Roman Numerals

I learned my Roman numerals because I wanted to know when movies were made or to figure out what Super Bowl it is. That's it. So if my Potpourri entries get confusing and you *didn't* pick up all the XXVII stuff in elementary school, here ya go:

I - 1

V - 5

X - 10

L - 50

C - 100

D - 500

M - 1,000

If you want to add digits, Roman numerals usually run in packs of three, then do something different when they get within one number of a digit divisible by 5. Thus, I is 1, II is 2, III is 3. But here's the weird thing: if you've got a number that is before one of the digits above, the Romans thought it was a good idea to say "10 less than 50" (XL) or "1 less than 5" (IV) or "1 less than 10" (IX) instead of 40, 4, or 9. That's how you get MCMXC for numbers like 1990. So here are a few weird Roman numerals for your entertainment:

1 - I

2 - II

3 - III

4 - IV

5 - V

6 - VI

7 - VII

8 - VIII

9 - IX

10 - X

11 - XI

15 - XV

20 - XX

30 - XXX

40 - XL

50 - L

60 - LX

70 - LXX

80 - LXXX

90 - XC

100 - C

101 - CI

400 - CD

500 - D

600 - DC

700 - DCC

800 - DCCC

900 - CM

1000 - M

1500 - MD

1900 - MCM

2000 - MM

2009 - MMIX

Feel better? I can't even imagine how math was done. You can thank the Arabs for giving us numbers that are more easily manipulated for arithmetic.

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