Free Lessons

Lesson ID: 189

Download the Activity

Roman Numerals

Mathematics, Numbers and Numerations

Grade 5- 8



Objective

Students learn about Roman numerals.

Directions

Facts and Reminders
Roman Numerals
Roman numerals come from the Latin language and were used by the ancient Romans. They are still used in the prefaces of some books, on public buildings, and in various other places. Because the Romans lacked the concept of the empty space, the zero, these numerals can be difficult to add or subtract and require more symbols than decimal systems.
The Seven Basic Numerals
Seven capital letters stand for the basic symbols of the Roman number system.
Roman Numeral Value
I 1
V 5
X 10
L 50
C 100
D 500
M 1000

Numerals 1 to 10
I 1 VI 6
II 2 VII 7
III 3 VIII 8
IV 4 IX 9
V 5 X 10

Combining Roman Numerals
If a smaller number (one of lesser value) is placed before a larger number, that smaller number is subtracted from the larger number.
IV Placing I before the V is 5 minus 1, or 4.
IX Placing I before the X is 10 minus 1, or 9.

If a smaller number (one of lesser value) is placed after a larger number, that smaller number is added to the larger number.
VI Placing I after the V is 5 plus 1, or 6.
XII Placing II after the X is 10 plus 2, or 12.

No more than three of any one letter are next to each other.
III 3 CCC 300 MMM 3,000

A dash over a number multiplies the value by 1,000.
__ __
X = 10,000 V = 5,000

Resources

  • Basic Roman Numerals
    • Converting Roman Numerals
    • Roman Numerals activity sheets
  • pencils