Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Seneca's 'Stoic' philosophy is the foundation for the "philosophic" content of the New Testament - particularly within the gospels. Stoicism really was another form of religion, though it wasn't portrayed as such, but the Roman royalty lived by some elements within Stoicism, in a sense. Seneca's 'Golden Rule' - "Treat your inferiors as you would be treated by your betters." (letter 47 to Lucilius), later appears as - "Do to others what you want them to do to you" in Matthew 7:12. But the saying was stated about 50 years earlier slightly differently by Hillel The Pharisee - 'That Which Is Hateful to You, Do Not Do to Your Fellow! That is the Whole Torah; The Rest is Interpretation' (the Elder Hillel in Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 31a). Arrius Piso (Flavius Josephus) was a descendant of Seneca's sister (known to history as Arria The Elder), Arrius hinted about his descent from Cleopatra and the Marcii Antonii; the work of Seneca has been found among the multitude of Papyri found in the library of the Pisons Villa in Herculaneum.
Cleopatra's family was descended from other royal lines, such as the Seleucid rulers who were ruling in Syria. Marcia Antonia Chelvia (C. Helvia/Alexandra Chelias) is possibly another name recorded for Cleopatra Selene, twin sister of Alexander Helios. Seneca writes about an aunt that carried him when he was little, and whom he had stayed with when in Egypt, then returned to Rome with. This aunt would be the half-sister of Cleopatra Selene, Antonia (Minor), daughter of Octavia Augusta, Emperor Augustus' sister.
Seneca and his aunt returned to Rome in 31 CE, after Seneca's aunt had been in Egypt from 16-31 CE. Seneca wrote about this because he must have wanted it to be known at some point, that his family was related to the Ptolemys, the Marcii, and the Julian Emperors. In particular, he was pointing to the fact he was related to Caligula and Nero. Caligula trusted and was intimate with Seneca and his family to the point of marrying his close relatives, and it is common knowledge within academia that Seneca enjoyed an intimate relationship with the Julian royals; even having an affair with Caligula's sister Julia Livilla. However, by the time Nero became emperor, Seneca was closer to his Flavian & Piso relatives.
Antonia Minor was a close relative of both Seneca and Caligula, as she was Seneca's aunt and Caligula's grandmother, we also know that they both spent time together with her. It appears that, for a time, Caligula lived with his grandmother Antonia Minor (apparently in Egypt), with Seneca. (Ref. Suetonius, Twelve Caesars, Caligula).
Seneca's Aunt Antonia Minor (or 'The Younger') was his mother's step-sister. Seneca's mother was a daughter of Marc Antony, so the aunt he refers to has to be a daughter of Marc Antony by another wife, which she was, she was Marc Antony's daughter by Emperor Augustus' sister Octavia Augusta. Seneca's father, Seneca The Elder, was either Governer or ruler, of some kind, in Spain, he would have had to have been, especially for a daughter of Cleopatra VII to have married him.
Recently (as 0f 2023) one academic has questioned the above information regarding Seneca's mother as being Helvia, a daughter of Marc Antony and Cleopatra. The reason for this academic to question the above comes from what Seneca supposedly wrote to his mother Helvia in his Consolation to Helvia (2.1), where Seneca states that her mother died giving birth to her. Therefore, according to the academic that raised the question, Cleopatra could not be Seneca's grandmother.
The academic further stated: "one also needs to ask if a man as well-known as Seneca would have claimed a false ancestry for his mother when many of his readers would have known the truth and why he might have done so."
I will first point out that the academic in question is unaware that the evidence shows that an oligarchy related by blood and who knew each other incredibly well was in control of all publishing, with Seneca being part of the oligarchy. Those who are familiar with my work will know that the ancient elite gave misleading information regarding their ancestry, for example, Emperor Vespasian. The second point I will make is that the later story of Cleopatra's death involving the bite of a poisonous asp, which was apparently hidden in a basket, resulting in Cleopatra essentially being killed by an asp, seems to be more a romantic tale than an accurate account. Historians do not even agree on how she died. For example, an article by History.com says that modern Egyptologists state the snake would have been too large to be smuggled in a basket of figs. History.com links to an article on the University of Manchester's website where British archaeologist, Egyptologist, and academic Joyce Ann Tyldesley and British zoologist Andrew Gray state that: "...the ancient accounts say a snake hid in a basket of figs brought in from the countryside, and was also used to kill one or two of her serving maids. But according to Andrew Gray, Cobras are typically 5 to 6 feet long but can grow up to 8 feet – too big to hide very easily."
