Roman numerals are believed to have originated in ancient Rome around 900 B.C. and 800 B.C. where the system was originally used as a way for traders to track their goods and money, but then it grew into more than that.
Early on, Roman Numerals were exclusively used for counting objects, specifically as menial tasks. However, as they became more complex and diverse, they eventually began to represent the hours in a day and even years in time.
The system was also adopted by the Catholic church because of its ease of calculation. With simple addition and subtraction, an individual could calculate how many days to an event, or what day Easter fell on for example.
The Roman numeral system is based on seven symbols, or "digits," whose names were taken from the Latin words for the numbers they represented. These digits were I, V, X, L, C, D, and M. Roman numerals are still used today in some places such as architecture and headstones.