Drusilla of Mauretania the Younger

Drusilla of Mauretania (Greek: Δρουσίλλη, 38-79) was a Princess of Mauretania, North Africa and was the great grandchild of Ptolemaic Greek Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt and Roman Triumvir Mark Antony.[1]


Drusilla may have been the daughter and only child born to the Roman Client Monarchs Ptolemy of Mauretania and his wife, Julia Urania.[2]

Her mother Julia Urania may have been a member of the Royal family of Emesa, a Syrian Roman client kingdom.[2] Her father was a son of the Roman Client Monarchs Juba II and Cleopatra Selene II.[3] Her father's maternal grandparents were Ptolemaic Greek Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt and Roman Triumvir Mark Antony, while he descended from Numidian king Juba I on his father's side.[4]

Early life and first marriageEdit

Drusilla was most probably born in Caesaria (modern Cherchell, Algeria), the capital of the Roman Client Kingdom of Mauretania. She was named in honor of her father's second maternal cousin Julia Drusilla, one of the sisters of the Roman Emperor Caligula who died around the time of her birth[2] and is also the namesake of her paternal aunt Drusilla.

Her father was executed while visiting Rome in 40. Mauretania was annexed by Rome and later became two Roman provinces. Drusilla was probably raised in the Imperial Family in Rome. Around 53, the Roman Emperor Claudius arranged for her to marry Marcus Antonius Felix, a Greek Freedman who was the Roman Governor of Judea.[2] Between the years 54 to 56, Felix divorced Drusilla as he fell in love and married the Herodian princess Drusilla.

Drusilla held the Latin honorary title of Regina.[2] The Roman historian Suetonius only uses the word Regina to describe a queen regnant or a queen consort. According to Suetonius, she is one of the three queens whom Felix married.[2] Her title may have been purely honorary; possibly it reveals Felix's influence, the high position to which Claudius had appointed him, and his quasi-royal status in the imperial court. (As explained by the Roman historian Tacitus, Felix and his brother Marcus Antonius Pallas were descended from the Greek kings of Arcadia.) At the time of her first marriage, Drusilla was the only daughter of a king of a former kingdom, which may explain her title; the title may also reveal the identity of her second husband.

Second marriageEdit

In 56 Drusilla married as her second husband her distant relative the Emesene Priest King, Sohaemus,[1][5] who ruled from 54 until his death in 73. Sohaemus was the Priest of the Syrian Sun God, known in Aramaic as El-Gebal. Through marriage she became a Roman Client Queen of the Emesani Kingdom and a Queen consort to Sohaemus. Drusilla and Sohaemus had a son Gaius Julius Alexio, also known as Alexio II, who later succeeded his father as Emesene Priest King. A possible descendant of Drusilla was the Syrian Queen of the 3rd century, Zenobia of Palmyra.[1][5]

Relationship of Drusilla to Sohaemus
Ptolemy V EpiphanesCleopatra I Syra
Ptolemy VI PhilometorCleopatra II
Ptolemy VIII PhysconCleopatra III
Ptolemy IX LathyrosTryphaena
Ptolemy XII AuletesLaodice VII Thea
CleopatraAntiochus I Theos
Cleopatra Selene IIMithridates IIAthenais
Ptolemy of MauretaniaMithridates IIIIotapa


  1. ^ a b c Chris Bennett (2012) [2001]. "Affiliated Lines (Descendant Lines)". The Ptolemaic Dynasty. Retrieved 2015-01-28.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Chris Bennett (2010) [2001]. "Cleopatra Selene (footnote 10)". The Ptolemaic Dynasty. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 2015-01-28.
  3. ^ Suetonius, Caligula, 26
  4. ^ Chris Bennett (2010) [2001]. "Cleopatra Selene". The Ptolemaic Dynasty. Retrieved 2015-01-28.
  5. ^ a b Chris Bennett (2012) [2001]. "Points of Interest: Cleopatra VII & Ptolemy XIII". The Ptolemaic Dynasty. Retrieved 2015-01-28.