Roman Numerals Chart

Symbol
Value
I1
V5
X10
L50
C100
D500
M1000

Huge Numbers Chart

Symbol
Value
V5,000
X10,000
L50,000
C100,000
D500,000
M1,000,000

 

If a smaller numerical value is placed before one of a larger numerical value it means subtraction, all else means addition. For example, IX means 9, XI means 11.You cannot place more than one number of smaller value before a number of a larger value for subtraction. For example, IIX would not be correct to mean 8.

Thousands, hundreds, tens, and ones all separated and are written as separate items. Which means that 98 is XCVIII, 90 + 8, same as 99 is written as 90 + 9 or XCIX and not as simply IC. On the same note, 1999 cannot be written as MIM and 999 cannot be written as IM but rather 1999 should be MCMXCIX and 999 should be written as CMXCIX.

I Roman number which represents 1 (one). 2 is II, 3 is III. 4 is written as IV following our rules above, and it is also much shorter to write.
V Roman number for 5. 4 is written as IV, 6 is written as VI, 7 is written as VII and 8 is written as VIII.
X Roman number for 10. 11 is written as XI, 12 is written as XII, 13 is written as XIII, 14 is written as XIV, fifteen is written as XV.
L Roman number for 50. 40 is written as XL, 60 is written as LX.
C Roman number for 100. 90 is written as XC, CX is 110. The C stands for the latin word Centum, you can easily remember it as thinking that a century means 100 years.
D Roman number for 500. 400 is written as CD, 600 is written as DC.
M Roman number for 1000. 900 is written as CM, 1100 is written as MC. You can easily remember this as thinking that a millennium is 1000 years.
There are times that you would see a roman number with a line over or above it. That line signifies multiplication of the value by 1000, so the number V with a line above it or over it means it has a value of 5000.

 

What Are Roman Numbers or Roman Numerals?

The chart above depicts how Roman Numerals or Roman Numbers are written and read, so if you found yourself in this page, you might be interested in Roman Numerals and have a lot of questions about them. Like who invented the Roman Numbers (hint: they are from Rome!), where did the idea of this number system came from, do we use them up to this day, etc etc. Read what on to see what we wrote on this ancient roman number system to know more.
If you are the observant and visual type, you may have noticed that you are encircled by ancient history. Things such as architecture, arts, even inventions and gadgets often have ancient beginnings, but for now we would be talking about Roman Numerals. As of this writing, Roman Numbers or Numerals are all over you. They can be seen in clocks, book titles, movie credits, monuments, signs, and even people’s names!
Who invented this ancient number system? Where did it came from? How does it work? How can we read and/or write it? Why do we still have and use it today? These questions of yours will be answered if you read through up to the last word in this article.

Where did the Roman Numbers or Numerals Came From?

Though we have a specific article written about the history of roman numerals, we can still talk about it here. The conception of Roman Numbers goes way back in history, thousands of years back in fact.
As a growing society, the ancient romans or their ancestor (no one knows for sure) needed a way to record things, so they invented a way of counting that serves this purpose which was just represented by simple notches on earlier times.
As their society grew, a problem came up. Counting with notches do not work well when dealing with larger numbers. Aside from the fact it is difficult to read on first glance and requires closer scrutiny, it also takes too much space when carving or writing it. So someone (who no one knows, because this was from a long, long, long time ago) added V to mean 5 notches, and this means that counting became much easier.
As the roman society grew more, even way back before they became an empire, the need for a better counting system further arose, hence more symbols, such as X was invented to represent 10. Because of this innovations, counting and recording became much easier, examples:
Instead of writing IIIIIII to mean 7, you can just write VII
And, instead of writing IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII to mean 21, you can simply write XXI.
That is way faster and easier!
What is great about this new system is of course it saves you from counting all the notches and can just glance at XXX and know that it means 30.
That is how the symbols for the Roman Numerals developed, long before Rome ever became an empire. Today, we have the following Roman Numbers and their Arabic numerals counterpart:
M = 1,000
D = 500
C = 100
L = 50
X = 10
V = 5
I = 1
Which brings us to two more questions:

How to Write and Read Roman Numerals?

And

How do Roman Numbers work?

To answer these two questions, you need to be able to accomplish two things.

First, you need to memorize the symbols used for writing roman numerals,

which are:
M = 1,000
D = 500
C = 100
L = 50
X = 10
V = 5
I = 1

And then understand that this counting system works by combining the symbols together

which works by adding and/or subtracting the symbols. This is described in the chart at the beginning of this page.

Do we still use Roman Numbers and Roman Numerals today?

Yes! We can find Roman Numbers and Roman Numerals surrounding us in everyday life. The fact is, they are not really old or outdated, we just favour the easier arabic numerals or the decimal system (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc etc).
We still use Roman Numerals or Roman Numbers for names of monarch, as symbols in math and chemistry, in movie titles and credits, as part of papers like in thesis and book writing, in clock faces, in sundials, in buildings and monuments, and even in tattoos!
With all the uses of roman numbers or roman numerals, it is indeed a useful knowledge to have an idea what they mean, how they work, and how to read and write them, OR, if you are stumped for time, you can use our free online Roman Numeral Converter.