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# Where Did Roman Numerals Come From?

**As the name suggests, Roman numerals originated in Ancient Rome.** The symbols used to make up Roman numerals began showing up in artifacts from 900 to 800 B.C.

The seven basic letters or symbols used in Roman numerals include I, V, X, L, C, D and M. Historians believe that the ancient Romans started using Roman numerals because they needed a common method for counting. The counting system was devised based on the human hand's 10 fingers.

Each letter or symbol has a specific meaning in the Roman numeral system. A single line, represented by what we know as an "I" was used to reference one finger or one unit. A "V" symbol represented five fingers, while an "X" was representative of two hands or 10 fingers. The Roman numeral M, which represents 1,000 units, was derived from "phi," a Greek letter that was sometimes represented as "CI" with a backwards "C" at the end, which gives the appearance of the letter "M." The Roman numeral "D" came to represent 500 units, since the shape formed by the symbol described above, "CI" followed by a backwards "C" at the end, was thought to look like the letter "D." The letters "L" for 50 units and "C" for 100 units evolved from flattened out or superimposed renderings of other Greek letters.

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Q:
## How Do I Type Roman Numerals?

A: Roman numerals use seven capitalized letters from the alphabet. The letters, which are I, V, X, L, C, D and M, are typed on a standard keyboard by pressing... Full Answer >Filed Under: -
Q:
## What Is 47 in Roman Numerals?

A: The Roman numeral equivalent of the number 47 is XLVII. The Roman numeral system uses letters and combinations of letter to represent numbers. The basic Ro... Full Answer >Filed Under: -
Q:
## What Is 1,000,000 in Roman Numerals?

A: Nowadays, 1,000,000 is noted in Roman numerals by an M with a line under it. However, it used to be marked by an M with a line above it. Full Answer >Filed Under: -
Q:
## What Are Roman Numerals?

A: Roman numerals are a combination of letters that symbolize a number or value. Created by the ancient Romans, the system encountered wide usage until the 14... Full Answer >Filed Under: