Roman Numerals #1

Roman Numerals #1

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Roman numerals are represented by 8 different symbols in the form of S, I, V, X, L, C, D, M.  These symbols come together to form numbers. The least used of these is the letter S. Because S represents 0.5, that is, half. Therefore, its use is very low.

Where these symbols came from is unknown. One guess is that these originated in the Etruscans and were essentially notches made on a stick. So the “I” was a single notch, every fifth notch was a double scratch, or “V”, and every tenth notch was a cross, or “X”. This explains where IV = 4 comes from: it was the scratch that preceded V during I II III, etc.

It is unbelievable, but this system was used in Europe until the 12th century, when the Arab system, which included zero, replaced it. This important revolution occurred in large part with Leonardo Fibonacci’s pioneering work, Liber Abaci “Book of Calculation” in the early 13th century. 

When writing Roman numerals, the same number cannot be used 4 times in a row. Therefore, the number 4 cannot be written as “IIII”. “IV” is used instead. Numbers to the left of large numbers such as “V” or “X” are read by subtracting them. The numbers on the right should be read by adding up. The number 30 in Roman numerals is XXX. However, the number 40 cannot be written as “XXXX” as it is against the rules to write the same numbers 4 times. “XL” is used instead. The letter “C” is used to write 100 in Roman Numerals. To write the number 90, X is brought next to this letter.

Download the worksheet for free at HERE

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