Translate Roman Numerals
Wondering what a Roman Numeral you just saw translates to in our modern-day numbering system? Easily translate Roman Numeral to its base 10 value with this calculator.
What are Roman Numerals
Roman Numerals were a way of representing and calculating numbers and dates which began in the Roman Empire (27 BC). In total, 7 characters are used to denote numbers: I, V, X, L, C, D, and M. See the chart below for the value of each.
A set of rules controls how these characters can be combined to form other numbers, as well as how to interpret the total value of a grouping. This calculator uses those rules to translate a group of Roman Numerals to its modern-day value.
One such rule is that a Roman Numeral that can repeat, such as I or X, is not repeated more than 3 times. That's why the number 4 is IV and not IIII, and the number 19 is XIX and not XVIIII. Another rule controls when two combined Roman Numerals are subtracted, and when they are added. For example, if numeral I (number 1) precedes V (5) or X (10), it is subtracted. That's why IV = 4 (5-1) and IX = 9 (10-1).
Roman Numerals in the Modern World
Most of us see Roman Numerals often! Many buildings indicate construction date with a Roman Numeral, usually above the front door or on the cornerstone. Analog timepieces, like watches and clocktowers, often use Roman Numerals to represent the hour of the day or night: 1am or 1pm (I) to midnight or noon (XII). Monuments, book and movie copyright year, and some major sporting events are more examples of where Roman Numerals are in use today.
Related Roman Numeral Calculators
At this time, this calculator converts Roman Numerals with values up to 3999.