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18 September 96 – 27 January 98 (15 months)

Predecessor Domitian

Successor Trajan

Born (30-11-08)8 November 30 Narni, Italy

Died 27 January 98(98-01-27) (aged 67) Gardens of Sallust, Rome

Burial Mausoleum of Augustus, Rome

Issue Trajan
Trajan
(adoptive)

Full name

Marcus Cocceius Nerva (before accession); Imperator Marcus Cocceius Nerva
Nerva
Caesar Augustus
Augustus
(as emperor)

Dynasty Nervan-Antonine

Father Marcus Cocceius Nerva

Mother Sergia Plautilla

Roman imperial dynasties Nervo-Trajanic Dynasty

Nerva

Children

   Natural - (none)

   Adoptive - Trajan

Trajan

Children

   Natural - (none)

   Adoptive - Hadrian

Hadrian

Children

   Natural - (none)

   Adoptive - Lucius Aelius

   Adoptive - Antoninus Pius

Nerva
Nerva
(/ˈnɜːrvə/; Latin: Marcus Cocceius Nerva
Nerva
Caesar Augustus;[1] 8 November 30 – 27 January 98 AD) was Roman emperor
Roman emperor
from 96 to 98. Nerva
Nerva
became emperor at the age of 65, after a lifetime of imperial service under Nero
Nero
and the rulers of the Flavian dynasty. Under Nero, he was a member of the imperial entourage and played a vital part in exposing the Pisonian conspiracy of 65. Later, as a loyalist to the Flavians, he attained consulships in 71 and 90 during the reigns of Vespasian
Vespasian
and Domitian, respectively. On 18 September 96, Domitian
Domitian
was assassinated in a palace conspiracy involving members of the Praetorian Guard
Praetorian Guard
and several of his freedmen. On the same day, Nerva
Nerva
was declared emperor by the Roman Senate. This was the first time the Senate elected a Roman emperor. As the new ruler of the Roman Empire, he vowed to restore liberties which had been curtailed during the autocratic government of Domitian. Nerva's brief reign was marred by financial difficulties and his inability to assert his authority over the Roman army. A revolt by the Praetorian Guard
Praetorian Guard
in October 97 essentially forced him to adopt an heir. After some deliberation Nerva
Nerva
adopted Trajan, a young and popular general, as his successor. After barely fifteen months in office, Nerva
Nerva
died of natural causes on 27 January 98. Upon his death he was succeeded and deified by Trajan. Although much of his life remains obscure, Nerva
Nerva
was considered a wise and moderate emperor by ancient historians. Nerva's greatest success was his ability to ensure a peaceful transition of power after his death by selecting Trajan
Trajan
as his heir, thus founding the Nerva–Antonine dynasty.

Contents

1 Early career

1.1 Family 1.2 Imperial service

2 Emperor

2.1 Accession 2.2 Administration 2.3 Crisis of succession

3 Death and legacy 4 In popular culture 5 Nerva–Antonine family tree 6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 Further reading 10 External links

10.1 Primary sources 10.2 Secondary material

Early career[edit] Family[edit] Marcus Cocceius Nerva
Nerva
was born in the village of Narni, 50 kilometers north of Rome, as the son of Marcus Cocceius Nerva, Suffect Consul
Suffect Consul
during the reign of Caligula
Caligula
(37–41), and Sergia Plautilla.[2] Ancient sources report the date as either 30 or 35.[3] He had at least one attested sister, named Cocceia, who married Lucius Salvius Titianus Otho, the brother of the future Emperor Otho.[2] Like Vespasian, the founder of the Flavian dynasty, Nerva
Nerva
was a member of the Italian nobility rather than one of the elite of Rome.[4] Nevertheless, the Cocceii were among the most esteemed and prominent political families of the late Republic and early Empire, attaining consulships in each successive generation. The direct ancestors of Nerva
Nerva
on his father's side, all named Marcus Cocceius Nerva, were associated with imperial circles from the time of Emperor Augustus
Augustus
(27 BC – AD 14).[5] His great-grandfather was Consul in 36 BC (in replacement, and abdicated), and Governor of Asia in the same year. His grandfather became Consul Suffect in July of either 21 or 22, and was known as a personal friend of Emperor Tiberius
Tiberius
(AD 14–37), accompanying the emperor during his voluntary seclusion on Capri
Capri
from 23 onwards, dying in 33. Nerva's father finally attained the consulship under the emperor Caligula. The Cocceii were connected with the Julio-Claudian dynasty through the marriage of Sergia Plautilla's brother Gaius Octavius Laenas, and Rubellia Bassa, the great-granddaughter of Tiberius.[4]

Bust of Nerva, Museo Nazionale Romano

Imperial service[edit] Not much of Nerva's early life or career is recorded, but it appears he did not pursue the usual administrative or military career. He was praetor-elect in the year 65 and, like his ancestors, moved in imperial circles as a skilled diplomat and strategist.[2] As an advisor to Emperor Nero, he successfully helped detect and expose the Pisonian conspiracy of 65. His exact contribution to the investigation is not known, but his services must have been considerable, since they earned him rewards equal to those of Nero's guard prefect Tigellinus. He received triumphal honors—which was usually reserved for military victories—and the right to have his statues placed throughout the palace.[2]

Bust of Nerva
Nerva
in the Roman-Germanic Museum
Roman-Germanic Museum
of Cologne, Germany

