Roman Numerals
The Simple Guide

The epic, totally awesome guide to Roman numerals!

I V X L C D M

Introduction to Roman Numerals

Roman numerals are simple, really! They only use 7 letters which are as followed; I, V, X, L, C, D and M. We use these letters to represent thousands of different numbers. I represents 1, V represents 5, X represents 10, L represents 50, C represents 100, D represents 500 and M represents 1000. But we’re going to break these down, first we will look at the numerals I, V and X.





The Very Simple Guide to Roman Numerals 1 to 10
So using these values how do we make all of the values in between? Simple, we make two by combining two I’s, so two is II. Easy right? Three is just the same, but this time we combine three I’s so three is equal to III. The number four is a little different. Four is written as IV, all we are doing here is subtracting I (1) from V (5), 1 from 5 is equal to 4. Simples. Five is represented by V. Now, six just like the number two where we added to I’s together is made by adding together the numerals for 5 and 1, which of course gives us VI. I bet you’ve already got seven and eight down but we’ll go through them anyway. Seven is made by adding V (5) and II (2) together, which gives us VII. Eight just the same as seven is written as V (5) and III (3), VIII. Nine is just the same as four in that we just subtract I (1) from X (10), giving us IX. Ten is of course represented by X! Once we know the Roman numerals for one to ten we know all of the rules we need to know to make up any number in Roman numerals.

Roman Numerals 1 to 10





The Very Simple Guide to Roman Numerals 11 to 19
Now that we know how to make numerals one through ten the rest are easy. We’ll just quickly go through eleven to twenty and you’ll be able to write numerals through to one-hundred easily. Before we go on we’re just going to introduce a simple rule which is helpful to remember; unless we are writing out the numbers four (IV), nine (IX), forty (XL) or ninety (XC) which use the subtractive principle, then the larger numeral always goes in front of the smaller one. So applying this rule, when writing the numeral for eleven which is XI we write the larger X or ten before the smaller I or one. The numerals for twelve and thirteen are simple and written as XII (X or 10 + II or 2 = XII or 12) and XIII (X or 10 + III or 3 = XIII or 13). Fourteen follows exactly the same principle and is written as XIV (X or 10 = IV or 4 = XIV or 14). Fifteen is simply written as XV (X or 10 + V or 5 = XV or 15). I’m sure you got the hang of this a while back now so sixteen, seventeen and eighteen are written as XVI, XVII and XVIII. Nineteen is similar to fourteen as in it is simply written as XIX.

Roman Numerals 11 to 20





The Very Simple Guide to Roman Numerals 20 to 100
Okay, now that we’ve mastered Roman numerals 1 through to 20 we can move onto some bigger numbers. We know that ten is represented by X so how do you suppose we make the Roman numerals for 20? Exactly the same way we made the Roman numeral for 2, but instead of adding two I’s we add together two X’s giving us XX. Thirty follows the same principle as three, therefore thirty is made by combining three X’s, XXX. Forty follows the same principle as four but in this numeral we are introducing the numeral for fifty which if you remember is L, so forty would be made by taking ten from fifty, which is shown as XL. I’m sure you already know how to make up the numerals for sixty, seventy and eighty; which are of course LX, LXX and LXXX. However, the numeral 90 introduces the symbol for 100 which is C, so following the same principle as fifty we have to take ten from one-hundred which is written as XC. And last but not least in this section is the numeral for 100 which is of course C!

Roman Numerals Chart 1 to 100

1 I 21 XXI 41 XLI 61 LXI 81 LXXXI
2 II 22 XXII 42 XLII 62 LXII 82 LXXXII
3 III 23 XXIII 43 XLIII 63 LXIII 83 LXXXIII
4 IV 24 XXIV 44 XLIV 64 LXIV 84 LXXXIV
5 V 25 XXV 45 XLV 65 LXV 85 LXXXV
6 VI 26 XXVI 46 XLVI 66 LXVI 86 LXXXVI
7 VII 27 XXVII 47 XLVII 67 LXVII 87 LXXXVII
8 VIII 28 XXVIII 48 XLVIII 68 LXVIII 88 LXXXVIII
9 IX 29 XXIX 49 XLIX 69 LXIX 89 LXXXIX
10 X 30 XXX 50 L 70 LXX 90 XC
11 XI 31 XXXI 51 LI 71 LXXI 91 XCI
12 XII 32 XXXII 52 LII 72 LXXII 92 XCII
13 XIII 33 XXXIII 53 LIII 73 LXXIII 93 XCIII
14 XIV 34 XXXIV 54 LIV 74 LXXIV 94 XCIV
15 XV 35 XXXV 55 LV 75 LXXV 95 XCV
16 XVI 36 XXXVI 56 LVI 76 LXXVI 96 XCVI
17 XVII 37 XXXVII 57 LVII 77 LXXVII 97 XCVII
18 XVIII 38 XXXVIII 58 LVIII 78 LXXVIII 98 XCVIII
19 XIX 39 XXXIX 59 LIX 79 LXXIX 99 XCIX
20 XX 40 XL 60 LX 80 LXXX 100 C
500 D 1000 M