Latin Numbers & Roman Numerals versus Arabic Numbers Our number system, which is called Arabic numbers, consists of have ten digits from 1-9 and 0. We use all ten numbers to count to nine, then we combine them to make bigger numbers. The ancient Romans repeated symbols, so number 1 was I and number 2 was II. The ancient Romans did not use a zero. Latin Numbers & Roman Numerals - the Rules For larger numbers, the Romans invented new numeric symbols, so number 5 was V, number 10 was X, and so on. If a lower value symbol is after a higher value number, it is added so VI = 6 If a lower value symbol is before a higher value number, it is subtracted so IV = 4 Latin Numbers & Roman Numerals - Seven Simple Letters! Roman numerals are a simple, numerical system that is composed of just seven letters. The letters are, in this order, from lower to higher: I, V, X, L, C, D and M. Roman numbers, or numerals, are formed from traditional combinations of these seven simple letters or symbols. Each letter, or symbol, represents a different number. I = 1, V = 5, X = 10, L = 50, C = 100, D = 500, M = 1000 The numbering system did not include ZERO |