Special problems with roman numerals

We've run into two problems with Roman numerals:

  1. Old-style Roman numerals.

  2. Overlining of Roman numerals.

Examples of "old-style" Roman numerals "D" and "M".

Appears as:Capture as:
M.D.<HI>xcv.Martij iij.</HI>
B. A. LXV. M.V. D. XX.
&THETA;&middot; A. M.D. XC. P. id. Feb.
Io. F. amici&abque; Basileae p.
May. IX.

Examples of overlined Roman numerals

Appears as:Capture as:
<HI>Hen.</HI> <ABBR>VII.</ABBR>)
his <ABBR>II.</ABBR> pillars
(to the <ABBR>IV.</ABBR> Canto)


You may (rarely) find a similar system used to express larger numbers as Roman numerals. In the one book we've seen so far that does this (W_H2513, vid 59020/519-20), a fairly straigtforward system is used that involves adding a layer of "(" and ")" for each power of ten. Thus (note the suggested character entity at the right of each line):

(|)= 1000= M 
((|))= 10000= &rn10000;(cp. unicode #2182)
(((|)))= 100000= &rn100000; 
((((|))))= 1000000= &rn1000000; 
|)= 500= D 
|))= 5000= &rn5000;(cp. unicode #2181)
|)))= 50000= &rn50000; 
|))))= 500000= &rn500000; 

For the moment, we have decided to continue to 'interpret' such Roman numerals rather than record the individual pieces such as the backwards-C. Examples follow.

<ITEM>M. M. <ABBR>I.</ABBR> &infin;. a Thousand.</ITEM>
<ITEM>MM. MM. <ABBR>II.</ABBR> two Thousand.</ITEM>

<ITEM>&rn5000;. <ABBR>V.</ABBR> Five Thousand.</ITEM>
<ITEM>&rn5000;M. <ABBR>VI.</ABBR> Six Thousand.</ITEM>

<ITEM>M^x &rn10000; <ABBR>X.</ABBR> &revC;MC. or lMl. Ten Thousand.</ITEM>
<ITEM>&rn10000;M. <ABBR>XI.</ABBR> Eleven thousand.</ITEM>

<ITEM>&rn10000;&rn5000;. <ABBR>XV.</ABBR> Fifteen thousand.</ITEM>
<ITEM>&10000;&rn5000;M. <ABBR>XVI.</ABBR> Sixteen thousand.</ITEM>

<ITEM>&rn50000;. <ABBR>L.</ABBR> L&infin; Fifty thousand. <ABBR>lMl.</ABBR></ITEM>
<ITEM>&rn50000;&rn10000;. <ABBR>LX.</ABBR> Sixty thousand. <ABBR>lMlM.</ABBR></ITEM>

<ITEM>&rn100000;. <ABBR>C.</ABBR> C&infin; Hundred thousand</ITEM>

<ITEM>&rn500000;. <ABBR>D.</ABBR> D&infin; Five hundred thousand.</ITEM>

<ITEM>&rn500000;&rn100000;. <ABBR>DC.</ABBR> Six hundred thousand.</ITEM>

<ITEM>&rn1000000;. <ABBR>M.</ABBR> a Million, ten hundred thousand.</ITEM>
<ITEM>M^D^D. M^M. the same.</ITEM>


  1. This same book seems to use the infinity sign as a symbol for one thousand. Go ahead and use the usual ISO entity "infin".

  2. This same book seems to use the "lazy-s" sign for two hundred. I don't understand why, but I guess we can add a character entity for lazy-s, viz., &lazyS; (cp. unicode #223D).

  3. In the 10,000 line of this same page is a rendering that uses M combined with the backwards-c, namely )M(. This seems to be the only figure that we can't deal with using the characters mentioned above. So I guess we'll need a "reversed-C" character after all, just this once = &revC; (cp. unicode #2183). Read &revC;MC. If any other numbers turn up that don't fit any of the models, feel free to use this character for the "backwards-c" by itself.