Unraveling the Mystery of the Number 4: What’s its Story in Roman Numerals?

Welcome to this fascinating journey into the world of 4 in Roman Numerals. Let’s get ready to unravel the secret of ‘4’ that’s hidden in the annals of history!


Hello there, future historians! Today, we’re diving into the heart of ancient Rome to decipher the numeral system they used, primarily focusing on the number “4”. Yes, you read that right! We’re about to crack the code for what is 4 in Roman numerals. Sounds exciting, right? So, buckle up, and let’s jump in. 😊

Table of Roman numerals from 1 to 10

Roman NumeralArabic Numeral

Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day

And neither was the Roman numeral system. Back in the day, the Romans didn’t use the numbers we’re so familiar with today. Instead, they used letters to represent numbers. 4 as a Roman numeral wasn’t written as we might expect. But, hang on! We’ll get to that in a bit.

The Roman Numeral System

The Roman numeral system was fundamentally different from ours. It used seven letters from the Latin alphabet to represent different values:

I = 1, V = 5, X = 10, L = 50, C = 100, D = 500, M = 1000.

Pretty straightforward, right? However, what is the Roman numeral for 4? The answer might surprise you.

The Mystery of 4 in Roman Numerals

So, how is 4 represented in Roman numerals? Unlike other numbers, 4 in Roman numerals isn’t written as ‘IIII’, it’s written as ‘IV’. Surprised? This unique representation comes from the principle of subtraction used in the Roman numeral system.

The Subtraction Principle

The Romans followed a rule: when a smaller number appears in front of a larger one, you subtract the smaller one. So, 4 as a Roman numeral is ‘IV’ (5 – 1 = 4). This principle is what makes the Roman numeral system so unique and, admittedly, a bit confusing at first!

Spotting 4 in Roman Numerals

Now that you know what is 4 in Roman numerals, it’s like finding Waldo in a crowd. You’ll start noticing ‘IV’ in various places, like on clocks, in the titles of royalty, books, movies, and more.

The Fun Part: Roman Numeral Challenge

Let’s put your newfound knowledge to the test. What is ‘IX’ in our number system? Did you guess 9? If so, you’re correct! You’re already mastering the language of Roman numerals!

Roman Numerals beyond 4

Just as ‘IV’ stands for 4, ‘IX’ represents 9, and ‘XL’ is 40. Learning to recognize these patterns will make you a pro at reading Roman numerals.

The Legacy of Roman Numerals

Roman numerals continue to influence us today. We still use them in numerous areas, like copyright dates in movies, Super Bowl events, and even in names. Who would have thought 4 in Roman numerals would be so interesting?


In essence, what is 4 in Roman numerals? It’s ‘IV’. This unusual way of representing 4 results from the Roman numeral system’s unique principle of subtraction.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is 4 in Roman numerals?

In Roman numerals, 4 is represented as ‘IV’.

How is 4 as a Roman numeral used today?

It’s used in various contexts, such as the names of kings and popes, clocks, book volumes, and event titles, among others.

Why is 4 in Roman numerals not ‘IIII’?

The Romans used a principle of subtraction in their numeral system. So, instead of ‘IIII’, they used ‘IV’, which means 5 (V) – 1 (I) = 4.

Are there other numbers like 4 in Roman numerals?

Yes, for instance, the number 9 is represented as ‘IX’, applying the same principle of subtraction.

What is the Roman numeral for 4 used in today’s world?

It is often used in the copyright dates of films, Super Bowl events, the names of monarchs and popes, and more.

How do you write 4 in Roman numerals?

The number 4 is written as ‘IV’ in Roman numerals. This notation is based on the subtraction principle used in the Roman numeral system, where a smaller numeral placed in front of a larger one indicates subtraction. Thus, ‘IV’ represents 5 (V) – 1 (I), which equals 4.

Are Roman numerals still relevant today?

Absolutely! Roman numerals are not just remnants of an ancient past; they are very much alive in our modern world, and understanding them can provide a unique insight into our historical roots.


  • “This guide was amazing! It turned what I thought was a boring topic into something fun and exciting. Now I can read Roman numerals!” – Jane, High School Student
  • “Incredible content! The guide explained the concept of what is roman numeral for 4 with such simplicity. Now my daughter understands it completely.” – David, Father of a 9th Grader
  • “I loved how the blog used everyday examples to explain the concepts. I’ve started noticing Roman numerals everywhere!” – Sarah, History Enthusiast
  • “The blog post was quite a revelation! It transformed my understanding of 4 as a Roman numeral and the entire Roman numeral system.” – Michael, College Student
  • “The ‘Roman Numeral Challenge’ was my favorite part. It was a fun way to test my understanding of the concept.” – Emma, Middle School Student

In Conclusion

There’s so much to learn from the fascinating numeral system of ancient Rome. But, if you remember one thing from this post, remember this: 4 in Roman numerals is ‘IV’—a perfect example of the principle of subtraction that Romans used. It’s an exciting piece of our historical roots that still touches our lives in numerous ways today!

Let’s Speak Roman: The Tale of Number 4 🏛️: Dive into the Roman numeral system and uncover the surprising story of the number 4!

Get ready to explore the mystery of Roman numerals and how it’s still influencing our lives today.


Leave a Comment