Talk:Nerva–Antonine dynasty

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5 Great Emperors[edit]

I deleted the part that stated that the first five Emperors from Nerva to Marcus Aurelius were considered the great emperors as it is incorrect. Marcus was the sixth of the dynasty, taking sole control after Lucius died. Moreover, thy are known as the good emperors as they were moral not the great emperors which implies that they were great for either military or economic conquest. Sovereignlance (talk) 02:36, 22 August 2010 (UTC)


I think the whole "modern historians" bit should be deleted because it appears to be attempting to lend balance to the article, but it is poorly cited. Additionally, theives have been known to rob farmers from the begining of recollection to right now, regardless of which politician or party is in power, so the arguments are irrelevent (see how i didnt cite mine in this obscure page so deal? Additionally, the arguments for them being "good" emperors apply only to the Romans, and do not represent a wiki world view or whatever you guys say at the top of your Roman centric pages. (It sez romanz goe howm. congegate dood b1ffness). Love peace chicken grease - just a casual observer that doesn't care about his IP addy because they can be spoofed anyways kthx never coming back here again bye. stuffx0rzbbs11vntybillionnodesringdownbgriCEACiDcDcRZR1911H/P/A/V/Calldayallnightlong/1800not4u ps i love your website guys. it taught me how to be not so much a noob at like real world knowledge and stuff. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:57, 12 November 2010 (UTC)


I'm curious about this method of adoption practiced by the Nerva-Antonine dynasty, in that it may resemble the practice seen in Tibet. What kind of information, and sources exist in this field? --Xact (talk) 04:24, 2 January 2010 (UTC)


After four years of existence, this page is barely more than a list of six emperors. I think it should redirect to Five Good Emperors (as does Nerva-Antonine Emperors!). Some will quibble that Commodus doesn't count as one of the Five Good Emperors, but he was still in the Antonine dynasty; so be it. Lucius Verus was also in the dynasty, but I don't see him on this list either. So be it.

Furthermore, the article cannot in any case remain titled as it is, because the grammar/spelling is a mess. ‘Antonian’ means pertaining to Antony (or Antonius). To invoke Antoninus Pius, along with Marcus Aurelius and Commodus, we should use the adjective ‘Antoninian’. In Latin, the adjective relating to Nerva is neruius, which ought to be anglicized as ‘Nervian’ (as is in fact done in for example Lewis & Short's dictionary). Nervian and Antoninian dynasty would make sense, as would ‘Nervo-Antoninian dynasty’, I suppose, following the model of ‘Julio-Claudian’. ‘Nerva-Antonine dynasty’ is clumsy but at least consistent; it uses nouns in apposition (à la Yukon Territory, rather than *Yukonian Territory), ducking the whole question of what the proper adjectival form is. Q·L·1968 15:24, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

I merged the other way around because
  • this article is more encompassing, providing no problem re Verus and Commodus not being one of the Five Good ones
  • is more neutral as it does not issue the positive judgement right away
I also corrected the really silly typo in the article's title.
I also merged the Nerva-Trajan dynasty (a three-liner) and the Antonines (a little more but still a stub whose contents where either already covered elsewhere, could be covered elsewhere or were nonosense like "Commodus single-handedly ended Five Good Emperors and the Pax Romana" - who fought more wars Marcus or Commodus?)
Str1977 (talk) 12:18, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Good work on the merging! I know what a headache that can be. You may be right that it's better to merge Five Good Emperors over here – but I'm afraid my point still stands that ‘Nervan’ isn't a word and ‘Antonine’ isn't an adjective. ‘Nerva–Antonine dynasty’ it could be, or else ‘Nervian-Antoninian dynasty’ or something of that kind. Cheers, Q·L·1968 19:24, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

rome —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:20, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

An astute geographical observation. Having heard no objection, I've moved from *Nervan to Nerva. Solidarity, Q·L·1968 01:20, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Truth tentative[edit]

This entry's use of the signifying word 'actually' is problematic: "However, adoptive succession actually arose because of a lack of biological heirs. All but the last of the Adoptive Emperors had no biological son to succeed them and thus were forced to pick a successor somewhere else, and as soon as the Emperor could look towards a biological son to succeed him, adoptive succession was set aside." I feel that a factor that reduces the quality of wikipedia articles occurs when different entries are, more or less dodgingly, argumentative in regard of earlier entries. It may not be possible to avoid it, because they reflect compromises which we hardly can be without. But, I would suggest as a litterary excercise to write what one wants to submit as if it belonged to the context, imagine that the entries has a signature of singularity. I'm not obedient to such an ideal myself, but I think that style is not innocent in regard of meaning; there is a politics of semantics. The use of 'actually' in the text implicate a projection of the author's will to truth into history (i.e. the text). It is not, or at least I strongly doubt that the source-material provide a given truth in relation to the reason of the modes of succession during the reign of the Adoptive Emperors. There are several imaginable reasons. It seems somewhat strange that six emperors in a row where unable to produce heirs by themselves. The entry above also imply indicatively that all Emperors were sort of driven by the same motivation. The wording "as soon as the Emperor could look towards a biological son to succeed him, adoptive succession was set aside...." give a sense of urge, and in a totalising fashion denies other possible motivations than that of biological succession. This urge is not in harmony with the mood that may be traced in the cultural heritage of Stoic philosophy, assumed to be heavily influential on these emperors. It is important to note that I do not intend to argue for an alternative, that I think was more 'actually' true about this fascinating lineage of emperors. I may admit a sympathy for information that breaks with the conformity of historiography pertaining to the alledged conquerors of truth, history. Whom are in the positions of Histor and Rhetor, is making dispositions of the story and truth. Thus we may know it is construed. --Xact (talk) 05:50, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Please don't plunk new comments in the middle of previously-made comments. Others may want to follow along what has been said about the article. Q·L·1968 00:51, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Good morning. First, I'm sorry for my bad english. I could not pursue on the english Wikipedia to this day the issue of the defuncts "Five Good Emperors" and "Adoptive emperors" (the traditional ways, so defined in 2005 and still in 2006, see "View History":, now the "Nerva–Antonine dynasty", and just now I read your comment, January 2010, called "Truth tentative" ( I delighted it, and especially your sentence: "I may admit a sympathy for information that breaks with the conformity of historiography pertaining to the alledged conquerors of truth, history". I think you'll find the answer, or the cause, of this concrete break, of this "search for historical truth", in my long article «La dinastía Ulpio-Aelia (96-192 d. C.): ni tan 'Buenos', ni tan 'Adoptivos' ni tan 'Antoninos'», in Gerión 21.1, 2003, pp. 263-305 (, unfortunatedly for me in spanish, on a thesis I've been advocating for years (in full since 1998), that there was no "Antonine dynasty" in the 2nd. century, nor actual adoptions, but a true dynasty united by (spanish, baetican) family ties more or less visible. I think that "the Antonines" is a modern historiographic constructum, created in the XVIII and XIXth centuries by french, german and english historians. My definition and arguments appear since some years in the Wikipedia in Spanish: "Dinastía Ulpio-Aelia", (although also with some risk, I see...).

