Roman numerals are an ancient numbering system that was once widely used in the world, thanks to the Roman Empire, after which the numbers are named. In daily life, everyone must have encountered Roman numerals at least once, perhaps on a clock or in the name of a movie or video game. Although Roman numerals still exist in various aspects of life today, their dominance has long since disappeared, and performing calculations using Roman numerals is almost impossible because of the absence of place value, and writing these numbers can be lengthy and prone to error. Writing a large number using Roman numerals would require a huge number of symbols. Some modifications were made to these shapes until they became the familiar shapes they are today, and some numbers were expressed using other symbols.

Roman numerals rely on addition and sometimes subtraction by placing smaller values before larger ones. For example, the Roman numeral XXIX corresponds to the number 29 in our conventional system and is calculated as follows: XXIX = X + X + X + I. It should be noted that I is not the only number that can be subtracted, as any smaller number placed before a larger one would indicate subtraction, such as XL for 40 and CM for 900.

Due to the reliance of the Roman system on addition, it is necessary to have symbols for larger numbers to avoid repetition. For example, instead of writing the number 50 as XXXXX, it is written with a single letter, L.

To clarify further, we will mention the most commonly used symbols for large numbers in addition to Roman numerals from 1 to 10:

Roman Numeral Table and Corresponding Values:

Value: Roman Numeral
1 I
2 II
4 IV
5 V
6 VI
9 IX
10 X
50 L
100 C
500 D
1,000 M

It should be noted that this writing system was the most popular, but it was not the only one. In many cases, 4 was written as IIII and 8 was written as IIX, for example. As a final example of this writing system, let’s try writing the number 1989:

MCMLXXXIX = 1000 + 1000 – 100 + 50 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 – 1 = 1989

To express large numbers, a horizontal line is used above the symbol, indicating that it should be multiplied by 1000, such as V = 5,000 and X = 10,000.