ARK: Survival Evolved Wiki
Victory Through Discipline
~ Nerva's motto on the bottom of each of his explorer notes

Gaius Marcellus Nerva is a Roman Centurion who served in the Roman Republic/Empire during its conquest of Dacia. Ever since he woke up on the Island, Nerva has been disgusted at the inhabitants' animal-like behavior and seeks to conquer it to restore order for Rome with his New Legion.


  • Gaius Marcellus Nerva
  • Nerva
  • Emperor of Pax Arcam
  • Mister Nerva
  • Leader of the New Legion
  • Jupiter's Gift


Nerva was a Roman Centurion who helped in the conquest of Dacia for the Roman Empire. As a child, Nerva lived in a town in the Roman province of Numidia, an ancient kingdom in northwest Africa. When he was a child, he asked his mother about the gods. His mother told him about a paradise land called Elysium and the Underworld that gives tests to reach that land. Some time later in his life, he visited the capital city of the Roman Empire: Rome. He was awed at the sight of it. Given that he knew who Augustus Caesar was, Nerva lived during the Roman Empire's first years during its Principate period. Based on the history of Dacia, he was part of a Roman effort to retake the province. In the ensuing battles, Nerva has met his death and arrived on the Island. He is determined to rally a group of survivors into an army that will make the Island know the name of Rome.


"Well, I found the report on Mister Nerva to be rather exaggerated, and as an Englishman one might imagine that I'd view Roman leadership with some disdain. Yet in my experience, I found Mister Nerva to be both honest and intellectually engaging."

~Rockwell's first impression of Nerva

Nerva, a Roman citizen and centurion, prioritizes discipline no matter where he is. He is a calculating and determined leader who sets his goals before his pleasures. As a tribe leader, he understands that his army needs to be disciplined, and he trains them. He also gives them something to enjoy as a reward. That is shown when he allows the army to rest for three days after they conquer the Painted Sharks. 

He has some respect for Helena and Rockwell's scientific minds. Still, he uses them and their respective knowledge to help himself reach his goals of becoming the Island emperor and using the obelisks' power to destroy his enemies.

According to Rockwell, Nerva was honest and had a degree of intellect. Rockwell wrote that Nerva knows his way around politics, and like how the Romans brought Pax Romana, Rockwell remarked that he might be able to bring Pax Arcam to the Island. When Rockwell was with Nerva, he noted that the centurion, like any military man, would see something useful, theoretically the obelisks at the time, if they were to be used as a weapon.

Deluded by dreams of grandeur, Nerva can become blinded by power and domination when he ignores his tribe's plea to return to base to defend against the Howling Wolves. Other survivors note his dreams of grandeur, as seen by a huge ego described by Helena, walking with pride by Mei Yin, and being impatient as portrayed by Rockwell.

Relationships with Other Survivors[]

Helena Walker

  • Based on his explorer notes, the two of them rarely interacted with each other.
  • During said interactions, Helena only told Nerva about what is behind an Obelisk activation.
  • She also told him that the third key they acquired, along with the two other keys she had, allowed the New Legion to open the Tek cave that Helena referred to.
  • Helena joked about Nerva being "FIGJAM incarnate" and hoped to see him "fall flat on his face" when she experienced his overinflated ego firsthand.

Mei Yin Li

  • Being his rival during pivotal moments in his conquest of the Island, Nerva sees the Beast Queen in a negative image due to her getting in the way of his plans of conquest.
  • Mei Yin described him as a person who walks with high pride and gestures with his authority.
  • Even after killing him, Mei Yin still honored him, noting that he may have been a tyrant, but he was just another warrior at the end of the day.

Edmund Rockwell

  • In his first interaction, Nerva is amazed by Rockwell's intellect and recipes. He is so impressed that he even hires a scout to find out where Rockwell lives.
  • He respects the scientist for his advice, unaware that Rockwell is manipulating him.


Nerva tended to wear an olive wreath, which was similar to how Roman emperors wore olives. He is seen wearing a suit of flak armor and having a romantic facial hairstyle.

In the ARK animated series, Nerva wears Roman armor with a red cape and the skull of a raptor on his left shoulder. He wields two gladius-style swords with bone handles.

Survival Skills[]

I would trust few tribes to be able to make good on such promises, but Mister Nerva's New Legion is perhaps the most powerful tribe on the island. Indeed, if they maintain their current trajectory, they may be the only powerful tribe on the island.

~ Sir Edmund Rockwell

With the various explorer notes, Nerva's ability as an effective centurion shouldn't be ignored. Being a Roman during the Roman Empire, Nerva can effectively turn a rag-tag group of people who have no idea of discipline into the most effective army on the Island: The New Legion. Despite being introduced to weapons such as guns that are foreign to him, he will find it useful if it helps them conquer better. He is also able to creatively make traps and lures for enemy mounts to take them down easily. 

