Quick decimal to roman conversions

October 1, 2007

Roman numerals start off nicely enough – I for 1, II for 2 and so forth – but they get progressively more complex. Don’t worry though, this article will have you converting 448 into CDXLVIII within minutes.

Break the decimal number into smaller pieces that match the Decimal column of the table below. For eg: 104 becomes 100 + 4.

Follow these simple rules:

  • If you cannot find an exact match simply add two smaller values
    e.g.: 3 becomes 1 + 1 + 1
  • Use as few pieces as possible
    e.g.: 6 is 5 + 1 instead of 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1
Decimal Roman
1 I
4 IV
5 V
9 IX
10 X
40 XL
50 L
90 XC
100 C
400 CD
500 D
900 CM
1000 M

Now write the Roman numeral for each piece from left to right, like 104 is CIV.

Some further examples:

448 is split up as 400 + 40 + 5 + 1 + 1 + 1
Which is then written as CDXLVIII

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