# Roman numerals converter

Most of our lives we are faced with Arabic numerals: they teach us at school and all the mathematics we are used to is built on them. Each of us has probably heard about the existence of Roman numbers, however, except on the watch dial or in historical texts, we rarely meet them.

## The history of Roman numerals

The emergence of Roman numerals historians refer to the period BC. It is believed that the inscription of numbers is directly related to the structure of human hands: the numbers I–IIII (the number IV had this form presumably until the 19th century) correspond to the number of fingers, the number V resembles an open palm with four fingers pressed against each other and the thumb extended, and X looks like two crossed arms.

For a long time, this set of numbers was enough for everyday tasks, but with the development of trade, designations for larger numbers were also required. This is how the numbers L (50), C (100), D (500) and M (1000) arose. The designations of these numbers are already associated with the words of the Latin language, which was spoken by the ancient Romans.

Roman numerals were used throughout Europe until the late Middle Ages. Fearful of innovation, the Europeans resisted attempts at numerical reforms. Some reformers even had to face the Inquisition. In the XIII century, the Italian scientist Fibonacci (Leonardo of Pisa, Leonardo Pisano) managed to convince first the circle of scientists, and then the entire public, of a number of advantages of Arabic numerals, which he met during one of his travels. At the same time, the complete transition from the use of Roman numerals to Arabic took about four centuries, during which the combination of Roman numerals with Arabic was quite normal for European mathematics.

In Rus', the system of Arabic numbers was also treated with caution and for a long time they were wary of using it. Only at the turn of the XVII-XVIII centuries, during the reign of Peter I, Arabic numbers became widespread among the inhabitants of the Slavic lands.

The introduction of Arabic numerals has greatly simplified the arithmetic of calculations. Therefore, thanks to the transition of the scientific community to Arabic numerals, all subsequent scientific discoveries in the fields of mathematics, physics, and chemistry became possible.

Thus, the replacement of Roman numerals by Arabic became the starting point for the technical and cultural progress of mankind. It is hard to believe that a phenomenon so familiar and familiar has been fiercely resisted by people for centuries.

## The difference between Roman and Arabic numerals

The main advantage that allowed Arabic numerals to replace Roman numerals is the ease of writing and reading them. To write numbers using Arabic numerals, a positional number system is used, which implies a clear dependence of the value of each digit on its position in the number. This system turned out to be much simpler and clearer than a series of cumbersome rules that compose Roman numerals.

## Interesting facts

- In Lithuania, Roman numerals may indicate the days of the week on road signs, shop windows, and business signs.
- In the Netherlands, Roman numerals sometimes represent floors.
- In Italy, in addition to the fear of the number 13, which is customary for Europeans, the number 17 is also considered unlucky. A possible explanation for this lies in the graves of the ancient Romans, on which the inscriptions VIXI were not uncommon, which means “I lived” or “My life over." If you express the inscription in Roman numerals, then you get VI + XI = 6 + 11 = 17.
- In Cuba, Roman numerals are used on coins.
- During the centuries when Roman numerals remained the standard way of writing numbers throughout Europe, there were various extensions of the system designed to represent large numbers, none of which was ever standardized.

At present, Roman numerals have almost completely lost their former influence and grandeur, but sometimes they can still be found in books, on building facades, or when designating centuries. We invite you to learn the basics of compiling a number from Roman numerals - this will surely seem interesting and unusual to you.