When the tribe had very few mounts, Nerva was still an effective tactician who could learn from his mistakes and launch a devastating counter-attack. Against the Blackthumbs, Nerva rallies his army to stay focused while the enemy tribe recklessly attacks them, quickly turning the tide. He even knows how to outwit the Blackthumbs by baiting them into a trap with smaller creatures. During his war with his New Legion tribe against the Painted Sharks, he can turn an opponent's strengths against them. He understood that the largest aquatic tribe is strongest in both sea and air, but weakest in land warfare. So, to whittle down their strength, Nerva directs his tribe to attack their mainland forts to cut off supplies. In the waning days of the Painted Sharks, Nerva wanted to implement creatures that can have a ballista on its back in preparation for an invasion.  Also, his leadership could also make his New Legion capable of taking on the Island's hardest guardian, the dragon, and the Island's Overseer, with both requiring costly victories and the latter requiring the New Legion's main force to be completely destroyed with only Nerva standing.

On an individual level, with experience as a Roman Centurion and soldier, he is proficient with both the spear and sword.

Tamed Creatures[]

The Island

  • Yutyrannus
  • Several Triceratops
  • Mosasaurs or Plesiosaurus (creatures that can have a platform on their back)
  • Flyers (as mounts that he and his men used to tire out the Painted Sharks at their main compound)

Tribal Affiliations[]

  • Rome (General/Centurion)
  • New Legion (Tribe leader)

The End of Nerva[]

After his disappointment in being unable to find a way to wield the power of the obelisks, he was soon confronted by Mei Yin. They fought a duel to the death. He fled in a wounded state after taking several blows from Mei Yin to one of the consoles in the station. There, Mei Yin not only stabbed Nerva, but the console that was behind him, effectively killing him. The damage caused both his corpse and Mei Yin to be transported to Aberration. He met his end on Aberration, where his corpse was burned to a crisp by the scorching heat of the Surface. Diana Altaras later found his corpse.


Even though Nerva wanted dominion over the Island, his efforts had profound effects. In a direct sense, he gave Helena Walker, Edmund Rockwell, and Mei-Yin Li a means to escape the ARK and travel to other ARKs. Helena, Rockwell, and Mei-Yin gathered information about the ARKs from both Scorched Earth and Aberration, though Mei-Yin only traveled to Aberration. His conquest had both bad and good consequences in the long term, but overall, his effort to conquer the Island has set the entire story of ARK in motion.


  • Each part of his name has unique meanings
    • Gaius is a name of Latin origin that means "Rejoice".
    • Marcellus is a name of Latin origin that is a nod to the Roman god of war, Mars, who is warlike.
    • Nerva is a name of Latin origin that means "Strength".
    • In context, his full name, "Gaius Marcellus Nerva", means "The Rejoiced Strength of Mars, the Roman god of war".
      • This is fitting as he took the Island community by surprise with him leading the overwhelming strength of the New Legion.

ARK: The Animated Series[]

Element 1[]

Edmund first mentions Nerva when Helena is brought to his base camp. When Helena tries to escape, Nevra confronts her riding on his Rex. Speaking in Latin, Nevra notes that Helena must be the woman Edmund spoke about. Helena speaks in Latin, too, but Edmund cuts her off. Understanding the situation, Nevra orders that Helena be put with the other captives.

Later that night, Nevra summoned Helena to his personal tent, and the two spoke in Latin for a bit until Nevra cut the rope that bound Helena's hands. Now speaking in English, Nevra asks for Helena's name, and when he learns it, felt concerned, noting that a woman by the same name brought ruin to Troy. However, Helena refutes that statement, stating she was only awoken by the Island, which doesn't sit right with Nevra, who claims that there's only one way people arrive there.

Nevra then questions Helena's background, and Helena discloses that she was a teacher and explorer, which intrigues Nevra. He becomes further intrigued by how Helena notes the possibility of breeding dinosaurs and the difficulty of taming them. Helena then claims that Edmund's ways of conditioning the dinosaurs are wrong and that Nevra can make the process easier if he carefully controls the environment.

Having a growing interest in Helena, Nevra asks her where she comes from. She answers that a place called Terra Australis is in his language, which was two thousand years ahead of his own time. Curious to know what she calls the place in her language, Helena tells Nevra it's home.

From there, Nevra shows and talks about the artifact in his possession and the two others on the Island that are in the hands of his enemies. The tablet on his table foretells that once he has all three of the artifacts in his possession, Nevra will be capable of returning to Rome and conquering it.