According to the contemporary poet Martial, Nero
Nero
also held Nerva's literary abilities in high esteem, hailing him as the " Tibullus
Tibullus
of our time".[6] Another prominent member of Nero's entourage was Vespasian, an old and respected general who had celebrated military triumphs during the 40s. It appears Vespasian
Vespasian
befriended Nerva
Nerva
during his time as an imperial advisor, and may have asked him to watch over Vespasian's youngest son Domitian
Domitian
when Vespasian
Vespasian
departed for the Jewish war in 67.[7] The suicide of Nero
Nero
on 9 June 68 brought the Julio-Claudian dynasty
Julio-Claudian dynasty
to an end, leading to the chaotic Year of the Four Emperors, which saw the successive rise and fall of the emperors Galba, Otho
Otho
and Vitellius, until the accession of Vespasian
Vespasian
on 21 December 69. Virtually nothing is known of Nerva's whereabouts during 69, but despite the fact that Otho
Otho
was his brother-in-law, he appears to have been one of the earliest and strongest supporters of the Flavians.[8] For services unknown, he was rewarded with a consulship early in Vespasian's reign in 71. This was a remarkable honour, not only because he held this office early under the new regime, but also because it was an ordinary consulship (instead of a less prestigious suffect consulship), making him one of the few non-Flavians to be honoured in this way under Vespasian.[8] After 71 Nerva
Nerva
again disappears from historical record, presumably continuing his career as an inconspicuous advisor under Vespasian
Vespasian
(69–79) and his sons Titus (79–81) and Domitian
Domitian
(81–96). He re-emerges during the revolt of Saturninus in 89. On 1 January, 89, the governor of Germania Superior, Lucius Antonius Saturninus, and his two legions at Mainz, Legio XIV Gemina
Legio XIV Gemina
and Legio XXI Rapax, revolted against the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
with the aid of a tribe of the Chatti.[9] The governor of Germania Inferior, Lappius Maximus, moved to the region at once, assisted by the procurator of Rhaetia, Titus
Titus
Flavius Norbanus. Within twenty-four days the rebellion was crushed, and its leaders at Mainz
Mainz
savagely punished. The mutinous legions were sent to the front of Illyricum, while those who had assisted in their defeat were duly rewarded.[10] Domitian
Domitian
opened the year following the revolt by sharing the consulship with Nerva. Again, the honour suggested Nerva
Nerva
had played a part in uncovering the conspiracy, perhaps in a fashion similar to what he did during the Pisonian conspiracy under Nero. Alternatively, Domitian
Domitian
may have selected Nerva
Nerva
as his colleague to emphasise the stability and status-quo of the regime.[8] The revolt had been suppressed, and the Empire could return to order. Emperor[edit] Accession[edit]

A bust of emperor Domitian. Capitoline Museums, Rome.

On 18 September, 96, Domitian
Domitian
was assassinated in a palace conspiracy organised by court officials.[11] The Fasti Ostienses, the Ostian Calendar, records that the same day the Senate proclaimed Marcus Cocceius Nerva
Nerva
emperor.[12] Despite his political experience, this was a remarkable choice. Nerva
Nerva
was old and childless, and had spent much of his career out of the public light, prompting both ancient and modern authors to speculate on his involvement in Domitian's assassination.[13][14] According to Cassius Dio, the conspirators approached Nerva
Nerva
as a potential successor prior to the assassination, which indicates that he was at least aware of the plot.[15][16] Suetonius
Suetonius
by contrast does not mention Nerva, but he may have omitted his role out of tactfulness. Considering the works of Suetonius
Suetonius
were published under Nerva's direct descendants Trajan
Trajan
and Hadrian, it would have been less than sensitive of him to suggest the dynasty owed its accession to murder.[15] On the other hand, Nerva
Nerva
lacked widespread support in the Empire, and as a known Flavian loyalist his track record would not have recommended him to the conspirators. The precise facts have been obscured by history,[17] but modern historians believe Nerva
Nerva
was proclaimed Emperor solely on the initiative of the Senate, within hours after the news of the assassination broke.[12] Although he appeared to be an unlikely candidate on account of his age and weak health, Nerva
Nerva
was considered a safe choice precisely because he was old and childless.[18] Furthermore, he had close connections with the Flavian dynasty
Flavian dynasty
and commanded the respect of a substantial part of the Senate. Nerva
Nerva
had seen the anarchy which had resulted from the death of Nero; he knew that to hesitate even for a few hours could lead to violent civil conflict. Rather than decline the invitation and risk revolts, he accepted.[19] The decision may have been hasty so as to avoid civil war, but neither the Senate nor Nerva
Nerva
appears to have been involved in the conspiracy against Domitian.[20] Following the accession of Nerva
Nerva
as emperor, the Senate passed damnatio memoriae on Domitian: his coins and statues were melted, his arches were torn down and his name was erased from all public records.[21][22] In many instances, existing portraits of Domitian, such as those found on the Cancelleria Reliefs, were simply recarved to fit the likeness of Nerva. This allowed quick production of new images and recycling of previous material.[23] In addition, the vast palace which Domitian
Domitian
had erected on the Palatine Hill, known as the Flavian Palace, was renamed the "House of the People", and Nerva himself took up residence in Vespasian's former villa in the Gardens of Sallust.[24] Administration[edit]

The last remaining columns from the largely blind peristyle surrounding a temple to Minerva, located at the heart of the Forum of Nerva. The visible door frame is not an original element but rather one of the many modifications suffered during the Middle Ages.

