Subject: The meaning of a symbol

Name: Charles Fontaine
Who is asking: Other
Level: All

Question: Is there any significance to the bar placed over some Roman numerals?

HI Charles,

It has always been my understanding that a bar over a Roman numeral indicated that it is multiplied by 1000. Thus

This was confirmed by two sites I found,
http://www.deadline.demon.co.uk/roman/intro.htm
and
http://www.cod.edu/people/faculty/lawrence/romaindx.htm
however the first of these references also contains the statement "in some cases the horizontal bar was used to show simply that the letters were being used as numbers."

Cheers,
Penny
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