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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Drusilla

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(Δρούσιλλα ), youngest daughter of Herod Agrippa I by his wife Cypros, and sister of Herod Agrippa II, was only six years old when her father died in AD 44 (Josephus, Ant. 19:9, 1; 20:7, 1 and 2). Being celebrated for her beauty, she had already been promised in marriage to Epiphanies, son of Antiochus, king of Comagene, but the match was broken off in consequence of Epiphanes refusing to perform his promise of conforming to the Jewish religion. Hereupon Azizus, king of Edessa, obtained Drusilla as his wife, and performed the condition of becoming a Jew (Josephus, Ant. 10:7, 1). Afterwards Felix, the procurator of Judaea, fell in love with her, and induced her to leave Azizus, a course to which she was prompted not only by the fair promise of Felix, but by a desire to escape the annoyance to which she was subjected by the envy of her sister Berenice, who though ten years older, vied with her in beauty (ib. 2). She though, perhaps, that Felix, whom as accepted as a second husband, would be better able to protect her then Azizus, whom she divorced. In the Acts (24:24) she is mentioned in such a manner that she may naturally be supposed to have been present when Paul preached before Felix, in A.D. 55. Felix and Drusilla had a son, Agrippa, who perished in an eruption of Vesuvius (Josephus, Ant. 19:7; 20:5). Tacitus (Hist. 5:9) says that Felix married Drusilla, a granddaugther of Cleopatra and Anthony. The Drusilla he refers to, if any such person every existed, must have been a daughter of Juba and Cleopatra Selene, for the names

and fate of all the other descendants of Cleopatra and Anthony are known from other sources. But the account given by Josephus of the parentage of Drusilla is more consistent than that of Tacitus with the notice in the Acts, by which it appears that she was a Jewess. Some have supposed that Felix married in succession two Drusillae; and countenance is lent to this otherwise improbable conjecture by an expression of Suetonius (Claud. 28) who calls Felix "the husband of three queens." (See Noldii Hist. Idum. page 464 sq.; Walch, De Felice, Jen. 1747, page 63 sq.), (See FELIX).


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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Drusilla'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/d/drusilla.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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