I
for
1
  X for 10
II
for
2
  L for 50
III
for
3
  C for 100
IV
for
4
  D for 500
V
for
5
  M for 1,000
IX
for
9
       
 

The Romans used letters to represent numbers:

 

The number 4 is written as IV, which meant one less than five, and 6 is written as VI, meaning one more than five.

 

90 is written as XC, meaning 10 less than 100.

Roman numerals are still used today, for example on clocks, and on television or in films to show the date, e.g. 2006 is MMVI.

Clock with Roman numerals

Clocks often use roman numerals

 

Quiz

What numbers do the following represent?

 

VII

XVI

LXXII

Answer:

VII is 7

XVI is 16

LXXII is 72

Click for answers

How would Romans write the following numbers?

 

6

19

44

122

Answer:

6 is VI

19 is IXX

44 is XLIV

122 is CXXII

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