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The roman numerals refer to the charge of the metal in the compound because many metals have multiple possible oxidation states so when writing out the name you would use the roman numerals to specify the charge of the ion. But when writing out the formula you would not include the numerals.
The roman numeral refers to the oxidation state of the transition metal. Many transition metals can have different charges. Further with the Roman numeral you can figure out the charge of a ligand by comparing the charge on the transition metal and the overall charge on the entire complex. For example if you have a complex with nickel and a ligand and the overall complex charge is -1, you can deduce that the ligand's charge should be -3. Nickel has a +2 charge, the ligand has a -3 charge hence the -1 overall charge.
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