In Rome a severe form of malaria appears in the farm districts and will continue for the next 500 years, taking out of cultivation the fertile land of the Campagna, whose market gardens supply the city with fresh products. The fever drives small groups of farmers into the crowded city, while they bring the malaria with them, and lowers Rome's live-birth rate while rates elsewhere in the empire rising.
January 27 - Nerva dies of a fever at his villa in the Gardens of Sallust and is succeeded by his adopted son Trajan. Trajan is the first Roman Emperor born in Italica, near Seville. A brilliant soldier and administrator, he enters Rome without ceremony and wins over the public. Continuing the policies of Augustus, Vespasian and Nerva, he restores the Senate to its full status in the government and begins a form of state welfare aimed at assuring that poor children are fed and taken care of. He has a specific vision of the Empire, which reaches its maximum extent under his rule, and keeps a close watch on finances. Taxes, without any increase, are sufficient during his reign to pay the considerable costs of the budget. The informers used by Domitian to support his tyranny are expelled from Rome. In order to maintain the Port of Alexandria, Trajan reopens the canal between the Nile and the Red Sea.