It’s here, the day we’ve all been waiting for! It’s Superbowl XLVIII, and you know what that means. That’s right, boys and girls, it’s
NATIONAL ROMAN NUMERAL DAY!
While Roman numerals are only used these days for Superbowls, movie sequels and at the end of rich guys’ names, they were once the most widely used number system on earth. This is one of history’s great mysteries, since Roman Numbers aren’t even proper numbers, but letters of the Latin alphabet forced to masquerade as actual numbers, and the ensuing confusion was probably as responsible as any other factor for mankind’s interminable wars. They weren’t even a Roman invention, but an Etruscan system and, worse, based on just 7 symbols – the capital letters “I, V, X, L, C, D & M.” Seven symbols? Why just 7 symbols for a race of beings with 10 fingers? Forget trying to do even basic arithmetic with the damned things, they’re useless. You have to add and subtract just to read them, for crying out loud, so never mind advanced mathematics! The more one tries to understand this system, the more joyful one becomes over the fall of the Roman Empire.
•Suggested Activities: Writing today’s date Roman Style: II/II/MMXIV.