Roman numerals history is a long and complicated one that mirrors the rise and fall of the empire from where it was from, the Roman Empire. The history of roman numerals dates way back from ancient Rome’s beginnings itself around the 8th and 9th century on the hills of Palatine and then follows it through plague, sickness, attacks from barbaric tribes, civil war, civil apathy, and the rise of European powers and Christianity leading to its fall 2 centuries after the death of Christ.
The Birth of Roman Numerals
Roman numerals history did not start out of thin air but it does lack the documentation to support as to when the use of it really started. Most probably, Roman numerals history of coming into conception rose from the need for a communal means of counting which is essential to trade and communications. I, V, X, C, D, L and M are the seven basic symbols used in roman numerals which dates back from 900 to 800 BC, attesting to the ancient beginnings of roman numerals history.
Roman Numerals History and Evolution
As the Roman Empire grew, so did its need for a number and counting system grew with it. What was originally designed as a numbers system based on counting by 5s and 10s needed to be more complex and accurate.
The numbers system designed by the Romans is flawed, it lacked zero, and had no single method of counting above the value of several thousands which is only amended by placing lines over numerals to signify multiples of their value.
When the Roman Empire fell by 300 AD, the world saw better use and adoption of the Arabic numerals which we call as decimal numbers nowadays. Arabic numerals consistently work to a base of 10 and had zero (0) which is a great improvement from the previously popular Roman numerals. The use of Roman numerals continued to decline with the collapse of the empire that conceived it, but ironically, it found a protector in the name of Christianity, which still continued to utilize the number system.
Modern Uses of Roman Numerals
Roman numerals history of course did not end with the demise of the Roman Empire, today, we use Roman numerals for certain things to imbibe a rich sense of aesthetics and history like the following:
- Astronomy to label moons
- Movie titles
- Manuscript outlines
- Chemistry to denote groups of elements in the periodic table
- Movie credits
- Names of monarchs
- Names of popes
- Names of ships
- Names of buildings
- Sporting events
- Watches and clocks
- Books and chapter headings
- Uses in the Media
Current Roman Numerals History
Roman numerals have stood the test of time and are definitely here to stay. Its sense of elegance and classic style ensures it will not go out of practice for a long time to come. In fact, the proliferation of Roman numerals converter sites in the internet means there is a renewed interest in it even in today’s world, ensuring the future chapter in Roman numerals history.