Inspired by the clocks in Becky’s post #timesquare
The top of the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica has two clocks but show different time!
The top of the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica has two clocks and several sculptures. The clocks were created to replace Bernini‘s bell towers which had to be torn down due to insufficient support. The left clock shows Rome time, the one of the right shows European mean time.
These clocks literally take us back in time when the Roman numbers can be seen in their older version – when 4 was written as IIII an not IV as it is today!
Basic decimal pattern
The original pattern for Roman numerals used the symbols I, V, and X (1, 5, and 10) as simple tally marks. Each marker for 1 (I) added a unit value up to 5 (V), and was then added to (V) to make the numbers from 6 to 9
- I, II, III, IIII, V, VI, VII, VIII, VIIII, X.
The numerals for 4 (IIII) and 9 (VIIII) proved problematic (among other things, they are easily confused with III and VIII), and are generally replaced with IV (one less than 5) and IX (one less than 10). This feature of Roman numerals is called subtractive notation.
Thanks for reading n going back in time with my clocks today!
Have a great weekend!