Why Do We Still Need This Ancient Math Skill?
Radians or degrees, fractions or decimals... There are a lot of places in math (and definitely in other topics) where you can make a case for representing measurements in different forms.
But Roman numerals versus Arabic numerals, there you've got a much more compelling argument for letting the sands of history wear away at this 2,000 year old numbering system whose main claim to fame seems to be keeping track of how many times a certain prominent football game has been played (51, or Roman numeral "LI", as of this post in case you're curious.) Go ahead and disagree with me, and I'll be assigning you some Roman numeral multiplication worksheets... We'll see who gets the last laugh there!
Still, Roman numerals pop up in a number of odd spots unexpectedly and that makes at least knowing how to read them a necessary skill. You'll bumble across them on traditional analog clock faces, page numbers for those pesky prefaces in books, that weird outline mode in Microsoft Word, and the "IV" at the end of your buddy's name when his parents, grandparents and great-grand parents couldn't think of a new first name besides "George" when the baby came. Any place where somebody wants to lend a certain historical gravitas, there too shall ye find Numeris Romanis.
So, learn them we must, but that doesn't mean the process can't be at least a little entertaining! This visual Roman numeral converter will help untangle some of the unusual nature of Roman numerals. It breaks down the more confusing parts of adding and subtracting values associated with Roman numeral digits making it a fantastic learning tool, and kind of fun to just play with...
Give it a try and let me know what you think, and for more Roman numeral resources be sure to check out the Roman numeral charts on the site as well!