Nerva was Roman emperor from 96 to 98. Nerva became emperor when aged 66, after a lifetime of imperial service under Nero and the rulers of the Flavian dynasty. Under Nero, he was a member of the imperial entourage and played a vital part in exposing the Pisonian conspiracy of 65; as a loyalist to the Flavians, he attained consulships in 71 and 90 during the reigns of Vespasian and Domitian, respectively. On 18 September 96, Domitian was assassinated in a palace conspiracy involving members of the Praetorian Guard and several of his freedmen. On the same day, Nerva was declared emperor by the Roman Senate; this was the first time. As the new ruler of the Roman Empire, he vowed to restore liberties, curtailed during the autocratic government of Domitian. Nerva's brief reign was marred by financial difficulties and his inability to assert his authority over the Roman army. A revolt by the Praetorian Guard in October 97 forced him to adopt an heir. After some deliberation Nerva adopted a young and popular general, as his successor.
After fifteen months in office, Nerva died of natural causes on 27 January 98. Upon his death he was deified by Trajan. Although much of his life remains obscure, Nerva was considered a wise and moderate emperor by ancient historians. Nerva's greatest success was his ability to ensure a peaceful transition of power after his death by selecting Trajan as his heir, thus founding the Nerva–Antonine dynasty. Marcus Cocceius Nerva was born in the village of Narni, 50 kilometers north of Rome, as the son of Marcus Cocceius Nerva, Suffect Consul during the reign of Caligula, Sergia Plautilla. Ancient sources report the date as either 30 or 35, he had at least one attested sister, named Cocceia, who married Lucius Salvius Titianus Otho, the brother of the earlier Emperor Otho. Like Vespasian, the founder of the Flavian dynasty, Nerva was a member of the Italian nobility rather than one of the elite of Rome; the Cocceii were among the most esteemed and prominent political families of the late Republic and early Empire, attaining consulships in each successive generation.
The direct ancestors of Nerva on his father's side, all named Marcus Cocceius Nerva, were associated with imperial circles from the time of Emperor Augustus. His great-grandfather was Consul in 36 BC, Governor of Asia in the same year, his grandfather became Consul Suffect in July of either 21 or 22, was known as a personal friend of Emperor Tiberius, accompanying the emperor during his voluntary seclusion on Capri from 23 onwards, dying in 33. Nerva's father attained the consulship under the emperor Caligula; the Cocceii were connected with the Julio-Claudian dynasty through the marriage of Sergia Plautilla's brother Gaius Octavius Laenas, Rubellia Bassa, the great-granddaughter of Tiberius. Not much of Nerva's early life or career is recorded, but it appears he did not pursue the usual administrative or military career, he was praetor-elect in the year 65 and, like his ancestors, moved in imperial circles as a skilled diplomat and strategist. As an advisor to Emperor Nero, he helped detect and expose the Pisonian conspiracy of 65.
His exact contribution to the investigation is not known, but his services must have been considerable, since they earned him rewards equal to those of Nero's guard prefect Tigellinus. He received triumphal honors—which was reserved for military victories—and the right to have his statues placed throughout the palace. According to the contemporary poet Martial, Nero held Nerva's literary abilities in high esteem, hailing him as the "Tibullus of our time". Another prominent member of Nero's entourage was Vespasian, an old and respected general who had celebrated military triumphs during the 40s, it appears Vespasian befriended Nerva during his time as an imperial advisor, may have asked him to watch over Vespasian's youngest son Domitian when Vespasian departed for the Jewish war in 67. The suicide of Nero on 9 June 68 brought the Julio-Claudian dynasty to an end, leading to the chaotic Year of the Four Emperors, which saw the successive rise and fall of the emperors Galba and Vitellius, until the accession of Vespasian on 21 December 69.
Nothing is known of Nerva's whereabouts during 69, but despite the fact that Otho was his brother-in-law, he appears to have been one of the earliest and strongest supporters of the Flavians. For services unknown, he was rewarded with a consulship early in Vespasian's reign in 71; this was a remarkable honour, not only because he held this office early under the new regime, but because it was an ordinary consulship, making him one of the few non-Flavians to be honoured in this way under Vespasian. After 71 Nerva again disappears from historical record continuing his career as an inconspicuous advisor under Vespasian and his sons Titus and Domitian, he re-emerges during the revolt of Saturninus in 89. On 1 January, 89, the governor of Germania Superior, Lucius Antonius Saturninus, his two legions at Mainz, Legio XIV Gemina and Legio XXI Rapax, revolted against the Roman Empire with the aid of a tribe of the Chatti; the governor of Germania Inferior, Lappius Maximus, moved to the region at once, assisted by the procurator of Rhaetia, Titus Flavius Norbanus.
