By the time of his last visit to Jerusalem ca. AD 58, Paul of Tarsus had made enough enemies that his mere presence at the Temple instigated a riot. At the urging of the local Jewish leaders, he was arrested and sent to the provincial capital of Caesarea, where he was imprisoned by decree of the governor of Judaea, Antonius Felix. For two years Paul languished in prison, held without trial. Although Felix reportedly enjoyed Paul’s company and dined with him on numerous occasions—their meetings are mentioned in the New Testament’s Acts of the Apostles—Felix did not release him, probably because Paul refused to pay the governor, an appointee of Claudius, a bribe.
This is a genuine ancient bronze prutah of the Roman province of Judaea, struck during the prefecture of
Antonius Felix, AD 52-59.