# Roman Numeral History

## The Beginnings

In usage, Roman Numerals traditionally indicate the order of rulers, church leaders or ships that share the same name (such as the Queen Elizabeth II). They are used for family offspring of the same name, often II instead of Jr., and III for the third. Roman Numerals are also often still used in the publishing and media industries for copyright dates, in construction for time capsules and on cornerstones, and in the life and death of society, on headstones when the family of the deceased wishes to create an impression of classical dignity, or in many cases, the illusion of such. More recently, they were used to indicate the anniversary of SuperBowl games. The Roman numbering system also lives on in our languages, which still use Latin word roots to express numerical ideas. A few examples include unit, unilateral, duo, triple, quadricep, septuagenarian, decade, milliliter. In fact, the entire metric system is a pretty good example of our retaining the entire concept.

The big differences between Roman and Arabic numerals (the ones we use today) are that Romans didn't have a symbol for zero, and that numeral placement within a number can sometimes indicate subtraction rather than addition. It is obvious to the most casual computer programmer, that digital electronics would have never been invented if left to the Romans. Binary could not exist. These are the characters that are used in Roman numerals, and the values they represent. M=1000, D=500, C=100, L=50, X=10, V=5, and I=1. There is a more detailed explanation below the calculator. Using the strict rules of Roman Numerals, the largest number that can be represented is 4,999.

## Roman Numeral Bi-Directional Calculator

Our JavaScript Calculator has a limitation of the accuracy of your browser, usually 18 digits. The calculator will handle conversions from that number size to Roman Numerals, but the display would be as long as your desk. we suggest that you limit your decimal entry to 5 digits. The generally accepted maximum for display of a Roman Numeral is 4,999. We are not restricting you to that, but in the strictest acceptance of the guidlines of Roman Numerals, that is the cap. Enter a number (pick a number, any number, such as 26) or a Roman Numeral (such as XXVI, as in SuperBowl), and click the Convert button. You may clear the result field by clicking on Clear Result. You may also click on Convert another time and the result should be your initial entry.