Some Clocks 4 Get Written IIII and Not IV?

Do you remember when they showed you the Roman numerals in the school? Sure that explained you the number four was written in this way: IV. So you would see it if you are travelling to London and you define in the Big Ben; However, if you decide to check it without leaving Spain, in the Puerta del Sol watch you’ll see that number 4 is represented by this figure: IIII. Accurate, four sticks, as we say more colloquially. Why this difference?

Some Clocks 4 Get Written IIII and Not IV 1

The Roman numbering system, derived from the Etruscans, which employed was based on the additive method. I more I were II, V more I were VI and II more II were IIII. By spending the time decided to start using the subtractive method, using this system the previous number subtract its amount to the next. In this way, instead of writing 4 as the sum of 2 more 2 (IIII) was written as the rest of the 5 least 1 (IV). See these wall clocks on Gradinmath.

Some Clocks 4 Get Written IIII and Not IV 2

Why then continued using the IIII representing 4? There are multiple theories, historical, aesthetic, practical… The most widespread is that, according to a compilation of information from the British Institute of watch-making, it has its origin in aesthetic reasons. The four characters IIII creates a visual symmetry with its opposite in the area VIII, also of four digits, not getting by the IV.

Some Clocks 4 Get Written IIII and Not IV 3

 

 

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