# Roman numerals, Roman numbers names and symbol: all you need to know

All you need to know about Roman numerals and Roman numbers: names, symbols, use.

The Romans developed a system of numbers and numerals that we still use today.

At the core of the Roman numeral system, there is a basic set of latin letters, which the Romand combined to create any numeral they needed.

The latin letters the Romans used in their numeral system are: I, V, X, L, C, D, M

In this page, you find a Roman numeral chart, a list of Roman number names and the basic functioning of the ancient Roman counting system.

Before we dive into the world of Roman numbers, a coupled of definitions.

## What is the difference between Roman numeral vs Roman number

A Romam Numeral is a symbol to indicate a certain number

A number is a mathematical tool to measure a quantity

## Core ancient Roman numerals and their use

To Romans used a specific set of letters to identify what they used as core numeral:

• I = 1
• V = 5
• X = 10
• L =50
• C = 100
• D = 500
• M = 1000

Fun fact! Ancient Roman numbers did not include the number zero. Zero entered the system much later, as part of the Arabic numerical system we still use today.

## Essential rules to write roman numerals

These basic symbols where combined to create new numerals with a system of addition / subtractions.

• When a big numeral precedes a smaller numeral, the numbers are added. So XI = X+I= 11
• When a smaller numeral a bigger numeral , the numbers are subtracted. So IX = 10 – 1= 9
• When a numeral is repeated 2 or 3 times, they get added. So XX = 10+10 = 20
• The same letter can only be used three time in a row. So VIII = 5 + 1+1+1 = 8 but 9 = IX

The easiest way to recognise Roman numbers is to identify the biggest numeral and work from it either adding or subtracting.

## Roman numerals chart

These numerals were combined to create all types of numbers, ever very high ones.

For instance: 1983 as an ancient Roman number would read MCMLXXXIII

## The Latin names of Roman number

Roman numbers had names as follows:

## Where do we see Roman numerals in use

Roman numerals are still widely used. You can commonly encounter them to mark chapters in a book, different tomes in a multi-volume book or to mark numbered aisles in places such as libraries and university halls.

They are also used on clock faces and any time a list wants to evoke a sense of refinement or elegance.

Roman numbers are also easy to see in Rome, where they regularly appear in ancient inscriptions and modern street names.

Examples: Via XX Settembre or, Rione XI