The change of government was welcome particularly to the senators, who had been harshly persecuted during Domitian's reign. As an immediate gesture of goodwill towards his supporters, Nerva
Nerva
publicly swore that no senators would be put to death as long as he remained in office.[25] He called an end to trials based on treason, released those who had been imprisoned under these charges, and granted amnesty to many who had been exiled.[22] All properties which had been confiscated by Domitian
Domitian
were returned to their respective families.[22] Nerva
Nerva
also sought to involve the Senate in his government, but this was not entirely successful. He continued to rely largely on friends and advisors that were known and trusted, and by maintaining friendly relations with the pro-Domitianic faction of the Senate, he incurred hostility which may have been the cause for at least one conspiracy against his life.[26][27] Having been proclaimed emperor solely on the initiative of the Senate, Nerva
Nerva
had to introduce a number of measures to gain support among the Roman populace. As was custom by this time, a change of emperor was expected to bring with it a generous payment of gifts and money to the people and the army. Accordingly, a congiarium of 75 denarii per head was bestowed upon the citizens, while the soldiers of the Praetorian Guard received a donativum which may have amounted to as much as 5000 denarii per person.[28] This was followed by a string of economic reforms intended to alleviate the burden of taxation from the most needy Romans.[29] To the poorest, Nerva
Nerva
granted allotments of land worth up to 60 million sesterces.[25] He exempted parents and their children from a 5% inheritance tax, and he made loans to Italian landowners on the condition that they pay interest of 5% to their municipality to support the children of needy families; alimentary schemes which were later expanded by Trajan, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius.[30] Furthermore, numerous taxes were remitted and privileges granted to Roman provinces.[28] Namely, he abolished abuses of the Fiscus Iudaicus, the additional tax which all Jews throughout the Empire had to pay: some of his coins bear the legend FISCI IUDAICI CALUMNIA SUBLATA (abolition of malicious prosecution regarding the Jewish tax). Before long, Nerva's expenses strained the economy of Rome and, although perhaps not ruinous to the extent once suggested by Syme,[31] necessitated the formation of a special commission of economy to drastically reduce expenditures.[32] The most superfluous religious sacrifices, games and horse races were abolished, while new income was generated from Domitian's former possessions, including the auctioning of ships, estates, and even furniture.[25] Large amounts of money were obtained from Domitian's silver and gold statues, and Nerva
Nerva
forbade that similar images be made in his honor.[22] Because he reigned only briefly, Nerva's public works were few, instead completing projects which had been initiated under Flavian rule. This included extensive repairs to the Roman road
Roman road
system and the expansion of the aqueducts.[33] The latter program was headed by the former consul Sextus Julius Frontinus, who helped to put an end to abuses and later published a significant work on Rome's water supply, De Aquis Urbis Romae.[34] The only major landmarks constructed under Nerva
Nerva
were a granary, known as the Horrea Nervae,[35] and a small Imperial Forum begun by Domitian, which linked the Forum of Augustus to the Temple of Peace.[36] Little remains, partly because the Via dei Fori Imperiali cuts across it. Crisis of succession[edit]

Roman aureus struck under Nerva, c. 97. The reverse reads Concordia Exercituum, symbolizing the unity between the emperor and the Roman army with two clasped hands over an army standard.

Bronze statue of Nerva
Nerva
in the Forum Romanum, Rome

Despite Nerva's measures to remain popular with the Senate and the Roman people, support for Domitian
Domitian
remained strong in the army, which had called for his deification immediately after the assassination.[21] In an attempt to appease the soldiers of the Praetorian Guard, Nerva
Nerva
had dismissed their prefect Titus
Titus
Petronius Secundus—one of the chief conspirators against Domitian—and replaced him with a former commander, Casperius Aelianus.[37] Likewise, the generous donativum bestowed upon the soldiers following his accession was expected to swiftly silence any protests against the violent regime change. The Praetorians considered these measures insufficient, however, and demanded the execution of Domitian's assassins, which Nerva
Nerva
refused.[38] Continued dissatisfaction with this state of affairs would ultimately lead to the gravest crisis of Nerva's reign. While the swift transfer of power following Domitian's death had prevented a civil war from erupting, Nerva's position as an emperor soon proved too vulnerable, and his benign nature turned into a reluctance to assert his authority. Upon his accession, he had ordered a halt to treason trials, but at the same time allowed the prosecution of informers by the Senate to continue. This measure led to chaos, as everyone acted in his own interests while trying to settle scores with personal enemies, leading the consul Fronto to famously remark that Domitian's tyranny was ultimately preferable to Nerva's anarchy.[22] Early in 97, a conspiracy led by the senator Gaius Calpurnius Piso Crassus Frugi Licinianus failed, but once again Nerva
Nerva
refused to put the conspirators to death, much to the disapproval of the Senate.[39][40] The situation was further aggravated by the absence of a clear successor, made more pressing because of Nerva's old age and sickness.[41] He had no natural children of his own and only distant relatives, who were unsuited for political office. A successor would have to be chosen from among the governors or generals in the Empire and it appears that, by 97, Nerva
Nerva
was considering to adopt Marcus Cornelius Nigrinus Curiatius Maternus, the powerful governor of Syria.[42] This was covertly opposed by those who supported the more popular military commander Marcus Ulpius Traianus, commonly known as Trajan, a general of the armies at the German frontier.[42] In October 97 these tensions came to a head when the Praetorian Guard, led by Casperius Aelianus, laid siege to the Imperial Palace and took Nerva
Nerva
hostage.[27] He was forced to submit to their demands, agreeing to hand over those responsible for Domitian's death and even giving a speech thanking the rebellious Praetorians.[43] Titus
Titus
Petronius Secundus and Parthenius, Domitian's former chamberlain, were sought out and killed. Nerva
Nerva
was unharmed in this assault, but his authority was damaged beyond repair.[27] He realized that his position was no longer tenable without the support of an heir who had the approval of both the army and the people.[37][44] Shortly thereafter, he announced the adoption of Trajan
Trajan
as his successor,[27] and with this decision all but abdicated.[45][46] Trajan
Trajan
was formally bestowed with the title of Caesar and shared the consulship with Nerva
Nerva
in 98; in Cassius Dio's words:

