Roman numerals

Updated: 12/29/2017 by Computer Hope

Roman numerals are a series of characters that are used in the Latin numbering system. Consisting of seven letters from the Latin alphabet, Roman numerals were the most common way of writing numbers up through the Middle Ages. The following sections contain a table describing the values of Roman numerals, how to read them, and some examples.

Roman numeral values

Roman Numeral Numerical Value


V 5
X 10
L 50
C 100
D 500
M 1000

How to read Roman numerals with examples

How are they read?

This section explains how to read Roman numerals. The way different characters are read is by looking at their individual values from left to right. If the value of a character to the left of another is greater, you add the numbers; if it's less, then you subtract the lesser value from the greater one. For example, VI is six whereas IV is four.

What are some examples?

  • III = (1+1+1) = 3
  • XI = (10+1) = 11
  • LXI = (50+10+1) = 61
  • IX = (10-1) = 9
  • XLIV = (50-10)+(5-1) = 44

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