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Bible Dictionaries

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Nerva, Roman Emperor

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Nerva , Roman emperor, a.d. 96–98. M. Cocceius Nerva was the third in succession of a family conspicuous for legal and administrative power in the first century of the empire. On the assassination of Domitian by Stephanus, the freedman and agent of Domitilla, he was elected as emperor by the soldiers, the people, and the senate, and reversed the policy of his predecessor. The connexion of Stephanus with Domitilla, if she and Flavius Clemens were indeed Christians, may indicate that the movement that placed Nerva on the throne was in part, at least, designed to further a more tolerant system of government than that of Domitian. Such, at any rate, was its effect. St. John was recalled from his exile in Patmos (Eus. H. E. iii. 20). The crowd of delatores , who had preferred accusations of treason, atheism, and Judaism, which fell most heavily on the Christians, were banished, and those who had been sent to prison or exile on these charges were recalled and set at liberty. Other measures of the emperor, though not distinctly Christian, tended in the same direction.

[E.H.P.]


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Nerva, Roman Emperor'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hwd/n/nerva-roman-emperor.html. 1911.

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