A friend of mine spotted this while waking around Amsterdam. I don't recognize the script and can't make sense of it so I thought I'd ask for your help.


What's that text between XXXVII and ANNO? What script is it in? What year is this timestamp referring to?

  • See the Apostrophus and Vinculum paragraphs at the end of the Wikipedia article on Roman numerals.
    – Lucian
    Sep 1, 2016 at 16:51

1 Answer 1


That is the Westertoren Tower in Amsterdam, the Nederlands. The numbers are regular Roman numerals, but written in a fancy way. The first one is what looks like c|ɔ, but that is how M, 1000, is written, m with a tall middle mast. The second one is , but that is actually D, 500, again, with a tall mast. Then go the usual Roman C, 100, and XXXVII, 37, which should all be summed up, making 1000 + 500 + 100 + 37 = 1637, and that is the year written on the Westertoren Tower.

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