Roman Numerals

I =1
roman numeral wall clock
roman numeral wall clock

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

Rules for writing in Roman Numerals (Source

  • Summary: Roman numerals are expressed by letters of the alphabet and are rarely used today except for formality or variety. There are four basic principles for reading Roman numerals:

    1. A letter repeated once or twice repeats its value that many times (XXX = 30, CC = 200, etc.).

    2. One or more letters placed after another letter of greater value increases the greater value by the amount of the smaller (VI = 6, LXX = 70, MCC = 1200, etc.).

    3. A letter placed before another letter of greater value decreases the greater value by the amount of the smaller (IV = 4, XC = 90, CM = 900, etc.). Several rules apply for subtraction: (a) only subtract powers of ten (I, X, or C, but not V or L); (b) only subtract one number from another; (c) do not subtract a number from one that is more than 10 times greater (that is, you can subtract 1 from 10 [IX] but not from 20—there is no such number as IXX).

    4. A bar placed on top of a letter or string of letters increases the numeral's value by 1,000 times (XV = 15, external image Xbar.gifexternal image Vbar.gif= 15,000).

    5. Examples: V, L and D can only be used as singles in any given number, I, X and C can only be used three times next to each other in any given number. Usually, the highest number will be written first, so if a number of lower value appears inbetween numbers with higher value, we need to subtract that lower value from the following higher value. Example: XIV means 10 + (5 - 1), thus 14.MCM is 1000 + (1000 - 100) = 1900.MMCM means two thousand, then one hundred before 1000, thus MMCM = 2900. (source

  • More examples:

  • You add the numbers from left to right. You always start by writing the highest number in thousands, then the second highest e.g. in hundreds then the tens, then the units.
  • Thus 2575 would be written as MM (two thousand),then D (five hundred), L (fifty), XX (two tens) and lastly V (five): 2575 = MMDLXXV
  • You can only put one less value in front of a higher value, however, not five before, fifty before, 500 before or 5000 before (only one, ten, 100 or 1000 before etc.), for instance if you want 450 you would not write LD, rather you would write CDL (100 before 500 = 400, then add 50 to give a total of 450)

  • With 999 it’s not allowed to write IM. But you can write 900 as CM. Thus to write 999 you would write CMXCIX (hundred before 1000 plus ten before 100 plus one before ten).

  • With M you can’t put D (which is silly to do since D is half of M anyway), L, X, V and I in front of.

  • With D you can’t put L, X, V and I in front of.

  • With C you can’t put L, V and I in front of.

  • With L you can’t put V and I in front of.

  • With X and V you can put everything in front of.

  • Another example: 1450 cannot be written MLD, It is written as MCDL (which is 1000+hundred before 500+50).
  • For numbers of 5000 and above, you just write the usual Roman numeral with a line above the number, to indicate that it is a thousand of that number. Thus 5000 would be a V with a line above it, 10 000 would be X with a line above it, and so forth.

  • Tips for remembering the order:

  • I, V, X = I View X-rays: I, V, X = 1, 5, 10external image Plastics%20-%20X-ray%20view.jpg
  • >> L, C, D, M = Loopy Cows Drink Milk = 50, 100, 500, 1000external image en_romeinsecijfers.gif
    • Lucky Cows Drink Milk


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