Nerva: ‘Pater Patriae’ – Aging Roman Emperor Who Succeeded In Time Of Crisis

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A. Sutherland  – AncientPages.com – Following the assassination of Domitian of the Flavian Dynasty (81–96) on September 18, 96, a new Emperor appeared on the same day. Domitian was succeeded by his friend and advisor Nerva, an aging senator who had no biological children and no known wives.

Nerva: 'Pater Patriae' - Aging Roman Emperor Who Succeeded In Time Of Crisis

Left: Bronze statue of Nerva in the Forum Romanum, Rome. Source; Right: Rome, Forum Nervae, the “Colonnacce” (remains of columns against the internal wall of Forum Nerva. Source

Nerva founded the long-lasting Nervan – Antonian dynasty, a strong dynasty of seven Roman Emperors who ruled over the Roman Empire from 96 to 192. These Emperors included Nerva (reigned 96–98 CE), Trajan (98–117), Hadrian (117–138), Antoninus Pius (138–161), and Marcus Aurelius (161–180), Lucius Verus (161-169) and Commodus (177-192).

The first five of them are commonly known as the “Five Good Emperors”, who were benevolent rulers, who demonstrated justice, restraint in their actions, and producing Empire’s period of greatest stability.

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