Within twenty-four days the rebellion was crushed, its leaders at Mainz savagely punished. The mutinous legions were sent to the front of Illyricum, while those who had assisted in their defeat were duly rewarded. Domitian opened the year following the revolt by sharing t
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records, its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Armenian, Coptic and many other writing systems; the Greek language holds an important place in the history of Christianity. Greek is the language in which many of the foundational texts in science astronomy and logic and Western philosophy, such as the Platonic dialogues and the works of Aristotle, are composed. Together with the Latin texts and traditions of the Roman world, the study of the Greek texts and society of antiquity constitutes the discipline of Classics. During antiquity, Greek was a spoken lingua franca in the Mediterranean world, West Asia and many places beyond.
It would become the official parlance of the Byzantine Empire and develop into Medieval Greek. In its modern form, Greek is the official language in two countries and Cyprus, a recognised minority language in seven other countries, is one of the 24 official languages of the European Union; the language is spoken by at least 13.2 million people today in Greece, Italy, Albania and the Greek diaspora. Greek roots are used to coin new words for other languages. Greek has been spoken in the Balkan peninsula since around the 3rd millennium BC, or earlier; the earliest written evidence is a Linear B clay tablet found in Messenia that dates to between 1450 and 1350 BC, making Greek the world's oldest recorded living language. Among the Indo-European languages, its date of earliest written attestation is matched only by the now-extinct Anatolian languages; the Greek language is conventionally divided into the following periods: Proto-Greek: the unrecorded but assumed last ancestor of all known varieties of Greek.
The unity of Proto-Greek would have ended as Hellenic migrants entered the Greek peninsula sometime in the Neolithic era or the Bronze Age. Mycenaean Greek: the language of the Mycenaean civilisation, it is recorded in the Linear B script on tablets dating from the 15th century BC onwards. Ancient Greek: in its various dialects, the language of the Archaic and Classical periods of the ancient Greek civilisation, it was known throughout the Roman Empire. Ancient Greek fell into disuse in western Europe in the Middle Ages, but remained in use in the Byzantine world and was reintroduced to the rest of Europe with the Fall of Constantinople and Greek migration to western Europe. Koine Greek: The fusion of Ionian with Attic, the dialect of Athens, began the process that resulted in the creation of the first common Greek dialect, which became a lingua franca across the Eastern Mediterranean and Near East. Koine Greek can be traced within the armies and conquered territories of Alexander the Great and after the Hellenistic colonization of the known world, it was spoken from Egypt to the fringes of India.
After the Roman conquest of Greece, an unofficial bilingualism of Greek and Latin was established in the city of Rome and Koine Greek became a first or second language in the Roman Empire. The origin of Christianity can be traced through Koine Greek, because the Apostles used this form of the language to spread Christianity, it is known as Hellenistic Greek, New Testament Greek, sometimes Biblical Greek because it was the original language of the New Testament and the Old Testament was translated into the same language via the Septuagint. Medieval Greek known as Byzantine Greek: the continuation of Koine Greek, up to the demise of the Byzantine Empire in the 15th century. Medieval Greek is a cover phrase for a whole continuum of different speech and writing styles, ranging from vernacular continuations of spoken Koine that were approaching Modern Greek in many respects, to learned forms imitating classical Attic. Much of the written Greek, used as the official language of the Byzantine Empire was an eclectic middle-ground variety based on the tradition of written Koine.
Modern Greek: Stemming from Medieval Greek, Modern Greek usages can be traced in the Byzantine period, as early as the 11th century. It is the language used by the modern Greeks, apart from Standard Modern Greek, there are several dialects of it. In the modern era, the Greek language entered a state of diglossia: the coexistence of vernacular and archaizing written forms of the language. What came to be known as the Greek language question was a polarization between two competing varieties of Modern Greek: Dimotiki, the vernacular form of Modern Greek proper, Katharevousa, meaning'purified', a compromise between Dimotiki and Ancient Greek, developed in the early 19th century and was used for literary and official purposes in the newly formed Greek state. In 1976, Dimotiki was declared the official language of Greece, having incorporated features of Katharevousa and giving birth to Standard Modern Greek, used today for all official purposes and in education; the historical unity and continuing identity between the various stages of the Greek language is emphasised.
