Header image

Primary Homework Help
The Romans

by Mandy Barrow
WW ll
Roamn Britain
Saxon Britain
Viking Britain
Norman Britain
Tudor Britain
Victorian Britain
World War Two
500 BC
AD 43
This site uses cookies. See our Cookie Policy for information

Roman Numbers


The Roman Numeral, as far as we know, was the only written numbering system used in Ancient Rome and Europe until about 900 AD, when the Arabic Numbering System, which was originated by the Hindu's, came into use. (The Arabic Numbers are the ones we use today 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9).

Roman Numerals do not have a zero (0) and have 7 digits (I, V, X, L, C, M)

In our number system, Arabic numbers, we have ten digits (from 0-9) and we can make as big a number as we want with these.

What Roman Numerals mean

1 = I
2 = II
3 = III
4 = IV
5 = V
6 = VI
7 = VII
8 = VIII
9 = IX
10 = X
20 = XX
30 = XXX
40 = XL
50 = L
60 = LX
70 = LXX
80 = LXXX
90 = XC
100 = C
500 = D
1000 = M
2000 = MM

Counting with Roman Numerals

Roman Numerals were not just used for counting/ recording the number of objects but also the order of people sharing the same name.

Roman Numerals traditionally indicate the order of:

1. Rulers e.g.

Henry I
Henry II
Henry III
Henry IV

Henry V
Henry VI
Henry VII
Henry VIII

2. Church leaders

Pope Benedict XV
Pope Benedict XVI

XV means 10+5 =15 thus, XV=15

The current (265th) pope is Pope Benedict XVI, who was elected April 19, 2005. He is the 16th pope to have the name Benedict.

Other uses

Roman Numerals were also used for as dating on cornerstones of buildings showing origin of a building, statutes, headstones, books publication such as in chapter titles, volume of book series, appendices, numbers on clocks and so on.

Roman numbers on a clock face

What is odd about the Roman numbers used on a clock or watch?

If you look at four, it is IIII instead of IV.

On the most famous clocks in the world - usually called Big Ben in the Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster where the UK Houses of Parliament are located, the numerals are in lower case, gothic script and the 4 is depicted as iv.

Big Ben

Copyright at the end of programmes on the television

Roman numbers are used in the copyright year shown at the end of British TV programmes. You can see an example of the current copyright date written in this way on the web at the BBC site.

Arabic 1 5 10 50 100 500 1000
Roman I V X L C D M

1990 = MCMXC
1991 = MCMXCI
1992 = MCMXCII
1994 = MCMXCIV
1995 = MCMXCV
1996 = MCMXCVI
1999 = MCMXCIX
2000 = MM
2001 = MMI
2002 = MMII
2003 = MMIII
2004 = MMIV
2005 = MMV
2006 = MMVI
2007 = MMVII
2008 = MMVIII
2009 = MMIX
2010 = MMX
2011 = MMXI

back to the top
email© Copyright - please read
All the materials on these pages are free for homework and classroom use only. You may not redistribute, sell or place the content of this page on any other website or blog without written permission from the author Mandy Barrow.

©Copyright Mandy Barrow 2013

I teach computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

Follow me on Twitter @mbarrow

Woodlands Junior School, Hunt Road Tonbridge Kent TN10 4BB UK