Math Lesson 1.1.4 - Roman Numerals

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Welcome to our Math lesson on Roman Numerals, this is the fourth lesson of our suite of math lessons covering the topic of Numbering Systems, a Historical View, you can find links to the other lessons within this tutorial and access additional Math learning resources below this lesson.

Roman Numerals

All the above numbering system were explained purely for wider understanding and of course historical reasons. Unlike the Egyptian, Babylonian and Mayan numbering systems, the Roman Numbering System is still used today, though it is mainly used for to represent items put in order, such as paragraphs of a text or numbers on a clock as roman numerals are considered aesthetically pleasing (they look nicer than standard numbers). In addition, they are used to represent centuries. Did you know that most films have Roman numerals in the end credits? These Roman Numerals in film credits are used to represent the year the film was released, you can also find these at the end of certain television programmes. Lets take a look at what those Roman Numerals represent.

Romans used the following symbols to write numbers:

Math Tutorials: Numbering Systems, a Historical View Example

Roman Numerals are then used for quantifying mounts by following these simple rules: There can be up to three identical symbols in a row in Roman numbers. For example:

Math Tutorials: Numbering Systems, a Historical View Example

When it comes to the fourth consecutive symbol, another notation is instead used. The given symbol is written only once but it is placed before the successive symbol. For example,

Math Tutorials: Numbering Systems, a Historical View Example

You must not write two non-successive symbols close to each other. Only V (5), L (50) and D (500) make exception from this rule. Therefore, the number 99 is not written as IC but as XCIX instead. Likewise, 999 is not written as IM but as CMXCIX. This is because Roman numbers are grouped in placeholders of ones, tens, hundreds and thousands, exactly like the numbers we actually use. For example,

Math Tutorials: Numbering Systems, a Historical View Example

A horizontal line above any Roman symbol increases its value by 1000 times. For example, Math Tutorials: Numbering Systems, a Historical View Example

because

Math Tutorials: Numbering Systems, a Historical View Example

More Numbering Systems, a Historical View Lessons and Learning Resources

Arithmetic Learning Material
Tutorial IDMath Tutorial TitleTutorialVideo
Tutorial
Revision
Notes
Revision
Questions
1.1Numbering Systems, a Historical View
Lesson IDMath Lesson TitleLessonVideo
Lesson
1.1.1Egyptian Numerals
1.1.2Babylonian Numerals
1.1.3Mayan Numerals
1.1.4Roman Numerals
1.1.5Hindu-Arabic Numerals
1.1.6Classes and Placeholders

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  7. Continuing learning arithmetic - read our next math tutorial: Number Sets, Positive and Negative Numbers and Number Lines

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