Although Greek h
Constantine IX Monomachos
Constantine IX Monomachos, Latinized as Constantine IX Monomachus, reigned as Byzantine emperor from 11 June 1042 to 11 January 1055. He had been chosen by the Empress Zoë as a husband and co-emperor in 1042, although he had been exiled for conspiring against her previous husband, Emperor Michael IV the Paphlagonian, they ruled together until Zoë died in 1050. During Constantine's reign, the Byzantine Empire fought wars against groups which included the Kievan Rus' and the Seljuq Turks. In the year before his death, the split between the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches took place. Constantine Monomachos was the son of Theodosios Monomachos, an important bureaucrat under Basil II and Constantine VIII. At some point, Theodosios had been suspected of conspiracy and his son's career suffered accordingly. Constantine's position improved after he married his second wife, a niece of Emperor Romanos III Argyros. Catching the eye of Empress Zoë, Constantine was exiled to Mytilene on the island of Lesbos by her second husband, Michael IV.
The death of Michael IV and the overthrow of Michael V in 1042 led to Constantine being recalled from his place of exile and appointed as a judge in Greece. However, prior to commencing his appointment, Constantine was summoned to Constantinople, where the fragile working relationship between Michael V's successors, the empresses Zoë and Theodora, was breaking down. After two months of increasing acrimony between the two, Zoë decided to search for a new husband, thereby hoping to prevent her sister from increasing her popularity and authority. After her first preference displayed contempt for the empress and her second died under mysterious circumstances, Zoë remembered the handsome and urbane Constantine; the pair were married on 11 June 1042, without the participation of Patriarch Alexius I of Constantinople, who refused to officiate over a third marriage. On the following day, Constantine was formally proclaimed emperor together with Zoë and her sister Theodora. Constantine continued the purge instituted by Zoë and Theodora, removing the relatives of Michael V from the court.
The new emperor was prone to violent outbursts on suspicion of conspiracy. He was influenced by his mistress Maria Skleraina, a relative of his second wife, Maria's family. Constantine had another mistress, a certain "Alan princess" Irene, daughter of the Georgian Bagratid prince Demetrius. In August 1042, the emperor relieved General George Maniakes from his command in Italy, Maniakes rebelled, declaring himself emperor in September, he transferred his troops into the Balkans and was about to defeat Constantine's army in battle, when he was wounded and died on the field, ending the crisis in 1043. After the victory, Constantine was attacked by a fleet from Kievan Rus', they too were defeated, with the help of Greek fire. Constantine married his relative Anastasia to the future Prince Vsevolod I of Kiev, the son of his opponent Yaroslav I the Wise. Constantine's family name Monomachos was inherited by Vsevolod and Anastasia's son, Vladimir II Monomakh. Constantine IX's preferential treatment of Maria Skleraina in the early part of his reign led to rumors that she was planning to murder Zoë and Theodora.
This led to a popular uprising by the citizens of Constantinople in 1044, which came dangerously close to harming Constantine, participating in a religious procession along the streets of Constantinople. The mob was only quieted by the appearance at a balcony of Zoë and Theodora, who reassured the people that they were not in any danger of assassination. In 1045 Constantine annexed the Armenian kingdom of Ani, but this expansion exposed the empire to new enemies. In 1046 the Byzantines came into contact for the first time with the Seljuk Turks, they settled a truce the following year. If the Seljuk rulers were willing to abide by the treaty, their unruly Turcoman allies showed much less restraint; the Byzantine forces suffered a cataclysmic defeat at the battle of Manzikert in 1071. Constantine began persecuting the Armenian Church, trying to force it into union with the Orthodox Church. In 1046, he refounded the University of Constantinople by creating the Departments of Law and Philosophy. In 1047 Constantine was faced by the rebellion of his nephew Leo Tornikios, who gathered supporters in Adrianople and was proclaimed emperor by the army.
Tornikios was forced to retreat, failed in another siege, was captured during his flight. The revolt had weakened Byzantine defenses in the Balkans, in 1048 the area was raided by the Pechenegs, who continued to plunder it for the next five years; the emperor's efforts to contain the enemy through diplomacy exacerbated the situation, as rival Pecheneg leaders clashed on Byzantine ground, Pecheneg settlers were allowed to live in compact settlement in the Balkans, making it difficult to suppress their rebellion. Constantine seems to have taken recourse to the pronoia system, a sort of Byzantine feudal contract in which tracts of land were granted to particular individuals in exchange for contributing to and maintaining military forces. Constantine could be wasteful with the imperial treasury. On one occasion he is said to have sent an Arab leader 500,000 gold coins, over two tons of gold. In 1054 the centuries-old differences between the Greek and Roman churches led to their final separation.
