Could a person who has not learned about Roman numerals work out which centurian does not get a shield?
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Numbers and the Making of Us
I initially heard this book described on the Grammar Girl podcast and immediately went to find out more about it. I now have it on my Christmas present wish list and am looking forward to receiving a copy (hint!).
"Caleb Everett provides a fascinating account of the development of human numeracy, from innate abilities to the complexities of agricultural and trading societies, all viewed against the general background of human cultural evolution. He successfully draws together insights from linguistics, cognitive psychology, anthropology, and archaeology in a way that is accessible to the general reader as well as to specialists." more...
Teacher, do your students have
access to computers?
Here a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments.
Here is the URL which will take them to an interactive jigsaw puzzle of Roman numerals.
If you are not an expert on Roman numerals here is an explanation:
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.
Which clockface is the odd one out?
The answer can be found by looking closely at the roman numerals used.
Investigate which system of numbers is most common on clocks in your school, home or place of work.