The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Nerva

] 168


gated with his wife to Tarentum, and that the senate blamed the emperor for his leniency ; but Nerva had sworn at the commencement of his reign that he would put no senator to death, and he kept his word.

The feebleness of the emperor was shown by a mutiny of the Praetorian soldiers, who were either urged on by their Praefectus, Aelianus Casperius, or had bribed him to support them. The soldiers demanded the punishment of the assassins of Domitian, which the emperor refused. Though his body was feeble, his will was strong, and he offered them his own neck, and declared his readi­ness to die. However, it appears that the soldiers effected their purpose, and Nerva was obliged to put Petronius Secundus and Parthenius to death, or to permit them to be massacred by the soldiers (Plin. Panegyr. c. 6 ; Atir. Vict. Epit. 12 ; Dion Cass. Iviii. 3). Casperius, it is said, carried his insolence so far as to compel the emperor to thank the soldiers for what they had done.

Nerva felt his weakness, but he showed his noble character and his good sense by appointing as his successor a man who possessed both vigour and ability to direct public affairs. He adopted as his son and successor, without any regard to his own kin, M. Ulpius Trajanus, who was then at the head of an army in Germany, and probably on the Lower Rhine. It was about this time that news arrived of a victory in Pannonia, which is commemorated by a medal, and it was apparently on this occasion that Nerva assumed the title of Germanicus. He conferred on Trajan the title of Caesar and Germanicus, and the tribunitian power. Trajan was thus associated with Nerva in the government, and tranquillity was restored at Rome. In the year a. d. 98, Nerva and Trajan were con­suls. The emperor died suddenly on the 27th of January, in the sixty-third year of his age, ac­cording to Victor ; but according to Dion, at the age of sixty-five years, ten months and ten days. Eutropius incorrectly states that he was seventy-one. Victor records an eclipse of the sun on the day of Nerva's death, but the eclipse happened on the 21st of March, a. d. 98.

The body of Nerva was carried to the pile on the shoulders of the senators, as that of Augustus had been, and his remains were placed in the sepulchre of Augustus. Nerva received the honour of deification. (The authorities for the reign of Nerva are contained in Tillemont, Histoire des Em-pereurs, vol. ii., who has made some use of the doubtful authority of the Life of Apollonius by Phi-lostratus ; Dion Cass. lib. Ixviii. with the notes of Reimarus ; Aurelius Victor, ed. Arntzenius ; and C. Plinius, Panegyricus, ed. Schaefer.) [G. L.]


NERVA, LICI'NIUS. 1. C. licinius nerva, a son of C. Licinius Nerva, of whom nothing is known. Nerva the son was one of the legati who, in b.c. 168, brought the news to Rome of


the defeat of the Illyrian army, and the capture of Gentius, and the conquest of Illyricum. In b. c* 167, he was one of the six praetors, with the pro­vince of Hispania Ulterior. Drumann concludes that he did not go to his province, because at the close of b.c. 167 he was one of the commissioners appointed to carry back the Thracian hostages, which reason is not quite conclusive..- (Liv. xlv. 3, 16, 42.)

2. A. licinius nerva is called the brother of Cains by Drumann, which is possible, but no proof is alleged. He was a tribunus plebis, b.c. 178, and he proposed that the consul, A. Manlius Vulso, should not hold his command among the Istri be­yond a certain day, the object of the tribune being to bring Manlius to trial for misconducting the, war. (Liv. xli. 10.) In b. c. 171 Nerva was one of three commissioners sent to Crete to get archers for the army of the consul P. Licinius Crassus, and in b.c. 169 he was sent with others into Mace­donia to examine and report on the state of the Roman army there, and the resources of king Per­seus. In b. c. 166, he was a praetor, with one of the Hispaniae as his province. (Liv. xlii. 35, xliv. 18, xlv. 44.)

3. A. licinius nerva, probably the son of the praetor of b.c. 166. According to Drumann he was praetor in b. c. 143, and in b. c. 142 governor of Macedonia, when his quaestor, L. TremelliuSj defeated a Pseudoperseus, or a Pseudophilippus, for there seems some uncertainty about the name, and a body of 16,000 men in arms. Nerva re­ceived on this occasion the title of imperator. (Liv. Epit. 53 ; Eutrop. iv. 15.)

4. C. licinius nerva. His precise relation­ship to the preceding is unknown. He is men­tioned by Cicero (Brut. 34), and contrasted with L. Bestia, whence Meyer concludes that he may have been Bestia's colleague in the tribuneship. Cicero calls him a bad man, but not without some eloquence.

5. licinius nerva, is known only from the coins as a quaestor of Decimus Brutus, in the war before Mutina. (Drumann, Geschiclde ftoms, vol. iv. p. 19, No. 85.)

6. P. licinius nerva, in b. c. 103, was pro­praetor in Sicily at the time when the second Ser­vile War broke out. The senate had made a de­cree that no free person of those nations which had alliance and friendship with Rome should be en­slaved, and it was alleged that the Publicani had seized and sold many as slaves, probably because they did not pay the taxes. Nerva published an edict that all persons in Sicily who were entitled to the benefit of the decree should come to Syracuse to make out their case. Above eight hundred persons thus recovered their freedom, but those who held persons in slavery, fearing that the mat­ter would go further, prevailed on Nerva not to allow any further claims of freedom to be made, to which he assented, and a rising of the slaves was the consequence. This war lasted four years, and was ended by the proconsul Aquillius. The his­tory of this rising is told circumstantially by Dio-dorus (xxxvi.; Excerpts by Photius, Cod. 244). The praetor by treachery gained some advantage over the slaves, and the Roman troops after this success retired to their quarters. But the disturb­ance soon broke out, and it assumed the form of a regular war under Athenion. L. Licinius Lucullus, the father of Lucullus, the vanquisher of Mithii*

About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of