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Math Help - Roman Numerals

  1. #1
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    Roman Numerals

    Can you prove that any number is expessable in Roman Numerals?
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    Forum Admin topsquark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePerfectHacker
    Can you prove that any number is expessable in Roman Numerals?
    I dunno. How are you going to get past 3999? The way I learned is you can't repeat a letter more than three times. (Yes, I know some people didn't learn it that way!)

    -Dan
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    Quote Originally Posted by topsquark
    I dunno. How are you going to get past 3999? The way I learned is you can't repeat a letter more than three times. (Yes, I know some people didn't learn it that way!)

    -Dan
    You can write,
    Code:
    __
    IV
    The bar means multiple by 1000
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    Forum Admin topsquark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePerfectHacker
    You can write,
    Code:
    __
    IV
    The bar means multiple by 1000
    And a double bar is x10^6? I see...

    Well then, all you should need to be able to do is express any number from 1 to 1000. Then using one bar and "non-barred" numerals you will be able to get to 1,000,000. Then with two bars, one bar, and non-barred you can get to 10^9, etc. This isn't a formal proof (obviously) but one should easily be able to generate one from this.

    -Dan
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    Super Member Rebesques's Avatar
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    Well... It's the case with Sumerian, Egyptian, Babylonian etc numerals, that you can express any number with their help; The point is, symbolic notation would be too large, to be of any practical use.

    But Babyonians rule; They could even denote decimals (in base 60), which makes their ideas on number very modern - or our ideas on number rather old...
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    Forum Admin topsquark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebesques
    Well... It's the case with Sumerian, Egyptian, Babylonian etc numerals, that you can express any number with their help; The point is, symbolic notation would be too large, to be of any practical use.

    But Babyonians rule; They could even denote decimals (in base 60), which makes their ideas on number very modern - or our ideas on number rather old...
    I can do base 20 because I have that many fingers and toes.

    -Dan
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    Super Member Rebesques's Avatar
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    Well, the point remains, why they chose base 60...

    Besides the ritual importance, it is a number you can easily chose a half, a third, a quarter, a fifth, a sixth, a tenth, a twelfth etc from.

    That must have made commerse easier...
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