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Marking out numbers in this way is a regular feature of Latin script, the intention being no doubt to alert the reader to the fact that i, l, x etc. are not to be treated as letters but as figures.

Bowman, A. and Thomas, D. 1994. “The Vindolanda Writing Tablets (Tabulae Vindolandenses II)”, London: British Museum Press

I am using this huge publication to encode the Vindolanda Tablets in XML.

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