Roman Numerals

# Why are there no zero in Roman numerals?

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###### 2009-11-08 17:21:16

In our system, based on tens, we add a zero to the end of a number to increase its value by ten. So 1 x ten becomes 10 and 10 times ten becomes 100 etc. We use zeros within numbers to indicate that there are no numbers in that column, so 102 means there is 1 x 100, no x 10s and 2 x units. The Romans had a different system were they used different symbols to denote tens, hundreds and thousands etc. So in Roman numerals 1 x ten is X and X times ten is C. The Romans simply missed out numerals which weren't needed so 102 in Roman numerals was CII (100 + 2). As they didn't add a zero to the end of numbers or use one within numbers they had no need to invent a symbol to represent zero. During the Middle Ages monks, who still wrote in Latin and still used Roman numerals, introduced the numeral N to represent zero (based on the Latin word Nulae, meaning nothing)

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## Related Questions

Roman numerals do not include a symbol for zero, so zero cannot be rendered in Roman numberals.

The Romans did not have the concept of zero-- there is no Roman numeral for zero. This lack made it virtually impossible to do arithmetic with Roman numerals and that is why we use Arabic numerals nowadays.

Because zero is not needed in Roman numerals as the positional place value of these numerals are self evident.

The lack of a zero symbol creates no problems with Roman numerals.

There is no symbol for zero in Roman numerals because it isn't neeeded.

They contain a zero symbol whereas Roman numerals do not contain a zero symbol because it's not needed

Zero is not used in Roman numerals because it's not needed.

It can't be represented by any symbol.Another Answer:-The symbol for zero as a Roman numeral is N but it is never needed because the positional place value of Roman numerals are self evident.

Romans did not understand the concept of a zero.

They are easier to use then the Roman numerals. And the Roman number system did not contain a zero. This made it difficult for them to develop many mathematical concepts.

Yes but it's never used because the positional place value of Roman numerals are self evident.

Because it's not needed as the positional place values of the numerals are self evident

Here are some examples. MCM - 1900, MCMLVI - 1956, MCML - 1950, MCMXXIX - 1929. They follow the same sequence as any other Roman numerals. They are correctly known as Roman numerals and not Roman numbers. People use both phrases, but Roman numerals is the correct term. Roman numerals is one surviving example of Latin. An odd feature of the Roman numerals is that they do not use a zero.

There is no symbol for zero, which makes it very difficult to do arithmetic.

It is: 0 = N and its Latin meaning is zero

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