The governor of Judaea the men are referring to was a freedman of the household of the emperor Claudius—and Claudius was the son of Antonia the daughter of Marcus Antonius. So although he might have been more properly called Marcus Claudius Felix, he went instead by the name Marcus Antonius Felix, just like our hero, who claims to get his name via the same route of a freed slave adopting the family nomen. Governor Felix must have thought this name would be to his advantage, since the Marcus Antonius had been so popular with the ruling classes of Judaea. There was even a fortified palace in Jerusalem called the Antonia.

Unfortunately, Governor Felix turned out to be a hated administrator. He remained powerful, however, even marrying Drusilla, the great-granddaughter of King Herod the Great. His wife and their son (Marcus Antonius Agrippa) were caught in Pompeii during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.