• A German merchant of the fifteenth century asked an eminent professor where he should send his son for a good business education. The professor responded that German universities would be sufficient to teach the boy addition and subtraction but he would have to go to Italy to learn multiplication and division. Before you smile indulgently, try multiplying or even just adding the Roman numerals CCLXIV, MDCCCIX, DCL, and MLXXXI without first translating them.

    John Allen Paulos (2013). “Beyond Numeracy”, p.23, Vintage