One day I wrote her name upon the strand,
But came the waves and washed it away:
Again I wrote it with a second hand,
But came the tide, and made my pains his prey.
“Vain man,” said she, “that dost in vain assay,
A mortal thing so to immortalize;
For I myself shall like to this decay,
And eke my name be wiped out likewise.”
“Not so,” (quod I) “let baser things devise
To die in dust, but you shall live by fame:
My verse your vertues rare shall eternize,
And in the heavens write your glorious name:
Where whenas death shall all the world subdue,
Our love shall live, and later life renew.”
— Edmund Spenser
Roman numerals are the numbers that were used in ancient Rome, which employed combinations of letters from the Latin alphabet:
I — 1
V — 5
X — 10
L — 50
C — 100
D — 500
M — 1,000
Numbers are represented by putting the symbols into various combinations in different orders. The symbols are then added together, for example:
— I + I + I, written as III, is 3.
— To write 11 we add X (10) and I (1) and write XI.
— For 22 we add X and X and I and I, so XXII.
Roman numerals are usually written in order, from largest to smallest and from left to right, but more than three identical symbols never appear in a row. Instead, a system of subtraction is used. When a smaller number appears in front of a larger one, that needs to be subtracted, so:
— IV is 4 (5 – 1)
— IX is 9 (10 – 1)
The subtraction system is used in six cases:
— I is placed before V and X so, IV is 4 and IX is 9.
— X is placed before L (50) and C (100) so, XL is 40 and XC is 90.
— C is placed before D (500) and M (1000) so, CD is 400 and CM is 900.
So, “LXXV” equates to: 75.