Nerva was the first emperor after the final emperor of the Flavian dynasty. He was born in 30 AD, became emperor when he was 66 years old, and was from the Cocceii, a distinguished family.
For some time he worked as a quaestor and a consul. Under Nero, the previous emperor, he was an associate of the imperial entourage and helped expose the Pisonian conspiracy. He also earned a Triumphal Honors from Nero. During the reign of Nero, he introduced him to general Vespasian and both became close friends.
After Domitian’s assassination(Vespasian’s youngest son) Nerva immediately became king. Nerva was 66 years old when he became king, it is most possibly that they could’ve chose someone else, but Nerva was so close to the Flavian dynasty and was a popular choice.
He gave 75 denarii to each Roman citizen and cut back on the taxes to everybody. Trajan was the general of the army during Nerva’s reign. He captured Nerva and forced him to name him his heir and successor, since Nerva still did not have any heir.
Nerva died from a stroke in 98 AD and Trajan became the emperor immediately.