Roman Numerals Ancient Romans used a special method of showing numbers

Examples: They wrote V instead of 5
And wrote IX instead of 9

Read on to learn about Roman Numerals or go straight to the Roman Numeral Conversion Tool.

The Roman Symbols

Romans Numerals are based on the following symbols:

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

Basic Combinations

Which can be combined like this:

 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 X XX XXX XL L LX LXX LXXX XC 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 C CC CCC CD D DC DCC DCCC CM

Forming Numbers - The Rules

When a symbol appears after a larger (or equal) symbol it is added

• Example: VI = V + I = 5 + 1 = 6
• Example: LXX = L + X + X = 50 + 10 + 10 = 70

But if the symbol appears before a larger symbol it is subtracted

• Example: IV = V − I = 5 − 1 = 4
• Example: IX = X − I = 10 − 1 = 9

To Remember: After Larger is Added

Don't use the same symbol more than three times in a row (but IIII is sometimes used for 4, particularly on clocks)

How to Convert to Roman Numerals

Break the number into Thousands, Hundreds, Tens and Ones, and write down each in turn.

Example: Convert 1984 to Roman Numerals. Break 1984 into 1000, 900, 80 and 4, then do each conversion

• 1000 = M
• 900 = CM
• 80 = LXXX
• 4 = IV

1000 + 900 + 80 + 4 = 1984, so 1984 = MCMLXXXIV How To Remember

Think "MeDiCaL XaVIer".
It has the roman numerals in descending order from 1000 to 1.

I, for one, like Roman numerals!

Really Big Numbers

Numbers greater than 1,000 are formed by placing a dash over the symbol, meaning "times 1,000", but these are not commonly used:

 5,000 10,000 50,000 100,000 500,000 1,000,000 V X L C D M

Conversion Tool

You can convert to/from Roman Numerals here: