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NERVA (M. Cocceius Nerva), Roman emperor, 96–98 C.E. He mounted the throne at the tumultuous time following the death of *Domitian and succeeded in reconciling the interests of the traditionalist senate with those of the forces of spiritual revolution, Jews, Judeophile, or Christian. He had a generous social and economic policy which attempted to alleviate the fiscal excesses and increasing pauperism in the empire. He abolished the extortionist procedure of the *Fiscus Judaicus that had given rise to abuse under Domitian. In commemoration of this he issued coins with the inscription Fisci Judaici Calumnia Sublata. He exempted adherents of the Christian faith from the obligation to pay the Fiscus Judaicus, thus officially recognizing Christianity as a new religion and not merely a sect.


Stein, in: Pauly-Wissowa, 7 (1900), 133–54; R. Syme, in: Journal of Roman Studies, 20 (1930), 55–70; E.M. Smallwood, Documents Illustrating the Principles of Nerva. Trajan and Hadrian (1966); M.A. Levi, L'impero romano, 1 (1967); H.J. Leon, The Jews of Ancient Rome (1960), 36, 252; Baron, Social2, 2 (1952), 83, 106.

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.