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Nerva: The First Good Emperor Of Rome

1703 words - 7 pages

On the 8 of November, [A.D. 35], I was born into this glorious world (Henderson 169). My noble family raised me in fairest Narnia in Umbria (Birley 30). Although I was born into a Senatorial family, I pursued neither a military career nor a public speaking one (Wend).

From as far back as my ancestors can be traced, somehow they have always been involved in the political realm (Birley 30). My dearest great-grandfather, M. Cocceius Nerva, was consul [36 B.C.]; his grandfather, a man with the same name, was a fine jurist who accompanied Tiberius to Capri in [26 A.D.] (Wend). I was a son of a Roman lawyer in an aristocratic family (Woolf 364). On my maternal side, my darling mother’s Aunt Rubellia Bassa, was the great-granddaughter of Tiberius himself, and my great-uncle, L. Cocceius Nerva, played a part in the negotiations that secured a treaty in 40 B.C. between Octavian and Antony (Wend).

I held various priesthoods, being augur, sodalis Augustalis, and a Palatine salius (Birley 30). With the title of praetor designate in 65, I was instrumental in revealing the conspiracy of Piso against the emperor Nero (Wend). Because of this glorious accomplishment, I received triumphal ornaments and my statue placed in his fine palace (Wend).When I served as an urban quaestor, the lowest ranking regular magistrate whose responsibility was the treasury, I began to work my way up in the political realm (Birley 30). [A.D. 71], I was Consul for the first time under Vespasian’s rule (Henderson 170). [71 A.D.] My loyalty was rewarded with a joint consulship with the Vespasian, the only time he ever held the office without his son Titus (Wend). I was Consul a second time under Domitian [A.D. 92] (Henderson 170). This honor was perhaps the result of his alerting the emperor about the revolt of Antonius Saturninus, the governor of Upper Germany [89A.D.] (Wend).

With the harsh and unfair regulations enforced under Domitian, the Senate chose me to succeed Domitian as emperor (Woolf 364). When the emperor was unwilling to tolerate any criticism, the Senate stepped in and chose me to take over the title (Wend).On the fourteenth day before the Kalends of October [18 September, A.D. 96] I became emperor (Birley 31). I was proclaimed emperor by the Senate with enthusiasm, after Domitian was victim to his wife and domestic servants (Henderson 171). I planned to change the error of Domitian’s ways with Valens and Vetus as my consuls (Birley 31).

Many Romans would say my, “mild disposition was respected by the good” (Gibbon 29). Prior to Domitian’s assassination, I proved myself to be a capable senator, one with political connections and an ability to negotiate (Wend). First and foremost, I wanted to be known as a kindly and benevolent leader (Mills 391). I became emperor at the age of sixty-three (Dudley 172). I seemed to be a safe, traditional candidate, one that was unlike Domitian and would not do much harm to Rome’s shaken state (Woolf 364). I was also chosen...

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