The Roman Numeration System

Ashley Gray


The Roman Numeration System began being used in the early 8th century BC and ended its mathematical purposes in 2nd century AD. It is still used today but not for mathematical purposes. Now it is used for more aesthetic purposes such as numbered lists, clocks, chapter headings in books, page numbers in books, some dates, astronomy, music theory, and names of monarchs.
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What's the Base?


~ 10 was chosen because this system was made for traders who before this had to count on their fingers. It makes sense for the base 10 when you think that they already counted by tens because of their 10 fingers.


The symbols used in this system are: I, V, X, L, C, D, and M.

I = 1

V = 5

X = 10

L = 50

C = 100

D = 500

M = 1000


~The letters in terms of 5 (V, L, D) can not be repeated

~Sequences of letters are always written highest to lowest

~Sequences are always read left to right

~You can not use the same letter more than 3 times in a row

How to Calculate

~If a letter is placed before a letter of greater value, then you subtract the smaller from the larger.

Example IIV = 3

~If a letter is placed after a letter of greater value, the you add the smaller to the larger. Example VII = 7

~A bar above the letter sequence multiplies the value by 1000

Anything Else?

~There is no symbol for 0

~There is no way to calculate fractions

What's Something Interesting about the Roman Empire?

~After the fall of the Roman Empire the technology to make concrete was lost for 1000 years.

~Emperors would poison themselves a little bit everyday to gain immunity. Obviously this didn't work.


"Roman Numerals ." The Math Forum . Drexel University School of Education, Web. 9 Dec. 2015.

"Roman Numerals ." Roman Numerals . N.p., Web. 9 Dec. 2015.

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Jacobsen, Barry C. "The Age of Arthur: Part Seven." Deadliest Blogger. N.p., 15 Oct. 2014. Web. 9 Dec. 2015.

Traiani, Forum. "The Roman Empire." Forum Traiani. N.p., 26 Sept. 2013. Web. 9 Dec. 2015.

Sidebottom, Harry. "10 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About the Romans ."History Extra. BBC, Mar. 2015. Web. 9 Dec. 2015.