On this date in 49 BC Gaius Julius Caesar, leading the 13th Legion crossed the river Rubicon and began a civil war which ended with his victory and his being declared dictator of the Roman Republic.
Caesar, who had been involved in political infighting with the senate as well as Pompey was faced with the choice of laying down the command of his legions and coming to Rome to stand trial for various charges that had been made by politics enemies in the senate, or be declared a enemy of the people of Rome.
Caesar who had been campaigning in Gaul refused to surrender to the senate and marched on Rome. When he reached the Rubicon, which was the border of the republic, he hesitated. One of Rome's most sacred laws was that no general would ever march on Rome at the head of his legions. It is said that Caesar, looking back at his legion commented "iacta alea est" or "The die is cast" and crossed. When Caesar did this with his legion he committed both himself and his troops to conquer or die. After three years of civil war, Caesar was made dictator so his gamble paid off.
To this day, the term, "To cross the Rubicon" means to cross a point of no return.....
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