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Roman Empire

Ruler: Nerva
Reigned: 18th Sept. 96 AD - 28th Jan. 98 AD
Denomination: AR Denarius
Mint: Rome
Date of Issue: Jan-Sept 97 AD
Obverse: Laureate head right. "IMP. NERVA CAES. AVG. P.M. TR. POT. II"[1]
Reverse: Sacrificial implements - simpulum, sprinkler, ewer and lituus. "COS. III PATER PATRIAE"[2]
Reference: RCVM 3023 type, RSC 51, RIC II 34
Weight: 3.1 gms
Diameter: 17.8 mm
Comment: [1] = "IMPERATOR NERVA CAESAR AVGVSTVS PONTIFEX MAXIMUS TRIBVNVS POTESTAS II"
[2] = "CONSVL III PATER PATRIAE"

NERVA (Marcus Cocceius Nerva)

  • Marcus Cocceius Nerva was born at Narnia, 50 miles north of Rome, on 8th November 35 AD, the son of a lawyer.
  • He followed in his father's footsteps, acheiving high office and helping Nero to suppress the conspiracy of Piso in 65 AD.
  • He served as Consul alongside Vespasian and Domitian.
  • Nerva was acclaimed emperor by the senate on 18 September 96, after the murder of Domitian.
  • There was a violent backlash against Domitian, and the elderly Nerva had difficulty restoring order.
  • Nerva was a benevolent ruler, but this brought opposition from the army who had fared well under Domitian.
  • In 97 AD Casperius Aelianus, commander of the Praetorian Guard, imprisoned Nerva in the imperial palace, demanding the surrender of Petronius and Parthenius, the people responsible for Domitian's death. Nerva showed great bravery but the two were never the less killed.
  • Nerva was childless, so he adopted Marcus Ulpius Traianus (Trajan) to help him and to provide a strong successor. Trajan was governor of Upper Germany, a respected military leader. The formal adoption took place in October 97 AD.
  • Nerva died of a fever on 28th January 98 AD.

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