Timeline of Major Events in the Life of Cleopatra

Basin with Scenes from the Life of Cleopatra
Basin with Scenes from the Life of Cleopatra; After a sketch by Bernardo Strozzi [Italian, 1581 - 1644] Perhaps modeled by Francesco Fanelli [Italian, about 1590 - after 1653] Unknown maker, Dutch or Flemish silversmith. J. Paul Getty Museum

Do you know how old Cleopatra was when she came to power? When ​Caesar was assassinated? When she committed suicide to thwart Caesar's heir Octavian (Augustus)? No? Then follow along on this skeletal timeline of Cleopatra from her birth to death. (All years are BC.)

69 - Cleopatra born in Alexandria

51 - Ptolemy Auletes, Pharaoh of Egypt, dies, leaving his kingdom to his 18-year-old daughter, Cleopatra and her younger brother Ptolemy XIII.

Pompey is in charge of Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII.

48 - Cleopatra is removed from power by Theodotas and Achillas

48 - Pompey defeated in Thessaly, at Pharsalus, in August.

  • Pompey murdered as he steps ashore in Egypt on September 28
  • Caesar restores Cleopatra to the Egyptian throne

47 - Caesarion (Ptolemy Caesar), Caesar and Cleopatra's son, born June 23

46-44 - Caesar and Cleopatra in Rome

44 - Assassination of Caesar on March 15. Cleopatra flees to Alexandria

43 - Formation of the Second Triumvirate: Antony, Octavian (Augustus), and Lepidus

43-42 - Victory of the triumvirate at Philippi (in Macedonia)

41 - Antony meets Cleopatra at Tarsus and follows her to Egypt

40 - Antony returns to Rome

  • The Second Triumvirate partitions the Mediterranean:
    1. Octavian - Commands the western provinces - (Spain, Sardinia, Sicily, Transalpine Gaul, Narbonne)
    2. Antony - Commands the eastern provinces (Macedonia, Asia, Bithynia, Cilicia, Syria)
    3. Lepidus - Commands Africa (Tunisia and Algeria)

    36 - Elimination of Lepidus

    • Octavian controls Africa and becomes the effective ruler of Rome
    • Parthian campaign of Marc Antony

    35 - Antony returns to Alexandria with Cleopatra

    32 - Antony divorces Octavian's sister Octavia

    • Western provinces pledge allegiance to Octavian
    • Declaration of war on Cleopatra

    31 - Battle of Actium (September 2) and victory of Octavian; Antony and Cleopatra seek refuge at Alexandria

    30 - Victory of Octavian at Alexandria

    • Suicide of Antony and then Cleopatra
    • Egypt becomes a Roman province