Frederick E. Brenk - S.J Filippo Canali De Rossi, «The ‘Notorious’ Felix, Procurator of Judaea, and His Many Wives (Acts 23–24)», Vol. 82 (2001) 410-417
Confusion exists over both the gentilicium and the wives of Felix. As for the name, possibly both Antonius and Claudius are correct. In any case, the attempt to assign only the name Claudius to Felix rests on rather shaky ground. As for his wives, possibly none was a descendant of Kleopatra VII. But if she were, she would be a great-granddaughter rather than a granddaughter of the famous queen. An inscription adduced to fix Felix’ name and career is beset with many problems. Finally, we should take his reputation as ‘notorious’ with a grain of salt. But whether notorious or not, his rise was remarkable, deserving of awe if not admiration.
Tiberius Claudius [Felix],
procurator — of the Au[gustus (i.e. the Emperor) — in Judaea].
[S]imonides and T[...]
Sons, for their [father and benefactor?]
The inscription in honor of T. Mucius Clemens, as restored by Kokkinos, would give the gentilicium of Felix as Claudius, and thus settle the matter. But there are problems. Unfortunately, the cognomen (Felix) is not preserved on the stone, only the gentilicium (Claudius). We do not have enough from the general context to assume, with certainty or even reasonable probability, that the man concerned is Claudius Felix rather than any other Claudius.
In fact the restored text of the inscription is open to several criticisms. Parts of the extant text seem to need to be restored quite differently. The missing side (to the right of the reader), might be nearly equal in length to the left. Kokkinos’ restorations — based in part on those of the previous editors Avi-Yonah and Pflaum — are in general too short in this respect. The honorand, T. Mucius, Marci f., Clemens, is recorded in lines 2 and 5 as e)pa/rxwi (prefect). Possibly the same person appears again in this capacity in line 4, but this is not necessarily so. A convincing restoration of another inscription, from Arados, possibly erected for the elder Pliny (OGIS 586 = IGR 1015), confirms the role of Tiberius Alexander as e!parxoj (Tiberi/ou 'Aleca/ndrou e)pa/r[xou] [Tiberius Alexander, prefect]). However, Mucius’ rank in the service of Tiberius Alexander might not be [bohqo/j] (military adiutor) (line 3). This restoration rests solely on the similar and problematic one, b[ohqo/j], in line 6. The rank of xili/arxoj (military tribune) — one of the necessary steps in the equestrian career — or a)ntepi/tropoj (sub-procurator), as in the above-mentioned inscription from Arados, would make more sense. However, a qualification like tribunus with the name of a commander does not seen to occur in any inscription. The third service of Mucius would then be, according to the normal equestrian cursus, that of praefectus alae quingenariae (prefect of the wing of 500 men). This rank would regularly be recorded in such an inscription. (Also, in line 5 we need a supplementary word between prw/thj [first] and Hrw[ [Hero-] — as already noted by Pflaum et al.17).
An alternative for lines 6-8 — which would need further proof — comes to mind. We might have, instead of a further step in the career of Mucius, the imperial dating. The break marked by the vacat on line 6 would be followed by some kind of chronological information like basileu/ontoj ... Tiberi/ou Klaudi/ou Ne/rwnoj (in the reign ... of Tiberius Claudius Nero), followed by the name of the local e)pi/tropoj (procurator).
The final part of the inscription, lines 9-11, as restored by Kokkinos is also very doubtful. Here we find Simwni/dhj and his brother as sons of the honorand. But why would a Roman equestrian of Roman descent