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Numerele romane. Reguli

Numerele romane. Reguli

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Published by dorelt
cifre romane
cifre romane

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Published by: dorelt on Sep 03, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Great 1999 Question
As 2000 dawns, the question of representing the year in Roman numerals becomes a lot easier than itwas in 1999. 2000 is simply MM. But at the start of last year there was considerable controversy in the press both in the US and in the UK about the representation of 1999 in Roman numerals (In the USAsee
 Baltimore Sun
Washington Post 
31/12/98; In London,
The Times
The Guardian
, and
 BBC Online
all dated 1/1/99). In fact, although there are alternative ways of depicting 1999 usingRoman numerals, only two or three stand up to scrutiny.There are several rules used in depicting numbers using the roman numerals I (1), V (5), X (10), L(50), C (100), D (500), M (1000). Some of these were more strictly adhered to than others. Normally,the numerals were simply written out in descending order in a long line so CCXXXV is 235. Butanother rule allowed the I, X, or C to be placed to the left of a bigger number and subtracted from it.So IV is 4, XIX is 19. The Romans used the subtraction rule, but not always. Doorway numbers at theColosseum in Rome (c.80AD) show 40 as XL but 44 as XLIIII rather than XLIV.But one rule is never broken. The Romans strictly represented units, tens, hundreds, and thousands asseparate items in their numbers. That is probably because the numerals represented numbers as theywere depicted on an abacus - a calculating machine using pebbles or beads which were arranged fromright to left in columns of units, tens, hundreds, thousands etc. That means that 99 could be representedas XCIX - 90+9 but never as IC. Similarly, 999 cannot be IM and 1999 cannot be MIM. Aconsequence of this strict place rule is that an I can only be used to the left of a V or an X; an X canonly be used to the left of an L or a C. And a C can only be used to the left of a D or an M.So the only possible Roman numerical combinations for 1999 are the followingM (CM or DCCCC) (XC or LXXXX) (IX or VIIII)1000----900------------------90------------------9In theory that allows eight different ways of depicting 1999MCMXCIXMCMXCVIIIIMCMLXXXXIXMCMLXXXXVIIIIMDCCCCXCIXMDCCCCXCVIIIIMDCCCCLXXXXIXMDCCCCLXXXXVIIIIHowever, in the Roman examples of Roman numbers which I have seen, where the subtraction rulewas used for part of a number but not all of it, then it is the smaller end where it is not used. So you getXLIIII but not XXXXIV. So I would rule out the four examples above which break that rule, leavingas possibilitiesMCMXCIXMCMXCVIIIIMCMLXXXXVIIIIMDCCCCLXXXXVIIIISome scholars say that the second is the more accurate, strictly Roman, depiction because the number 9 was usually written VIIII rather than IX. That was certainly true on the Colosseum at Rome wheredoorway 29 is marked XXVIIII. Others maintain that the fourth, longest version is the purest and

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