Alberto Angela – Cleopatra

Events available on demand from 29-31 October

Alberto Angela

Alberto Angela

Chaired by: Anna Somers Cocks

Our world today would not be the same without Cleopatra. Yet while she is one of the most famous figures in history, the legendary Egyptian queen remains, in many ways, an enigma. In this mesmerizing biography, Alberto Angela offers a fresh and dynamic portrait of this extraordinary ruler, revealing a strikingly modern woman born in an ancient era and skilled in the art of diplomacy and war, who would conquer the heart of a general - Marc Antony - and Rome itself.

Cleopatra, meticulously researched and rich with vivid detail, focuses on a twenty-year period that marked a sweeping change in Roman history, beginning with the assassination of Julius Caesar that led to the end of the Republic, and ending with the suicides of Antony and Cleopatra and the birth of the Augustan Empire. Angela brings the people, stories, customs and traditions of this fascinating period alive as he transports us to the chaotic streets of the capital of the ancient world, the exotic port of Alexandria in Egypt, and to the bloody battlefields where an empire was won and lost.

One of Italy’s most revered cultural figures, paleontologist, naturalist, journalist, author, and popular television host - Angela’s tv documentary Meraviglie attracts over six million viewers per episode - reconstructs the extraordinary life of the legendary Cleopatra at the height of her power in this epic story of passion, intrigue, betrayal, and war.

Chaired by Anna Somers Cocks who also chaired the Venice in Peril Fund.

In partnership with Pisa Book Festival

Photograph: Barbara Ledda

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Scottish Portraits as Biography Episode 3 will follow this event: James Knox on portraits of women by women from the Celtic Revival and the Roaring Twenties