Legates from Pope Leo IX excommunicated the Patriarch of Constantinople Michael Keroularios when Keroularios would not agree to adopt western chur
Trajan was Roman emperor from 98 to 117. Declared by the Senate optimus princeps, Trajan is remembered as a successful soldier-emperor who presided over the greatest military expansion in Roman history, leading the empire to attain its maximum territorial extent by the time of his death, he is known for his philanthropic rule, overseeing extensive public building programs and implementing social welfare policies, which earned him his enduring reputation as the second of the Five Good Emperors who presided over an era of peace and prosperity in the Mediterranean world. Trajan was born in the city of an Italic settlement in the province of Hispania Baetica. Although misleadingly designated by some writers as a provincial, his family came from Umbria and he was born a Roman citizen. Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian. Serving as a legatus legionis in Hispania Tarraconensis, in 89 Trajan supported Domitian against a revolt on the Rhine led by Antonius Saturninus. In September 96, Domitian was succeeded by Marcus Cocceius Nerva, an old and childless senator who proved to be unpopular with the army.
After a brief and tumultuous year in power, culminating in a revolt by members of the Praetorian Guard, Nerva was compelled to adopt the more popular Trajan as his heir and successor. He was succeeded by his adopted son without incident; as a civilian administrator, Trajan is best known for his extensive public building program, which reshaped the city of Rome and left numerous enduring landmarks such as Trajan's Forum, Trajan's Market and Trajan's Column. Early in his reign, he annexed the Nabataean Kingdom, his conquest of Dacia enriched the empire as the new province possessed many valuable gold mines. Trajan's war against the Parthian Empire ended with the sack of the capital Ctesiphon and the annexation of Armenia and Mesopotamia, his campaigns expanded the Roman Empire to its greatest territorial extent. In late 117, while sailing back to Rome, Trajan fell ill and died of a stroke in the city of Selinus, he was deified by the Senate and his ashes were laid to rest under Trajan's Column. He was succeeded by his adopted son Hadrian.
As an emperor, Trajan's reputation has endured – he is one of the few rulers whose reputation has survived nineteen centuries. Every new emperor after him was honoured by the Senate with the wish felicior Augusto, melior Traiano. Among medieval Christian theologians, Trajan was considered a virtuous pagan. In the Renaissance, speaking on the advantages of adoptive succession over heredity, mentioned the five successive good emperors "from Nerva to Marcus" – a trope out of which the 18th-century historian Edward Gibbon popularized the notion of the Five Good Emperors, of whom Trajan was the second; as far as ancient literary sources are concerned, an extant continuous account of Trajan's reign does not exist. An account of the Dacian Wars, the Commentarii de bellis Dacicis, written by Trajan himself or a ghostwriter and modelled after Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico, is lost with the exception of one sentence. Only fragments remain of a book by Trajan's personal physician Titos Statilios Kriton.
The Parthiká, a 17-volume account of the Parthian Wars written by Arrian, has met a similar fate. Book 68 in Cassius Dio's Roman History, which survives as Byzantine abridgments and epitomes, is the main source for the political history of Trajan's rule. Besides this, Pliny the Younger's Panegyricus and Dio of Prusa's orations are the best surviving contemporary sources. Both are adulatory perorations, typical of the late Roman era, that describe an idealized monarch and an idealized view of Trajan's rule, concern themselves more with ideology than with actual fact; the tenth volume of Pliny's letters contains his correspondence with Trajan, which deals with various aspects of imperial Roman government, but this correspondence is neither intimate nor candid: it is an exchange of official mail, in which Pliny's stance borders on the servile. It is certain that much of the text of the letters that appear in this collection over Trajan's signature was written and/or edited by Trajan's Imperial secretary, his ab epistulis.
Therefore, discussion of Trajan and his rule in modern historiography cannot avoid speculation, as well as recourse to non-literary sources such as archaeology and epigraphy. Marcus Ulpius Traianus was born on 18 September 53 AD in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica, in the city of Italica. Although designated the first provincial emperor, dismissed by writers such as Cassius Dio as "an Iberian, neither an Italian nor an Italiot", Trajan appears to have hailed on his father's side from the area of Tuder in Umbria, at the border with Etruria, on his mother's side from the Gens Marcia, of an Italic family of Sabine origin. Trajan's birthplace of Italica was founded as a Roman military colony of Italian settlers in 206 BC, though it is unknown when the Ulpii arrived there, it is possible, but cannot be substantiated, that Trajan's ancestors married local women and lost their citizenship at some point, but they recovered their status when the city became a municipium with Latin citizenship in the mid-1st century BC.
