Cleopatra timeline

Cleopatra's story has been retold for over 2,000 years, in this timeline we try to add a little historical perspective to the events in the ballet - a time of great turbulence across the major powers of the day - right up to the infamous bite which ended not only her life but the Pharaoh's rule of Egypt.

From 69 BC

Cleopatra born in Alexandria, Egypt to the house of Ptolemy.

Her father, Ptolemy XII, dies in 51BC, leaving a will that states his daughter and son should be co-rulers of Egypt.

From 50 BC

Cleopatra and her young brother-husband eventually rule jointly, though not amicably, and rival factions develop in the Palace.

From 48 BC

Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great, Roman Generals, and part of the triumvirate in Rome, are fighting a civil war. Pompey receives aid from Ptolemy XIII and the war arrives on Egyptian soil as Caesar enters Egypt in pursuit.

Ptolemy changes sides and has Pompey executed knowing that he would have to lose men and money if he continues to support Pompey. Caesar is presented with Pompey's head and ring but is disgusted. He must arbitrate between the brother and sister and collect overdue money owing to Rome.

Cleopatra has fled from Alexandria and is in exile.

Caesar summons Cleopatra to the Palace and she comes by night, hidden in a bag, and successfully seduces Caesar. He insists the bother and sister rule together but another battle breaks out with Caesar the victor, and Ptolemy is drowned in the Nile.

Cleopatra reigns alone as Queen of Egypt. Caesar and Cleopatra embark in a long Nile cruise.

From 47 BC

Cleopatra and Caesar's son Caesarion is born.

From 44 BC

Caesar brings them to Rome but because of political unrest is assassinated by 60 conspirators on 15 March.

Cleopatra and her son return to Egypt.

Mark Antony and Octavian, are now the most powerful leaders of the Roman Empire.

Antony summons Cleopatra about her loyalty to Rome in the war against the conspirators. She travels to Tarsus by Royal Barge and presents herself to Antony as Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love.

A long love affair begins and they have three children together. Twins Alexander Helios (Sun) and Cleopatra Selene (Moon), and Ptolemy Philadelphus.

Antony gives lands gained in the name of Rome to Cleopatra and her children. He returns to Rome and cements his loyalty to the Empire by marrying Octavia, the sister of Octavian.

Antony returns to Egypt and Cleopatra and divorces Octavia.

Octavian declares civil war against Antony and Cleopatra and defeats them at the battle of Actium. They flee back to Egypt.

From 30 BC

Antony commits suicide believing Cleopatra to be already dead.

Cleopatra is taken prisoner by Octavian in her Palace. She has an asp smuggled in to her mausoleum and is poisoned, bringing to an end the Ptolemic dynasty. She was the last Pharaoh to rule Egypt.