Front Page Titles (by Subject) The Edict of the Emperor Nerva - Letters of Marcus Tullius Cicero
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
The Edict of the Emperor Nerva - Marcus Tullius Cicero, Letters of Marcus Tullius Cicero 
Letters of Marcus Tullius Cicero: with his Treatises on Friendship and Old Age, trans. E.S. Shuckburgh. And Letters of Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, trans. William Melmoth, revised by F.C.T. Bosanquet (New York: P.F. Collier, 1909).
About Liberty Fund:
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
The Edict of the Emperor Nerva
“There are some points no doubt, Quirites, concerning which the happy tenour of my government is a sufficient indication of my sentiments; and a good prince need not give an express declaration in matters wherein his intention cannot but be clearly understood. Every citizen in the empire will bear me witness that I gave up my private repose to the security of the public, and in order that I might have the pleasure of dispensing new bounties of my own, as also of confirming those which had been granted by predecessors. But lest the memory of him5 who conferred these grants, or the diffidence of those who received them, should occasion any interruption to the public joy, I thought it as necessary as it is agreeable to me to obviate these suspicions by assuring them of my indulgence. I do not wish any man who has obtained a private or a public privilege from one of the former emperors to imagine he is to be deprived of such a privilege, merely that he may owe the restoration of it to me; nor need any who have received the gratifications of imperial favour petition me to have them confirmed. Rather let them leave me at leisure for conferring new grants, under the assurance that I am only to be solicited for those bounties which have not already been obtained, and which the happier fortune of the empire has put it in my power to bestow.”