But the asp was the symbol of royalty in Egypt, and what 'Plutarch' says regarding Cleopatra and the asp is interesting. 'Plutarch' wrote: "when the guards asked him what he was bringing there, he opened the basket, took away the leaves, and showed them that the dish inside was full of figs" (Plut. Ant. 85). Now, figs were an ancient symbol for testicles and in Greek mythology Dionysus was known as “friend of the fig”. Further, the words for “figs” and “testicles” were the same in Greek society and 'basket' seems to have been a symbol for the scrotum and vagina. So the image provided by 'Plutarch' above seems to be one of the male and female reproductive organs being 'joined'.
As the evidence in my book and on this website shows, the ancient authors should not be viewed as always telling the absolute truth without using rhetoric. Therefore, we must consider the possibility that Seneca was saying that his maternal grandmother died as a result of giving birth. Seneca's grandmother dying as a result of childbirth could rhetorically be presented as a royal (asp) killing her. Further, if the mother of Seneca, an Egyptian royal, was the cause of Cleopatra's death, that would mean that Seneca's mother was the youngest of Cleopatra's children, it does not immediately mean that Seneca's mother could not have been the daughter of Mark Anthony and Cleopatra.
Later Roman Emperors or other royals had claimed they were descendants of Cleopatra, and other researchers automatically thought that the line of descent came from the only other known line of descent from Cleopatra VII via Cleopatra Selene and King Juba II. However, as shown above, there is, at least, one other line of descent, nearly all of the later Roman Emperors, if not all, descend directly from Arrius Calpurnius Piso or his family; (Pescennius Niger, who was Roman Emperor from 193 CE to 194 CE, during the Year of the Five Emperors, descends from Fannia, Arrius Piso's sister).
Arria The Younger (Arrius Piso's mother) was also called Livia [Cornelia] Orestilla, as the second wife of Emperor Caligula. Her Livia Orestilla name was created by using inherited names - L(ucia) Iul(i)a [Julia] Ari(a) S. [Sabina] Tull(i)a. The Roman alphabet did not have separate symbols for U and V nor L and J, and as explained in my book, the royals look to have played around with vowels when creating names. Her first husband was Gaius Calpurnius Piso, then Caligula married her, and then afterwards she returned to Gaius Piso. When Gaius Piso died, she married Lucius Calpurnius Piso.
Her 'Cornelia' name connects her as a relative of others with the male and female versions of that name (such as being a relative of the historian 'Tacitus'). The 'Tull(i)a' portion of her name would come from her Flavian ancestry via Titus Flavius Petro's wife 'Tertulla and her ancestry. The name 'Tertulla' may be a combination of 'Terrentius' and 'Tullius' via her ancestry.
Caligula was born in 12 CE, and died in 41 CE, and ruled from 37-41 CE. He first married Livia Drusilla (a.k.a. Junia Claudilla (daughter of Marcus Junius Silanus) "Claudilla" being "Claudia Ill(i)a/Julia"). Next, he married Livia (Cornelia) Orestilla (a.k.a. Arria The Younger). He then married Lollia Paulina, (a.k.a. 'L. Arria Paulina/Pollina), she is daughter of Seneca, although her parentage is not given in public history. Lastly, Caligula married Milonia Caesonia (aka M.Il. Annia/Arria Caesonia, or Marcia Julia Arria Caesonia). Again, no parentage is given for her in the history of the time, however, the "Milo" or "Mela" portion of her name identifies her with her father, Seneca's brother 'Annaeus Mela'.