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Roman Numerals

Roman numerals were used in ancient Rome and throughout Europe until the start of the Middle ages. The number system uses combinations of letters from the Latin alphabet with rules for adding and subtracting values depending on the relative position of the letters. Roman numerals began to be replaced by Arabic numerals in the 14th century for accounting and arithmetic calculations, but they are still used today for some artistic applications.

Great seal of the United States
Great Seal of the U.S.

Roman civilization and the Roman Empire had a strong government that held a large territory around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, Africa and Asia. As conquerors, the Romans spread their culture, language and Roman numbers throughout their domain. The Romance Languages, including Spanish, Italian, Catalan, Portuguese, French and Romanian, are derived from the Vulgar Latin spoken by the Romans, which originated from Classical Latin. Spanish is the most widely spoken Romance language in the world and it is second only to Chinese in the number of native speakers.

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Roman numbers are based on seven Latin letters with the following values: I=1, V=5, X=10, L=50, C=100, D=500 and M=1000. Numbers that are not represented exactly by the seven Latin letters are coded by repeating the letters and by placing one letter of lower value to the left of one of higher value, or up to three letters of lower value to the right of one of higher value. The smaller values to the left are subtracted, and the smaller values to the right are added. Thus XIII represents 13 (10+3), wheras IX represents 9 (10-1). The Roman numeral MDCCLXXVI at the bottom of the pyramid in the Great Seal of the United States represents 1776 (1000+500+100+100+50+10+10+5+1). Roman numbers that are multiples of 1000 are indicated with a line above the number. For example, V represents five thousand.

Roman Numerals with their Latin names

Arabic
Number
Roman
Number
Cardinal Form Ordinal Form
1 I unus - una - unum primus
2 II duo - duae - duo secundas
3 III tres - tria tertius
4 IV quattuor quartus
5 V quinque quintus
6 VI sex sextus
7 VII septem septimus
8 VIII octo octavus
9 IX novem nonus
10 X decum decimus
11 XI undecim undecimus
12 XII duodecim duodecimus
13 XIII tredecim tertius decimus
14 XIV quattourdecim quartus decimus
15 XV quindecim quintus decimus
16 XVI sedecim sextus decimus
17 XVII septendecim septimus decimus
18 XVIII duodeviginti duodevicesimus
19 XIX undeviginti undevicesimus
20 XX viginti vicesimus
21 XXI viginti unus vicesimus primus
22 XXII viginti duo vicesimus secundas
23 XXIII viginti tria vicesimus tertius
24 XXIV viginti quattuor vicesimus quartus
25 XXV viginti quinque vicesimus quintus
30 XXX triginta tricesimus
40 XL quadraginta quadragesimus
50 L quinquaginta quinquagesimus
60 LX sexaginta sexagesimus
70 LXX septuaginta septuagesimus
80 LXXX octoginta octogesimus
90 XC nonaginta nonagesimus
100 C centum centesimus
200 CC ducenti ducentesimus
300 CCC trecenti trecentesimus
400 CD quadringenti quadringentesimus
500 D quingenti quingentesimus
600 DC sescengenti sescentesimus
700 DCC septingenti septingentesimus
800 DCCC octingenti octingentesimus
900 CM nongenti nongentesimus
1000 M mille millesimus
1900 MCM mille nongenti millesnongentesimus
2000 MM duomilia bismillesimus
2100 MMC duomilia centum bismilles centesimus
3000 MMM tresmilia tresmillesimus
4000 MMMM quadramilia quadramillesimus
5000 V quinmilia quinmillesimus
6000 VM sesmilia sesmillesimus
7000 VMM septuamilia septuamillesimus
8000 VMMM octomilia octomillesimus
9000 MX nonamilia nonamillesimus
10,000 X decem milia decies millesimus
11,000 XM undecim milia undecim millesimus
12,000 XMM duodecim milia duadecim millesimus
50,000 L quinqua milia quinqua millesimus
60,000 LX sexa milia sexa millesimus
80,000 LXXX octo milia octo millesimus
90,099 XCXCIX nona milis novaginta novem nona millesimus nonus
100,000 C centum milia centies millesimus
200,000 CC ducenta milia ducenta millesimus
200,100 CCC ducenta milia centum ducenta millesimus centum
200,510 CCDX ducenta milia quindecem quindecem
500,000 D quingenti milia quingenti millesimus
600,000 DC sescenti milia sescenti millesimus
700,000 DCC sepusducenta milia sepcenti millesimus
1,000,000 M mille milia mille millesimus


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