Roman Numerals Facts for kids – 5 Remarkable Facts about Roman Numerals

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Updated on: Educator Review By: Michelle Connolly

Do you often see the numbers I,V and X and would like to know the story behind it? Here are five remarkable Roman numerals facts for kids.

Roman Numerals Facts for kids Fact Number 1: The Roman Counting System

Roman numerals are a counting system that was developed in ancient Rome. They are made up of seven letters from the Latin alphabet: I, V, X, L, C, D, and M. Each of these letters represents a different value:

I represents the number 1

V represents the number 5

X represents the number 10

L represents the number 50

C represents the number 100

D represents the number 500

M represents the number 1000

Roman Numerals Facts for kids
Roman Numerals Facts for kids: A watch with Roman Numerals

Roman Numerals Facts for kids Fact Number 2: There is no Zero!

One interesting feature of Roman numerals is that they do not have a symbol for zero. Instead, the Romans used a system of subtraction to represent numbers that were less than the base value. For example, the number 4 is represented as IV, which is one less than 5 (represented by V).

Roman numerals can be difficult to read and write because they don’t have a symbol for zero, and they don’t have a place value system like we do in the modern numerals. This means that the position of a symbol does not indicate its value, so you have to add or subtract the values of the symbols to know the number. This can make it difficult to read and write big numbers.

Roman Numerals Facts for kids Fact Number 3: Do We Still Use The Roman Numerals

Roman numerals were used in ancient Rome to represent numbers, and they are still used today in certain contexts, such as indicating the year on buildings, numbering chapters in books, and representing the names of monarchs and popes.

Roman numerals were the primary system for representing numbers in ancient Rome. They were used for a variety of purposes, including numbering chapters in books, indicating the year on buildings, and representing dates on coins and inscriptions. Even after the fall of the Roman Empire, Roman numerals continued to be used throughout the Middle Ages and into the early modern period.

Today, Roman numerals are still used in some contexts. One common use is in indicating the year on buildings, such as on the cornerstones of buildings or in the inscriptions on public monuments. Roman numerals are also used in numbering chapters in books or sections in legal documents. In addition, they are used in some formal contexts, such as in the names of monarchs and popes (e.g. Queen Elizabeth II or Pope Francis I)..

Roman Numerals Facts for kids LearningMole
Roman Numerals Facts for kids: Royal British crown

Roman Numerals Facts for kids Fact Number 4: How to Write Roman Numerals?

To write a number in Roman numerals, you combine different letters together. For example, the number four is written as IV, because it is one less than five. The rule is that you can’t write more than three of the same symbol in a row. So, for example, instead of writing IIIII

for 5, you write V. Also, smaller values are put before the larger values to subtract them, such as IV for 4 (5-1) and IX for 9 (10-1)

Roman Numerals Facts for kids Fact Number 5: Why did Romans Use This Numerical System?

In ancient Rome, Roman numerals were commonly used for a variety of purposes, such as in official documents, public inscriptions, and private correspondence. One way that Romans would write Roman numerals was on wax tablets using a stylus, a pointed instrument that could be used to make marks on the wax surface.

Wax tablets were a common writing surface in ancient Rome, as they were easy to make and could be reused by simply melting the wax and smoothing it over again. The stylus was used to make marks on the wax surface, which could then be erased by smoothing the wax over with the flat end of the stylus.

Because the wax surface was easily erasable, the use of Roman numerals on wax tablets allowed for easy corrections and revisions. The use of wax tablets for writing also allowed for a more portable and lightweight writing surface than papyrus or parchment, which were heavier and more difficult to transport.

Roman Numerals Facts for kids LearningMole
Roman Numerals Facts for kids: Old papers with feather pen and ink pot on wood

We hope you enjoyed learning more things about Roman numerals as much as we loved teaching you about them. Now that you know how majestic this Roman numerals is, you can move on to learn about ancient people and religions like: Anglo-Saxons, Roman Life, The Inuit, The Anglo Saxons, Vikings, Viking Warriors, Celts, Egyptians and Greek Gods.

You can also learn more about mythology: Mystical Creatures, Minotaur, Ogres, Midas, Mermaids, 12 Olympians, Celtic Mythology, Zodiac Myths, Cats in Egyptian Mythology, Snakes in Egyptian Mythology, Greek Mythology Books, Greek Mythology Stories, Hideous Creatures, Medusa, Athena, Egyptian Gods, God of Fire in Egypt and Legendary Norse Mythology.

Also you can check our Mathematical articles: Numeracy, Math Magician and Times Tables Games.

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