Elegant but not so simple . . .
Don’t flinch, I know this page looks like Egyptian hieroglyphics but, today I’m dipping into the numerical system of the early Romans,
It seems the craziest, numerical system ever, but it worked back then and once you catch the rules, it still works. I’ve always dabbled with it, but this time I found an expert, Ellen Wilson Thayn, at the Murray Public Library, who gave me a set of rules, and once I began using those rules, it didn’t seem simple, no, but at least understandable.
To begin with, I called one of my smart acquaintances, and then another, and another, but, dang it, they all got that glazed look (yeah I can tell a glazed look over email) and all backed out. Each a Triple AAA intellect in their own fields, but not in Roman Numerals. I tried ‘Ye Olde Editor’, Jim Cornwell; Dean Fairbank, brains to spare; Tom Smith, Teacher who specializes in oddities; Wayne Ursenbach, Physical Chemist; that smart Dr. Bruce Parsons; and with all those brains not a one knew about Roman Numerals. Not even MMXIV.
So, with advice from my old boss, Jim, I turned to the place that has been the haven of knowledge since ancient Alexandria, The Library, and there in that place of all wisdom, Ellen Wilson Thayn didn’t even blink, but began revealing secrets as if she had grown up in ancient Italy. My answers came right from where I’ve gone for information ever since my Daddy used to take me as a child, The Murray Public Library.
Everything that’s correct, thank you, thank you, came from Ellen Thayn, the errors are what I’m good at and, with a shrug, must claim any.
X-with a line over it, is 10,000
M- with a line over it, is 100,000