Drusilla, daughter of Herod Agrippa I , was six years of age at the time of her father's death at Caesarea, A.D. 44. She had already been betrothed to Epiphanes, the son of Antiochus, King of Commagene. Herod had stipulated that Epiphanes should embrace the Jewish religion. The prince finally refused to abide by his promise to do so, and the brother of Drusilla, Herod Agrippa II , gave her in marriage to Azizus, Kind of Emesa, who, in order to obtain her hand, consented to be circumcised. It was shortly after this marriage, it would appear, that Felix, the Roman procurator of Judea, met the beautiful young queen. This meeting very likely took place at the court of Herod Agrippa II, for we can gather from Josephus that Berenice, the elder sister, whose jealousy the Jewish historian mentions as an explanation of Drusilla's conduct, lived with her brother at this time. Felix was struck by the great beauty of Drusilla, and determined to make her his wife. In order to persuade a Jewess, who had shown attachment to her religion, to be divorced from her husband and marry a pagan, the unscrupulous governor had recourse to the arts of a Jewish magician from Cyprus whose name, according to some manuscripts of Josephus, was Atomos, according to other, Simon. The ill-advised Drusilla was persuaded to accede to the solicitations of Felix. She was about twenty-two years of age when she appeared at the side of the latter, during St. Paul's captivity at Caesarea ( Acts 24:24-25 ). Like her husband, she must have listened with terror as the Apostle "treated of justice, and chastity and of the judgment to come". It is said that during the reign of Titus a son of Felix and Drusilla perished together with his wife in the eruption of Vesuvius. But there is no information about the life of Drusilla herself after the scene described in Acts.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online