 1 (one), 10 - 1 = 9.

MCMXC is 1990: 
M = 1000, 
CM = 900, 
plus 
XC = 90.  XC = 90 because C = 100, X = 10, and XC means 100 MINUS 10 to equal = 90. 

Again, MMIX is 2009: MM for 2000 plus IX for 9. 
 


We hope this information is helpful to you. Thanks for reading. Merci de votre visite.

 



All Content is © Debra Spencer, Suit Yourself™ International. Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved.
Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without express written consent. Thank you.

 

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All Content is ©2019 Debra Spencer, Appanage™at www.suityourself.international Suit Yourself ™ International, 120 Pendleton Point, Islesboro Island, Maine, 04848, USA 44n31 68w91 Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without express written consent. Thank you.

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All Content is ©2019 Debra Spencer, Appanage™at www.suityourself.international Suit Yourself ™ International, 120 Pendleton Point, Islesboro Island, Maine, 04848, USA 44n31 68w91 Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without express written consent. Thank you.
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