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.

69 - Cleopatra born in Alexandria [see North Africa map]

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 [see map section bC], 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, Cleopatra in Rome

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

43 - Formation of the Second Triumvirate: Antony - Octavian (Augustus) - 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 (Sept.

    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

    Cleopatra Links
    Review of Sally-Ann Ashton's Cleopatra and Egypt

    Rome Era-by-Era Timeline | Roman Terms Glossary