At that moment, Nevra realizes that his wine is poisoned by Helena, who initially denies it. However, after Nevra succumbs to the poison and becomes paralyzed by it. Helena admits to rubbing some snail onto it, which had a toxic property to it that would have him paralyzed for a few hours.

Helena then swiped Nevra's notebook and artifact. Despite being told he'd be paralyzed for a couple of hours, Nevra soon regained use of his right hand and, soon, his whole body.

Upon exiting his tent, Nevra is attacked by two Raptors, which he quickly kills with his blades. He then approaches Helena, who is beside her Parasaur called Scary and allows him to flee the scene alongside a captive lady. As Helena flees from Nevra's pursuit, Scary rejoins her and allows her to mount her making her escape faster. Before Helena is able to escape, Nevra manages to toss a spear into the lower left side of her shoulder. Despite Edmund cursing Helena, Nevra vows to retrieve his stolen artifact; he'll conquer Rome and the land that she calls home.

Element 2[]

Two of Nevra's soldiers pursue Helena, and when they manage to approach her, they're killed by an unknown assailant. The assailant would later be revealed to be Meiyin, who would inform Helena that after causing the ruckus in his base camp, he'd impose a hefty bounty on her head.

The two would form a bond over time. Meiyin claimed that she intended to kill Nevra, and an alliance was formed to do it. However, someone betrayed the alliance, causing it to dissolve.

Element 3[]

Some time afterward, Meiyin mentions Nevra after she speaks to the council at John's camp about how he likely knows that they have his artifact.

Element 4[]

A day or two later, Nevra is mentioned during a debate between Domina and Helena.

Element 5[]

Nevra talks to Edmund about his childhood life to Edmund and then about his severe disappointment in him for failing him despite vowing not to. Grabbing Edmund by his throat, Nevra notes that Edmund has no scars to learn from his past consequences. As Nevra was about to break Edmund's arm, a soldier from the recently subjugated quarry he owned arrived and informed him that Helena was partly responsible for it. Learning that, Nevra releases Edmund from his grasp and vows to not only have vengeance against Helena, but to retrieve his missing artifacts so he can return to Rome.

That night, Nevra would lead his soldiers mounting Brontosauruses to invade John's base. Pleased to hear that one of his scout's intel of the base's location was correct, Nevra orders Edmund to have that one promoted. Soon, John takes out several of Nevra's dinosaurs using the Tek Rifle, and because of this, Nevra orders his soldiers to concentrate their attention on the spot from which John is firing.

Soon, Nevra invaded the base himself, dealing with several soldiers who attacked him. He then fought against Meiyin and Helena, tossing Helena into an empty hut and continuing his fight against Meiyin, who tipped over an oil lantern to use the smoke screen to her advantage. As the fight continued, Meiyin managed to smash Nevra's helmet and cut his forehead; however, Edmund would hit Meiyin with a tranq dart which Nevra disapproved of. He'd then have Meiyin be taken away with him and his army back to his base.

Element 6[]

When Nevra visits Meiyin in her cell, he demands to know where Helena is hiding, but she refuses to tell. Nevra tries to level with Meiyin, citing he once saved her and showed her the ways of the land, and how she rebels against him is astounding. If they teamed up again, Nevra promised they'd have power that even the gods would fear, but Meiyin wasn't interested. After a spat between them, Meiyin tried to attack Nevra but was stopped by her chains. Hence, Nevra left her, noting that she'll never see another sunrise.

Meanwhile, at John's new base, a plan is being considered for how best to invade Nevra's base. In the end, John and Helena would use a tamed dinosaur capable of scaling the base's wall.

Upon arriving at the base, John and Helena would separate, and Helena would place explosives around flammable areas. After killing a soldier whom Helena had encountered from the quarry, Helena found Meiyin bound to a cross and was sequentially surrounded by Nevra and his forces.

The two had a brief exchange during which Nevra demanded his artifact back, but Helena remarked that it'd be in his best interest to surrender. On the other hand, Nevra laughed at what Helena said, but John revealed himself and shot an arrow at one of the explosives that Helena placed around the area, creating a chain reaction explosion.

The explosions allowed John's forces, including two Rexes, to enter the compound and defeat Nevra's personal Rex. Despite this loss, Nevra uses his war horn to summon a Giganotosaurus to his aide. The newly appeared dinosaur defeats the two ally Rexes, and John, then challenges Nevra to a duel to the death. Nevra accepts, and amid their fight, John smiles at the flare he spotted in the sky, which perplexed Nevra, but still, Nevra managed to wound John fatally. Before Nevra had allowed his Giganotosaurus to devour John, he fired off an arrow triggering an explosion that killed it, leaving Nevra devastated.