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Roman Numerals - Maths

Roman Numerals - Chart, Conversion Rules, Genesis and Utilization

Roman numerals are prevalent across all regions of the world and are becoming more and more common in our daily life. The numbers originated in ancient Rome, and they became the method of representation in the entire European region for quite a long time. Today there are seven different roman letters that have a certain value assigned to them. These seven letters in Roman numerals are unique. They are given below:

Letters Numbers
I 1
V 5
X 10
L 50
C 100
D 500
M 1000

As we can clearly understand from the table that these letters represent a fixed integer value, there is no requirement of writing zeros to represent 50 or 500, and the letters have the complete values assigned to them. Therefore, one can just write L and D, which denote the same thing. Thus, these letters are considered to be very easy and indicate the entire number system.

For example, if one wants to write 6 in Roman numbers, he/she can simply write it as VI (just by adding V + I). This becomes very helpful while adding big numbers. For instance, if we want to write 1050 in Roman letters, we can simply write it by adding M + L, which gives ML.

Genesis of Roman Numerals

At first, Roman numerals didn’t attain success during the ancient days, and our ancestors utilised various counting systems. The Italian habitats (those from central Italy) established their numeral system with many symbols. The following are the two theories famous in the mathematical world regarding the origin of the Roman number system.

1st Theory: It suggests that normal hand signals were used to indicate Roman numerals. The fingers signal the numbers between 1 and 4 (as there are 4 fingers), whereas when the fingers and thumb are separated, this method shapes V to indicate the number 5.

2nd Theory: The second theory is based on the tally sticks, and it contains some interesting facts. Tally sticks were hugely popular in Europe before the Roman Empire and had existed since the 19th century. IIIVI can be etched on the tally stick, and when it got shortened, it looks just the same as the Roman letter 6.

The utilisation of Roman Numerals

  • Roman numbers can help represent worldwide games such as Super Bowl, Wrestlemania (WWE) and Olympics etc. An example of this is the 2020 Olympic Games, which will be held in Tokyo, Japan, and the representation of this event will be XXXII.
  • In the olden days, there were many kings and queens with the same name. So, in order to differentiate them, numerals are very helpful. For instance, in France, there was a king named Louis XVI. Likewise, there was Henry VIII in England.
  • In terms of movies, the years it has been released should be represented in Roman letters. Movies show the copyrighted year in numerals during the last when they show credits.
  • A very lively and common example for using Roman numbers is wall clocks and watches. In some clocks, Roman numbers are used to represent hours.
  • In construction, sometimes the builders use numerals to demonstrate the year in which the building got established. So, for example, if a building got constructed in 2009, it will be denoted as MMX.

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