Thus Trajan
Trajan
became Caesar and later emperor, although there were relatives of Nerva
Nerva
living. But Nerva
Nerva
did not esteem family relationship above the safety of the State, nor was he less inclined to adopt Trajan
Trajan
because the latter was a Spaniard instead of an Italian or Italot, inasmuch as no foreigner had previously held the Roman sovereignty; for he believed in looking at a man's ability rather than at his nationality.[47]

Contrary to the view here popularized by Cassius Dio, however, Nerva had in fact little choice with regard to his successor. Faced with a major crisis, he desperately needed the support of a man who could restore his damaged reputation.[44] The only candidate with sufficient military experience, consular ancestry, and connections was Trajan.[37] Likewise, Edward Gibbon's assertion that Nerva
Nerva
hereby established a tradition of succession through adoption among the Five Good Emperors has found little support among modern historians.[48] Death and legacy[edit]

Roman aureus struck under Trajan, c. 115. The reverse commemorates both Trajan's natural father, Marcus Ulpius Traianus (right) and his adoptive father, the Deified Nerva
Nerva
(left).

On 1 January, 98, at the start of his fourth consulship, Nerva suffered a stroke during a private audience.[49] Shortly thereafter he was struck by a fever and died at his villa in the Gardens of Sallust, on 28 January.[50][51] He was deified by the Senate,[50] and his ashes were laid to rest in the Mausoleum of Augustus.[52] Nerva
Nerva
was succeeded without incident by his adopted son Trajan, who was greeted by the Roman populace with much enthusiasm. According to Pliny the Younger, Trajan
Trajan
dedicated a temple in honour of Nerva,[53] yet no trace of it has ever been found; nor was a commemorative series of coins for the Deified Nerva
Nerva
issued until ten years after his death. According to Cassius Dio, however, the Guard prefect responsible for the mutiny against Nerva, Casperius Aelianus, was 'dismissed' (probably executed) upon Trajan's accession.[54] Due to the lack of written sources on this period, much of Nerva's life has remained obscure. The most substantial surviving account of the reign of Nerva
Nerva
was written by the 3rd-century historian Cassius Dio. His Roman History, which spans nearly a millennium, from the arrival of Aeneas
Aeneas
in Italy until the year 229, was composed more than one hundred years after Nerva
Nerva
had died. Further details are added by an abridged biography from the Epitome de Caesaribus, a work alleged to have been authored by the 4th-century historian Aurelius Victor. A more comprehensive text, presumed to describe the life of Nerva
Nerva
in closer detail, is the Histories, by the contemporary historian Tacitus. The Histories is an account of the history of Rome covering three decades from the suicide of emperor Nero
Nero
in 69 until the death of Domitian
Domitian
in 96. However, a substantial part of the work has been lost, with only the first five books covering the Year of the Four Emperors remaining. In the introduction to his biography of Gnaeus Julius Agricola however, Tacitus
Tacitus
speaks highly of Nerva, describing his reign as "the dawn of a most happy age, [when] Nerva
Nerva
Caesar blended things once irreconcilable, sovereignty and freedom".[55] The surviving histories speak equally positively of Nerva's brief reign, although none offer a substantial commentary on his policies. Both Cassius Dio and Aurelius Victor emphasize his wisdom and moderation,[25][56] with Dio commending his decision to adopt Trajan as his heir.[47] These views were later popularized by the 18th-century historian Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon
in his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Gibbon considered Nerva
Nerva
the first of the Five Good Emperors, five successive rulers under whom the Roman Empire "was governed by absolute power, under the guidance of wisdom and virtue" from 96 until 180. Nevertheless, even Gibbon notes that, compared to his successors, Nerva
Nerva
may have lacked the necessary qualifications for a successful reign:

Nerva
Nerva
had scarcely accepted the purple from the assassins of Domitian before he discovered that his feeble age was unable to stem the torrent of public disorders which had multiplied under the long tyranny of his predecessor. His mild disposition was respected by the good; but the degenerate Romans required a more vigorous character, whose justice should strike terror into the guilty.[57]

Modern history has expanded upon this sentiment, characterizing Nerva as a well-intentioned but weak and ineffectual ruler. The Roman Senate enjoyed renewed liberties under his rule, but Nerva's mismanagement of the state finances and lack of authority over the army ultimately brought Rome near the edge of a significant crisis.[28] The mutiny led by Casperius Aelianus was never intended as a coup, but a calculated attempt to put pressure on the emperor.[37] The adoption of Trajan expanded his power base with a respected, reliable general as his successor. Murison concludes that Nerva's real talents were in fact ill-suited to the emperorship:

