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Roman numerals are a numeral system that originated in ancient Rome and remained the usual way of writing numbers throughout Europe well into the Late Middle Ages. Numbers are written with combinations of letters from the Latin alphabet, each letter with a fixed integer value, modern style uses only these seven:
The use of Roman numerals continued long after the decline of the Roman Empire. From the 14th century on, Roman numerals began to be replaced by Arabic numerals; however, this process was gradual, and the use of Roman numerals persists in some applications to this day.
The notations IV and IX can be read as "one less than five" (4) and "one less than ten" (9), although there is a tradition favouring representation of "4" as "IIII" on Roman numeral clocks.
Other common uses include year numbers on monuments and buildings and copyright dates on the title screens of movies and television programs. MCM, signifying "a thousand, and a hundred less than another thousand", means 1900, so 1912 is written MCMXII. For the years of this century, MM indicates 2000. The current year is MMXXII (2022).
Most clocks using Roman numerals traditionally use IIII instead of IV... One of the rare prominent clocks that uses the IV instead of IIII is Big Ben in London.