Marcus Cocceius Nerva (jurist)

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Marcus Cocceius Nerva (before 5 BC – 33 AD) was the grandfather of emperor Nerva, son of Marcus Cocceius Nerva (consul 36 BC), a member of the entourage of the Roman emperor Tiberius and a celebrated jurist.[1] In 33 AD he starved himself to death despite the pleas of Tiberius. In explanation Tacitus writes "Those who knew his thoughts said that as he saw more closely into the miseries of the State, he chose, in anger and alarm, an honourable death, while he was yet safe and unassailed on."[2] From this we may infer that he despaired at the tyrannies of the Praetorian Guard and committed suicide as a form of protest and may have been worried about his own safety.

In popular culture[edit]

He was portrayed in the film Caligula by Sir John Gielgud.


  1. ^ Smith, Sir William (1871). A new classical dictionary of Greek and Roman biography,mythology and geography. Harper & Brothers. p. 547. 
  2. ^ Tacitus, The Annals 6.26

See also[edit]