Nerva
Nerva
was, it would seem, the ultimate "committee" man. He was not, apparently, a great orator, and one has the impression that he functioned better in small groups, where his generally calm approach to problems will have impressed people. [...] What is well-known today, however, is that, more often than not, if the "super committee man" takes on an important administrative job, the result is quite dreadful. Rome was, indeed, spared catastrophe; but for all that near-contemporary writers were "careful" about what they said, Nerva's administration was fairly inept. It would not be unfair to say that he was a textbook illustration of what nowadays is called the "Peter Principle".[58]

His place in Roman history is therefore summarized as a necessary, if tumultuous stop-gap before the Trajanic-Antonine dynasties.[18] Even the only major public work completed during his reign, the Forum of Nerva, ultimately became known as the Forum Transitorium, or transitional forum.[59] Two modern statues which commemorate Nerva
Nerva
can be found in towns associated with him. There is an equestrian statue in Gloucester, England, a town which was founded in his honour. It is at the entrance to Southgate Street. There is also a statue at his alleged birthplace, Narni
Narni
in Italy, at Cocceio Nerva
Nerva
street.[60][61]

Nerva
Nerva
as Jupiter; cast of a sculpture in the Capitoline Museums (Pushkin Museum, Moscow).

Sculpture in Narni
Narni
town.

Unique, late 1st century AD bust of emperor Nerva
Nerva
in chalcedony from private collection.

In popular culture[edit] Nerva
Nerva
was played by Norman Wooland in the 1951 film Quo Vadis. He was also played by Giuliano Gemma
Giuliano Gemma
in the 1964 film Revolt of the Praetorians. Nerva–Antonine family tree[edit]

v t e

Nerva–Antonine family tree

Q. Marcius Barea Soranus

Q. Marcius Barea Sura

Antonia Furnilla

M. Cocceius Nerva

Sergia Plautilla

P. Aelius Hadrianus

Titus (r. 79–81)

Marcia Furnilla

Marcia

Trajanus Pater

Nerva (r. 96–98)

Ulpia[i]

Aelius Hadrianus Marullinus

Julia Flavia[ii]

Marciana[iii]

C. Salonius Matidius[iv]

Trajan (r. 98–117)

Plotina

P. Acilius Attianus

P. Aelius Afer[v]

Paulina Major[vi]

Lucius Mindius (2)

Libo Rupilius Frugi (3)

Matidia[vii]

L. Vibius Sabinus (1)[viii]

Paulina Minor[vi]

L. Julius Ursus Servianus[ix]

Matidia Minor[vii]

Suetonius?[x]

Sabina[iii]

Hadrian[v][xi][vi] (r. 117–138)

Antinous[xii]

Julia Balbilla?[xiii]

C. Fuscus Salinator I

Julia Serviana Paulina

M. Annius Verus[xiv]

Rupilia Faustina[xv]

Boionia Procilla

Cn. Arrius Antoninus

L. Ceionius Commodus

Appia Severa

C. Fuscus Salinator II

L. Caesennius Paetus

Arria Antonina

Arria Fadilla[xvi]

T. Aurelius Fulvus

L. Caesennius Antoninus

L. Commodus

Fundania Plautia

ignota[xvii]

C. Avidius Nigrinus

M. Annius Verus[xv]

Domitia Lucilla[xviii]

Fundania[xix]

M. Annius Libo[xv]

FAUSTINA[xvi]

Antoninus Pius (r. 138–161)[xvi]

L. Aelius Caesar[xvii]

Avidia Plautia[xvii]

Cornificia[xv]

MARCUS AURELIUS (r. 161–180)[xx]

FAUSTINA Minor[xx]

C. Avidius Cassius[xxi]

Aurelia Fadilla[xvi]

LUCIUS VERUS (r. 161–169)[xvii] (1)

Ceionia Fabia[xvii]

Plautius Quintillus[xxii]

Q. Servilius Pudens

Ceionia Plautia[xvii]

Cornificia Minor[xxiii]

M. Petronius Sura

COMMODUS (r. 177–192)[xx]

Fadilla[xxiii]

M. Annius Verus Caesar[xx]

Ti.  Claudius
Claudius
Pompeianus (2)

Lucilla[xx]

M. Plautius Quintillus[xvii]

Junius Licinius
Licinius
Balbus

Servilia Ceionia

Petronius Antoninus

L. Aurelius Agaclytus (2)

Aurelia Sabina[xxiii]

L. Antistius Burrus (1)

Plautius Quintillus

Plautia Servilla

C. Furius Sabinus Timesitheus

Antonia Gordiana

Junius Licinius
Licinius
Balbus?

Furia Sabina Tranquillina

GORDIAN III (r. 238–244)

(1) = 1st spouse (2) = 2nd spouse (3) = 3rd spouse

  Reddish purple indicates emperor of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty

  lighter purple indicates designated imperial heir of said dynasty who never reigned

  grey indicates unsuccessful imperial aspirants

  bluish purple indicates emperors of other dynasties

dashed lines indicate adoption; dotted lines indicate love affairs/unmarried relationships small caps = posthumously deified (Augusti, Augustae, or other)

Notes: Except where otherwise noted, the notes below indicate that an individual's parentage is as shown in the above family tree.

