Vindolanda Tablets Online Tablets Exhibition Reference Help



Auxiliary units

Military ranks


Dates and events


Weights and measures

The Vindolanda tablets generally use the familiar Roman system of letters for representing numbers. Sometimes numerals are marked by a bar above the line, usually above the number of the cohort. Of the letters in common use, the following are used in the Vindolanda tablets:

i (one)
v (five)
x (ten)
l (50)
c (100)
d (500)

Numbers over 1000 are represented in the Vindolanda texts by the word mille (plural - milia). Other numbers are represented by multiples of these symbols (e.g. iii for 3, xvii for 17, lxxviii for 78, ccxxxi for 231). To represent 4 and 9 and numbers including 4 and 9, the Vindolanda tablets only occasionally use the 'subtractive' system familiar to modern readers (i.e. iv for 4, ix for 9, xl for 40 and so on). They are instead more commonly indicated in the same way as other numbers (i.e. iiii for 4, viiii for 9, xxxx for 40 and so on).

The letter s after the number indicates a half. The tablets also contributes important information on the representation of fractions related to money.

For further information see currency in the reference section.

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