4. DRUSILLA, daughter of Herodes Agrippa I., king of the Jews, by his wife Cypros, and sister of Herodes Agrippa II., was only six years old when her father died in A. D. 44.
She had been already promised in marriage to Epiphanes, son of Antiochus, king of Commagene, 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 Emesa, obtained Drusilla as his wife, and performed the condition of becoming a Jew. 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 promises 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.
She thought, perhaps, that Felix, whom she accepted as a second husband, would be better able to protect her than Azizus, whom she divorced.
In the Acts of the Apostles
(24.24), she is mentioned in such a manner that she may naturally be supposed to have been present when St. Paul preached before her second husband in A. D. 60. Felix and Drusilla had a son, Agrippa, who perished in an eruption of Vesuvius. (Josephus, J. AJ 19.7
Tacitus (Tac. Hist. 5.9
) says, that Felix married Drusilla, a granddaughter of Cleopatra and Antony. The Drusilla he refers to, if any such person ever existed, must have been a daughter of Juba and Cleopatra Selene, for the names and fate of all the other descendants of Cleopatra and Antony 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 statement of Holy Writ, by which it appears that Drusilla 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 (Suet. Cl. 28
), who calls Felix trium reginarum maritum.