Only 1 in 51 People Can Say What Each of These Roman Numerals Represents! Can You?

By: Jacqueline Samaroo

About This Quiz

Roman numerals have been in existence since ancient times, and they still pop up every now and then. If you think you know your Roman numerals inside-out, C to X, how many of these Roman numerals can you identify? Take our quiz and find out!

The seven capital letters used to represent Roman numerals are: I, V, X, L, C, D and M. They represent the numbers 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000, respectively.

The seven letters used in the Roman numeral system can be combined to make any number. For example, II is 2 and XX is 20, while CCLVI is 256.

In the Roman numeral system, whenever one letter comes after another that is greater than or equal to it, the values are added. Therefore, VI is 5 + 1, which is 6.

The Roman numeral for 18 is XVIII. It is calculated by addition as 10 + 5 + 1 + 1 + 1.

Roman numerals weren’t used in ancient Rome alone. Up to the late Middle Ages they were commonly used in much of Europe, as well.

The Hindu-Arabic system of numerals (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) is the one we use daily. It began replacing Roman numerals in the 14th century.

The Roman numeral for 365 is calculated by addition of 300 (CCC), 50 (L), 10 (X) and 5 (V). Together they become CCCLXV.

Roman numerals do not normally have four of the same letter in a row. So, instead of 40 being XXXX, it is written as XL. The X (10), being of lesser value, is subtracted from the L (50). That is, 50 – 10 = 40.

The symbol for 11 uses the addition rule of Roman numerals. We add X for 10 and I for 1 to get XI.

Sources differ as to how Roman numerals came about. Some say they evolved from tally marks, while others say they grew out of hand signals.

There was no Roman numeral to represent zero. In medieval times, however, some scholars decided to use the word “nulla” to represent zero along with the Roman numerals.

The letters X and C are 10 and 100, respectively. Since the lesser one is written first, we have to subtract it, and so XC becomes 100 – 10, which gives us 90.

Both the addition and subtraction rules for Roman numerals are used in writing the symbol for 19. We add the symbol for 10 (X) to the symbol for 9 or 10 – 1 (IX) and get XIX.

Roman numerals were not the only early numbering system. Much older systems include the Babylonian numerals, from around 1750 B.C. and the Egyptian numerals, dating from approximately 3000 to 1600 B,C.

With Roman numerals, subtraction is only done with one letter, never two or more. Therefore, although 90 is written as XC to suggest 100 – 10, we do not write 80 as XXC.

The month of February, which normally has 28 days, gets an extra day in a leap year. Most people born on February 29 normally celebrate their birthdays on February 28 in non-leap years. Others choose to use March 1.

The use of D for 500 allows 600 to be written as DC (500 + 100). Otherwise, it would be CCCCCC! This would break the Roman numeral rule where each letter is typically never written more than three times in a row.

In the Roman numeral system, fractions were usually based on 12. Amounts, such as on coins, were often calculated as twelfths.

It is unusual in Roman numerals to write a letter more than three times in a row. There is some evidence, however, that 4 was sometimes represented as IIII. This practice is still continued today on some clock faces.

There are many instances in which years are still represented by Roman numerals. An example is in the movie industry, to indicate the year in which a film was made.

In Roman numerals, both 4 and 9 are written using subtraction of 1. In both cases, the letter I is written before another letter of greater value. So, 4 is written as IV (5 – 1) and 9 is written as IX (10 – 1).

The number 193 is currently significant, as it is the number of member states in the United Nations (UN). The original number was 51 when the UN was founded in 1945.

700 is represented as 500 + 100 + 100 or D + C + C. This is written as DCC.

A common current-day use of Roman numeral is in family lineages. Famous examples include kings and queens, such as Queen Elizabeth II and King Henry III.

In Roman numerals, both 400 and 900 are written using subtraction of 100. In both cases, the letter C is written before another letter of greater value. So, 400 is written as CD (500 – 100) and 900 is written as CM (1,000 – 100).

There are seven months with 31 days each. They are January, March, May, July, August, October and December.

The use of the term “baker’s dozen” can be traced back to the 16th century. It is said bakers added an extra loaf to the usual 12 (a dozen) either as a way to make up the required weight or as the retailer’s profit.

Roman numerals were created by Ancient Romans and was the only numbering system until roughly 900 A.D.

The numeral 36 is significant in the British Imperial System of measurement. 36 represents the number of inches in 3 feet or 1 yard.

The number 2 is considered significant in many cultures. One reason is that various human body parts come in twos, including ears, eyes, arms, legs, lungs and nostrils, among others.

The number 400 is significant in terms of leap years. Years which end in two zeroes must also be divisible by 400 to be considered leap years. For example, the years 1700, 1800 and 2100 are NOT leap years, even though they are divisible by 4, but the year 2000 is a leap year.

The decimal or base-10 system is widely used in everyday life. The number 16 is, however, the base used extensively in computer science. It is called the hexadecimal or base-16 system.

Roman numerals still enjoy use in the field of construction. It is a common practice for buildings to display the year in which they were constructed either on the front of the building or on cornerstones, written in Roman numerals.

Grammy Award-winning singer Adele Adkins, popularly known simply as Adele, named her second studio album 21. It was released in 2011, the year in which she turned 21.

Humans have a total of 10 fingers and 10 toes. It is felt this is a part of the reason we use the decimal system, which is base 10.

Seventeen is a prime number. That means it is only fully divisible by one and itself.

XXVII is 27. There's a club you don't want to join - the 27 Club. It's made up of famous artists and musicians who died at the age of 27. Members include Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix.

The number 500 is often added to the end of NASCAR race names. One popular example is the Daytona 500. The number represents the number of miles in the race.

300 represents a perfect score in bowling. A bowler scores 300 by rolling strikes in all ten frames.

The names of the days of the week are derived from a variety of sources. For example, Sunday is derived from “sun’s day” and Thursday is named after the Norse god Thor.

In mathematics, 70 is considered to be a sphenic number. That’s because it is the product of 3 different primes numbers: 2 x 5 x 7.

In many Latin American cultures, the number 15 is significant. It is celebrated as a “quinceañera,” a Hispanic girl’s 15th birthday. In Spanish bingo, the person calling out the numbers often refers to the number 15 as “la niña bonita,” which translates to “the beautiful girl.”

When expressed as Roman numerals, numbers with an 8 in them tend to use more letters than corresponding numbers. For example, 700 is DCC, 900 is CM, but 800 is DCCC.

The Arabic numbering system, which is the one we use today, wasn't widely used until about 900 A.D.

The rules applied to Roman numerals do not allow you to write 99 as 100 – 1 or what would be IC. Instead we use the symbols for 90 (XC) and 9 (IX) to get XCIX.

Base-60 was used in the Babylonian number system. We still use base-60 in our daily lives, as well, when telling time: 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour.

In the classic version of the popular game Monopoly, $200 is the amount of money each player receives from the bank upon passing “Go.” The same amount is issued in pounds for countries using that currency.

In mathematics 5 is the only prime number formed by adding two consecutive prime numbers (2 + 3). 5 also happens to follow them as the very next prime number.

The term “fortnight” is derived from “fourteen nights.” In some countries, some workers are paid on a fortnightly basis.

A millennium is 1,000 years. The 2nd millennium ended with the year 2000, which caused some confusion as many people celebrated it as the beginning of the 3rd millennium. That was, in fact, the year 2001.

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