Nerva in Trouble
Contributed by David Verne
After Nerva becomes Emperor, he inherits a large budget deficit from Domitian's building projects and games. In order to bring finances under control, he cuts the amount of holidays in the year, around 200. He then institutes tax cuts and tries to reform the welfare system; he has limited success with this and the Senate and people couldn't be happier, but there was a very important group that was disgruntled. The military was enraged that Domitian's assassins hadn't been brought to justice, and the Praetorian Guard was also angry that the Senate had largely ignored them in deciding succession. Nerva gave a small bonus to the military; it was no where near enough and were even more upset that Nerva had thought throwing some money their way would smooth over their grievances.
With the economy straining under tax cuts, welfare reforms, and land redistribution, Nerva's administration was working hard to bring things back to normal. This was made more difficult by the fact that Nerva had outlawed treason trials but allowed the Senate to prosecute people. This led to chaos as Senators spent their time getting back at personal enemies, and one Senator remarked that Domitian's tyranny was preferable to Nerva's anarchy. In October, as Nerva is trying to regain authority from not having any control over the Senate, the Praetorians decide to take matters into their own hands and besiege the palace in the middle of the night. They hold Nerva hostage and force him to hand over Domitian's assassins. After the Praetorians execute the assassins, Nerva gives a public speech thanking the Praetorians for reminding him of his duty.
Everything was ready to collapse when Nerva announced that he had chosen an heir. He adopted a popular and skilled general, Marcus Trajan, as his heir and instantly things calmed down. The army loved Trajan and no one else really had an issue with him. 
The Chinese and Parthians Parley
Contributed by Southpaw Ben
Chinese General Ban Chao sends the Ambassador Gan Ying to help to establish regular relations between the Parthians and the Chinese. The Parthians at one point were a part of Alexander the "Great"'s empire, breaking off as the Seleucid empire upon his death. The Parthian empire takes up much of modern day Iran. Gan Ying was then sent to try to find and meet the Romans, who also had relations with the Parthian Empire at this time, though they had been at war on and off since 66 BC and would countinue warring until 217 AD. Gan Ying would cross the Parthian empire and eventually reach to Persian Gulf, before being told that it was uncrossable and returning home. However, this trek made him the furthest west Chinese emissary recorded during antiquity. He did bring home descriptions of Roman traditions that, while based in some elements of truth, were largely fanciful.
- Duncan, Mike (December 13, 2009). 77- What Time is It?.
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthian_Empire https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gan_Ying https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ban_Chao