Around 500 BC, Romans introduced their system of numeration called as Roman Number System. This system uses the following special symbols to represent numbers.
Other roman numerals are formed by the combination of these special symbols,
Basic combinations of Roman symbols
For writing the combination of roman numerals, the following four principles must be followed.
1. Subtractive principle: When the smaller number symbol is placed before larger symbol, then it must be subtracted.
Example: IX = X - I = 10 - 1 = 9
2. Additive principle: When the smaller number symbol is placed after larger symbol, then it must be added.
Example: VI = V + I = 5 + 1 = 6
3. Multiplicative principle: A horizontal bar above any number indicates multiplicative principle. The horizontal bar above a number means 1000 times the number. This principle is much useful in writing very big numerals.
4. No same symbols are used for more than three times in a row
Example: IIII (instead, it can be written as IV), XXXX (instead, it can be written as XL)
5. The symbols V, L and D are never repeated
Converting a number into Roman number
Break the number in to Thousands, Hundreds, Tens and Ones, and write down each one beside other.
Example: Convert 2984 to Roman Numerals.
Break 2984 in to 2000, 900, 80 and 4, then do conversion of each. Finally write each one beside one another
2000 = MM
900 = CM
80 = LXXX
4 = IV
2000 + 900 + 80 + 4 = 2984, so 2984 = MMCMLXXXIV
Remember the mnemonic “MeDiCaL XaVIer". It has Roman numerals in descending order from 1000 to 1.
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