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Interpreting Roman Numerals
A Combs &c. Research Resource

Last updated 09 Apr 2008
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this fourth of ffebruary 1642
"this fourth of February 1642"

roman numerals:   a system of writing numbers that is based on the ancient Roman (rather than the Arabic used in English-speaking countries today) (Combs &c. Glossary: R)

Values

Arabic1510501005001,000
RomanI*VXLCDM
*If the i (or I) is the only i or is the last in a series of i's, it may be written as a j rather than an i (as in the example above), a style seen particularly common in old-style writing.

Usage

NameArabicRoman
one1I
two2II
three3III
four4IV
five5V
six6VI
seven7VII
eight8VIII
nine9IX
ten10X
eleven11XI
twelve12XII
thirteen13XIII
fourteen14XIV
fifteen15XV
sixteen16XVI
seventeen17XVII
eighteen18XVIII
nineteen19XIX
twenty20XX
twenty-one &c.21XXI
thirty30XXX
forty40XL
fifty50L
sixty &c.60LX
ninety90XC
one hundred100C
two hundred etc.100CC
four hundred400CD
five hundred500D
six hundred &c.600DC
nine hundred900CM
one thousand1000M
two thousand &c.2,000MM

Basic Principles

Examples

VI6(5 + 1)
IX9(10 - 1)
XX20(10 + 10)
MM
V
10,000(5 x 2,000)
MCDLXXI1471(1000 + (500 - 100) + 50 + 10 + 10 + 1)

Roman numeral graphic courtesy Fred Smoot's America Writes Home

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