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Song Details
Duration: 3:06 
Release Date: 2/16/1983  (Shalom) 
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Song Lyrics:
Flavius: Ave merchant Avia, I have come to purchase a quantity of your famous Sumerian pepper.

Avia: Et salve, citizen Flavius. You are in luck; we are having a sale today. Sumerian pepper will only cost you 44 talents.

F: 44. Oh no. Don't tell me that you, too, are converting to decimal.

A: Well, it is the law, Citizen.

F: But what is wrong with Roman numerals? It's foolish to convert when we're used to the old ways.

A: No, no. The decimal system is easier.

F: Certainly, for mathematicians and astronomers. How much is 44 in real numbers?


F: XLIV. Why don't you just say "XLIV"? Who can remember "44"?

A: But... but the rest of the world is decimal.

F: It's impossible to learn.

Boy: Hey merchant, I want 18 pieces o' licorice.

A: Well, they're 2 talents each.

Boy: Here's 40 talents.

A: And here's your 4 talents change.

Boy: Thanks. Hail Caesar.

F: By the gods! What was that gibberish?

A: He wanted XVIII pieces of licorice, at II each. He gave me XL, and I gave him IV change.

F: Well then why didn't you just say so?

A: Because this system is so much easier.

F: Easier...

A: Look, Citizen. All you need remember are the numerals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 0.

F: Yes...

A: You see there is a ones column and there's a tens column. You add 1 to the tens column, and set the ones column back to 0...

F: Yeh...

A: And start adding into the ones column again. Joining it to the 1 in the tens column, so after 9, there is 1-0, 1-1, 1-2, 1-3 and..

F: Wait, wait a minute. So you say I should count, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ss... 6, um, VII?

A: No, no, 7, 8...

F: 7, 8, 9, 1-0, 1-1, 1-2...

A: You've got it! You've got it.

F: Fine. Then give me 1-2 bags of cloves.

A: You mean "12"?

F: I mean "cloves"!

A: No, no. 1-2... "one two" is called 12.

F: . . . I see. . . So your residence is not 1-2-0, it is 12-0.

A: No, it's 120.

F: You've moved?!

A: No, no, heh. You see, when you reach the third column...

F: Enough!! Enough!! I will never understand this decimal nonsense if I live to be C! . . . Give me X bags of pepper.

A: 10?

F: X!!

A: . . . X it is.

F: And how much for your silk?

A: 55...

F: Ah...

A: I mean LV talents a yard.

F: "Yard"? What happened to cubits?

A: It's the new system.

F: No...!

[transcriber's note: all numbers are pronouced as written, so "1-0" would be read as "one zero". Roman numerals are also pronounced as written, so "XLIV" would be read "ex ell eye vee". I tried uploaded this with real Unicode roman numerals, but apparently the server didn't have that font, so it came out as ??? marks. I changed it.]
Current Rating 10.0 (3 votes)
Song Images:
Messages about the song: "Roman Numerals"
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