## How did Roman Numerals begin?

Many people believe Roman Numerals began as a tally or marking system used by shepherds to keep track of how many sheep they had.

Each sheep was counted with a single notch cut into a stick with a knife. Everyfifthsheep was recorded with two notches to form aVand then eachtenthsheep was denoted by anX.

This method of record keeping was still being used by Italian shepherds in thenineteenthcentury.

**The Basics**

**I = 1**

V = 5

X = 10

L = 50

C = 100

D = 500

M = 1000

V = 5

X = 10

L = 50

C = 100

D = 500

M = 1000

The mnemonic

**'I Value Xylophones Like Cows Do Milk'**may really help you remember (Thanks to Adrian Bruce).**Put It Together**

**LXXIII**= 50 + 10 + 10 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 73

**MDXII**= 1000 + 500 + 10 + 1 + 1 = 1512

Hints:

**- When writing roman numerals never use more than 3 of any symbol.**

**- When you have numerals on the right hand side of bigger ones, ADD.**

Try these problems out (answers on the bottom)

1. Convert

**XXVIII**to our number system

2. Convert

**XXXVI**to our number system

3. What is

**LXII**in our number system?

4. DCXXII =

5. MMXVI =

**When you have to Subtract**

Sometimes you cannot follow the hint of not using more that 3 of any symbol, for instance in writing 9 in Roman numerals. Nine would be written VIIII, but that would break the rule of not using more than three I's. In these cases you need subtract the value of the smaller number from the larger.

**IX**= 10 - 1 = 9

Hint:

**-When smaller numerals are on the left of larger ones... subtract.**

Try these (answers on the bottom again):

1. IV =

2. VL =

3. CM =

4. XC =

5. CD =

**Notable Roman Numeral Quote**

Edna Krabappel (from The Simpsons)

(Highlight the yellow answers to see clearly)Answers: 5. 2016 4. 622 3. 62 2. 36 1. 28

(Highlight again) 5. 400 4. 90 3.900 2. 45 1. 4