Want to teach Roman numerals to your kids? Today I have a printable Roman numerals chart for you, plus some interesting facts about the history of this number system. This would be a fun thing to add to your math lesson plans or lessons on ancient history and the Roman Empire.
You can download the Free Roman Numeral Charts and Flashcards at the end of this post.
History of Roman Numerals
The Roman numeral system was started by the ancient Romans to help them keep track of larger numbers and solve the problem of counting higher than their ten fingers! They were created around 500 BC. and used widely throughout Europe until the late Middle Ages.
This ancient number system is a bit more complicated than our easy Arabic numeral system (1, 2, 3). The Roman numeral system uses 7 letters: I, V, X, L, C, D, M. A capital letter is always used to represent
Basic Roman Numerals and Their Value:
Our world almost exclusively uses Arabic numbers, also called the Hindu-Arabic system (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10). They are easy and convenient and it’s hard to remember that there was a time when Roman numerals were the main number system. Arabic numerals originated in India in the 6th or 7th century. They were introduced to Europeans around the 12th century and gradually became more popular, taking over the numbers from Ancient Rome.
Roman numerals do still continue to be used in our culture from time to time, though. You can find them on a clock face, when numbering the Olympics and the Super Bowl. They are also often used in movie sequels and book chapters. You also may see them carved into buildings showing the year it was built.
Roman numerals are still taught in schools around the world. There are lessons on this number system starting around 3rd or 4th grade in the United States. They are not a terribly difficult concept to learn, but are important basic facts that kids should still learn.
You’ll definitely need a cheat sheet to get you started, so be sure to download my printable reference sheets.
Why Did People Stop Using Roman Numerals?
Even though they were used for hundreds of years, there were limitations to these Roman numbers. Did you know there is not a way to show the number zero in Roman numerals? Doing math with Roman numerals is complicated. Multiplication and division can be really challenging with them. There is also not a way to show fractions with Roman numerals. This is important in our world today. As mathematics got more advanced, this number system just did not work as well for our society.
Download the Roman Numerals Printable Chart and Flash Cards in PDF format here.
This free printable PDF download includes a Roman numeral chart with and without a key. It also has a set of 24 flashcards for learning them.