##### how to read roman numerals

Roman Numerals are A system of dating which is found on most books before 1800 and a great many after 1800. Each numeral has to be added mentally to arrive at the total. Here is the formula for the Roman Numeral numbering system.

m=1000

d=500

c=100

l=50

x=10

ix=9

viii=8

vii=7

vii=6

vi=5

iv=4

iii=3

ii=2

i=1

Some Examples:

x= 10

xx=20

xxx=30

xxxi = 31

xxxvi = 36

mcccclxxxiv = 1484

mdxxxxv = 1545

mdcxlviii= 1648

(the x before the l has to be subtracted)

mdcclxxx = 1780

mdcccxiii= 1813

Another way to explain this is as follows: A numeral is a symbol used to represent a number. Each letter used in Roman numerals stands for a different number. A row of letters means that they should be added together. For example, XXX = 10 + 10 + 10 = 30, and LXI = 50 + 10 + 1 = 61. If a smaller value is placed before a larger one, you must subtract instead of adding. For example, IV= 4 (i.e., one subtracted from five). These rules will be handy in writing Roman numerals. Just convert one digit at a time. Here is an exercise to try: convert 963 to Roman numerals. 963 = 900 + 60 + 3 = CM + LX + III.

There are a few rules in converting Roman numerals to Arabic numbers. They are:

• Subtract only powers of ten, such as I, X, or C.

Writing VL for 45 is not allowed: write XLV instead.

• Subtract only a single letter from a single numeral.
• Don’t subtract a letter from another letter more than ten times greater.

This means that you can only subtract I from V or X, and X from L or C.