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Roman Numerals Description

Roman numerals is a numeric system with ancient Roman origin where numbers are represented by single or combination of Latin letters. The usage of the Roman numeric system was adopted all over Europe and continued even after the fall of the Roman Empire. After the 14th century, the Hindu Arabic numeric system with the digits from 0 to 9 which we know today began to replace in most situations gradually the roman numerals. However, nowadays there are some contexts in which the Roman numerals are still applied.

The numbers from 1 to 10, are signified like this:


The number zero does not have its own symbol since the Roman system is now based on place value. Place value means that the value of the position of the digit in a number, so this means that the Roman system is not based on where the digit is located in the number, each digit and number has a specific symbol or combination of symbols. Instead, the word “nullus” expresses the concept of “nothing”

Modern usage of Roman numerals:

  • Used in some analog watches and clocks.
  • The names of monarchs and Popes are usually numbered in Roman symbols.
  • Copyright dates on movies, tv programs, and videos.
  • Page numbering in book prefaces and introductions, before the standard page numbering starts.
  • Book volumes, chapters, acts within a play.
  • To denote centuries
  • Mixed roman and Hindu-Arabic numerals are used to represent dates especially on formal documents
  • On buildings, cornerstones, monuments

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