^ Sister of Trajan's father: Giacosa (1977), p. 7. ^ Giacosa (1977), p. 8. ^ a b Levick (2014), p. 161. ^ Husband of Ulpia Marciana: Levick (2014), p. 161. ^ a b Giacosa (1977), p. 7. ^ a b c DIR contributor (Herbert W. Benario, 2000), "Hadrian". ^ a b Giacosa (1977), p. 9. ^ Husband of Salonia Matidia: Levick (2014), p. 161. ^ Smith (1870), "Julius Servianus".[dead link] ^ Suetonius
Suetonius
a possible lover of Sabina: One interpretation of HA Hadrianus 11:3 ^ Smith (1870), "Hadrian", pp. 319–322.[dead link] ^ Lover of Hadrian: Lambert (1984), p. 99 and passim; deification: Lamber (1984), pp. 2-5, etc. ^ Julia Balbilla a possible lover of Sabina: A. R. Birley (1997), Hadrian, the Restless Emperor, p. 251, cited in Levick (2014), p. 30, who is sceptical of this suggestion. ^ Husband of Rupilia Faustina: Levick (2014), p. 163. ^ a b c d Levick (2014), p. 163. ^ a b c d Levick (2014), p. 162. ^ a b c d e f g Levick (2014), p. 164. ^ Wife of M. Annius Verus: Giacosa (1977), p. 10. ^ Wife of M. Annius Libo: Levick (2014), p. 163. ^ a b c d e Giacosa (1977), p. 10. ^ The epitomator of Cassius Dio (72.22) gives the story that Faustina the Elder promised to marry Avidius Cassius. This is also echoed in HA "Marcus Aurelius" 24. ^ Husband of Ceionia Fabia: Levick (2014), p. 164. ^ a b c Levick (2014), p. 117.

References:

DIR contributors (2000). "De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and Their Families". Retrieved 2015-04-14.  Giacosa, Giorgio (1977). Women of the Caesars: Their Lives and Portraits on Coins. Translated by R. Ross Holloway. Milan: Edizioni Arte e Moneta. ISBN 0-8390-0193-2.  Lambert, Royston (1984). Beloved and God: The Story of Hadrian
Hadrian
and Antinous. New York: Viking. ISBN 0-670-15708-2.  Levick, Barbara (2014). Faustina I and II: Imperial Women of the Golden Age. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-537941-9.  William Smith, ed. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 

See also[edit]

Cocceia (gens)

Notes[edit]

^ In Classical Latin, Nerva's name would be inscribed as MARCVS COCCEIVS NERVA CAESAR AVGVSTVS. ^ a b c d Grainger (2003), p. 29 ^ " Aurelius Victor records the year as 35, Cassius Dio as 30. The latter has been more widely accepted" (Wend, n. 2). Ronald Syme considered the dates of Nerva's later offices more consistent with 35; see Syme, Ronald (1958). Tacitus. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 653. ISBN 0-19-814327-3.  ^ a b Syme (1982), p. 83 ^ Grainger (2003), p. 28 ^ Murison (1003), p. 148 ^ Murison (2003), p. 149 ^ a b c Murison (2003), p. 150 ^ Jones (1992), p. 144 ^ Jones (1992), p. 149 ^ Jones (1992), p. 193 ^ a b Murison (2003), p. 153 ^ Murison (2003), p. 151 ^ Grainger (2003), pp. 4–27 ^ a b Jones (1992), p. 194 ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LXVII.15 ^ Syme, Ronald (1983). "Domitian: The Last Years". Chiron. 13: 121–146.  ^ a b Jones (1992), p. 195 ^ Murison, p. 156 ^ Jones (1992), p. 196 ^ a b Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Domitian
Domitian
23 ^ a b c d e Cassius Dio, Roman History LXVIII.1 ^ Last, Hugh (1948). "On the Flavian Reliefs from the Palazzo della Cancelleria". The Journal of Roman Studies. Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies. 38 (1–2): 9–14. doi:10.2307/298163. JSTOR 298163.  ^ Pliny the Younger, Panegyricus 47.4 ^ a b c d Cassius Dio, Roman History LXVIII.2 ^ Wend, David (1997). " Nerva
Nerva
(96–98 A.D.)". Retrieved 2007-09-23.  ^ a b c d Cassius Dio, Roman History LXVIII.3 ^ a b c Syme (1930), p. 63–65 ^ For a complete overview of financial reforms, see Merlin, Alfred (1906). Les Revers Monétaires de l'Empereur Nerva
Nerva
(French). Paris. Retrieved 2007-08-14.  ^ Ashley, Alice M. (1921). "The 'Alimenta' of Nerva
Nerva
and His Successors". The English Historical Review. 36 (141): 5–16. doi:10.1093/ehr/XXXVI.CXLI.5.  ^ Sutherland, C.H.V. (1935). "The State of the Imperial Treasury at the Death of Domitian". The Journal of Roman Studies. Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies. 25: 150–162. doi:10.2307/296596. JSTOR 296596.  ^ Syme (1930), p. 61 ^ Syme (1930), p. 58 ^ Syme (1930), p. 60 ^ Platner, Samuel Ball (1929). Ashby, Thomas, ed. A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome. London: Oxford University Press. pp. 260–263. Retrieved 2007-09-22.  ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Domitian
Domitian
5 ^ a b c d Lendering, Jona (2005). "Casperius Aelianus". Livius.org. Retrieved 2007-09-22.  ^ Aurelius Victor (attrib.), Epitome de Caesaribus 12.7 ^ Aurelius Victor (attrib.), Epitome de Caesaribus 12.6 ^ Crassus was exiled to Tarentum and later executed under emperor Hadrian. ^ Cassius Dio describes Nerva
Nerva
as having to vomit up his food, see Dio, LXVIII.1.3 ^ a b Lendering, Jona. "Pliny, Nerva
Nerva
and Trajan". Livius.org. Retrieved 2007-08-13.  ^ Aurelius Victor (attrib.), Epitome de Caesaribus 12.8 ^ a b Syme (1930), p. 62 ^ Pliny the Younger, Panygericus 7.4 ^ Syme, Ronald (1980). "Guard Prefects of Trajan
Trajan
and Hadrian". The Journal of Roman Studies. Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies. 70: 64. doi:10.2307/299556. JSTOR 299556.  ^ a b Cassius Dio, Roman History LXVIII.4 ^ Geer, Russell Mortimer (1936). "Second Thoughts on the Imperial Succession from Nerva
Nerva
to Commodus". Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 67: 47–54. doi:10.2307/283226. JSTOR 283226.  ^ Aurelius Victor (attrib.), Epitome de Caesaribus 12.10 ^ a b Jerome, Chronicle, Romans, p275 ^ Aurelius Victor (attrib.), Epitome de Caesaribus 12.11 ^ Aurelius Victor (attrib.), Epitome de Caesaribus 12.12 ^ Pliny the Younger, Panegyricus 11.1 ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LXVIII.5 ^ Tacitus, Agricola 3. The original phrase is primo statim beatissimi saeculi ortu Nerva
Nerva
Caesar res olim dissociabilis miscuerit, principatum ac libertatem. ^ Aurelius Victor (attrib.), Epitome de Caesaribus 11.15 ^ Gibbon, Edward (1906) [1776]. "3". In John Bagnell Bury. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
Vol. 1 (J.B. Bury ed.). New York: Fred de Fau and Co. Retrieved 2007-08-13.  ^ Murison, pp. 155–156 ^ Platner, Samuel Ball (1929). Ashby, Thomas, ed. A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome: Forum Nervae. London: Oxford University Press. pp. 227–229. Retrieved 2007-09-22.  ^ "The Nerva
Nerva
Statue". Gloucester.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-30.  ^ "Narnia italy". Retrieved 2008-02-02. 

