- If you require permitting four symbols in a row and forbid subtractive

symbols then Roman numbers could be rewritten as positional notation like

this:

MMDCXXXXIII -> 02 11 04 03 where each two-digit group represents a 5's and

units digit for the next power of ten.

In other words, the rightmost digit of each group is base 5 (M, C, X, I)

and the leftmost digit is base two (V, D, L, V), and the groups are base

ten. (I..VIIII, X..LXXXX, C..DCCCC, M..VMMMM).

From there it's an easy matter to construct a multiplication table for

pairs of two-digit groups multiplied together since each two-digit group

represents one decimal digit.

01 = 1 or 10 or 100 or 1000 (I, X, C, M)

02 = 2 or 20 or 200 or 2000 (II, XX, CC, MM)

03 = 3 or 30 or 300 or 3000 (III, XXX, CCC, MMM)

04 = 4 or 40 or 400 or 4000 (IIII, XXXX, CCCC, MMMM)

10 = 5 or 50 or 500 or 5000 (V, L, D, V)

11 = 6 or 60 or 600 or 6000 (VI, LX, DC, VM)

12 = 7 or 70 or 700 or 7000 (VII, LXX, DCC, VMM)

13 = 8 or 80 or 800 or 8000 (VIII, LXXX, DCCC, VMMM)

14 = 9 or 90 or 900 or 9000 (VIIII, LXXXX, DCCCC, VMMMM)

--gary

On Tue, Mar 5, 2013 at 1:14 PM, James Kane <kanejam@...> wrote:

> I think I read somewhere that the subtraction thing, eg XL for forty, is

> in fact a later invention and the Romans themselves were quite happy to

> have four I's or four V's in a row.

>

> Would this make the maths easier?

>

>

> On 6/03/2013, at 3:43 AM, Daniel Burgener <burgener.daniel@...>

> wrote:

>

> - On Fri, Mar 8, 2013 at 3:14 AM, Elena ``of Valhalla'' <

elena.valhalla@...> wrote:

> On 2013-03-07 at 15:12:15 -0500, Matthew George wrote:

You also probably don't want to skimp on comforts for educated slaves,

> > Why bother creating a system to make less work for slaves? They're

> *slaves*

> > .

> >

> > Or so I presume the Romans would have thought.

>

> because slaves are *expensive*, expecially the well-educated ones

> that are able to do arithmetics.

>

since they'll probably be tutoring your children.

> Also, they were the kind of slave who tended to have some

Makes sense

> freedom of action, and they could have created the system

> for themselves.

>

> Roman slaves were somewhat more similar to today's wage workers

I think most people think of the slavery that occurred in the Americas up

> (ranging from abused menial laborers to respected professionals

> with good chances to retire / buy their freedom and get rich)

> than modern-era slaves (who I believe were mainly in the

> menial-work area of jobs).

>

until the Civil War, which was definitely focused on menial labor, as well

as some use as household servants. What I hear about most as regards

slavery right now is in the sex trade, but I don't know how big a part of

the whole black market of human trafficking that is.