Trajan was the son of Marcia, a Roman noblewoman and sister-in-law of the second Flavian Emperor Titus, Marcus Ulpius Traianus, a prominent senator and general f
Isaac I Komnenos
Isaac I Komnenos or Comnenus was Byzantine Emperor from 1057 to 1059, the first reigning member of the Komnenian dynasty. The son of the general Manuel Erotikos Komnenos, he was orphaned at an early age, was raised under the care of Emperor Basil II, he made his name as a successful military commander, serving as commander-in-chief of the eastern armies between c. 1042 and 1054. In 1057 he became the head of a conspiracy of the dissatisfied eastern generals against the newly crowned Michael VI Bringas. Proclaimed emperor by his followers on 8 June 1057, he rallied sufficient military forces to defeat the loyalist army at the Battle of Hades. While Isaac was willing to accept a compromise solution by being appointed Michael's heir, a powerful faction in Constantinople, led by the ambitious Patriarch of Constantinople, Michael Keroularios, pressured Michael to abdicate. After Michael abdicated on 30 August 1057, Isaac was crowned emperor in the Hagia Sophia on 1 September; as emperor, he rewarded his supporters, but embarked on a series of fiscal measures designed to shore up revenue and eliminate the excesses allowed to flourish under his predecessors.
His aim was to fill the treasury and restore the Byzantine army's effectiveness to preserve the empire. The reduction of salaries, harsh tax measures and confiscation of Church properties aroused much opposition from Keroularios, who had come to think of himself as a king-maker. In November 1058, Keroularios was arrested and exiled, died before a synod to depose him could be convened; the eastern frontier held firm during his reign, Hungarian raids were resolved by a treaty in 1059, while the restive Pechenegs were subdued by Isaac in person in summer 1059. Shortly after, Isaac fell ill, on the advice and pressure of Michael Psellos, he abdicated his throne in favour of Constantine X Doukas, retiring to the Stoudion monastery where he died in 1060. Isaac was the son of Manuel Erotikos Komnenos, who served as strategos autokrator of the East under Emperor Basil II and defended Nicaea against the rebel Bardas Skleros in 978, his mother's name was Maria. Manuel's native language was Greek and modern scholarship considers the family to have been of Greek origin.
It is said. Isaac was born c. 1007. As Maria had died early, on his deathbed in 1020, Isaac's father commended his two surviving sons Isaac and John to the care of Emperor Basil II. According to Nikephoros Bryennios the Younger, the two children were raised with the outmost solicitude: they were raised at the Stoudion monastery with the best tutors, while care was taken to teach them how to hunt and military exercises; as soon as they came of age and his brother joined the imperial bodyguard, the Hetaireia. At a young age as early as 1025, Isaac married Catherine of Bulgaria, a daughter of Ivan Vladislav, the last Tsar of the First Bulgarian Empire. From c. 1042 he held the post of stratopedarches of the East—likely denoting that he was domestikos ton scholon, commander-in-chief, of the eastern field army, but this title is not explicitly attested—and the ranks of magistros and vestes. He was dismissed by Empress Theodora in 1054, replaced by her eunuch confidant, the proedros Theodore; when Michael VI Bringas came to the throne in 1056, Isaac was chosen to lead a deputation of eastern generals to the new emperor.
Michael VI engaged in mass promotions of individuals—in the eyes of the contemporary courtier Michael Psellos, to an excessive degree—and the military sought to partake in the emperor's bounty. This was not a trivial matter: the debasement of the Byzantine currency under Constantine IX Monomachos had affected military pay—not coincidentally presided over by none other than Michael Bringas, military logothete—and while civil officials were compensated by being raised to higher dignities, the army was not; this exacerbated the simmering dislike of the military aristocracy for the "regime of eunuchs and civilian politicians" that had dominated the empire during the last decades of the Macedonian dynasty. At Easter 1057, the traditional time when the emperor paid title holders their stipends, the delegation presented itself before the emperor. Along with Isaac, the delegation included the magistros Katakalon Kekaumenos, who had just been dismissed as doux of Antioch; as the historian Anthony Kaldellis comments, this was a formidable assemblage, as the families represented in it, all of them descended from military men promoted by the warrior-emperor Basil II, would define "the future of the empire for the next thirty years, indeed for the next century and more".
Psellos himself was an eyewitness at the reception of the generals' delegation, claims that the emperor began abusing them at once. John Skylitzes, who wrote in the century, reports that the emperor treated the generals courteously, but agrees that he refused outright to consider the honours they claimed for themselves, notably the promotion of Isaac and Kekaumenos to the rank