References[edit]

Grainger, John D. (2003). Nerva
Nerva
and the Roman Succession Crisis of AD 96–99. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-28917-3.  Jones, Brian W. (1992). The Emperor Domitian. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-04229-1.  Murison, Charles Leslie (2003). "M. Cocceius Nerva
Nerva
and the Flavians" (subscription required). Transactions of the American Philological Association. University of Western Ontario. 133 (1): 147–157. doi:10.1353/apa.2003.0008.  Syme, Ronald (1930). "The Imperial Finances under Domitian, Nerva
Nerva
and Trajan". The Journal of Roman Studies. Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies. 20: 55–70. doi:10.2307/297385.  Syme, Ronald (1982). "The Marriage of Rubellius Blandus". The American Journal of Philology. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 103 (1): 62–85. doi:10.2307/293964. JSTOR 293964. 

Further reading[edit]

Elkins, Nathan T. (2017). The Image of Political Power in the Reign of Nerva, AD 96–98. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190648039.  Syme, Ronald (1958). Tacitus. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-814327-3.  Syme, Ronald (1983). "Domitian: The Last Years". Chiron. 13: 121–146. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nerva.

Primary sources[edit]

Cassius Dio, Roman History Book 68, English translation Aurelius Victor (attrib.), Epitome de Caesaribus Chapter 12, English translation

Secondary material[edit]

Narnia web links, International links', International links from Narnia.it web site Wend, David (1998). " Nerva
Nerva
(96–98 A.D.)". De Imperatoribus Romanis. Retrieved 2007-08-11.   Pelham, Henry Francis (1911). "Nerva, Marcus Cocceius". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 19 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 393–394. 

Nerva Nervan-Antonian dynasty Born: 8 November AD 30 Died: January 25 AD 98

Political offices

Regnal titles

Preceded by Domitian Roman Emperor 96–98 Succeeded by Trajan

Political offices

Preceded by Lucius Annius Bassus, and Gaius Laecanius Bassus Caecina Paetus as Suffect consuls Consul of the Roman Empire 71 with Vespasian
Vespasian
III Succeeded by Domitian, and Gnaeus Pedius Cascus as Suffect consuls

Preceded by Aulus Vicirius Proculus, and Manius Laberius Maximus as Suffect consuls Consul of the Roman Empire 90 with Domitian
Domitian
XV, followed by Lucius Cornelius Pusio Annius Messala Succeeded by Lucius Antistius Rusticus, and Servius Julius Servianus as Suffect consuls

Preceded by Tiberius
Tiberius
Catius Caesius Fronto, and Marcus Calpurnius [...]icus as Suffect consuls Consul of the Roman Empire 97 with Lucius Verginius Rufus III Succeeded by Gnaeus Arrius Antoninus II, and Gaius Calpurnius Piso as Suffect consuls

Preceded by Publius Cornelius Tacitus, and Marcus Ostorius Scapula as Suffect consuls Consul of the Roman Empire 98 with Trajan
Trajan
II Succeeded by Gnaeus Domitius Afer Curvius Tullus as Suffect consul

v t e

Roman and Byzantine emperors

Principate 27 BC – 235 AD

Augustus Tiberius Caligula Claudius Nero Galba Otho Vitellius Vespasian Titus Domitian Nerva Trajan Hadrian Antoninus Pius Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
and Lucius Verus Commodus Pertinax Didius Julianus (Pescennius Niger) (Clodius Albinus) Septimius Severus Caracalla
Caracalla
with Geta Macrinus
Macrinus
with Diadumenian Elagabalus Severus Alexander

