Well, one thing that they have done is to give us a lot of our numbers!! Plus the names of our months!! Anyway, here goes .....
Remember that only the cardinal numbers unus, duo, and tres decline. All the other cardinals do not (that is if you discount the difference between mille and milia!). However, ALL the ordinals do!
Note the principal of subtraction applies for both numerals, e.g. XIX, and ordinals, e.g. undeviginti.
|Numeral||Number (Cardinal)||Ordinal||Numeral||Number (Cardinal)||Ordinal|
|I||unus, -a, -um||primus, -a, -um||XXI||unus et viginti||unus et vicensimus|
|II||duo, duae, duo||secundus, -a, -um||XXII||duo et viginti||duo et vicensimus|
|III||tres, tres, tria||tertius, -a, -um||XXVIII||duodetriginta||duodetricensimus|
|IV||quattuor||quartus, -a, -um||XXIX||undetriginta||undetricensimus|
|V||quinque||quintus, -a, -um||XXX||triginta||tricensimus|
|VI||sex||sextus, -a, -um||XL||quadraginta||quadragensimus|
|VII||septem||septimus, -a, -um||L||quinquaginta||quinquagensimus|
|VIII||octo||octavus, -a, -um||LX||sexaginta||sexagensimus|
|IX||novem||nonus, -a, -um||LXX||septuaginta||septuagensimus|
|X||decem||decimus, -a, -um||LXXX||octoginta||octogensimus|
|XII||duodecim||duodecimus, -a, -um||C||centum||centensimus|
|XIII||tredecim||tertius decimus, -a, -um||CC||ducenti||ducentesimus|
|XIV||quattuordecim||quattuor decimus, -a, -um||CCC||trecenti||trecentensimus|
|XV||quindecim||quintus decimus, -a, -um||CCCC||quadringenti||quadringentensimus|
|XVI||sedecim||sextus decimus, -a, -um||D ||quingenti||quingentesimus|
|XVII||septendecim||septimus decimus, -a, -um||M ||mille||millensimus|
|XVIII||duodeviginti||duodevicensimus, -a, -um||MM||duo milia||bis millensimus|
|XIX||undeviginti||undevicensimus, -a, -um||
|centum milia||centiens millensimus|
|XX||viginti||vicensimus, -a, -um||
|deciens centena milia||deciens centena milia|
What should we say about Roman dates? What, you mean you have not heard of the Ides of March, the day that Julius Caesar was murdered? Or perhaps the 18th July? A day that lived on in Roman history because of a disastrous military defeat by marauding Gallic tribes at the River Allia? Or perhaps the celebration of the Brumalia? Or a hundred or so other festivals? Dates were VERY important to the Romans. Here is a brief guide .....
Once upon a time, the Romans only had TEN (10) months:
Then along came quite a smart guy, and one who was a little bit mean and wanted loads of power, ... anyway Julius Caesar reformed the calendar. He renamed Quintilis, Iulius ... in honour of himself! Later, in 8 B.C., Sextilis (I think you can work out what that means) was renamed Augustus in honour of the man in power, the very first Roman emperor and Julius Caesar's adopted son, errr .... Augustus.
Now all these months are ours!
The dating of Roman months is a bit more complex. Every month had THREE key days.
Here's a little ditty to help you remember ....:
'March, May, July, October,
These are they,
Make Nones the seventh,
Ides the fifteenth day.'
Well, perhaps the little ditty could be better but it will help you remember.
Here are some abbreviations to help (and don't forget that pridie means 'the day before'):
But just in case you thought it was getting difficult: the Romans always counted FORWARDS to the nearest Kalends, Nones, or Ides which would count as one day. Hmmmm ....
Here is an example. Take the 27th September. In Latin this would be expressed as ante diem V Kal. Oct.. But why, you cry, why? It's only three days before.
Interested in doing a bit more with numbers and finding out about Greek numbers too ..... then go here!!!