I just finished reading three books on ancient Rome.
1) "69 AD: The Year of Four Emperors" by Gwyn Morgan
2) "Rubicon" by Tom Holland
3) "The Assassination of Julius Caesar" by Michael Parenti
My general impression is that the overthrow of Nero by Galba and the eventual election of a Piso as his own successor amounted to the reasserting of the Claudio family as preeminent. Prior to the coup that brought Julius to power as a dictator, the Claudii were the most distinguished and most powerful families in Rome. Octavian was more or less forced to marry Livia because of her relations with the Claudii, and particulary her relations with the family of Appius Claudius Pelcher, the leading family of the Claudii.
The question is whether or not the Claudii intermarried with other Near Eastern royalty and when, such as the family of Julius Gaius Alexander, the Seleucids, and the Ptolemies. The name Jonathan Apphus among the Hasmonean rulers is highly suspicious, as is Apion son of Ptolemy VIII, who became king of Cyrene and then bequeathed Cyrene to Rome upon his death. Notably, Josephus contrived his own genealogy to make Jonathan Apphus his own great ancestor.
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