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# What is this Roman numeral translated into English: XCIX?

Question #87018. Asked by 77nellie. (Oct 08 07 9:06 AM)

stuthehistoryguy

99

I'm not going to cite a source. This is common knowledge.

 Oct 08 07, 9:26 AM
1cyprus

99

 Oct 08 07, 9:26 AM
zbeckabee

Rules regarding Roman numerals often state that a symbol representing 10x may not precede any symbol larger than 10x+1. For example, C cannot be preceded by I or V, only by X (or, of course, by a symbol representing a value equal to or larger than C). Thus, one should represent the number ninety-nine as XCIX, not as the "shortcut" IC. However, these rules are not universally followed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_numerals#XCIX_vs._IC.3F

 Oct 08 07, 9:53 AM
MonkeyOnALeash

The most abused or bent rule concerning Roman Numerals is the "No 4 same digits in a row".

Example: XXXX translates to 40. (incorrect)
XL translates to 40. (correct)

This rule is broken, in most cases, in the cornerstone numeration in Architecture.

" There are four basic principles for reading and writing Roman numerals:

1. A letter repeats its value that many times (XXX = 30, CC = 200, etc.). A letter can only be repeated three times. ............."

http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0769547.html

------------------------- or ---------------------------

"Rule of Shortest Notation

Another rule is that you should use the shortest notation if a value can be represented with different combinations of Roman symbols. For example, the value 55 could theoretically be written as:
10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 55
X X X X X I I I I I = XXXXXIIIII

Instead, you should prefer the shorter notation...
50 + 5 = 55
L V = LV"

 Oct 08 07, 1:09 PM
davejacobs

Surely if you were asked to write 99 in Roman numerals, you'd write IC
Much simpler than the clumsy XCIX

 Oct 08 07, 3:55 PM
MonkeyOnALeash

Yes. But that too is "against the rules".

One can not place an numeral that is not the next lowest numeral BEFORE a larger numeral.

Note: Most of the "Rules" have been applied or ignored during different historical times.

 Oct 08 07, 4:53 PM
queproblema

I just happened to teach this in fifth-grade math last Thursday. A Roman numeral cannot be subtracted from any numeral that is more than two numerals greater than it.

Ex.:
I can be subtracted only from V and X, not from L, D, or M.
X can be subtracted only from L and C, not from D or M.

Also, V,L, and D (multiples of 5) cannot be subtracted at all. 95 is XCV, not VC. It makes sense when you work with them a little. We added five three- to nine-numeral addends, grouping the ones, tens, and hundreds together to try to show place value.

All these rules are modern conventions.

"The effect is that only I's, X's and C's are subtracted, and only from, at most, the next two larger numerals. This convention greatly eases the reader's burden, by substituting recognition for calculation. For example, anyone who has been reading copyright dates on many books immediately recognizes a date beginning “MCM...” as something from the 1900's. If “MIM” were permitted, the reader would have to actually do the subtraction."

http://www.sizes.com/numbers/roman_numerals.htm

Such exercises truly help children understand--and appreciate!--our base ten system using Arabic numerals.

 Oct 08 07, 10:59 PM

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