In this film three leading Egyptologists explore how Cleopatra became one of the most influential and powerful women of the ancient world.
We trace how Cleopatra's learning and intelligence enabled her to gain control of her own Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt; skilfully and ruthlessly overcoming her own family and manipulating Egyptian politics and religion to her own advantage. We discover the influence that the magnificent city of Alexandria exerted over the eastern Mediterranean and how Rome's growing power impinged on Egypt. Cleopatra played a difficult and skilful game negotiating relations with Rome, engaging both diplomatically and personally first with Julius Caesar and then Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony). Our experts consider how Cleopatra's remarkable personality enabled her to play such a key role in the first century BCE.
The film uses imagery from the worlds of art and motion pictures, as well as key Egyptian artefacts and locations, to investigate the representation and story of this remarkable and much misunderstood leader - unpicking the fact from the myth.