Math Review/ Learn
Jean Montgomery, Austin Community College

Roman Numerals and Arabic Numerals

Authorities believe that numbers originated from a variety of societal needs including religion, dates for planting crops, and economics. In earliest times, numbers were recorded with three dimensional tokens. The Romans used an additive numeration system. Numbers are repeated to produce a total. The Apothecary Measurement System uses Roman Numerals. The Arabs adopted a place value system that originated in China and India. The Household Measurement System and Metric System of Measurement use Arabic Numerals.

Equivalency Table
Roman Numerals Arabic Numerals
I 1
V 5
X 10
L 50
C 100
D 500
M 1000

Be sure to memorize the above values. Many precribers will use Roman Numerals when writing a medication order. You will need to understand and be able to convert between Roman and Arabic Numerals to be able to translate the order.


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