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I never understand why these numbers are often written in this excessively long way. A far more consise roman representation would be "MLMXXXIX" for 1989 and "MIM" for 1999.

Last edited by hand of fate; 09-29-2006 at 07:46 AM.

I never understand why these numbers are often written in this excessively long way. A far more consise roman representation would be "MLMXXXIX" for 1989 and "MIM" for 1999.

Because both of those are against the rules.

M can only be preceeded by C
D can only be preceeded by C
C can only be preceeded by X
L can only be preceeded by X
X can only be preceeded by I

49 cannot be written as IL. It must be written as XLIX.

Watch for the dates at the end of movies to see some good examples.

Originally posted by pixellany
9 = VIIII or IX (both legal?)

No 9 has always been IX.

Quote:

Originally posted by pixellany
How did they do:
negative numbers?
decimals and fractions?
complex numbers? e.g. what is the square root of -I?

I do not think the Romans had the concept of negative numbers, because that goes beyond zero to the left of the numberline, and AFAIK they also did not have the concept of 0. As far as decimals and fractions, I am not sure about that.

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