Roman Numeration System

By:Courtney Reid


The Roman numeration System became the common way to do math in 500 BCE. The usage of the Roman numeration system decreased when other numeration system techniques evolved in the 14th century. It was base 10 but it didn't not include zero so it was inefficient for math purposes.The letters they used to symbolize the numbers where based off of the alphabet that the Romans used.

Reddy, Rutwik. "Historical Background of Number System." Peter Arvai, 20 Nov. 2013. Web. 9 Dec. 2015.

Mastin, Luke. "Roman Mathematics." The Story of Mathematics. Luke Mastin, 2010. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.

Mark. Marks Wallpaper. Digital image. Wallpapers Craft. N.p., 30 Apr. 2015. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.


The Roman Numeral System uses numerals as symbols to represent different numbers. When a larger number is placed in the front you have to add, when a smaller number is placed in front you have to subtract. For example if the larger number is in front like VI then it would be 5+1 which would give you 6. An example of a lower number in front would be IV which would mean 5-1 which would give you 4.

Math, Dr. "Roman Numeral." The Math Forum @ Drexel. Drexel University School of Education, 2015. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.


Romans used the Roman Numeral System for building roads, bridges, temples out of stone, keeping accounts and supplying armies. They used the Roman Numeral System until the Roman Empire fell, but even after that people continued using the system.

"Math Forum: Ask Dr. Math FAQ: Roman Numerals." Math Forum: Ask Dr. Math FAQ: Roman Numerals. Web. 9 Dec. 2015.


To add Roman Numerals you write the letters out in order from largest roman numeral to the smallest roman numeral. For an example DCCLX would 500+100+100+50+10=760.

-To add two Roman numbers together you have to substitute subtractive (ex. IV would become IIII)

-Then you get rid of the addition symbol and put them together.(ex. DDCX+VIIII would become DDCXVIIII)

-Sort symbols from largest to smallest

-Group the symbols that are the same to make an even larger one. (ex.DDCXVIIII would become MCXVIIII)

-The next step would be to substitute the subtractive.

Turner, Lawrence E. Roman Arithmetic. Digital image. Roman Arithmetic. Lawrence E Turner, 2007. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.

Did You Know?

Roman Numerals are still used today to make numbers look fancier or older on clocks and official documents. It's also used to avoid confusion between regular numbers.

Math, Dr. "Roman Numeral." The Math Forum @ Drexel. Drexel University School of Education, 2015. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.