In
the roman number system a symbol has a certain value and
as a result is not able to show place value. This means
addition is difficult and it is virtually impossible to
do the subtraction, multiplication or division algorithms.

So
how did they do all the mathematics needed to construct
all their great buildings, collect taxes and make the complex
calculations involved in creating the calendar?

The
answer is the **abacus**
shown on the desk at the beginning of this webquest. All
calculations were done on the abacus and then roman numerals
were only used to record the totals.

It
also needs to be noted that the Romans also had no way of
representing parts of numbers i.e. fractions & decimals.

The
shortcomings of the system mean that a lot of the progress
we take for granted would never have been discovered had
people continued to use roman numerals.

**Make
a list of things that could not have been achieved if we
had have stayed with the inefficient and cumbersome roman
numerals system. **