[APG Public List] Need some help with Roman numerals
Rolgeiger at aol.com
Rolgeiger at aol.com
Tue Oct 27 01:28:33 MDT 2009
You're right - that is pretty much nonsense in that number.
But it reminded me of another number which is "printed" on the outer wall
of our local church here in downtown St. Wendel. Actually it is a prayer
from 17th Century: Oh trinity, in this evil times of hunger, war and
epidemics, please, see us crying and provide help (very "free" translated).
But the writer made a riddle with the date. The original words are:
ATRA PESTE FAME AVSTEROQVE FVRENTE GRADIVO
ASPICE ANHELANTER TE ROGO GRATA TRIAS
But it's not written that way. Well, all letters are captials but some of
the capitals are bigger than the others. Thus it looks that way (well, I've
now replaced all capitals by common letters and the bigger written by
atra peste faMe aVsteroqVe fVrente graDIVo
aspICe anheLanter te rogo grata trIas
The idea is not arrage the letters to make the date but to a d d all
letters and create a sum which will be the year.
The capital M in "faMe" = 1000
plus the first V in "aVsteroqVe" = 5
plus the other V at the end of that word = 5
sum until now = 1.010
plus V => 1015
plus D = 500 => 1515
plus I = 1 => 1516
plus V => 1521
plus I => 1522
plus C => 1622
plus L = 50 => 1672
plus I => 1673 AD
The clou is - there are rules for creating such a thing:
-> it has to have a meaning - some religious kind
-> it has to be written in some specific rythm
and most important -> you're not allowed to add another word which has
another letter which could be used as a number:
example: you may need another "me" (= "me") but cannot use it as "me"
contains "M" and M=1000.
I like that item very much - it's part of my guided tour through our town.
Roland Geiger, St. Wendel, Germany
In einer eMail vom 27.10.2009 03:55:42 Westeuropäische Normalzeit schreibt
raybeere at yahoo.com:
First of all, "CD" is 400, then "D" is 500 - but using them in this
sequence is nonsense. If you wanted to say 1900, you would use "MCM". Then, "XL"
is 40 - but "CL" is 150 - which would _not_ follow 40. In other words, this
entire number is nonsense. I have no idea what the person who gave you the
details _meant_, but what they gave you is worthless. There isn't even a
single, obvious error here. There are several, which, together, render the
whole thing totally meaningless. (If this is, indeed, what the original
reads, then the typesetter was either drunk or hopelessly ignorant. Those are
also possibilities - although printers and typesetters _tended_ to be
educated, there were exceptions, and even the best compositors had bad days.)
Ray Beere Johnson II
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