Who invented the Roman numerals?

Roman number

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Roman numerals are the numerals of a numerical font that originated in Roman antiquity and is still used today for numbers and special purposes, in which the Latin letters I (1), V (5), X (10), L (in today's normal form) 50), C (100), D (500) and M (1000) can be used as numerals for writing the natural numbers. With these the children in ancient Rome learned arithmetic a few centuries before Christ. It was not until the 12th century that the Roman numerals were replaced by today's Arabic numerical system. But outside of mathematics, they are still used in many ways today, for example on clock faces, for numbering book chapters or for counting rulers and dignitaries, as with Pope Benedict XVI. It is an additive number font, with a supplementary rule for the subtractive writing of certain characters, but without a place value system and without characters for zero. It is based on a combined quinary-decimal or biquinary number system with the base numbers 5 and 10. There is no character for the 0. In a Roman number, the individual characters are sorted in descending order from left to right according to their value.


Converting Roman numerals is very easy. The numbers are added from left to right. When converting Arabic numbers into Roman numbers, it is important to note that a maximum of three identical symbols can appear in a row. Four identical numerals are avoided by putting a smaller number in front of a larger one. A simple example of this is the 4th. It is represented by IV, which could literally be translated as five less one. The following rules apply to the subtracting figure in the Roman number system:

1. I only comes before V and X 2. X only comes before L and C 3. C only comes before D and M


49 = (50 less 10) + (10 less 1) = XLIX 99 = (100 less 1) = IC = wrong (see 1st rule) but (100 less 10) + (10 less 1) = XCIX = correct The year 1825 M = 1000 D = 500 VC = 95 (100-5) CC = 200 XXX = 30 The sum is 1825

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