FELIX, SAINT: First bishop of the East Angles; d. 647. He was a Burgundian who came to England inspired by missionary zeal, and was sent by Honorius, archbishop of Canterbury, to East Anglia. The foothold of Christianity in the land was then very slight, but a Christian king, Sigbert, came to the throne about the time of Felix's arrival, and the two together soon accomplished the conversion of the people. Felix was consecrated bishop by Honorius in 631 and fixed his seat at Dunwich, a town on the Suffolk coast, long since washed away by the sea. He obtained teachers from Canterbury for a school founded by Sigbert, and, with the help of an Irish monk, Fursa (q.v.), introduced monastic life. Under Furs.-'s influence Sigbert resigned his throne and retired to a cell. Felix's day is Mar. 8.
Bibliography: The one source is Bede, Hist. eccl., ii. 15, III. 18. 20. Consult A. Jessopp, in the Diocesan Histories, Norwich. London, 1884; and Dr. Stubbs, in DCB, ii. 489- 490.
FELIX AND FESTUS: Two Roman governors of Judea. According to the Book of Acts (xxiv. 10) the former had been ruling for many years at the time of the imprisonment of Paul in 58 or 59.
He was the husband of a Jewess by the name of
Drusilla, and two years later was succeeded as
procurator by Porcius Festus
In the case of the Jewish persecution of Paul,
Felix received the prisoner with a letter of the
tribune stating that the charge was concerned
solely with differences of religious opinions among
In the "War" (II., xii. 8-xiii. 7) Josephus mentions merely the energetic opposition of Felix to revolutionary movements in Judea, but in the "Antiquities" (XX., vii. 1-viii. 8), he makes no attempt to disguise the fact that in the suppression of the "robbers" Felix had not only been merciless in his cruelty, but had stooped to perfidy and assassination, thus preparing the way for the out-
break of the Sicarii. Although his attitude in opposition to the "prophets" and the rebellious Jews of Cfesarea was irreproachable, it is evident that his administration was both immoral and illegal, so that after his retirement to Rome accusations were brought against him by the Jews, which were averted only by the intercession of his powerful brother. The unfavorable characterization of this procurator given by Josephus is confirmed by Tacitus (l.c.).
The statements of Josephus regarding Festua (Ant. XX., viii. 9-ix. 1; War, II., xiv. 1) are far more scanty, being confined to a recognition of his reckless energy against the rebellious Jews and to an agreement made by him with the Jewish king in opposition to the religious interests of the people. It is evident that the account of Luke regarding both Felix and Festus rests on personal knowledge and deep insight into their history, relations, and personalities. See Governor.
Bibliography: The beat discussion and exposition is 8ch~7rer. C3eschiclUe, i. 571-582, 590, Eng. transl., I. ii. 174-187, 198, where further literature is given. Consult also: W. M. Ramsay, 3t. Paul the Traveller, pp. 308 sqq., New York, 1898; O. Holtamann, Neufeatamentliche Zeitgeschichte, Tübingen, 1908; and the works on the life of the Apostle Paul.
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