What Are Roman Numerals?


Quick Answer

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 14th century, when Hindu-Arabic numerals gained more widespread popularity. Roman numerals are still used in modern times, such as when identifying the Olympic games.

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Full Answer

Roman Numerals were not only used for counting the number of objects but also the order of people sharing the same name. For example, Pope Benedict XV was the 15th pope, and Pope Benedict XVI was the 16th pope.

One of the main problems with the Roman numeral system is that it does not contain a symbol for the number zero, which is one of the reasons it fell out of use.

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