Converting Decimal Numbers to Roman Numerals

Environment: C, Visual C++

The following function takes positive decimal numbers from 0–4999 and outputs them as Roman strings (for example, "MMIII" for 2003). It should compile under any version of C on any platform (although you may want to change "//" comments to the "/*...*/" form (which I hate).

I wrote the function myself, and I have no copyright concerns. I searched the CodeGuru site for "roman" and got nothing except font names, so I assume noone else has posted anything similar to this.

// written by Ste Cork, free for any and all use.
const char *Number_AsRomanString( int iNumber )
struct RomanDigit_t
char *m_psString;
int m_iValue;

static const RomanDigit_t RomanDigits[]=
    {"M",  1000},
    {"CM",  900},
    {"D",   500},
    {"CD",  400},
    {"C",   100},
    {"XC",   90},
    {"L",    50},
    {"XL",   40},
    {"X",    10},
    {"IX",    9},
    {"V",     5},
    {"IV",    4},
    {"I",     1},

// Strictly speaking, Roman digits can't display something
// such as 4999 without using overlaid bars and so forth,
// but for now this is a quick-and-dirty piece of code that'll
// just keep using M's...
static char sRomanString[20];
sRomanString[0] = '\0';

for (int i=0; iNumber && i<sizeof(RomanDigits)/
                           sizeof(RomanDigits[0]); i++)
while ( RomanDigits[i].m_iValue <= iNumber )
strcat( sRomanString, RomanDigits[i].m_psString );
iNumber -= RomanDigits[i].m_iValue;

return sRomanString;


  • *why* do people use roman numerals?

    Posted by Legacy on 07/29/2003 12:00am

    Originally posted by: njkayaker

    The roman empire is dead! Get over it.

    I really think roman numerals is something that should go away.

  • Nice try.

    Posted by Legacy on 07/29/2003 12:00am

    Originally posted by: felix

    You only solved half of the problem. How about converting a roman numeral to a long? problem is starting to get a little harder now isn't it.

    Also, using your scheme, one million is basically 1000 M's.

    I realize that you do not support the *bar* notation, but it would have to be taken into account so that you solution could be useful.

    I would use long instead of int.


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