Roman Numerals

Read about Roman Numerals or go straight to the Roman Numeral Conversion Tool

The Roman Symbols

The Romans used a special method of showing numbers, based on the following symbols:

1
5
10
50
100
500
1000
I
V
X
L
C
D
M

Basic Combinations

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
I
II
III
IV
V
VI
VII
VIII
IX
 
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
X
XX
XXX
XL
L
LX
LXX
LXXX
XC
 
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
900
C
CC
CCC
CD
D
DC
DCC
DCCC
CM

Forming Numbers - The Rules

When a symbol appears after a larger symbol it is added

  • Example: VI = V + I = 5 + 1 = 6

But if the symbol appears before a larger symbol it is subtracted

  • Example: IX = X - I = 10 - 1 = 9

Don't use the same symbol more than three times in a row.

Remember: After Larger is Added

Really Big Numbers

Numbers greater than 1,000 are formed by placing a dash over the symbol, meaning "times 1,000", but these are not commonly used:

5,000
10,000
50,000
100,000
500,000
1,000,000
V
X
L
C
D
M

How to Convert to Roman Numerals

Break the number into Thousands, Hundreds, Tens and Units and write down each in turn.

Example: Convert 1984 to Roman Numerals.

Break 1984 into 1000, 900, 80 and 4, then do each conversion

  • 1000 = M
  • 900 = CM
  • 80 = LXXX
  • 4 = IV

So 1984 = MCMLXXXIV

How To Remember

Think "MeDiCaL XaVIer".
It has the roman numerals in order from 1000 to 1.

Conversion Tool

You can convert to/from Roman Numerals here: