Marcus Cocceius Nerva
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Nerva, Marcus Cocceius
Born A.D. 30 or 35; died 98. Roman emperor from 96.
The first of the Antonine emperors, Nerva came from an old senatorial family. During his reign, prosecutions for lèse majesté —very frequent under Nerva’s predecessor, Domitian—were ended, taxes were reduced, and the alimenta (a system of state support of poor children and orphans) were introduced. In addition, an agrarian law was passed according to which 60 million sesterces’ worth of land plots were distributed among the poorest citizens.