Roman Numerals

Could a person who has not learned about Roman numerals work out which centurian does not get a shield?


Share

Topics: Starter | Arithmetic

  • Steve, A Rather Puzzled Dad!!
  •  
  • This may be a somewhat bizarre question and for that I apologise in advance!

    I just wanted to say as a 'dad' your website is excellent and something my children and I enjoying learning on! Highly addictive and a brilliant learning tool.

    On learning Roman Numerals with my children on your website, they asked me a question, which I am unsure on the answer to! All was going well until they asked about their birthdays and how Romans wrote their birthdays....this is where I became unstuck.....

    I was trying to apply the logic from your website, so my daughters birthday is 20.12.2006, so in roman numerals that would be XX.XII.MMVI but on reading other articles on the web, there is mention of a roman calendar using three reference dates, Kalends, Nones and Ides.

    I fully appreciate that this is not your specialist area but I wondered whether you have ever been asked the question before?
  • Transum,
  •  
  • Dear Stephen,
    Thank you so much for the kind words about the Transum website.

    As you correctly assumed, Roman Numerals is not my specialist area but reading about the issue on TimeAndDate.com and Wikipedia has provided the following information.

    Unlike the Julian and Gregorian calendars, the Roman calendar had a different system for numbering the days of the month. The months were divided into day markers that fell at the start of the month, the fifth or seventh day, and in the middle of the month. These 3 markers were called Calends, Nones and Ides.

    Calends (Kalendae, Kalends) signify the start of the new moon cycle and was always the first day of the month.

    Nones (Nonae) were known to be the days of the half moon which usually occur 8 days before the Ides.

    Ides occurred on the 15th day of March, May, July, and October, and the 13th day of the other months. They are thought to have been the days of the full moon.

    The day preceding the Kalends, Nones, or Ides was Pridie, e.g., Prid. Id. Mart. = 14 March. Other days were denoted by ordinal number, counting back from a named reference day. The reference day itself counted as the first, so that two days before was denoted the third day. Dates were written as a.d. NN, an abbreviation for ante diem NN, meaning "on the Nth (Numerus) day before the named reference day (Nomen)",21 e.g., a.d. III Kal. Nov. = on the third day before the November Kalends = 30 October. Further examples of date equivalence are: a.d. IV Non. Jan. = 2 January a.d. VI Non. Mai. = 2 May a.d. VIII Id. Apr. = 6 April a.d. VIII Id. Oct. = 8 October a.d. XVII Kal. Nov. = 16 October.

    So your daughter's birthday I think would be a.d. XIII Kal. Jan MMVI

    I hope that helps and that you continue to enjoy the Transum website.
  • Mr. Jennings, Twitter
  •  
  • Tina Berghella, Twitter
  •  
  • The Romans did not find algebra very challenging because X was always 10.
  • Transum,
  •  
  • What do you call a number that can’t keep still? A: A roamin’ numeral.

How did you use this starter? Can you suggest how teachers could present or develop this resource? Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for Maths teachers anywhere in the world.
Click here to enter your comments.

If you don't have the time to provide feedback we'd really appreciate it if you could give this page a score! We are constantly improving and adding to these starters so it would be really helpful to know which ones are most useful. Simply click on a button below:

Excellent, I would like to see more like this
Good, achieved the results I required
Satisfactory
Didn't really capture the interest of the students
Not for me! I wouldn't use this type of activity.

This starter has scored a mean of 3.1 out of 5 based on 122 votes.


Previous Day | This starter is for 25 October | Next Day

 

Note to teacher: Doing this activity once with a class helps students develop strategies. It is only when they do this activity a second time that they will have the opportunity to practise those strategies. That is when the learning is consolidated. Click the button above to regenerate another version of this starter from random numbers.

Answers



Your access to the majority of the Transum resources continues to be free but you can help support the continued growth of the website by doing your Amazon shopping using the links on this page. Below is an Amazon search box and some items chosen and recommended by Transum Mathematics to get you started.

Texas Instruments Nspire Calculator

This handheld device and companion software are designed to generate opportunities for classroom exploration and to promote greater understanding of core concepts in the mathematics and science classroom. TI-Nspire technology has been developed through sound classroom research which shows that "linked multiple representation are crucial in development of conceptual understanding and it is feasible only through use of a technology such as TI-Nspire, which provides simultaneous, dynamically linked representations of graphs, equations, data, and verbal explanations, such that a change in one representation is immediately reflected in the others.

For the young people in your life it is a great investment. Bought as a gift for a special occasion but useful for many years to come as the young person turns into an A-level candidate then works their way through university. more...

Apple iPad Pro

The analytics show that more and more people are accessing Transum Mathematics via an iPad as it is so portable and responsive. The iPad has so many other uses in addition to solving Transum's puzzles and challenges and it would make an excellent gift for anyone.

The redesigned Retina display is as stunning to look at as it is to touch. It all comes with iOS, the world's most advanced mobile operating system. iPad Pro. Everything you want modern computing to be. more...

Before giving an iPad as a Christmas gift you could add a link to iPad Maths to the home screen.

Click the images above to see all the details of these items and to buy them online.

Online Maths Shop

Laptops In Lessons

Teacher, do your students have access to computers?
Do they have iPads or Laptops in Lessons?

Whether your students each have a TabletPC, a Surface or a Mac, this activity lends itself to eLearning (Engaged Learning).

Laptops In Lessons

Here a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments.

Transum.org/go/?Start=October25

Here is the URL which will take them to an interactive jigsaw puzzle of Roman numerals.

Transum.org/go/?to=RomNumJig

Student Activity

 

If you are not an expert on Roman numerals here is an explanation:

SymbolValue
I1
V5
X10
L50
C100
D500
M1,000

Numbers are formed by combining symbols together. So II is two ones, i.e. 2, and XIII is a ten and three ones, i.e. 13. There is no zero in this system, so 207, for example, is CCVII, using the symbols for two hundreds, a five and two ones. 1066 is MLXVI, one thousand, fifty and ten, a five and a one.

Symbols are placed from left to right in order of value, starting with the largest. However, in a few specific cases, to avoid four characters being repeated in succession (such as IIII or XXXX) these can be reduced using subtractive notation as follows:

Explanation adapted from the Wikepedia article on Roman numerals.

 

 

Extension

Clock 1 Clock 2 Clock 3

Which clockface is the odd one out?

The answer can be found by looking closely at the roman numerals used.

 

 


Extension Answer

Investigate which system of numbers is most common on clocks in your school, home or place of work.

Apple

©1997-2019 WWW.TRANSUM.ORG