Crisis 235–284

Maximinus Thrax Gordian I
Gordian I
and Gordian II Pupienus
Pupienus
and Balbinus Gordian III Philip the Arab
Philip the Arab
with Philip II Decius
Decius
with Herennius Etruscus Hostilian Trebonianus Gallus
Trebonianus Gallus
with Volusianus Aemilianus Valerian Gallienus
Gallienus
with Saloninus and Valerian II Claudius
Claudius
Gothicus Quintillus Aurelian Tacitus Florian Probus Carus Carinus
Carinus
and Numerian

Gallic Emperors: Postumus (Laelianus) Marius Victorinus (Domitianus II) Tetricus I
Tetricus I
with Tetricus II
Tetricus II
as Caesar

Dominate 284–395

Diocletian
Diocletian
(whole empire) Diocletian
Diocletian
(East) and Maximian
Maximian
(West) Diocletian
Diocletian
(East) and Maximian
Maximian
(West) with Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
(West) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
(West) with Severus (West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Severus (West) with Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Maxentius
Maxentius
(West) with Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Licinius
Licinius
I (West) with Constantine the Great (West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Maxentius
Maxentius
(alone) Licinius
Licinius
I (West) and Maximinus II (East) with Constantine the Great (Self-proclaimed Augustus) and Valerius Valens Licinius
Licinius
I (East) and Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) with Licinius
Licinius
II, Constantine II, and Crispus
Crispus
as Caesares (Martinian) Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(whole empire) with son Crispus
Crispus
as Caesar Constantine II Constans
Constans
I Magnentius
Magnentius
with Decentius as Caesar Constantius II
Constantius II
with Vetranio Julian Jovian Valentinian the Great Valens Gratian Valentinian II Magnus Maximus
Magnus Maximus
with Victor Theodosius the Great (Eugenius)

Western Empire 395–480

Honorius Constantine III with son Constans
Constans
II) Constantius III Joannes Valentinian III Petronius Maximus
Petronius Maximus
with Palladius Avitus Majorian Libius Severus Anthemius Olybrius Glycerius Julius Nepos Romulus Augustulus

Eastern/ Byzantine Empire 395–1204

Arcadius Theodosius II Pulcheria Marcian Leo I the Thracian Leo II Zeno (first reign) Basiliscus
Basiliscus
with son Marcus as co-emperor Zeno (second reign) Anastasius I Dicorus Justin I Justinian the Great Justin II Tiberius
Tiberius
II Constantine Maurice with son Theodosius as co-emperor Phocas Heraclius Constantine III Heraklonas Constans
Constans
II Constantine IV
Constantine IV
with brothers Heraclius
Heraclius
and Tiberius
Tiberius
and then Justinian II as co-emperors Justinian II
Justinian II
(first reign) Leontios Tiberios III Justinian II
Justinian II
(second reign) with son Tiberius
Tiberius
as co-emperor Philippikos Anastasios II Theodosius III Leo III the Isaurian Constantine V Artabasdos Leo IV the Khazar Constantine VI Irene Nikephoros I Staurakios Michael I Rangabe
Michael I Rangabe
with son Theophylact as co-emperor Leo V the Armenian
Leo V the Armenian
with Symbatios-Constantine as junior emperor Michael II
Michael II
the Amorian Theophilos Michael III Basil I
Basil I
the Macedonian Leo VI the Wise Alexander Constantine VII
Constantine VII
Porphyrogennetos Romanos I Lekapenos
Romanos I Lekapenos
with sons Christopher, Stephen and Constantine as junior co-emperors Romanos II Nikephoros II Phokas John I Tzimiskes Basil II Constantine VIII Zoë (first reign) and Romanos III Argyros Zoë (first reign) and Michael IV the Paphlagonian Michael V Kalaphates Zoë (second reign) with Theodora Zoë (second reign) and Constantine IX Monomachos Constantine IX Monomachos
Constantine IX Monomachos
(sole emperor) Theodora Michael VI Bringas Isaac I Komnenos Constantine X Doukas Romanos IV Diogenes Michael VII Doukas
Michael VII Doukas
with brothers Andronikos and Konstantios and son Constantine Nikephoros III Botaneiates Alexios I Komnenos John II Komnenos
John II Komnenos
with Alexios Komnenos as co-emperor Manuel I Komnenos Alexios II Komnenos Andronikos I Komnenos Isaac II Angelos Alexios III Angelos Alexios IV Angelos Nicholas Kanabos (chosen by the Senate) Alexios V Doukas

Empire of Nicaea 1204–1261

Constantine Laskaris Theodore I Laskaris John III Doukas Vatatzes Theodore II Laskaris John IV Laskaris

Eastern/ Byzantine Empire 1261–1453

Michael VIII Palaiologos Andronikos II Palaiologos
Andronikos II Palaiologos
with Michael IX Palaiologos
Michael IX Palaiologos
as co-emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos John V Palaiologos John VI Kantakouzenos
John VI Kantakouzenos
with John V Palaiologos
John V Palaiologos
and Matthew Kantakouzenos as co-emperors John V Palaiologos Andronikos IV Palaiologos John VII Palaiologos Andronikos V Palaiologos Manuel II Palaiologos John VIII Palaiologos Constantine XI Palaiologos

Italics indicates a co-emperor, while underlining indicates an usurper.

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 69725573 LCCN: nr89013885 ISNI: 0000 0000 6300 7315 GND: 118785931 SUDOC: 068934661 BNF:

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