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Roman Numerals Lesson – The Preface of a Book

Book Numbers & Roman Numerals

roman numerals in novels

Roman Numerals in Novels

You will find many examples of roman numerals in libraries:

– some books have roman numerals on their spines to denote volumes

– some books have their chapters numbered with roman numerals.

– some plays have their scenes & acts numbered with roman numerals e.g. Macbeth – Act iii, Scene iv

– fantasy genre books like to use roman numerals

– many books have information in the front and these pages are often marked with lower case roman numerals e.g. i, ii, iii, iv, x

NB The ‘forward’ to a book is mostly written after the book is complete so it easier to use a different numbering system for the forward instead of renumbering all the pages in the book.

Some people believe that authors use roman numerals in their books as they wish for the book to appear important. Other authors may want to create a ‘classical’ mood and still others wish to create an ‘other worldliness’.

Task – Find some books in your library that use roman numerals and decide why you think the author chose to use this numbering system.

NB It is very rare that modern writers use roman numerals to number chapters.

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