Created: 2011-07-10 20:14
Updated: 2013-10-27 03:16

Roman Numerals Kata

The Romans were a clever bunch. They conquered most of Europe and ruled it for hundreds of years. They invented concrete and straight roads and even bikinis. One thing they never discovered though was the number zero. This made writing and dating extensive histories of their exploits slightly more challenging, but the system of numbers they came up with is still in use today. For example the BBC uses Roman numerals to date their programmes.

Part I of the Katas

The Romans wrote numbers using letters - I, V, X, L, C, D, M. (notice these letters have lots of straight lines and are hence easy to hack into stone tablets)

The Kata says you should write a function to convert from normal numbers to Roman Numerals: eg

 1 --> I
 10 --> X
 7 --> VII
 14 --> XIV
 19 --> XIX
 80 --> LXXX
 90 --> XC
 400 --> CD 
 900 --> CM
 3000 -> MMM

etc. For a full description of how it works, take a look at this useful reference website.

But basic symbols comes down to :

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

There is no need to be able to convert numbers larger than about 3000. (The Romans themselves didn't tend to go any higher)

Note that you can't write numerals like "IM" for 999. Wikipedia says: Modern Roman numerals ... are written by expressing each digit separately starting with the left most digit and skipping any digit with a value of zero. To see this in practice, consider the ... example of 1990. In Roman numerals 1990 is rendered: 1000=M, 900=CM, 90=XC; resulting in MCMXC. 2008 is written as 2000=MM, 8=VIII; or MMVIII.

Part II of the Kata

Write a function to convert in the other direction, ie numeral to digit

References :

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies Learn more