What happens is that various authors (usually not quoting me) has been attracted of, or have accepted, my points of view (48 roman texts are too..., see art. cit., p. 322-327), but they try to maintain in it some "tradition". Hence the present phase of the English Wikipedia, where they are, separated but living together, Nerva and still some "Antonines", although now only four. Of course, Nerva had no idea to be starting a dynasty, this was a matter of Trajan and Hadrian, and lasted until Commodus (finally also an Aelius: see art.cit., Abstract, p. 305, and p. 314 ff.).

Anyway, I hope that someday my work will be recognized, also abroad, but for now I'm interested in opinion like your's, that value "the breaks with the conformity of Historiography." This is also the usual object of my work (updated until 2003). Cordially, --Alicia M. Canto (talk) 08:37, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

My humbles observations...Ni tan Antoninos (neither Antonine) technically is right there was no "Antonine dynasty" (according to the dynasty concept) but it is only a classification to better identify those emperors,actually we could also choose another name for that "dynasty".Ni tan buenos (neither good emperors) yes it is partially true .Ni tan Adoptivos (neither adoptive),well i read your article especially the section 5 (i ll call it only "AdoptiveKaiser"),now it is enough well-known that those adoptions was in truth only legal fictions (they are nothing to divide nor with modern concept of adoption nor with the roman concept of adoption) , the ""adoption"" was only used politically by emperors to :A)Assure Empire stability B)Solve succession problems C) why not? (my POV) to maintain the power into a small group of people.Consequently the simple choice of a son did not ensure the 3 goals achievement .So those emperors enlarged the range of choice from the natural family to an "enlarged" family.On theory it had to work so: choose the best successor in the "family" to solve succession problems and assure Empire stability(for those emperors the succession problems were more important than the barbaric tribes,as you can simply verify when a bad successor was elected often the consequences were extremly negative...civil wars etc etc) on practice those adoptions were strongly influenced by many factors (politics,homicides,premature deaths etc etc),so it wasn t so simple appoint a son/direct descendants as successor(i.e. Claudius adopted Nero and not his own son Britannicus;Agustus even chose Agrippa (a friend) completely out to family / dynasty;Tiberius was unabled (for long time) to adopt his son (due to the presence of Germanicus) ).The so called "Principle of Adoption" was not a Nerva invention ,in the roman history these emperors are not the first case ,where ""adoption"" was used.(i.e. example Agustus chose twice (or three times ?) an adoptive son before than Tiberius;Claudius and Nero case already mentioned).It is not easy establish why an emperor chose this or that successor probably each emperor had his good reasons. A possible hypothesis it is a lack of biological heirs, but it is not the only possible hypothesis. So it could be better introduce a section called "Alternative hypothesis".--LupusInFabula (talk) 09:04, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Stoicism and Commodus[edit]

I have cut this sentence — "The decline of the influence of Stoic philosophy with the emperor Commodus may also be regarded a factor for the end of the Adoptive Emperors" — on the grounds of logical impossibility. Commodus succeeded his father because his father designated him as his heir. His father was Marcus Aurelius, generally considered a Stoic himself. Now, how could the "decline" of Stoicism under Commodus' rule have led to Commodus' own succession? Q·L·1968 01:01, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Family tree[edit]

There seems to be a problem in the "Alternative Hypothesis" section. I've looked back through dozens of revisions, and it seems that the "lalalalalalalalalalala" in the title, right above the bullet-pointed chart key, is part of an actual image, as is the family tree itself. I don't know where the image comes from, so how can it be edited so that ridiculous "lalala" string can be gone? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:47, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

Era style[edit]

If you must add era tags, please keep the neutral "BCE" and "CE". I would prefer it in this form. Lupus Bellator (talk) 17:52, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

Personal preference isn't a sufficient reason to change from one convention to the other, per WP:ERA.Cúchullain t/c 19:27, 4 December 2012 (UTC)
The established style for this article appears to be BC/AD. I oppose changing it, or removing era designations per the Plotinus example at WP:ERA. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:24, 4 December 2012 (UTC)